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Old 09-18-2008, 05:22 AM   #1
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Angry Pharmacy Problem-missing pills ?

I don't usually COUNT my meds when I pick them up but this last refill I KNOW I was short about 20 pills.
I noticed when I went to put a stash in my travel bottle the quanity looked small. So I counted all pills, counted the ones I know I had taken and low and behold I was short 20 or so pills. The script was for 120 so if I stand there and count it could take a few minutes. This was a different pahramcy ( still a Walgreens ) than I usually go to. Anyone ever have this problem ?

 
Old 09-18-2008, 06:53 AM   #2
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Re: Pharmacy Problem-missing pills ?

i would go back to that pharmacy with the bottle in hand and tell them you were short and then ask them to do a count of 'their' supply of that med to see if they have too many? i had this very same thing happen with me. i was shorted almost half my Rx one month for my oxy IR. as soon as i opened that bottle up and looked into it and actually saw the bottom of the bottle,i just KNEW something was definitely missing. i immediately called my WGs and told them we had a problem. then explained it to them. she said we will do a count and call you back. well, about five minutes later,they called,and sure enough,they were OVER by 26 pills,the exact number i was missing. they of course apologized and told me to come back and pick them up. that was a huge relief there,let me tell ya.

the one thing i noticed right away when i pulled the bottles out of the bag(i also had gotten my oxycontin refilled too,but they were fine)was the circle in pen that they ALWAYS do when the pharmacist recounts the pills? was missing. WGs does this with certain meds and always always with class IIs. according to what i was told,the temp pharm who did this to me failed to follow protocal. it gets checked twice(or is supposed to anyway) and the last person(pharm themselves always no tech) actually is supposed to circle the number/quantity when they have done that last count,just to assure accuracy. does your bottle actually have that quantity circled,with sometimes,an initial as well? did your other rxs in the past,do they usually have that circle too? i would assume that this would be a standard protocal with all WG stores,ya know?

i would definitely go back there and explain just what you explained here and then ask them to please count their pills in their supply to see if they come up with too many in their supply? hopefully it will. also look for that circle if it is usually there with past ones. if it is missing,then it is probably what happened to me. if it is there and their recount comes up fine,someone perhaps at the WGs has a 'problem'? either way,the store needs to know what happened. hopefully this will show up and you can get your regular amount of pills.

i was told by my pharm to make certain if this ever occurs agin that the sooner you let them know the better. its just much easier to track them vs waiting and having to check other Rxes to other people who may have also gotten the same thing as you,ya know what i mean? it would also be just alot harder to prove too with more time. but i always look for that circle first with every class II rx. i would actually call them right away so they can start counting while you go there to hopefully get the rest of your pills. i do wish you luck with this and hope the error will show itself when they do that count. if it comes out okay,well i am not too certain just what real options you would have at that point other than to lodge a complaint. hopefully it just will show. please let me know how things go. marcia
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Old 09-18-2008, 06:56 AM   #3
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Re: Pharmacy Problem-missing pills ?

Hello Life,

I've had my meds short a couple of times over the years. The first time it happened, I had not even thought to count them and found out about the shortage only a couple of days before my next scripts were due to be filled. So, I didn't say anything and just stretched out what was left as best as I could. This was when I decided to start counting them as soon as I received them.

The next time it happened (several months later) I called the pharmacy and asked for the pharm manager. Speaking with a tech or the other pharmacists might be a problem, if there is someone in the pharm who is deliberately pocketing the meds. They will not open an inquiry, for fear of being found out.

Since that time, I have always counted and will call even if one pill is missing. There is even a permenant note in my file saying that all of my meds are to be double counted. The most important thing to remember is that you have to call as soon as you know. The longer you wait, the less chance you have of getting the balance. The longer you have them in your possession, the more they might think you have tampered with the script yourself or that a guest in your home may have stolen them.

