Horrible pharmacy experience!!!!

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bubsykitty
Regular Member


Date Joined Jul 2008
Total Posts : 23
   Posted 8/11/2008 12:55 PM (GMT -7)   
 
I really need to vent because I am STILL so upset over my experience with the pharmacy on Friday afternoon ....
 
Basic history .... I was going to Pain Mgmt for quite a few years with a great PM Doctor.  Sadly he died in a car accident in 2006.  At that point I decided to try to stop taking the pain meds for various reasons, one of which was to evaluate my pain levels without opiates.  After researching various options, I chose to try Subutex.  At first I was only going to use it short term.  After I stopped the short-term Subutex, the pain was back and pretty bad.  Dr suggested that I go back on it for a longer term, as it was actually helping my pain a bit.  (Not as much as the previous meds, but I was doing my best to deal, along with PT, injections and other therpies)  I stopped the Subutex completely last year and I am currently back on opiate meds again with a great PM Doctor that is aware of my entire history.
 
So .... I go to my monthly PM Dr. visit on Friday.  Leave with my prescriptions and go to the regular pharmacy near my home.  (It is a small "mom and pop" type place that I have been going to for YEARS!!!)  Normally the owner is the man that fills my scripts, but there is also a woman pharmacist that is there, usually when the owner is off, which happened to be late Friday afternoon.
 
I give the tech my scripts and sit down to wait.  (Normaly just 5 - 10 minute wait at most, another reason I like the place!)  about 10 minutes later that pharmacist lady calls me up to the counter and tells me that she will not fill my scripts because of "what I had taken in the past."  Excuse me ?!?!?!?!  confused       confused     My doctor is aware of "what I have taken in the past and obviously is writing the Rx for a reason!!!!
 
I was in tears and so embarrased!!!  She was rude and nasty and treated me like I was some kind of street junky!!!!!   redface    I then ended up going to 3 other pharmacies to get my Rx filled cause no one seemed to have the med or have enough to fill the entire script
(I was told that they can't fill partial and fill the rest when it arrives either.)
 
I am thinking about calling the owner himself to discuss what happened, but am not sure if I should do that or just take my business elsewhere.
 
Has anyone else ever had something like this happen to them???
I am still so upset over it!!!! 
 
And then to make matters even worse, my normal pharmacy has my Rx insurance on file;  I did not have my Rx card with me so I had to pay CASH to fill the Rx and now have to try to get reimbursed for it, which will take who-knows-how-long.....
So I only filled the one med that I was completely out of and have not yet filled the other two cause I still have some left from last month.
 
I'm sorry this was so long  .... but I feel a little bit better after getting it out .....
 
:-)
 
.

prettyeyes
New Member


Date Joined Aug 2008
Total Posts : 7
   Posted 8/11/2008 1:32 PM (GMT -7)   
That's terrible mad   I would definetly tell the owners what happened. That was completely unprofessional and uncalled for. If that is the pharmacy you've been going to for years and you like the service there besides this 1 incident you should continue to go there. That 1 person should not stop you from going somewhere that's been great for you so far. Sometimes it's hard to find pharmacies that carry what we need, so when you find one that does and has great service stick with it a 5-10 minutes is great. But I'm very sorry that that happened to you. I wish you luck in talking to the owners :-) .

ryand
Veteran Member


Date Joined Dec 2007
Total Posts : 639
   Posted 8/11/2008 1:42 PM (GMT -7)   
bubsy:

This is absolutely appalling! There is simply NO excuse for this woman to have treated you in this unprofessional manner.

I would definitely take this up with the business owner. If you have a good relationship with him, it is possible that he is unaware of her demeanor. If I were you, I would explain to the owner what had happened and let him know that you want to keep your business with his pharmacy but that you will be forced to take your business elsewhere unless you receive an apology from this woman and some guarantee that you will be treated with respect in the future.

As you said, your physician is well aware of your medical history and has made the medical decision to prescribe you these medications. It is not the pharmacists' place to question his medical decisions. And even if it were, she should have spoken to you privately! I think you even have cause to file a complaint against this pharmacist for violating your patient's right to privacy!

