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Veteran Member

Date Joined Aug 2008
Total Posts : 3193
   Posted 11/16/2008 12:39 AM (GMT -6)   
I've been dealing with an issue with my pharmacy for going on a year now - and wondered if any of you have had similar situations.  I go to a "chain" pharmacy; I try to go to the closest one to home, but more often than not - they will be short the number of pills I need, so I have to go wherever they have the correct amount.  The computers are all linked though... 
Anyway, I would "think" that a chain-drugstore would have a "standard" set of rules for the pharmacy.  Well, the ones where I live absolutely do not.  In fact, what they are willing to do even changes at the same location, depending what pharmacist is on duty.  Here's the problem:
I am juggling about 15 prescriptions per month, from about 3 to 4 doctors (pain doc, cardiologist, endocrinologist, primary doc).  I usually get a 30 day supply of the meds.  Obviously, they are not all up for a refill at the same time.  In theory, if I filled each one exactly when needed - I could be going to the pharmacy up to 15 times a month.  Come on!  Add that to the fact that I hardly drive, have six children and getting dressed is a major accomplishment for me on most days - well, I don't need pharmacy issues.
So, I went in to the pharmacy yesterday.  I had one medication that I had to get, and one that was due in about three days.  The pharmacist wouldn't do it.  True, this is one pharmacist that doesn't know me.  But it wasn't even a Class II medication; it was a muscle relaxer.  It was three days early.  The doctor wrote the Rx for it.  My insurance was going to cover it.  Now, I have to have another factor - which is will the pharmacist release it to me? 

What's frustrating is that last week the same pharmacy (different pharmacist) released my narcotic (instant release morphine) FOUR days early, because I was there picking up my heart meds.  I tried to explain all of this to the pharmacist -and she wouldn't do it.  She said she'd fill it on Sunday, which she said "is still one day early, but I'll do it..." - as if she was doing me some GREAT favor.  I wasn't trying to get my meds early because I need the medications...but just because I was there.
I've searched the web re: what the actual "laws" are for pharmacies; I haven't been able to find anything concrete.  So, has anyone dealt w/ this sort of thing?  Do most of you get your meds in a 30 day supply?  Do you have to wait until Day 30 to get your meds?? 
My husband HATES this pharmacy chain and thinks we should switch; but, I'm thinking that they all might be the same. 
(Just reread what I wrote - and it sounds REALLY confusing; sorry.... My brains feeling rather slow tonight....) smhair


Diagnosed with: POTS/dysautonomia; Fibromyalgia; Severe Hypertension; Hypothyroidism; Adrenal Gland Disorder; Chronic Pain - severe carpal tunnel syndrome, migraines, severe back problems, widespread muscle/joint well as depression/anxiety.


Current Meds: 480mg MS Contin, 90mg MSIR, Soma, Effexor and MANY other meds (heart, thyroid, etc)

Past Meds: EVERYTHING.  Fentanyl patches, Actiq (which caused $$$ in dental work), Fentora, Oxycontin, Oxycodone, Kadian, Avinza, Dilaudid and on the list goes.


Waiting On: Intrathecal Drug Pump Implantation (Dilaudid/Baclofen combo)


Veteran Member

Date Joined Nov 2007
Total Posts : 6795
   Posted 11/16/2008 1:46 AM (GMT -6)   
My brain's pretty friend, too, but I just wanted to offer some support as I've got to make a major switch of pharmacies as of Dec. 1 because my COBRA insurance is through a hospital, and they're now demanding we get all prescriptions through them. I've got a great relationship with my local pharmacy and know the pharmacists by name (and them me) because like you I'm there so often for refills! I dread dealing with the hospital as they're 45 minutes away, and even parking there is expensive. I just have a terrible feeling there will be problems, let alone it being time consuming, and money for gas for the car, etc., etc. But I've got no choice. That's what everyone with their insurance will have to do.

