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    Old 03-10-2009, 06:47 PM   #16
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    Re: Refill Question

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by DerbyCityGirl View Post
    There is absolutely no consistency. You're at the mercy of the mood of your pharmacist that day. Today you can refill, but next month I'm going to tell you we absolutely cannot refill early because it's a controlled substance. I'm not a confrontational person, but I guess I should say to them, "if those are your rules, why do you consistently break them?"
    You got it....Unfortunately, it's all about the pharmacist. NOTHING makes me more upset then when a pharmacist decides to act like Judge, Jury, and Executioner all in one fell swoop....Based on a script....And NO information about your condition & etc.

    This is why I strongly advise any on controlled meds to find a independent pharmacy....The pharmacist owns the pharmacy and almost always strives for customer service. I also think one should think seriously of bringing your pharmacist under the umbrella a bit and tell them about your condition / situation...An extension of your Doc....Develop a relationship. This is very hard to do at a chain because they rotate pharmacists through a lot. And even if a given chain has one "regular" pharmacist, the "substitute" pharmacist and present lots of problems if he/she happens to be there the day you need your refill. You don't get this at an independent...They have less hours (open), but are almost always there. A pharmacist can either be a patient's biggest advocate or your biggest nightmare.



    Quote:
    You can complain, but honestly, why would they care?
    The problem with complaining is that (1) It's hard to find someone to complain to because a chain pharmacist does not report to the store mgr and (2) You may win the battle and lose the war. The last think a CP patient needs is a pharmacist against them.

    Find a good independent pharmacy...You'll be glad you did.

    Best of luck to you.

    Regards,

    Ex

     
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    Old 03-10-2009, 07:00 PM   #17
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    Re: Refill Question

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by tarajb View Post

    I now use only one pharmacy for all my scripts and have developed a relationship (professional) with the pharmacist in charge. back in 2008 I did not know that you HAD to use one pharmacy for pain medication (or it is highly recommended for diversion reasons, per my PM doc). Walgreens was the worst - very demeaning indeed.

    I followed Ex's advice back then and it's been fine ever since.
    That's great Tarajb...I didn't read your post before I posted my previous response to an earlier post in the thread. Not to rehash, but I really do think it's critical to develop a relationship with a good pharmacist. My independent guy owns his own pharmacy and is as nice as he can be. He orders meds specifically for me....Even writes my name on the bottle so no one will fill it for someone else by mistake. I call him about 2 weeks before my CIIs are due for my next script and he orders everything so it's always in stock with plentiful supply.

    I make an effort to tell him about many of my appointments and he knows quite a bit about my condition and etc. He is very empathetic about my issues and we quite often discuss industry issues & etc. There is no way I would get this type of service / attention at a chain.

    The only disadvantage is that his hours are much less (than a chain)......He's closed on Sundays, and is only open till 7pm. But, as long as you plan, all is fine. He's almost always there and when he's not, he has the same fill in pharmacist each time he takes a day off and he tells them ahead of time what to expect and etc. Also, because it's the same one, I have developed a relationship with her as well.

    When my script happens to be "due" on a Sunday, he fills it a day early...Or, I tell my Doc, and he writes it for a day early. I've gotten to know him so well that he feels like family.

    Regards,

    Ex

     
    Old 03-10-2009, 07:36 PM   #18
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    Re: Refill Question

    Ex, I too have brought the pharmacist into the loop, asked for advice (he advised that I should lower tylenol intake at one point). He has instructed the sub pharmacists to be helpful to me, not a hinderence. I've left a couple of times and did a pill count in the car and have come up short up to 10 pills.............I return immediately, get it sorted and I never have a problem with that substitute again. You're dead on working with the pharmacist as an ally - I outright took him to the side and went over my situation and it changed everything for me. I told him that I was tired of being treated poorly - it worked.
    Good luck to OP.
    T

     
    Old 03-10-2009, 07:47 PM   #19
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    Re: Refill Question

    Sounds like you have done the right thing Tarajb.

    I realize many want to keep their medical conditions private, and I very much respect that, but if you don't give the pharmacist some basic info, all he/she has to go on is what's on the script...And often it doesn't tell the real story. Many times when I'm getting my standard monthly refills, I'll chit chat with my pharmacist about my last appointment & etc...I find that it really helps.

    I'm very glad to hear that things have worked out for you.