If you still haven't filled those other two prescriptions, you do have some immediate "bargaining power." You can carry those prescriptions right in with you to speak with the owner. Hold them right in front of him and remind him of just how much business he stands to lose by not taking care of you as a customer. Being prepared to walk out the door with those two scripts and start business with another pharmacy might help him see how serious you are.

I hope they make this right for you. You are absolutely right to be frustrated!
Ry

PAlady
Veteran Member


Date Joined Nov 2007
Total Posts : 6795
   Posted 8/11/2008 6:28 PM (GMT -7)   
Dear kitty,
I'm pretty exhausted right now but I have to agree with others. i'd first go or call the owner directly and explain the situation. This woman should be a licensed pharmacist and shoud be aware that subutex is also used for pain. If she's not, she need to learn and NOW! But I also hope you didn't violate any pain contracts by using another pharmacy, so if you have one with your doc that says you can only use one pharmacy I'd call them (or even write them a note) about what happened so you're not blamed later.

This is just lousy, unprofessional treatment. And if the owner doesn't rectify it I would take my business elsewhere.

PaLady

TDoern
Regular Member


Date Joined Jul 2006
Total Posts : 495
   Posted 8/11/2008 6:53 PM (GMT -7)   
Bubsy - I have to agree, that is horrible treatment. The sad thing is if you look there are so many other stories of pharmacies treating chronic pain patients wrongly.

With this being a "mom and pop" pharmacy, I'm hoping that getting this fixed is going to be easier than it might be with a chain pharmacy. I suggest calling your pain doctor, letting them know you used a different pharmacy than normal, and what happened. I suggest letting them know that you are going to go back into this pharmacy, because normally they give you great service, and try to get things corrected so you can continue using them. Even going so far as to give them the phone number for your pain doctor (even though it is on the script) in case they need to speak with him. It should be as easy as asking to speak to the owner/manager. You have been a long standing customer with this pharmacy, and to be honest that in itself will speak to an owner/manager of a mom and pop pharmacy (or should). I would let them know that you didn't think this was the opinion, or standard practice for a patient who has been a regular customer, and that you are hoping you can continue to use them since service to this point has been good. (I still believe in killing with kindness - it makes you look good, and the person who was being a jerk look really bad).

I also agree with PaLady that you may need to let you pain doctor's office know that you went to a new pharmacy for it, just because most pain contracts state what pharmacy you use, mine states that I will only use them for my narcotic prescriptions, and need to let them know if I choose to make a change. Also the fact that you paid cash for the script could come up. I know it sucks that you did what was needed and now have to think about this, but such is the life we CPers deal with.

Just know you did nothing wrong, and that this person is a jerk to say the least and I'm sure we could all come up with fun, colorful names to call the people who seem to think we enjoy hurting all the time. (By the way thanks for the grin, I'm coming up with a few names now. :) )

*hugs*
Tammy
"When we come to the edge of the light we know, and are about to step off into the darkness of the unknown, of one thing we can be sure; either God will provide something solid to stand on... or we will be taught to fly.'"

Dx: Degenerative Disc Disease, Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome, IBS-d, Ruptured & Fused L4-L5-S1, Bulging/Ruptured L3-L4, Sciatica, Neuropathy, Costochondritis, Reflux, Gastric Bypass Surgery 12/6/07
Rx: Kadian 50mg - every 12 hours, Percocet 5/325 - up to 4 daily, Baclofen 10mg - 3 daily, Amitriptylene 200mg - at bedtime, Prevacid Solutabs - 1 daily, various vitamins.


bubsykitty
Regular Member


Date Joined Jul 2008
Total Posts : 23
   Posted 8/11/2008 7:43 PM (GMT -7)   

 

Thank you all SOOOOOO much for the support!!!!  It means the world to me to read the replies I have received here so far!!!

roll

Surprisingly, my pain mgmt contract does not limit me to just one pharmacy.  The contract states that I may not receive any other narcotics from another Doctor, and if I do (say an emergency or something) that I must notify them immediately.  But I absolutely will tell my pain Dr what happened at my next visit.