If you find that your insurance didn't have a problem filling that script, and there were no laws in your state preventing it, maybe you could try talking to the head pharmacist and nicely explaining your situation. If they're not responsive, I'd go to other pharmacies and talk with their pharmacists and explain, and see what response you get before you switch. Ask around with some friends for recommendations.

I so dread giving up my pharmacy; it's the one thing I've been able to depend on, and it's close and convenient. People don't realize how much we've already got on our plate, and with pain meds in many cases you can't even have someone drop them off or pick them up for you.

I know I've no answers, but just wanted to offer sympathy!


Post Edited (PAlady) : 11/15/2008 11:49:23 PM (GMT-7)

Pamela Neckpain
Veteran Member

Date Joined May 2008
Total Posts : 1821
   Posted 11/16/2008 3:40 AM (GMT -6)   
As I sense it:

Pharmacist I released IRM 4 days early. He's decent and understands your
"special needs." I don't know how he got the insurance to ok it early and also
how he got the drawer to open. Pharmacists like any other employee know
how to pull workplace strings.

Pharmacist II would not release your medication, the muscle relaxer, because
he's an enemy of Pharmacist I. He wanted to get him in trouble so he
(Pharm II) would get the raise, the promotion, the pats on the head or what-

Also it could be that this was discussed at an employee meeting and The
Powers That Be decided to NEVER give out prescriptions early. In that
case, Pharm I could have had his fingers slapped.

You need this pharmacy close by. It will be so hard for you to travel to get
your scripts. Just stay where you are and forget about it. There was a time
in my life when I would NEVER have suggested such a thing. But now ... I
pick my battles very carefully.

I do think you should call the head pharmacist and see what She has to say. Explain
your circumstances. Maybe they can give you more green lights at the pharmacy.

My brain's pretty friend too. I went clothes shopping tonight and sweat all the way through the store. A
beautiful clerk asked me if something was wrong. I wanted to fall through the floor.
Pamela is trying to learn not to sweat the small stuff. Hi PaL ;-)

Post Edited (Pamela Neckpain) : 11/16/2008 1:51:16 AM (GMT-7)

Forum Moderator

Date Joined Feb 2003
Total Posts : 16779
   Posted 11/16/2008 3:43 AM (GMT -6)   
Tnia, yep been there & done that. I fill 16 scripts a month at one of pharmacies in our local grocery stores. We have used them for 15 yrs or so. I ran into the same problem with my muscle relaxer once. I made such a scene with the pharmacist he finally gave me the meds to get me out of there,lol. I very loudly explained that the people that pay him and my dr had no problem giving me my medication early and that he had no right to hold my medication. I was like 2-3 days early, same as you. I told him I did not get out much because of it being flu season and 3 meds I was on reduced my immune system to nothing and I it could possibly be fatal for me to the flu(per my pulmonary dr). He wanted me out of there to shut me up,llol. I would call a different pharmacy see what they say-also call the pharmacy board for your state. Hugs Susie

Pamela Neckpain
Veteran Member

Date Joined May 2008
Total Posts : 1821
   Posted 11/16/2008 3:52 AM (GMT -6)   
WTG, Susie! Whatcha doin' up so late?
Pamela smilewinkgrin
This one's pretty interesting.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Mar 2008
Total Posts : 637
   Posted 11/16/2008 7:01 AM (GMT -6)   
Momto6,I am sorry you are having problems with your pharmacy. My pharmacy is the same way . I am almost out of ambien and I have to wait a week to fill it . I hope you have a low pain day.
Lortab,ambien,elavil,reglan , neurontin,zyrtec and soma.
spinal conditions: Scolosis,herniated discs,spinal blockage,Spinal stenosis,bursitis ,Fibro,and arthritis

