Before I go any further this did not affect my pain meds other than my muscle relaxer, but is a serious problem anyway.
Last Thursday I called in 4 prescriptions to be refilled. I should have done it Tuesday since 2 needed to be called in to my PCP, but she always tries to turn these around same day so I wasn't too worried. One of those two was my muscle relaxer and the other was an allergy med. I went Friday afternoon to pick them up and of course the two that had to be called in weren't done yet. They claimed that they had called them in that morning. I called Saturday morning and they still didn't have the ones that had to be called in -I was totally out of both at that point.
Sunday morning I went to fill my pill box for the week, pulled the two bottles out of the bad and BOTH WERE LABLED AS THE SAME MED. One looked like what it should have been, and the other certainly wasn't what it was marked to be and didn't really look like what the other med was supposed to be either. Even though I was out of both meds, I put them back in the bag and didn't use them.
I called my Dr's office first thing yesterday, both to ask about the two that were called in and to request my scripts for my pain meds for Friday - they prefer I call several days in advance for these to allow for days off, ice storms, etc. Apparently a lot of paitients are calling thinking they have swine flu (lots of elderly in the practice), or asking about it, so the nurse had a recording saying it might take up to 72 hrs for call back. I was really upset at this point, being without the muscle relaxer is very painful.
While I was on my way to the pharmacy last night the nurse called, my pain med scripts were ready to be picked up whenever I wanted, and she had called both meds in that morning. She apologized and said the pharmacy hadn't called until after 5 pm on Friday (about 2 hrs after I had been in and asked specifically if they had been called in). When I got to the pharmacy, they DID NOT KNOW what was in the bottle that was labled the same as the one that appeared to be correct, and refilled that one with the correct medication and label. They actually had the nerve to offer me a $3 off coupon for something else in the store. I then asked for the two meds the nurse had called in. THEY ONLY HAD ONE OF THEM. Apparently the clerk who took the phone call from the nurse didn't understand what the nurse said so instead of asking the nurse to spell the name of the med she just wrote down something that wasn't right and it didn't get filled. Eventually the person who took the call admitted what happened and I managed to get it filled, but by that point I was about to start screaming.
Obviously I have to find a new pharmacy. I don't have a lot of choices, this is the ONLY pharmacy in the small town I live in. My options are pharmacies that are on my way to and from work, most are either Walgreens or CVS, a Hy-Vee, and a Target. I also have the option of using the mail order pharmacy that is part of my insurance. I've not heard much good about Walgreens, and I had problems with CVS many years ago when it had another name. I could possibly go back to the pharmacy I used before I moved, but it's a 30 minute drive one way. I will either go there to get my pain meds this time, or use the pharmacy in the Dr's building, my doc's OK with that as long as I let them know.
Does anyone have any experience with either CVS or Target, or even the mail-order it's Medco? Anybody have a good experience with Walgreens?
I use Medco mail order when I can. ( I can't for my schedule II meds of course ). Key thing on using the mail order is you have to have TWO scripts. One for at least 2 weeks to last you and one to mail in to get your 90 day supply.
I also never had a problem with Target except for a wait sometimes if I was in a hurry.
I guess that pharmacist who knowingly filled a scrip with the wrong meds doesn't realize he/she could lose her/his license for doing that. There was a pharmacist locally who filled the wrong meds and the patient ended up dying. Needless to say, this pharmacist is no longer a pharmacist!
I'm glad you realized they were the wrong meds and didn't take them. This is a situation that truly warrants a complaint because if this person did this to you, it could and probably has already happened to other patients as well. It's a safety issue here for people who don't know what meds look like and trust the pharmacist to know what meds belong in these bottles!
I don't know how the CVS pharmacies are in your area, but locally I stopped using them because they were extremely rude, and regardless of what time of day you took a scrip in to be filled they told you it would be 2-3 hours before you could pick them up. That's unacceptable especially when it's a medication for serious health issues ya know?
I have no personal experience with Target, but I have a friend who uses them and she loves dealing with them. Even though they are a "chain" pharmacy she says she gets treated with personalized attention like you would get from the mom & pop stores. They even order her the brand generics she prefers and have never forgotten to order her meds that she refills on a monthly basis. (thyroid meds).
You definitely need to get another pharmacy ASAP. Usually, PM doctors know which pharmacies treat patients kindly and are on the ball, so you might want to ask for a referral from them.
Take care, and I'm glad you were able to get this all straightened out. I am sorry you had to go through all that hassle though- you have enough to deal with as it is!
I use Target for all of my meds and for our family meds also. They have arranged to have my Class II meds on hand for me every month. I have three that I get filled the first of the month. They have them on hand for me faithfully. I know the pharmacists by name and they know my hubby and me by name. I get better service there than from any other pharmacy I have gone to in a long time.
I had one mix up this past month and the head pharmacist called to ask how I was doing and to tell me what the problem had been and what they had done to correct it. I can't ask for more than that!