I am certainly leaning towards speaking with the owner / head pharmacist there to tell him of the situation.  Not sure yet if I should call him or go there in person.  I still need to fill the other 2 scripts, so I could go there for that reason also.  But for some silly reason I have this fear that he may side with her and refuse to fill my other meds.  Even though I know that just would not make sense, but this has really upset me so much!!  Maybe the phone call would be better cause I'd be less likely to get flustered over the phone vs. in person.  ( I tend to get bad anxiety and easily flustered when I try to deal with anything "confrontational" .... I'm the type of person that normally runs away from things like that .... I'm a big chicken .... just throw me in a rotiserie grill .... LOL )

Just because I used Subutex in the past, does not mean I am an addict, which I'm pretty sure is what she was thinking about me.  Obviously she does not realize that there is a HUGE difference between physical dependance and addiction!!!!  And the fact that buprenorphine (the active ingredient in Subutex) has been used for many years, and still used a lot in Europe and other countries, as a pain medication!! must not have been discussed in her classes .... or she just missed that day or slept thru it !!! 

Maybe she got her pharmacy degree from a bubble gum machine?!?!   yeah

he, he, he, he!!!

.


ryand
Veteran Member


Date Joined Dec 2007
Total Posts : 639
   Posted 8/11/2008 8:01 PM (GMT -7)   
Bubsy:

I think you need to go in person, though. But like Tammy said - it doesn't need to be confrontational at all. I absolutely agree with her that the super kind approach works great. You don't even have to deal with the WHY of this other pharmacist's decision to refuse service to you if she didn't specifically say "you were an addict." I would go in all innocent and syrupy sweet and say something along these lines....

Hello Pharmacists Jones. You know I SO appreciate getting my meds with your pharmacy. You have always done a much better job of taking care of me than I believe any of the big chains would have! But something happened the other day that really surprised me and I just don't know what to do... I was wondering if you could help me out. You see, I came in to fill my regular prescriptions - the same ones I fill here every month - and there was a pharmacist on duty who I've never met. For some reason, she refused to fill my prescription! When I asked her why, she said it had something to do with the meds I've taken in the past. I just don't understand. I have always been prescribed medications by a licensed physician, so what could have been wrong with my prescription history? And now I don't know what to do! I have these two other prescriptions.... I REALLY, REALLY want to continue to get my scripts filled here, but I already had to get that other one filled at another pharmacy since she wouldn't help me.... I just thought I should come and talk to you before I went somewhere else. Can you help me?

Okay, that's just my suggestions... Kind of the sweet innocent victim approach, but it could work. I go to a mom and pop pharmacy that I love too, and I'm also not tied to a specific one by a contract. Several months ago they hired a guy who decided to play med cop and although he filled my script, he stood at the desk holding onto it after I'd paid him for 5 minutes whilst he gave me a lecture on how this was a potent medication and I shouldn't just be taking it for "little aches and pains" and I should not be driving or leaving the house or anything after I've taken it or anything, yada yada... I was getting really annoyed when finally one of the regular guys happened to walk by and said to this guy "She's been on this medication for years. I think she's got it by now." and took it out of his hands and gave it to me. Two months later, he was no longer working there.

I bet the owner of your pharmacy would be supportive of you. And if you approach it like you are just confused and looking for help, it won't have to be too tense.

Good luck!
Ry

bubsykitty
Regular Member


Date Joined Jul 2008
Total Posts : 23
   Posted 8/11/2008 8:17 PM (GMT -7)   
ryand,

That is perfect!!!!! I think I will print this thread out and kind of recite what you wrote a bit in my head before going there.
And you are right on - asking for help in a super-sweet way usually works wonders!!

I did not mean it like it would be a confrontational situation, just more like I'm too much a push-over and scaredy-cat to speak up and say things, even when it is the right thing to do, I just let my own personal anxiety get in my way at times.

Thank you all AGAIN!!!!
And keep the ideas coming ....

ryand
Veteran Member


Date Joined Dec 2007
Total Posts : 639
   Posted 8/11/2008 8:27 PM (GMT -7)   
Bubsy:

I totally understand! I can be so bold and say whatever needs to be said when I'm in the caregiver role, but as soon as I'm the patient - all bets are off! It's like I'm afraid to say anything at all!