Elite Member

Date Joined Apr 2004
Total Posts : 23551
   Posted 11/16/2008 9:10 AM (GMT -6)   
I go to CVS and I've been going to the same one for about 9 years now (they see me walk in now and wave a hello and holler "Hi Sherry!" lol). I have all my meds on automatic refill now. Which means that they fill it as soon as they can and actually they fill it sooner then I would have because I can still have about a weeks worth of meds left and I will get a call from CVS's automatic call reminder system. But before that, I was getting tired of running up to the pharmacy at different times to pick up my scripts. So what I did over a course of a year, is use the refill telephone line at CVS at one day earlier then the script said, so the next month it would be one day earlier and then I would call it in a day earlier then that and so on until I got all my meds to be dispensed at the same time. Did that make sense?
Moderator for Allergies/Asthma and Co-moderator for UC
~Left sided Uc-'92-Colazal(9 daily),6mp(50-100mgs),Bentyl, Prilosec,Biotin,Forvia,Pro-Bio**Unable to tolerate Asacol, Rowasa or Canasa**~Year-round allergies-Singulair, Zyrtec~Secondary Reynauds Syndrome-'04-Norvasc~Sacroiliitis-epidural injections~bulging and herniated discs C5/C6 & C6/C7~3 epidural injections-worked great!, OA
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Regular Member

Date Joined Oct 2005
Total Posts : 315
   Posted 11/16/2008 1:33 PM (GMT -6)   
Luckily, I've never had any problems with my pharmacy, no matter which pharmacist is on duty. I almost always fill my meds a few days early and never had a problem, no matter with what med. This way, if you wait til your out, what if the pharmacy is out of those meds? Then you have to wait for them to order them, etc...
My PM's office usually only fills meds as 30 day supplies. I have to call every month to ask them to call in refills. Even they say to call several days ahead of time and don't wait until the last minute.
I actually really like my pharmacy and when I met my yearly insurance cap, they suggested the same meds in other doses or generic forms to let me know what would be the cheapest for me. I then told my PM about it and they gave me scripts for the cheaper meds.
I don't understand why they won't fill it for you, especially if it's okayed by your insurance and your doc gave you scripts. What if your doc had given a script for a different muscle relaxer? I wonder if they would have filled that. I do feel your aggravation, though..and I know how tough it is to get out and about when you're in pain.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Nov 2007
Total Posts : 6795
   Posted 11/16/2008 3:44 PM (GMT -6)   
I absolutely know what you mean! I've been doing that slowly with most of my meds and have MOST of them right around the 15th of the month, which will help some with this switch I've got to make. Problem is the percocet is at the end of the month and that's not so easy to tweak. So that's likely at least 2 trips to the hospital a month to pick up meds, and that's if they're ready on time. Four trips if I've got to drop off scripts and then leave and come back. I will really miss my CVS "family" of pharmacists who treat me like yours did, Red. Hopefully, I can go back to them after this COBRA ends in 6 months. Course then I won't have any insurance, or I'll be on Medicaid. And I'll probably have to get some of the scripts by mail order which scares me. I'm always afraid of them getting lost, etc. and don't have the extra cash to pay for special delivery stuff.

I guess for now I try to be grateful I have insurance at all.


deb in indiana
Regular Member

Date Joined Aug 2005
Total Posts : 387
   Posted 11/16/2008 8:21 PM (GMT -6)   
My pain management i have to go every month i get 5 meds from them have to see them every month cause no refills ever you have to pay office call every month to get your meds and this week i went to get these filled and i waited 45 mintues for them to fill and when i went to pay one scrip was on the sack stapled and she said we can't fill percoct cause it is wrote fir 120 instead of 150 so i go back to the doctor and she said i haven't wrote that med for 150 thats to many we were in the lobby place was packed and i said you have been giving me 150 month for 2 months i think she thought i wanted more pills but come to find out she called walmart asked then if i was getting 150 and they said yes and she asked if i been getting celbrex filled and they said no not for the last two months cause the Doctor said take up to 5 percort a day instead of 3 and stop the celbrex so i did even tho i thought that doesn't make since one is for pain and other is for imflation but i proved her wrong in front of about 40 people and boy did she give me a dirty look after she called walmart and proved she was wrong but they are so busy it's crazy Deb