If even the pharm manager is uncooperative, then do not hesitate to call the corporate office for the chain. (providing it is a chain pharm) I know of more than one pharmacist or tech in my area who were arrested because they were skimming off of narcotic prescriptions. So the pharmacy generally wants to know about shortages for their own benefit.

I hope this helps. Best of luck with finding out what might have happened. And please remember to count all meds as soon as you get them home. Take care and let us know how it goes. CMP/MM

 
Old 09-18-2008, 07:50 AM   #4
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Re: Pharmacy Problem-missing pills ?

This just happened to me. My PM doctor prescribed a new pain med that he said I could try. I filled my script, but didn't try them until one month later. I was to get 150 pills and there was only 30 in there! Huge miscount. I called the pharmacy and they had 120 pills for me the next day.

This has taught me to count my pills now. I never knew they could make such a huge mistake. Makes me wonder now if my pills are the right ones too.

10sox

 
Old 09-18-2008, 11:37 AM   #5
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Re: Pharmacy Problem-missing pills ?

10sox,if you dont mind me asking what is your "new med" your doc has you on?
And lifeaftr40,I count my pills asap...I know they kind of look at you wierd if you count your pills literally in the pharmacy as soon as you get them,but they dont understand what its like to run out a day or two early just because someone didnt count my pills correctly or the pharmacist just let the pharm-tech fill them if they were busy...this really does happen alot!
Have A Great Pain Free Day...
zdf

 
Old 09-18-2008, 11:52 AM   #6
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Re: Pharmacy Problem-missing pills ?

ZDF-
He wrote a script for Tramadol. Not new to the pill world, but new to me. I wanted to try it as I am very fearful of the whole vicodin addiction/dependence thing. I became itchy on them and started experiencing some muscle jerks as well. I also found out they can be just as additive/dependent as the vicodin. So, I went back to that. I think my PM dr. also wanted to see if they would work because they don't contain tylenol.

10sox

 
Old 09-18-2008, 12:33 PM   #7
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Re: Pharmacy Problem-missing pills ?

I don't want to stand there and "count" 120 pills every month but I won't use THAT Walgreens again either. The little circle isn't there with the initials but I have seen that before. Maybe I WILL use that pharmacy again and count them in front of the tech. I just happened to be on the way home from Dr that day and used a different Walgreens. Never again

 
Old 09-18-2008, 04:24 PM   #8
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Re: Pharmacy Problem-missing pills ?

Are you absolutely sure that there is nobody in your life or that has visited your house that could be taking them? I had a good friend that had her schedule IIs "missing" on several occasions. It turns out a friend was stealing them for months and NOBODY suspected it. The people who misuse these medications (and who ruin it for us) will do anything to get them.

I don't want to suggest that you have a friend or family member that is stealing meds from you, but I think it has to be completely ruled out before you assume the pharmacy screwed up or skimmed. I, too, use Walgreens and they do circle the quantity. I am going to check all of the bottles from now on before I leave the pharmacy to make sure the quantity is circled.

Last edited by Toonces1; 09-18-2008 at 04:24 PM.

 
Old 09-18-2008, 08:07 PM   #9
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Re: Pharmacy Problem-missing pills ?

This is a problem that people need to be aware of, my pharmacy which is a chain will not do pill corrections once you take your prescription out of the store, they provide a counter where you can count your meds if you want to. They've had too many instances of people trying to get extra meds. And like Steve said we that are on contracts can't use different pharmacies.

 
Old 09-19-2008, 07:01 AM   #10
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Re: Pharmacy Problem-missing pills ?

I use Walmart for my scripts 3 times they have shorted me 30 ms contins the same pharmacist.I have played hell getting them back but you can't beat their prices when you don't have ins.I save over 400.00 a month going to them instead of CVS. Always count trust me I do now.

 
Old 09-19-2008, 12:13 PM   #11
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Re: Pharmacy Problem-missing pills ?

