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Old 08-29-2004, 03:03 PM   #1
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Missing Meds

I take MS Contin 30mg 3 times per day and Percocet for breakthrough pain control. I store my meds in a small safe and have done so since I started taking them. My wife and I live alone and, since we just moved here a few months ago, don't have anyone over since we don't know many people yet. I got my MS Contin refilled two weeks ago and today when I went to take a pill noticed that the bottle looked like it contained less then I should have. I counted them out and realized that I am missing 9 pills. I am wondering if the pharmacy shorted me. I most likely wouldn't have noticed it immediately that 9 pills were missing since the bottle they come in is pretty large. I have been using this pharmacy since we moved here and never had this happen before.

Has anyone ever heard of a pharmacy shorting pills? What is generally done about his? I really have no way of proving this so I will most likely not say anything to my doctor or the pharmacy. I also know that if I were to say anything to the doctor in order to get an early refill he would never believe me and label me a pill seeker. I'm pretty much stuck I think. There's no way I could have lost 9 pills or had them stolen since they are kept locked up and I am the only one who knows the combination to the safe. And I know that my wife didn't take them (she wouldn't have been able to get to them anyway). She's afraid to even take things like Tylenol.

Is there anything I can do?

Thank you.

 
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Old 08-29-2004, 03:18 PM   #2
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Lightbulb Re: Missing Meds

Because it has been two weeks since the refill, i don't believe there is anything you can do. I wouldn't even mention it to the pharmacist or your doctor, lest you be accused of being drug-seeking. If you still have two weeks left, you can lesson the impact of the missing pills by immediatly taking slightly less then your usual dose, thereby spreading out the remainder to cover what is missing, perhaps splitting the percocets in half for the rest of the time, until your next refill. From now on, you should always count your refills immediatly upon arriving home, and if you are shorted, then call the pharmacy or immediatly return. Hopefully this was simply a one-time error, but my pharmacy has been off by as many as six pills on more than one occassion, one time even giving me three too many. So protect yourself by counting as soon as possible after receiving your refills. BTW, it is great that you use a safe, i do too. But you may want to periodically change the combination, just to be on the "safe" side, so to speak.

 
Old 08-29-2004, 09:03 PM   #3
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Re: Missing Meds

I always count my pills as soon as I get them. Just this last time my Mscontin was short 4 pills. I immediately called them and they corrected it. It does not happen very often, but they can make mistakes as well.

 
Old 08-30-2004, 04:44 AM   #4
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Re: Missing Meds

Thanks for the advice. I figure that in order to make counting them when receiving the script effective, one would have to count the pills in the pharmacy. I figure that if I waited until I got home to do the count and realized I was short, the pharmacist would still think I was drug seeking. From now on, I will count my scripts right in front of the pharmacists face.

Sometimes I wonder if it's even worth the extra stress that taking these types of meds brings on. Now, on top of everything else, I've got to deal with some bozo pharmacist shorting me. I hope this was a mistake and wasn't some drug addict pharmacist trying to get high off my meds. The whole pain management system is unbelievably messed up and I am sick of dealing with it.

 
Old 08-30-2004, 12:39 PM   #5
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Re: Missing Meds

The sad part is, it possibly is a pharmacist who is hooked.....I have an old friend who was a pharmacist and is now struggling every day with an addiction problem and used to short people on their meds to make due for a "fix". Lovely, huh? Sorry this happened to you, it truly stinks for those of us who really need them. Sad thing is the pharmacist has all the control over the legit pain patient and I will now always wonder how many of them have a problem and you'd never know it.....makes ya wonder! Take care all, Love, Surg

 
Old 08-30-2004, 09:23 PM   #6
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Re: Missing Meds

I either count my meds in the parking lot.(with the car doors locked) or right when I get home. Last winter I was 17, 80mg oxycontin short. I flew into a panic. I was already home and called to have the pharmacy do a count on their inventory. I went back in and told them what happened and they did not bat an eye. They were busy and gave me my 17 pills and said they would count later. I received a call telling me that I was correct they were right on with the inventoy after they had given my 17 pills to me. I think the important thing is to use the same pharmacy all the time and the relationship will take care of itself. Always count your meds. The phermacists are human although some of them don't think so. Ha!

GL

 
Old 09-01-2004, 09:26 AM   #7
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Re: Missing Meds

Hey DC, Pharmacies count C-2 weekly and kep a running log, at any time they should be able to tell your or an auditor exactly how many of what C-2 meds they have in theie store, An overage means just as careless record keeping and dispensing as a shortage. If you call the pahramcy they should be able to do a count the same day and tell you if they have extra plills in the store or if their count is right on.