Pamela Neckpain
Veteran Member

Date Joined May 2008
Total Posts : 1821
   Posted 11/16/2008 10:00 PM (GMT -6)   
Tina ~
Just had a thought:
When your doctor writes your prescription, it may (or may not) include "travel
That means if the doctor writes that you are due for your triplicate medicine
on May 15. The pharmacy kindly gives you some days to pick it up and takes
into account problems of travel: illness, sick kids, broken car, no taxi or gas money.
In this case you could pick the script up on May 12.
Apparently they don't do that for you? I'm in CA.
I love the "travel days" I ALWAYS have my script picked up on Day One. That
way I can save for a rainy day. For instance, I am allowed 12 Methadone a
day. If you do the math, you will see that I can save 36 pills a month. I'm
always worried that the pill plant will go out of business or burn down ... or
have some horrible catastrophe. smhair

Veteran Member

Date Joined Apr 2008
Total Posts : 1522
   Posted 11/16/2008 11:46 PM (GMT -6)   
You should be able to pick up your script as soon as your insurance allows you to. My insurance allows me to pick up my scripts about 3 weeks after the last refill. I'd switch pharmacies.

CVS lets you order refills online and you can set a pick up date/time. Or you can do automatic refills. I have one script on automatic refill and they always call me when I have about 10 days left.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2008
Total Posts : 2317
   Posted 11/17/2008 12:34 AM (GMT -6)   
I know at least 3 of the major chains where I live are willing to put an order in for me a week before I run out of my meds in anticipation of the scripts coming in or refills coming due the following week. Even if your pharmacy doesn't do "auto-refills", maybe you can ask the pharmacist at the store you like to make sure to order enough for you to have each month.

Also, maybe you can talk to your doctors about trying to get you on a better set-up with your meds. There might be some options for you. Sometimes they have samples or you can get a "trial coupon" off the internet for 1-2 weeks worth of free meds. There are lots of creative ways that they should be able to help you with just about everything but the C2 drugs (& sometimes they can even think up a solution for those). That's way too many trips to the pharmacy every month!!! I used to have to do that when I was on 15 different meds & it nearly drove me crazy trying to catch the bus or get a ride to the pharmacies -- and I don't even have any kids.

idk, just feeling bad for you & hoping there is some way they can work things out for you (plus, I agree with PALady that you should consider talking to the Head Pharmacist to find out what the deal was with the pharmacist who wouldn't give you your meds -- hopefully that wasn't the HP that turned you down :(.

good luck!

Regular Member

Date Joined Oct 2005
Total Posts : 183
   Posted 11/17/2008 3:45 AM (GMT -6)   
I had a good relationship with my pharmacy for the last nine years.That situation fell apart about six months ago when my usual pharmacist moved to another city.Since then I've had billing mistakes (their fault),supply problems (their fault),prescription brand substitutions(not insurance related), "attitude",things like that.It's to the point that I'm ready to move on to another drugstore.Looking through the phone book,I've noticed that all three drugstores in my small town will deliver for "free".The people on this thread that have prescriptions that come due at different times of the month should maybe switch to a drugstore that delivers for "free" too if they can.That would make for a lot less hassles.

Regular Member

Date Joined Sep 2008
Total Posts : 489
   Posted 11/21/2008 12:23 AM (GMT -6)   
How well do you get along with your DR.? Tell them about the problem.See if thay have samples of any of your med. to try to get more of them due at the same time.Or you could try the mail in pharmacys.Thay usualy ask for a three month order from your DR.I know that this might not work for all of your meds. but even if you could get a few more due for refill at the same time it might help.
Lost half of my small intestine.Ilieostomy for 5 months then reverst,Nerve damage to right leg,part of my right hip bone removed,Cronic pain,hernia,infection in my back called discites,and depression.Mother to 9 kids 7 boys 2 girls and 1 stepson.4 grandsons,9 grandaughters.4 of my grandkids I inherited from my twin sister who passed away 6 1/2 years ago from a blood clot after surgery.God has given me my life back after I almost lost it.Even though its a painful and sometimes hard road to walk I take it one step at a time and give thanks to god for every step I take.

