A few weeks ago I posted about a problem I had with my pharmacy. The initial problem was only the beginning.
For those who didn't read the first one, basically they were asked to fill 4 scripts, none for controlled substances, the initial call was around 6 am on Thrusday morning and two of the meds had to be phoned to the Dr for authorization. I had three issues from this incident: 1. They mislabled one med (and I think put the wrong med) in one bottle - two bottles were labled the same and had different looking pills in each. One appeared to be the med it was labled as, and the other was NOT. I don't think it was the second med it should have been either. 2. Two of the meds had to be called to my PCP for authorization for refills, when I talked to the nurse on Monday she said they had not gotten the refill request until after 5 pm on Friday, after the Dr's office was closed. Since I have been seeing this Dr. for about 2.5 years and never before had an issue I'm inclined to believe the nurse (same nurse for past 2 yrs too). 3. When I got to the pharmacy on Monday afternoon, after doing without all 4 meds all weekend and for the AM on Monday, they still didn't have one of the ones the nurse called in. The person who apparently answered the phone when the nurse called spoke up and said (not direct quote, don't remember exact words) "oh yeah I took that call, I couldn't understand her so I didn't write it down, but maybe that's what it was , it was "x' with "y" refills" loudly enough for the entire store to hear what it was.
At that point I should have RUN to get away from there, but stupid me I gave them another chance. I called in for refills of my meds for meniere's, diazapam and phenegran - both in tablet form, both I've taken for years, same Dr. and nurse for years, and never a problem. I called it in on Monday and went on Friday to pick it up. They had the diazapam, but rather than the phenegran a med I haven't taken in over a year. I had only filled the other med there ONCE in April of 2007. I asked the pharmacy to please call for the proper medication. I called the Dr's office on Monday and when the nurse called back she said that's what the pharmacy faxed to them, but they did think it strange since the Dr's notes indicated that we had discontinued that med as I didn't need it anymore, but they went ahead and authorized the refill. I checked on Wednesday to see if they had filled the phenegran on my insurance website, they did but it's was suppository not the TABLET I've taken for years. I called the Dr's office again, and the nurse indicated that the fax they got from the pharmacy was that I had requested the suppository. NOT!!! At that point I asked her to please call the tablets to my old pharmacy, it's a 30 minute drive but at that point I didn't care.
Obviously I will NEVER be using this pharmacy again, my old pharmacy was a HY-Vee and I'm transferring everything to a different HY-Vee that's only about 5-10 minutes out of my way coming home from work, it's still about 20-30 mintues from home, but it's worth it.
My question is what to do about the old pharmacy. It's a chain, but they are franchises so there isn't really a corporate office to talk to. I don't want to do ANYTHING until I get the remainder of my scripts transferred out of there, which should be the first of next week. It scares the heck out of me what they might do to an elderly person who may not know exactly what their meds look like and don't know how to look it up on the internet. The options I'm considering are: 1. Talking to the store manager, it's pharmacy only so it would be the pharmacy manager. 2. Reporting the problems to the state pharmacy board. If I had pictures of the pills that were wrong and had screen printed the insurances "filled" list with the med that was wrong I would do this, but I really don't have any proof. 3. Reporting it to my insurance company.
I'm open to any ideas on this. I don't think I'm going to get anywhere talking to the store manager, if it's who I think it is she was there and heard all of the first incident and just doesn't seem to care. I know they also broke all the HIPPA laws by saying the name of my med loud enough that everybody in the building heard it. I think they get away with being a bad pharmacy because they are the ONLY pharmacy that is not at least a 20 minute drive away.
Sounds like you have one convoluted mess on your hands. Thank goodness that you are aware enough to have caught the mistakes. I dare say that many would not. •ou're exactly right in that mistakes such as these can cause someone serious issues, even death. Doesn't have to be an elderly person, btw. Most people don't check their meds....They just take them. Let me give you a quick example....One time about 10 yrs ago, I was given two types of meds following a procedure, and it took me about 3 days to realize that I had been given the same med in both bottles. It was a typical looking white oblong pill that was scored in the middle. Many pills look very much alike.
