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Old 08-19-2008, 12:52 PM   #1
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Angry Need some advice (pharmacy drama)

Hi all,

I need some advice about something that happened at the pharmacy on Friday.

I brought in my prescription for Lortab on Friday the 15th. The prescription itself looked fine, except the 5 in the number 15 (for the date) looked a TINY bit darker than the rest of the numbers. That is just how my doctor wrote it.

When my mom went in to pick up my filled prescription, she noticed that there wasn't anything waiting in my box and she got worried. The pharmacist came out, and my mom asked, "Is it not ready yet?"

The pharmacist said it was, but she looked at her assistant and whispered back and forth for a minute, saying something my mom couldn't hear. She brought out my prescription with an icy look on her face.

She then asked my mom to explain what happened with the date. "Nothing." my mom said, and the pharmacist just looked at her. Then the pharmacist finally said, "We're suspicious that this prescription was tampered with." Mom said that if looks could kill, she'd be six feet under right now because of the look the pharmacist gave her.

The pharmacist went on and on about altering prescriptions and that the doctor should have initialed it (how on Earth were we supposed to know that?) and blah blah blah and how she could have had us arrested.

My mom got mad: "My daughter didn't tamper with anything - that's just how the doctor wrote it, and how were we supposed to know that the doctor should have initialed it? Oh, and that 8 looks a little skinny, almost like it could be a 6. You wanna nitpick about that, too?"

(If you think my mom's mouthy, you should hear me!)

To which the pharmacist actually had the nerve to reply, "You're right. I *should* take a look at that."

If my mom hadn't already paid and had the meds in her hand, I think the pharmacist would have taken my meds away.

Mom was infuriated when she got home. I never tampered with anything. The only time I touched the prescription was with my hands to, you know, handle the thing. I told my mom that maybe I should take my business to another pharmacy, and she said that it might be a good idea.

I did nothing wrong, and I was accused of doing something very illegal, something that I did not do. I feel angry, hurt, and scared.

Two questions for those of you who have made it this far:

Should I take my business elsewhere (find another pharmacy)?

and

Should I file some kind of complaint against the pharmacist (I know the name)?

I don't see the big deal about one slightly darker number. Is everyone gonna nitpick over every little mark my doctor makes?

Thanks for listening!

 
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Old 08-19-2008, 01:38 PM   #2
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Re: Need some advice (pharmacy drama)

Hi Odyssey:

How terrible--I would be furious! If it was that big of a deal to the pharmacist, they should have called your doctor and confirmed your fill date. Duh! You may want to find another pharmacist....along with chronic pain, you or your mom (she sounds a lot like my mom ) shouldn't have to deal with that crap from anyone ya know?
I just had an issue where my doctor gave me my script for my percocet and he wrote "to be filled on 8-", but didn't finish filling it out...so the pharmacist just told me she'd have to get in touch with my doctor before she could fill it. That was fine with me, no big deal. But I do know if she would have hassled me about it I would have had a few words for her. If you've never had chronic pain, you don't understand. She'll be one of those people where it comes back on her one day and she'll have chronic pain!
I don't mean to be mean towards her, but that's just frustrating.

I would maybe call your doctor and let them know what happened. I don't know what kind of relationship you have with your doc, but if it's a pretty good one maybe he'll call the pharmacist and see what her problem is....you never know. And yes, I would definitely file a complaint against that pharmacist.

So sorry you had to go through all of that!
schao

 
Old 08-19-2008, 02:13 PM   #3
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Re: Need some advice (pharmacy drama)

Hi Oddyssey, Welcome! In answer to your two questions, Yes! and Yes!

I would absolutely take my business elsewhere. (Just make sure that your prescribing doc knows you are switching and why - especially if you signed a PM agreement/contract)

And, I would file a complaint with this pharmacy's corporate offices. This idiot could (and should) have called the doctor's office and the entire issue would have been cleared up, without accusing you of any wrong doing and putting your mom in this embarrassing position. Plus, you might actually spare some other poor soul from going through the same at the hands of this guy.