Regular Member

Date Joined Jan 2009
Total Posts : 47
   Posted 1/9/2009 3:15 PM (GMT -6)   
A pharmacist is a health professional with a license. They have a "corresponding liability" when they fill a Rx given by a physician, so they must exercise judgment and they can decide not to fill, to make you wait, etc.

That said, a lot of pharmacists act like they are DEA agents instead of health professionals. This DEA Agent type seems more prevelant at the big chain pharmacies.

Find a small local pharmacy if your insurance will let you. Get to know the pharmacist. Go there and "make an appointment" if he or she is really busy (as in "Can I talk to you privately for a few minutes at your convenience", and then ask when you should come back). You will find that a lot of them really respond well to being treated with the type of respect we reflexively give to physicians.

Tell them all about your health issues that relate to your meds, and tell them of your frustrations with chain pharmacies and rude pharmacists who only seem like they are interested in denying people pain medicines.

You can make a friend, an ally in the health care world, and they will value your patronage. Just be polite, honest, and treat them as a valued health professional.

If you do that before you start filling prescriptions there, it will work.

I had to do this a couple of years ago when I first went on chronic pain meds. I found a great local pharmacy that didn't make me feel like a criminal, and I will never go back to a chain pharmacy where some foreigner with a bad accent acts like I am doing something wrong by asking her to fill a prescription.

47 YO Male, chronic back pain. Herniated disc L5/S1 2003. Discectomy with partial laminectomy 2004. Now told I have Failed Back Syndrome with discogenic pain.
Oxycontin 40mg every 8 hours, Norco 10mg every 4 hours as needed, Celebrex 200 mg twice a day.
Pain level varies from disturbing to nearly intolerable.

Regular Member

Date Joined Dec 2006
Total Posts : 275
   Posted 1/9/2009 6:00 PM (GMT -6)   

I'm with Dagger, I fill mine around every 3 weeks. I know that narcotics are different, but I thought as long as you have the script and the insurance clears it then the pharmacy has to fill it.  I have never heard of a pharmacist refusing to fill a non-narcotic script.  Maybe I misunderstood and it was a narcotic, but if not and the insurance approves it you should be able to get it.  I know pharmacist can refuse if they are "uncomfortable" with it but if it was a schedule II or III they are just being a jerk and I would go else where.

I have had those horrible pharmacists and techs and am so grateful to be where I am now!


Regular Member

Date Joined Jan 2009
Total Posts : 47
   Posted 1/9/2009 6:11 PM (GMT -6)   
Boxerlover said...

I'm with Dagger, I fill mine around every 3 weeks. I know that narcotics are different, but I thought as long as you have the script and the insurance clears it then the pharmacy has to fill it.  I have never heard of a pharmacist refusing to fill a non-narcotic script.  Maybe I misunderstood and it was a narcotic, but if not and the insurance approves it you should be able to get it.  I know pharmacist can refuse if they are "uncomfortable" with it but if it was a schedule II or III they are just being a jerk and I would go else where.

I have had those horrible pharmacists and techs and am so grateful to be where I am now!


There are certainly bad pharmacists and bad techs, but there are good one too. I found a small place near where I live that treats me like a patient, not a criminal, and I am grateful for that. I had the displeasure of being treated like a junkie at a national big box chain with a pharmacy in the store. I won't shop at any of their stores anymore much less go to their pharmacy. Wallly World has no business in health care.

47 YO Male, chronic back pain. Herniated disc L5/S1 2003. Discectomy with partial laminectomy 2004. Now told I have Failed Back Syndrome with discogenic pain.
Oxycontin 40mg every 8 hours, Norco 10mg every 4 hours as needed, Celebrex 200 mg twice a day.
Pain level varies from disturbing to nearly intolerable.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2008
Total Posts : 1560
   Posted 1/9/2009 8:18 PM (GMT -6)   
I'll add my two cents in here but bare with me folks, I'm on the desktop as the laptop was sent to TN this afternoon because I was so strung out on my medications yesterday morning that I dropped the dang thing and caused the bottom to break so now it's off to be fixed. So this might be a little hap hazardly written.