I'm not familiar with this store. If it is a "franchise" as you say, then they are independently owned and managed, no different than a Subway, Taco Bell, or whatever. Therefore, talking to the mgr probably won't do any good. You could try, I guess. In fact, the owner may even be the pharmacist which if this is the case, then you'd really be wasting your time.
If you're really worried about someone being harmed there, then I would report it to the board of pharmacy via a certified letter....This will provide written documentation and they will have to respond. If you were to complain about receiving incorrect meds, I suspect the BOP will swoop in a do an audit of the store.
If you report the mistakes, I would try to keep it as simple and straight forward as possible. I had trouble following your examples, but maybe that was because the med names weren't listed.
Take care, and hope this helps. I applaud you for caring enough to do the right thing.
(Yes, I've resurfaced once again - unfortubately I never know for how long! LOL)
I've had the same type of problem with an old pharmacy, and I agree with Ex. Even though you don't have "documentation" of the mix-up, as Ex said, the Pharmacy Board will most likely go in and do an audit. If that happens, they will be counting pills and comparing inventory to the written/faxed scripts that are supposed to correspond. If they are screwing things up with your scripts, no doubt they're doing it with others. The auditors might just find a whole mess of errors. I would also let the board know that they apparently don't think twice about shouting out a person's meds across the store, either. That could lead to someone being mugged in the parking lot, or worse.
Whatever you decide to do, I'm glad you're switching pharmacies. Like we don't have enough to deal with as CPers! We need inept pharmacies like we need a hole in the head! Take care and God Bless, CMP
(Yes, I've resurfaced once again - unfortubately I never know for how long! LOL)
Yea, Cmpgirl is back!
Originally Posted by cmpgirl
I would also let the board know that they apparently don't think twice about shouting out a person's meds across the store, either. That could lead to someone being mugged in the parking lot, or worse.
Great point. Those HIPPA laws are there for a reason. Sounds like the entire pharmacy needs re-training across the board. I just hope someone doesn't get hurt there. If they've made that many mistakes with you, Tigg, then I'll bet they make them with other people too.
I'm going to report them to the Missouri Pharmacy Board as soon as I finish transferring all my scripts out of there. I've had concerns about how they go around using medication names and paitient names loudly enough for everyone to hear for a while now. It's mostly the techs that do it, but there is no excuse.
Thanks for your assistance guys. I'd probably just transfer my stuff out and let it go, but it's just too much of a chance that they will give someone else something other than what is prescribed for them, especially if its to someone who might not know what their meds are supposed to look like, or its a med they haven't had before and don't know what it's supposed to look like.
I'd probably just transfer my stuff out and let it go, but it's just too much of a chance that they will give someone else something other than what is prescribed for them, especially if its to someone who might not know what their meds are supposed to look like, or its a med they haven't had before and don't know what it's supposed to look like.
I really think you're doing the right thing Tigg....The vast majority of pharmacy patrons don't have anywhere near the same level of expertise that you have. I'd be willing to bet that whatever is in the bottle, they take....With little to no understanding. I'm always amazed at the # of people who don't even the name of the med their taking, or even if they have refills.