Take care and I hope this is the last time you have to go through this type of situation. Unfortunately, because there is so much negativity and suspicion out there in the world, about pain and the meds used to treat it, it will more than likely continue to be a problem for others down the road. Take care and please post back and tell us about yourself and about your pain issues. It's always nice to get the bigger picture when someone new comes on board. CMP/MM

 
Old 08-19-2008, 02:23 PM   #4
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Re: Need some advice (pharmacy drama)

This was pretty bad customer relations for sure and not handled properly or a professional manner. You should now have a conversation with the manager of the pharmacy and explain what happened and that they had no right to accuse you/mom of altering the date. You should also ask this manager what is the procedure for filing a formal complaint against these employees. If they truly thought the date was altered then it was THEIR burden to phone the doctors office to clarify..and having the doctor initial something is also NOT your burden to do. None of this sounds like a reputable pharmacist nor is this something that they should of even questioned you about. It was all out of your control and if they filled the order but thought the date had been altered then they have violated the law. It was absolutely all up to them to be sure that the date was not altered but questioning you is not something that they should of done. It was up to them to discover the truth by simply calling the doctors office! Before I switched to a different pharmacy I would call and make an appointment to speak with the manager then after talking with the manager I would then decide what to do all based on the managers response. IF he/she doesn't apologize or in some way make it right then I would switch to a different place. And if you are not satisfied that this manager is going to just sweep it under the rug then you should get the name and address from him/her and write to the owner/corporation and complain...you decide on how far you want to go but certainly talking with their manager is something you and mom should do...they really shouldn't be allowed to treat a customer in this fashion. THEY(not you) broke alllll the rules and never should of given mom or anyone those pills if they felt you were guilty of changing the prescription in any way. Also tell the doctors office manager about what happened to you so perhaps they need to fix typo error or whatever was confusing to the pharmacy people so no one else has to go through that. Good luck.

 
Old 08-19-2008, 04:19 PM   #5
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Re: Need some advice (pharmacy drama)

I think I would take my business elsewhere. I just can't stand being accused of being an addict. Even suspicious looks make me so angry. It sounds like you were a repeat customer, and they could have easily look at you record and seen that you have gotten this medication on a regular basis. I also agree with the others that they could have clarified with the doctor's office if they were unsure. I don't think people realize what pain patients go through with getting appropriate medication to treat their pain. I'm sorry you (and your mom) had to endure this. If you decide to switch, and you are on a contract with your doctor, you should inform your doc of the switch. Good luck.

 
Old 08-19-2008, 05:42 PM   #6
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Re: Need some advice (pharmacy drama)

Quote:
Originally Posted by cmpgirl View Post

And, I would file a complaint with this pharmacy's corporate offices. This idiot could (and should) have called the doctor's office and the entire issue would have been cleared up, without accusing you of any wrong doing and putting your mom in this embarrassing position. Plus, you might actually spare some other poor soul from going through the same at the hands of this guy.
Absolutely! I would also call and ask to set up a time with the store mgr and explain your position with him/her....I would then tell this person that you are taking your business elsewhere and then let him/her deal with things from there.

To accuse you of something without having their facts straight is not only very unprofessional, but unethical, and illegal. If this pharmacist had such an issue with the date, all they had to do was call the Doc and confirm. The pharmacist didn't even have to tip his/her hand with the doc, but instead say something like "I can't read the date on the script...Can you verify for me"?

I would certainly complain.

Take care, and I'm sorry you went through this,

Ex

 
Old 08-19-2008, 06:30 PM   #7
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Re: Need some advice (pharmacy drama)

I would also switch pharmacies.
My doc produces my prescriptions on a computer now and the only handwriting is the signature.
I quit one chain a few years ago when the pharmacist assistant came to me in a loud voice, in front of a bunch of people, that it was too soon to fill my narcotic prescription.

 
Old 08-19-2008, 09:12 PM   #8
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Re: Need some advice (pharmacy drama)

Hi Oddosy, I think we all have a few pharmy stories to tell. I would definitely change pharamcies but let your PM doc know why. Even if you don't have a contract that states you must use one pharmy.

Also, as far as making a complaint. A stopore manager has absolutely no authority over what goews on in the pharamcy. If your going to complain, Find out who the pharamcy district manager is from the store manager and make a verbal complaint to him and follow up with a letter to the corporate facility. It's sounds like you and mom have no problem standing up for yourself and the pharamcist should have called the doc if he had a valid concern. When altered scripts are dropped off and confirmed to be altered, The person that picks up the script is always met by the police. They shouldn't fill scrpts they suspect might tampered, That's why docs take calls from pharamcists and vice versa. I'm not sure of the whole point of the verbal attack, was your mom was going to confess? So you have plenty to put in the pharamcy DM or Regional mgrs ear. If it was truly suspect, why didn't he call the doc and why did he fill the script if he couldn't confirm a class 11 med. The next step is a letter to corporate so they have the abilty to follow up on how this was handled by the Pharamcy DM or pharmacy Regional manager. If your going to complain you want to do it to the right people. The poor mgr may be eating crap all day for the way this person treats people and there isn't a thing they can do.