Just before Christmas I had a appt with my new doc and she wrote script for not 200 mgs of Morphine but only 100 by my mistake as I have posted before. Well I called her about this and she went ahead and had me fill them telling me to take 200 mgs twice a day which made me run short for that script. Well yesterday when I went to pick up the new script for my morphine the Pharmacy (Walmart) was not going to fill it saying it was to soon. I had the Pharmacist call my doctor to confirm the mistake and within minutes I was in hand with script and out of there. But the kicker was that it took 30 minutes to get to that point plus another 15 min to get out of the store (bought some other things that I needed). By the time I got out of there I was in so much pain I just about did not make it home and all I wanted to do was to curl into a corner and cry.

Yeah I hate pharmacies they can be a pain sometimes. I miss my old Pharmacy. They knew me by name (mom and pop store) and were quite helpful with my scripts. Now I have to deal with one pharmacy can't change without my doc knowing and oking it and its such a pain. But the nice part about it is they aren't very far from home only 6 blocks from my door.



P.S. Kara...Didn't doc give you a script for your Ambien? Or was it samples?
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). Slight herniation at L2-3 but Neurosurgeons will not operate because of previous failed surgeries. Diagnosed with Failed Back Syndrome, Permanent Nerve damage and Chronic Pain


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

Post Edited (Scarred_for_life) : 1/9/2009 6:23:31 PM (GMT-7)

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2007
Total Posts : 554
   Posted 1/10/2009 4:04 AM (GMT -6)   
mom, I go to CVS & I always go in the middle of the night, I'm up Anyway, its always the same pharmacist & he will ALWAYS fill me early (I don't know how, I'm grateful he does) because I understand about trying to get all the pills on one schedule. Well, he once told me if you get to know the pharmacist they will do more for you, because they know you are in pain, and not an abuser. And fyi, muscle relaxers (the sleepy kind) rank up there with pain pills... anyhow, thats why I always stick with the same pharmacist & go late at night, he gets my meds filled in like 7 minutes, all of them. He's super fast. Hope this info helps!!
RX's: Oxycontin 80mg 2x's daily; Oxycodone 30mg 5xs daily; Zanaflex 4mg 3x's daily; Restoril 15mg 1x; Soma 3x's daily; Lyrica 100mg 3x's daily (pain & fibro.); Phenergan 25mg (as needed); Amitriptyline 25mg 1x (chronic pain); Cymbalta 60mg 2x's daily (pain from fibro); Abilify 5mgs at bedtime (depression); Metoclopram (as needed) & Senokot (as needed).
"The most critical choice you'll ever make is the one you make about what you're going to do with this. The past is over. The future hasn't happened yet. The only time is now."
- Dr. Phil

Veteran Member

Date Joined Nov 2008
Total Posts : 1037
   Posted 1/11/2009 6:41 PM (GMT -6)   
I want to talk about my pharmacy issues....When I first started going to my PM I had to sign a contract stating that I would only go to one pharmacy for all of my meds.  I thought that was fine, and I started using the Hospital pharmacy where my Dr.'s office was. When I had insurance that worked out pretty well, but when the insurance went bye-bye I had to go to another pharmacy due to $$ issues.
I went to a pharmacy that other patients used, it was a tiny mom & pop store, and it was great!!
They know me by name, they fill even if it's really early, and they never treat me badly.  I have been using them for about 3 years now and I wouldn't switch if you paid me.
I have been treated like a junkie at those "Chain Pharmacies" and told that it would take up to 2 hours to get a script filled....When I go to my small pharmacy it only takes them 5 min. from start to finish to fill 3 scripts....Why can't those other places do that?  I think they enjoy watching us squirm in pain....
Well, I hope we all have a great evening and a sleep filled night.  yeah



 Post Lamenectomy Syndrome, Bipolar, GERD

Hemi-lamenectomy, Spinal Fusion

120mg. methadone daily, 60mg. oxycodone daily


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