It would be easier probably to let it go and I can understand the impulse, however I do agree completely with what you had to say about other patients. Most aren't as well versed as us and if they stuff up with schedule 2s, imagine the stuff ups they could be making with other meds that aren't so regulated. I worry all the time about my grandmother who is blind and therefore can't check her meds. Once she was given ear drops instead of her proper eye drops for glaucoma (she also has macular degeneration)!!! Luckily we were over visiting and mum and I drove to the pharmacy and had it out with them - I mean, honestly, how can you stuff something like that up? We then made an official report which basically just stated what happened and the pharmacy board for that state investigated. We then swapped to another pharmacy, a smaller pharmacy with only 2 pharmacists and had a meeting with them to explain that she is blind etc and the head pharmacist researched into a particular generic brand that prints braille on the labels. They have been wonderful ever since and now all her friends go there too. It is a very small country area with one large and one small pharmacy. As Ex mentioned, the issue with smaller pharmacies is their opening hours but because they know that you will be a regular customer they will often go out of their way to help. When my grandmother is ill, they even deliver directly to her because her meds are so important.
I guess that's a long way of saying that yes, I too agree that something should be said. Hopefully it won't matter about the evidence because they will look into it and work out what's going on. It's easier that way too, because you don't have the stress of becoming personally involved. Have you tried the new pharmacy yet?
Thanks Jema, Ex. I should have everything transferred to the new pharmacy by next week. They have been great, I've gotten the same professional service that I got from the old location. Both are Hy-Vee grocery stores and are well run in just about every area. I had tried one other of their stores that's right off the highway on my way home from work, but had problems with the entire store. The head pharmacist/pharmacy manager at the parmacy I used before I moved told me this store is good, and also one of the managers at my bank has a daughter who is one of the pharmacists there.
The pharmacy I had problems with is the ONLY pharmacy in a town of about 4,000 to 5,000, the next closest pharmacy is about a 20 minute drive away. I'm going to go ahead and say that the one I have had problems with is a Medicine Shoppe. They only have 2 pharmacists, and in the year or so I've been going there I've only spoken to one of the pharmacists ONCE, and that's when I returned the med that was marked wrong.
I hope that by writing all this out here that it will encourage everyone to check their own meds and in particular check the meds of any family member or friend who might not be able to do so for themselves. I know most of us here have more knowledge about our medications that most people do, we have to just to make sure we follow the directions and make sure we don't do something that might prevent us from getting further treatment without meaning to. I've been on a lot of meds for allergies, BP, and have some that are 'off label' for awhile now, so I've been checking them for some time. I've always had an interest in medications and pharmacy in general so I check everything, look up new meds online (used to go to the library and use a PDR), had that been an option 'girls' were encouraged to take when I was starting college, I might have become a pharmacist. Having a good pharmacy and pharmacist is as important as having a good Dr.
Too many things can happen when med bottles and their contents aren't checked. And none of it good! I think many of us made that mistake, back when we first began taking pain meds on a regular basis. For those of us in PM, this could also result in ending up short at the end of the month as well, and could jeopardize our relationships with our PM doc.
I'm really glad the hyVee pharm is working out well for you. Hang in there, girl. And keep us posted about the pharmacy board, OK? Hugs, CMP
Absolutely report the pharmacy. I recommend doing it in the tone of a concerned consumer, and not an angry former client. Pharmacy boards are there to protect patients, and if a pharmacy isn't operating appropriately, they need to know about it. A report doesn't necessarily mean that the pharmacy will be closed; maybe the board will impose some remedial action so that the pharmacist will shape up the ship. I'm fortunate to have a locally-owned (not a chain) pharmacy, and the pharmacist visits with every customer before the meds go out the door.
You'll have excellent service at Hy-Vee. I worked for them at one time, and we have 3 stores here in Rochester MN. I use a different pharmacy, but only for convenience. I do something that many pharmacies can't stand. I count my narcotics before I leave the service counter. I go in when they're not busy, so I don't tie up the customer waiting line, and when I'm handed the bottles, I crack them open in front of the cashier, and do a count. When I was dealing with a different pharmacy, they continually shorted me by two or three pills, and I finally caught them at it. My current pharmacist likes what I do, because I actually discovered an overage of 1 pill, which was an honest mistake on his part. Since it was a CII, he was grateful that I caught it. The DEA watches CII inventories like a hawk, and if a pharmacy is short even one pill, it can be trouble.