Is it just me? Guest Post by @helenroot


I have a confession – I think I’m a Pharmacy geek. There is something that has been bugging me for a while, but I have been trying to ignore it. I’ve been in denial, but I can hide my secret no longer.


This week on my Twitter feed was news of a new app that can identify drugs. It was only a matter of time I guess, and it didn’t make me question my career choice. No, that was just the trigger for my secret to rear its ugly head again. That evening a Twitter conversation began with “guess the tablet?” and equivalent Pharmacy related paraphernalia as the topic. The enthusiasm for this was immense, and whilst I missed the event (It was the Great British Bake Off Semi-final!), that conversation was the trigger for my imminent confession.


I’ll set the scene. You’re watching your favourite soap opera and Janice, the new blonde young interest, has been having a run of bad luck, you know the kind of thing. Broken hair straighteners, chipped nail varnish, burnt toast….. life is tough. So, she books an appointment with Dr.Dish who tells her she’s depressed. Cut to scene with Janice in the pub, opening her prescription and telling the lippy barmaid all about her tough life. Well, this is my gripe. Janice always produces a brown (often unlabelled) tablet bottle, and tips out some pink tablets, “these are the antidepressants he gave me”. Cut back to me shouting at the TV, “that’s Ibuprofen! When did you last see an SSRI out of a calendar pack……” and here is my point.


It drives me insane when so much time is spent on continuity in TV and films and yet there is a total disregard for continuity of medicines. I’ve seen it in Hollywood blockbusters. A scene of crime search, diazepam, they must have used this to sedate the victim, cut to shot of random white tablets the size of horse pills, and quite obviously to our trained eye, not diazepam.


Also, in movies, the hero or the villain gets shot and then breaks into a pharmacy or house. Then they grab some aspirin or opioid painkillers and take the whole bottle. No GI bleeds or respiratory depression ensues.


My secret goes further though. Does anyone else get annoyed by the pathetic pictures used in glossy celebrity magazines (that’s a whole other confessional) or pictures used to illustrate online medical stories? It that just me too?


“New research shows the contraceptive pill can make your hair curly” – Headline picture of either an ancient HRT products (I’d spot Trisequins anywhere) or a worried looking woman about to take a tablet from a non cyclical calendar pack, you just know that isn’t a contraceptive.


“Flu Jab linked with hiccups” time to dig out that picture of a man sneezing and a glass hypodermic syringe circa 1970/1980 that is now sitting in some museum for Pharmacy.


Well, I could no longer live with not knowing whether or not I am alone in my annoyance. I have just a sneaky suspicion I am not alone. Now I have planted the seed you won’t be able to escape it. You’ll find yourself looking for this everywhere. Or, is it just me?


5 thoughts on “Is it just me? Guest Post by @helenroot

  1. Ooo i do this alot too. Especially in american films. See if you agree/recognise this.

    Hero/heroine needs headache pill of some description.

    Gets generic non-descript round, light brown bottle.. empties several into hand. Chucks into mouth, swallows, grimaces

    Continues on with life

  2. I do do!!! i get so annoyed watching cr@p on the tv!!! I used to love casulaty.. now the irritation.. why would u be discussing your date over a patient whilst giving cpr and some incompetant dr attempts to screw up something simple and theres a big hero clap when he does it??? why do they all drink blackcurrent??????? its so ANNOYING! why is there never a pharmacist on medic shows?

    I understand your pains!

  3. No, absolutely! It is not you. Those shows will be so smug about medical correctness or terminology in what the doctor says, or the sound of the ambulance, or colloquialisms of the orderly (or at least a semblance of what a doctor says), and then, adding a pharmacist is simply just too much to get right!

    The funniest show I saw was a very, low, low budget film, in which the ECG machine was something from RadioShack and had only one big perfect wave before it went flat.

    In truty I thought that the real scary part of one of those cliff-hanger daytime soaps were the actors that were so badly representing actual professionals, that it would be a real nightmare if I were ever to meet a doctor doing just as badly a job as one of the actors pretending to be a doctor in the flesh.

    But, on the other hand, one horribly busy day at Wal-mart, someone from the doctor’s office called a script in so perfectly, that I had to cover up the mouthpiece to avoid my hilarious laughing. The person at the other end of the line pronounced everything so very clearly, enunciating each syllable. This person did not miss one vital piece of information in stating the doctor’s address, spelling out names, middle names, phone numbers, who they were supposed to be, who the patient was, what the allergies were, the DEA number (including the word ‘dash’). I felt after hearing it, of saying, “Are you sure you’re reading that correctly? Check again, doesn’t that say P.R.N. and not ‘purn’ and is that not a ‘d’ that you see instead of a ‘t’? Needless to say, when I called the doctor’s office on the other line to confirm, they’d never heard of the ‘nurse’ nor the ‘patient’.

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