I'm glad if I could be helpful to you. Do let us know how it turns out!

Ry

Kelly Thompson
New Member


Date Joined Aug 2008
Total Posts : 5
   Posted 8/11/2008 9:18 PM (GMT -7)   
I think its sad that people who need pain meds now have a hard time getting them because of people who abuse them. I feel for the way you were treated.

Hartdawg
Regular Member


Date Joined Aug 2008
Total Posts : 26
   Posted 8/12/2008 6:39 AM (GMT -7)   
Hello Bubsy,
 
I agree also, I too took subutex by my own decision to try and wean off some of my opiods to re-rate my pain level after about 3 years and I was going to another specialist out of town and he wanted to see and measure my pain levels also.  I took it and it did not help my pain level very much, but I saw the other Neuro Surgeon and he put me back on my other meds, so I came home and went back to my "Mom and Pop" pharmacy and the exact same thing happened.
 
I like you was pretty upset, but I did have another 2 days of meds and went back to talk to owner and explained the situation.  (Not Mad) and he apologized and explained that many people are on that med because Dr. decided to take them off opiods for addiction reasons and it was to help them with withdrawls and she just didn't know you situation. 
 
He apologized and every thing has been fine ever since, even when she fills my prescriptions.
 
I would do what others said, and just go to your pharmacist, who like me is probably like a friend to you, and just talk to  him, and I'm sure everything will be fine.
 
If not, be ready to stay calm and not get angry and just tell him your sorry things can't stay the same with them since they had always given her such personal caring service, and be prepared to shake his hand and walk out.
 
And just start anew with someone else.  Everything will work out for the best, and if you are a Christian, just pray about it first and I believe what is best will work out for you.
 
I am sorry you/we all have to go through so much, and people can't see our "invisible desease"
 
God Bless and take care,
 
Hartdawg smilewinkgrin

Quote by Myla Kabat-Zinn:

"Each difficult moment has the potential to open my eyes and open my heart."


Dagger
Veteran Member


Date Joined Apr 2008
Total Posts : 1522
   Posted 8/12/2008 11:01 PM (GMT -7)   
You could always write a letter to the owner. You can hand it over in person and explain that the experience upset you and you wanted to give it to him in writing to keep yourself from getting upset again.

Also, you may want to send your pain doc a letter expaining what happened in case there ever is a problem in the future. I'm a firm believer in putting everything in writing.

lavendar
Regular Member


Date Joined Nov 2007
Total Posts : 450
   Posted 8/13/2008 1:13 AM (GMT -7)   
shocked  Guess we are never alone. I went in for one day surgery for a bunion,hammertoe, and heel spur. After surgery Dr. gave me a pres. for pain and an antibiotic. I usually go to to the nearest grocery store pharmacy. I shop and get my pres. filled at the same time.
Obviously after surgery I was not shopping. My husband went in for me because I was not supposed to be on that foot and had not yet gotten crutches.
They told him , they could give him antib. but not pain med. unless I went in a signed for it because it was a controlled substance. After his confrontation he finally went out to get me from the car. I hobbled in they gave me pres.
When I got to car I realized it was a med I was alergic to . So here I go again. By then the pain was really kickin in. I told them they should have known because it is on my records.
Anyway after having to call my Dr. (who was not it at the time)  They  finally got his partner to give me another pres. Anyway  to make a long story short smhair smhair smhair   I am still seeing red after 5 months.

bubsykitty
Regular Member


Date Joined Jul 2008
Total Posts : 23
   Posted 8/15/2008 1:26 PM (GMT -7)   
Thank you all again for your support and sharing your own experiences with me!! Makes me feel much better knowing that I am not alone in this!!

I still have not gone to the pharmacy yet to talk with the owner about this situation, but I am NOT going to let it fade away without speaking to him directly - especially cause I do not want this woman to treat anyone else the way that she treated me!!

Anyway, just wanted to say thanks again and I will update this thread and let you all know what happens when I speak to the owner.

Please keep your fingers crossed for me!!!