If they say there count is right on and you have ruled out all possibilities , like landlords or workman in your home, I would be concerned about continuing to use a store that does such a poor job at managing their records or possibly has somebody with their hand in the candy jar. In the years my wife was a pharmacy mangers she's had plenty of experience with pharmacist that have to take weekly UA's and are still alowed to work.

She once watched the DEA, board of pharmacy, loss prevention and local police remove a pahramacist from her store, he had over 10 bottles of C-2's in his briefcase and even more at home. He got a 6 month suspension and she ran into him working shortly later at a competeitor. In VA, A pharmacist can not be asked by a perspective employer if he has ever had his licence suspended. Crazy, but it keep the stores staffed when there is a huge shortage of pharmacists.

She even worked with a guy that misflled and killed a child a few years earlier, he was suspended for 6 months and returned to the same company but was transfered to a different location to give the apeareance to the locals the problem had been dealt with.

A shortage is a misfill, with C-2's that type of misfill is just as bad as putting the wrong med in the bottle when the misfill log is reviewed by loss management. Just little pieces of info I have picked up while my wife was in the Biz.
Take care, Dave

Last edited by Shoreline; 09-01-2004 at 09:27 AM.

 
Old 09-01-2004, 12:10 PM   #8
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Re: Missing Meds

I was shorted once by the pharmacy by about 10 xanax. I couldn't do anything and the drs usually are not to good about feeling bad for you and calling in an early refill. You are usually out of luck. I have learned to always count my pills before I leave the pharmacy. That way I know if it is the pharmacy or not.

 
Old 09-01-2004, 08:54 PM   #9
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Re: Missing Meds

I always make a habit of counting my meds as soon as I get out of the pharmacy and into the car. I really don't ever recall being shorted but I have had situations where they didn't have enough medications so they filled the balance a few days later. When this happens they will usually tell you when you pick up the meds and put it on the prescription bag and oftentimes on the bottle itself. This could of been the case as well.
I have however gotten an overage on a medication quite a while ago, either the pharmacist mis read the prescription or mixed mine up with someone elses I don't know but I did go back and report it.

 
Old 09-02-2004, 06:37 AM   #10
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Re: Missing Meds

Thanks again everyone for your responses. I have decided to not mention this to anyone since it has been over 2 weeks since my script was dispensed. I just don't have the energy to deal with this now. Luckily, I was given a script of 120 Percocet yesterday after my discogram which will help supplement the MS Contin until my appointment and refill date in a week and a half or so.

I will explain more about the discography when I am not feeling like I was just hit by a train. Needless to say, it was the most painful experience in my life! If you are not seriously considering surgery, do not have this procedure. It is extremely painful. I ha tears in my eyes after they inflated one of the discs. Another one was bad but not unbearable. The third, which I think may have been the control disc, I didn't feel anything. I owe my doctor an apology when I see him next because I know I called him a few names after he did the most painful disc...

 
Old 09-02-2004, 07:00 AM   #11
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Re: Missing Meds

oops.delete delete

Last edited by scotty12; 09-02-2004 at 07:02 AM.

 
Old 09-04-2004, 09:27 AM   #12
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Re: Missing Meds

I was shorted 100 5mg oxycodone from Costco awhile ago. Yes 100 pills! They swore up and down that they hadn't shorted me. The pharmacist was down right rude about it. I told him I was going to call and report him and within 5 minutes got a call from the manager. They had magically found the 100 pills in a bottle and when I picked them up gave me a coupon for a free apple pie. Gee thanks.....

 
Old 09-05-2004, 09:54 AM   #13
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Re: Missing Meds

sometimes my pharmacy does short me. They usually put a note somewhere but that hasn't always happened. Just spread your pills out till next refill and count them when you get home.

 
Old 12-12-2009, 06:38 AM   #14
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Re: Missing Meds

I still think you could tell the pharmacy that you were shorted. They have to keep an inventory of every pill they dispense. On the day you receieved your meds, they may be able to track how many of your type of meds were given out, showing that there were extra. Always count you pills before leaving the pharmacy!! I have been shorted 3 times in the last 2 years. It was my doctor who told me to always count my meds.

 
Old 12-12-2009, 04:23 PM   #15
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Re: Missing Meds

I've had the type of situation where the pharmacy could not fill the full order as they did not have enough. But in those cases they offer to hold it until they have it all or to give me what they have and tell me and advise me to come back in a few days for the remaining amount and they note it on my receipt. Thus far I've never been shorted in any other way...but now I'm going to pay more attention
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