My wife was a store mgr for 3 of the big 5 retail giants for 8 years and unfortuantely the manager who makes 1/3 of what a pharmcist makes just doesn't have any control over what happens back there. Pharamcists are the tail that wags the dog. Without his licence on the wall, that store can't be open for buisness, but when they start loosing enough buisness it would be nice to think anyone with any buisness sense wouldn't let it continue. Do change pharamcies because it is important to have a good relationship with your pharamcist especially if your a CP patient.

Good luck, Dave

 
Old 08-19-2008, 09:13 PM   #9
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Re: Need some advice (pharmacy drama)

Just wanted to say that calling the corporate customer sevice department, as opposed to speaking to the pharmacy manager, will probably be much more productive. Hubby had an issue with a rude pharmacy tech once, and he spoke to the pharm manager about it. The manager was all apologies and "thank you for bringing this to my attention, I'll make sure to look into the matter" to hubby's face, but before he was around the corner of the next aisle, he could hear them all laughing loudly and making rude comments about him. We changed pharmacies.

The next time that I had an issue like that (different pharmacy) I called the corporate offices and I know for a fact that the person in question was suspended without pay. (One of the techs told me when I went in later) I hate to sound gleeful about someone losing a couple of weeks salary, but this guy was so degrading and rude to me, that he deserved what happened.

Oops! Looks like Dave beat me to the punch!

Last edited by cmpgirl; 08-19-2008 at 09:14 PM. Reason: added text

 
Old 08-20-2008, 08:24 PM   #10
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Re: Need some advice (pharmacy drama)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Shoreline View Post

I'm not sure of the whole point of the verbal attack, was your mom was going to confess? So you have plenty to put in the pharamcy DM or Regional mgrs ear.
I'm thinking he was one of those "control" types who thinks he's Bufford Pusser.


Quote:
If it was truly suspect, why didn't he call the doc and why did he fill the script if he couldn't confirm a class 11 med.
This is exactly what I said. Additionally, there were other ways in which this pharmacist could have handled the matter. Approaching you was the last option. How many patients even really look closely @ their scripts...Very few. Most fold it up and put it away in a wallet, pocket, or purse. Obviously, he felt the need to play "big shot" and try to harass and scare your mom. There can't be any other reasonable explanation.


Quote:
The next step is a letter to corporate so they have the abilty to follow up on how this was handled by the Pharamcy DM or pharmacy Regional manager.
Yes, and I would copy the store manager. Although Dave is right in that the Pharmacist has all the power re: pharmacy section, the store manager reports to a district and/or regional mgr as well, and that person has a lot of power and can make a difference with his dotted line over to the district/regional pharmacy mgr. Because @ the end of the day, the effect of a poor pharmacy relationship will effect ALL sales in the store, not just pharmacy/med sales. And this is where the overall regional mgr comes into play. Couldn't hurt to copy these folks, that's for sure.


Quote:
Do change pharamcies because it is important to have a good relationship with your pharamcist especially if your a CP patient.
Yes! I highly recommend a good independent pharmacy. They are the best IMO, especially for CP patients. Please see my post under the recent thread "pharmacist...."

Take care, and good luck.

Ex

Last edited by Executor; 08-20-2008 at 08:28 PM.

 
Old 08-23-2008, 09:08 AM   #11
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Re: Need some advice (pharmacy drama)

Yes I think we do all have a story or two to tell, but that is uncalled for, when as mentioned they could have called the doctor instead of accusing.
No way would I go back to that pharmacy, & I feel bad for your mom, put on the spot like that. Please consider complaining. Maybe aletter if not in person. I am sure you would get alot of help or support here if you need it to do so. I am learning that if I dont speak up for me noone else will, & maybe I can save the next CPer some aggravation. I dont think that these pharmacists or techs realize how hard it is for alot of chronic pain patients to have to deal with this added stress. Its uncalled for to be treated with less repect then anyone else picking up medication. good luck, let us know if you decide to complain. Sammy

 
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