:-)

PAlady
Veteran Member


Date Joined Nov 2007
Total Posts : 6795
   Posted 8/15/2008 1:58 PM (GMT -7)   
Will do, kitty! yeah

PaLady

straydog
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Feb 2003
Total Posts : 13461
   Posted 8/16/2008 12:36 AM (GMT -7)   
Kitty, you know the old saying, you can catch more flys with honey. I would might add to the owner, if any of your pharmacist have a problem filling any of my scripts , I suggest they call my dr who prescibed my medications. You need to quit contemplating on this conversation with the owner and get it done. Do not allow alot of time to go by. In fact go tomorrow with your scripts if you see him behind the counter working then have your talk. If you see he is not working that day then just keep on looking like you are shopping for other items and leave the store. Be sure you let your dr know what happened. Susie


BionicWoman
Regular Member


Date Joined Jul 2008
Total Posts : 243
   Posted 8/18/2008 2:07 AM (GMT -7)   
I know this is terribly off topic, but I think it's cute that bubsykitty is getting support from straydog.  Just goes to show pain brings us together! tongue
 
I agree with everything said here. I wish we had a nice "mom and pop" pharmacy, where I could communicate with my pharmacist on a more human level.  Instead, we have to talk to the walls - Walgreens and Walmart.
 
Several months ago, I took my prescription for pain medication to the pharmacy early, because my appointment was earlier than usual in the month.  I asked if they would store it in their system until it could be filled, so that I didn't have to worry about losing it or having it fall into the wrong hands.  They were very nice and said it was no problem.  A few days later, I took in prescription for valium, which I requested they fill immediately. 
 
I went and shopped for a few items and came back to find a pharmacist who, because she was concerned over my prescription pattern. had phoned my pain doctor to confirm the prescription.  He stated I had no need or approval for the valium, and certainly not in the dose that was written, so both of my prescriptions were going to be retained until I could sort out with the doctors what was going on.  I asked the pharmacist to please retrieve the paper prescription for the valium and I would clear up the entire situation, with few words.  She disappeared, then returned to the counter, and half-flung the prescription my way.   I pointed to the name of the prescribing physician, then slowly pushed my finger down to the letters at the end of his name:  D.V.M.   Then I pointed to my name in the "prescribed to" space, and slowly moved my finger to the end, where the indication "--K9" was written. 
 
My dog has epilepsy.  Normally my veterinarian fills the valium and phenobarbitol prescriptions himself, but because I have such a large dog and the dose is so high (he requires 125mg of valium every 3 hours during cluster seizures),  I left with a written prescription that day because the animal clinic was low on medication.  
 
I requested to speak to the pharmacy manager because the pharmacist didn't just treat me rudely, she reported me to my pain management doctor for breaking my contract with him and in doing so, she jeopardized my future pain care!   It was truly like talking to a wall.  He gave me a round about corporate policy and drug diversion.  He assured me the pharmacy would correct the error and notify my pain doctor of their oversight on the prescription, but I never heard even so much as an "I'm sorry" from the pharmacist.   cry  
 
It seems sometimes pharmacists are so intent on not allowing drug abusers to hornswoggle them, they forget to treat the rest of us like well-intentioned human beings.  shakehead

Scarred_for_life
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2008
Total Posts : 1559
   Posted 8/18/2008 2:11 AM (GMT -7)   
Funny you should mention that Bionic. My Pharmacy is one of those "Mom and Pop" stores and I absolutely love how they have taken care of me over the years. I know each pharmacist on a first name basis and they are real good at communicating with my doc about my meds and things. I had planned on asking them if they were a compound pharmacy but by the time I got home I was too exhausted to ask. So my compound cream is coming from a pharmacy in Billlings, but I will refill it (or at least see if I can) in Powell
HEALTH ISSUES: Herniated discs at S-1-L5, L5-L4, L4-L3. Two level fusion (2000); one level fusion (2002); Revision at L4-L3 (2003). Diagnosed with Failed Back Syndrome, Permanent Nerve damage and Chronic Pain

Medications:

Kadian, Lexipro, Percocet, Temazapim, Lunista, and Robaxin.

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