I know no one in my family or my friends took any as I have them hidden where no one could "find" them. The only person in my family that knows I even have them is my husband.I was told as long as I used Walgreens I was fine since I did sign the contract. This fill did NOT have the quantity circled and now I know to look for that every time plus not go to THAT Walgreens store

 
Old 09-19-2008, 09:04 PM   #12
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Re: Pharmacy Problem-missing pills ?

I had this happen to me one time at a local chain. I called them immediately and luckily the pharm-tech was very understanding (her husband happens to be a chronic pain patient). She told me that when they made their counts at the end of the night they would know if they were over. Sure enough she called me back an hour later and let me know they were over the exact amount that I was under. The missing pills were made available to me immediately the next morning when they opened up shop. I was very fortunate as this could have turned out poorly.

One thing that frustrates me is that I suggested that I would be counting my pills from now on when I got them at the store. She told me that the pharmacy does not allow patients to sit at the counter and count their pills. I question this and think that they cannot stop me from doing so if I chose to. Has anyone else had a pharmacy tell them something like this?
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Old 09-19-2008, 10:44 PM   #13
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Re: Pharmacy Problem-missing pills ?

This has happened to me to. I would get toward the end of the month and there were not enough pills left to get me through the month. Its weird to because my pain meds are always fine but my Ativan, and Zanaflex have been shorted. Even when the number is circled I stand to the side and count my pills. I have only had a problem once since I started doing this. This pharmacy is near Purdue University and they have a lot of Pharmacy students working there so I don't know if its an honest mistake or theft-but it just seems so weird that it is always either the ativan or zanaflex thats wrong.
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Old 09-20-2008, 04:17 AM   #14
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Re: Pharmacy Problem-missing pills ?

hey life? go back to that pharm,and before you actually show them your bottle with NO circle,just ask them what their protocal is with Rxing out the class II meds. then show them youre bottle(with NO circle) and TELL THEM how much you were shorted,they NEED to know and also do the pill count for you too. from what my WGs pharm told me yesterday(here in MN) when i picked up some meds,i asked about whether or not this was 'their" policy or if this was chain wide and she told me it is supposed to be done chain wide to circle that quantity. the fact it was not means no one(the PHARM) followed up and did that second count,which as i told you,also occured with that one time with my being shorted? they HAVE TO do a pill count here just to make certain that their count comes up okay. make certain you say it loud enough for other techs or pharms to hear as well since you don't know who actually filled it,it would be best to let some others know there as well so it can be followed up on. either that,or find an actual manager in that store and tell him or her what happened and ask them to go back with you so they can observe that count since you just do not actually know the people at this particular pharm. it would give you peace of mind knowing that the manger was standing right there and watching that pill count themselves ya know? i just think this could be in your favor to let a manager know,just incase something is going on back at the old pharmacy,you know what i mean? but go back and ask them,since according to my pharm,this IS in all WGs pharms,that quantity being circled? you just need to get those other meds and then NEVER ever go back there either. also,tell your regular pharm what took place at the other WGs. who knows,there may have been other complaints about this going on too ya know? they simply broke their own stanadard protocals and you were shorted. you just NEED those meds or you will be the one to suffer here,not them. but go back,with that bottle,ad demand they count that med while you are there,just go at a normally slower time there so they can do this right away for you.

i do hope they are 'over' their supply and you get your meds back,believe me,i do know how finding out you were shorted by alot feels. let us know how things go,K? good luck, marcia
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Old 09-20-2008, 06:37 AM   #15
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Re: Pharmacy Problem-missing pills ?

Something I learned long ago, count your pills before you leave the pharmacy or while in your car. The biggest problem is that if you don't notice it right away the pharmacy can say we did count right and not do a thing because folks do lie and say pills are missing when they are not. I know this isn't the case, just pointing it out.

Before my PM moved to his own building he had a sign on his desk in big black letters to not use that specific pharmacy, if you did and you were shorted pills it was not his responsibility. Apparently someone was shorting customers there. It happens all over. Pretty sad isn't is?

Good luck
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