I love the pharmacy at Hy-Vee. They carried Watson for one of my meds when everyone else had the cheaper, weaker brand. They said they would make sure I always had them. Their hours work for me too-I need 7 days a week to keep up with family, work and the house. I have RARELY had a good experience with CVS or Walgreens in Kansas and the doc even mentioned thay prefer us NOT to go to CVS> Too many problems with untrained people and managers and others hopping back to "help" when they get really busy.
The following user gives a hug of support to atwork: pianomaster (11-29-2010)
I will never use a CVS or walgreens as have had numerous problems with them. I have never used a target so I cannot reply on that. I personally love Medco. Yes at first or if you are given a new prescription and cannot wait the 2 weeks to start it you will need that extra script to get you started, but once you have begun they are great. If I email in my refills, I usually get them the next day if not the 2nd day. They will notify your doc when a refill is due and I can manage everything online except for new or written scripts. Obviously I don't do my schedule II through them but all my others and I have never had a problem. When I have called about something they are really good and I can speak with a pharmacist at anytime.
For me the only thing I hate is that all the bottles are the same, solid white so you can't see the pills inside so I can't tell which is which unless I've opened the bottle. I ended up putting colored big dots on the top the colors of the pills so I know which is which. For the white pills I use a black marker and put the first letter of the name of the pill. I called and asked them if they had any other type of bottle they said that was it so no biggee.
I actually use 2 different pharmacies. I use CVS for all meds except for the Vicodin & fentanyl patch which I use an independent pharmacy. The reason being of course is because of the crappy Mallincrodt & Mylan brand that they normally carry. They used to carry the Sandoz generic for my patch but then switched to the Mylan brand since they are cheaper. I usually don't have too many problems except sometimes on my Lyrica they don't have enough to fill my script but either give me enough to last until they get the rest of them without having to pay anything or partly fill it and I pay the copay and then pick the rest of the order up in a few days. Either way I never have to go without them.
Hey Tigg....Sorry to hear about your problem....Nothing is worse than a pharmacy issue. Are there any independents in the area? You may have seen my previous posts on the subject....I'm a big advocate of independent pharmacies....They are owned by the pharmacist and usually really strive for customer service. Independents are much more likely to help out in a pinch & etc.
If you don't have any independents, then you'll have to choose between the least of all the evils. The reason independents are so good is because they have great pharmacists who are really good people.....So, out of your chain choices, I would ask around your community and ask who around is the best pharmacist....And I would go with that person / store.
A big issue with the chains is that they tend to burn through pharmacists....They are over worked and get burned out...So, try to find one who has some stability in the area....And stay away from any who have had a lot of turnover. Also, the chains are notorious for the "evil substitute" pharmacist....The one who covers or fills in when the regular(s) aren't there. CVS is bad for this. They tend to require pharmacists work very long shifts (all weekend from 9am-10pm each day) and therefore, when they are "off", the substitute fills in. As murphy's law would have it, problems usually arise when the substitute is working.
Regardless of where you end up, I think it's very important to develop a relationship with your pharmacist...Bring them under the umbrella a bit with your medical issues....A good pharmacist should be an extension of your Doc. Also, if a pharmacist is fully aware of what you're going through, they are much more likely to help you when and if needed.
First, I have to disagree with everyone who loves Target.
I have filled with them a few times for convenience and will never go back
after the last time. I was trying to fill a prescription early to get out of
town. My doctor knew about it and was ok with it but they wouldn't fill it.
Even though it was written on the prescription itself they wouldn't fill it unless they could talk to my doctor personally. Not the fill in doctor but my doctor. She was gone the day I took it to the pharmacy.
Then they kept getting confused with oxycodone er and oxycontin....acted like they didn't know they are the same thing. Then, I found out later, they told the doctor's office that the prescription was dated Jan...not March.
Just a mess all the way around. I ended up taking it elsewhere.
Secondly, what's this about not getting your schedule II's through Medco by mail?? I've been thinking of switching to mail for awhile because my friends who take methadone for chronic pain get their meds this was and love the convenience. I'm confused.~Mush
undiagnosed lung and back pain after pneumonia in '03, tmj, migraines,(two failed surgeries for) Kienbock's disease
Thank you everyone for your input. I'm going to look into Medco for everything but the Schedule II. To get those from Medco somebody has to be there when they are delivered to sign for them, and I'm usually at work during the day. People I work with have had good luck with Medco too, and I can live with all the bottles looking the same.
Non-chain pharmacies are almost non-existant around here. I would have less travel distance and time going back to my old pharmacy which is at a HY-Vee. We went there for 12 years and never had a single problem, and there was no turnover in the pharmacists during that time. I tried another HY-Vee that is on my way home, but the entire store is awful. If I can get everything else from Medco, it wouldn't be too bad to make the trip to the old pharmacy only for my pain meds. In the mean time I'm checking EVERYTHING before I leave the store.
The information I have from their website indicates that schedule II meds have to be signed for. My company self insures so maybe that is their requirement rather than Medco's. Anthing other than schedule II does not require a signature.