    Take care,

    Ex

     
    Old 03-11-2009, 07:17 AM   #20
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    Re: Refill Question

    great advice guys. the thing here is with ANY pharmacy you actually go to, they should be getting your medical history too, just as a precaution since some conditions can become much worse or even deadly if the wrong meds are inadvertantly Rxed. my major conditons are listed in my pharms computer system and always pop up on my rx sheets too so i know they are there. i also have a liver and kidney disease, so having THAT info too can be crucial for me in making certain any meds i should happen to have rxed are not going to be either nephrotoxic or hepatotoxic for me. my chronic pain is also listed as well. it just makes good sense to do this as a protection for our own health.

    your pharm is just an extension of your overall healthcare team so they also need to be in that loop too. i just had to mention something about my WGs. they have been great as far as straightening out all my med and ins messes and fixing problems for me. one particular pharm actually even added the usual DAW on my OC Rx even tho it is a no no. my NP screwed up and the request was actually made by a nurse at my P clinic. they did it with no problem since i ALWAYS have it on there with every OC rx. i don;t think i have ever had an issue with them since they opened up about like ten years ago? but we DO also give them a ton of monthly business too, lol. but as was mentioned already,they can bring in all these new people that you just don't really know too, and that sucks. but usually someone is there who is a 'regular' and knows me. so far so good ya know?

    but DO make certain to just let your ongoing pharmacy actually know any and all conditons you have including chronic pain. its the safest thing for you,the patient to do for yourself. marcia
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    Old 03-11-2009, 07:51 AM   #21
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    Re: Refill Question

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by feelbad View Post

    your pharm is just an extension of your overall healthcare team so they also need to be in that loop too.
    Absolutely Marcia. Your pharmacist should be an extension of your Doc.

    I've had bad luck with the chains...They seem to change pharmacists like the wind, or for whatever reason, get the hard core pharmacists...The ones who act like the DEA when you pick up your meds. I avoid them like the plague.

    Regards,

    Ex

    Last edited by Executor; 03-11-2009 at 07:52 AM.

     
    Old 03-15-2009, 04:11 PM   #22
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    Re: Refill Question

    Update: The pharmacy said they called my doctor's office and was told the prescription is correct - 2 per day or as directed. Well, they spoke to a nurse, who merely read what was written in my chart. They did not speak to the doctor, who told ME that I was to take 2 per day, or more if needed. Granted, he should have written the prescription differently, but he "directed" me during my visit to take more if needed. I have a 25 day supply and today is day 21. I am completely out. I go to the pharmacy today, and now they're telling me it won't be ready until Thursday, day 25. I've always been able to refill on day 20. I guess I'm being taught a lesson by the pharmacist; never question them. This is terrible. Someone posted that my doctor was at fault for writing the prescription the way he did. But that doesn't change the fact that there is no consistency and no mercy given by this pharmacy. They could fill it for me now if they wanted. They've done it many times in the past. But why tell me now that it can only be filled on day 25? I'm assuming there's something noted in their system that I now cannot refill early? This is only for 5 mg of Hydrocodone, quantity of 50, and only taking 2 - 3 per day. I don't understand the intense scrutiny.

    I will pick up my prescription Thursday, but as suggested by you kind folks, next refill I will be transferring my prescription to an independent pharmacy. Hopefully, I will find more consistency and compassion than I have at Walgreens. If I'm unable to find an independent, does anyone have suggestions on another good pharmacy? Or are all the large chains alike? Thanks to all who've taken the time to read my posts and respond.

     
    Old 03-15-2009, 05:35 PM   #23
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    Re: Refill Question

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by DerbyCityGirl View Post

    I will pick up my prescription Thursday, but as suggested by you kind folks, next refill I will be transferring my prescription to an independent pharmacy. Hopefully, I will find more consistency and compassion than I have at Walgreens.
    You can transfer it now....Why wait? The script is valid....It's just that the crazy pharmacist at Walgreens won't dispense the refill. Given what has transpired so far, here's what I would do:

    I'd call Walgreens first thing in the AM and tell them you would like a print out of all your scripts for the last 6 months for insurance purposes. This will document that your hydro is re-filled every so often as you claim. You may even want to use a different Walgreens whereas not to tip your hand.

    Then, I would seek out a good independent pharmacy. Take the bottle and the print out with you...It will validate that you've been getting your meds every 20 days or so. This will lessen the possible perceived risk (if any) by the pharmacy / pharmacist once you start to talk to him. I would seek out a good independent pharmacy and talk to the pharmacist...And tell him that you'd like to transfer the Rx now and would he fill it? I'd also tell him that you've had it with their overall lack of service & etc., and would like to start using a new pharmacy.

    When you "transfer" a script, the new pharmacist will call the existing pharmacy / pharmacist (Walgreens in this case) and get a verbal on the actual script instructions...Since you will have the bottle with you, the new pharmacist can see first hand the instructions & etc. Transfers happen all the time, so it's no big deal.

    It's possible that when your new pharmacist calls Walgreens, that the strict pharmacist may say something (to the new pharmacist). That is why I would lay the groundwork first and talk to the pharmacist (new one) about everything....And assure him that the Doc told you that you could take more if needed. The print out should back up your claim. I'd also explain to him that it's always been refilled around day 20-22....never day 25 and that this guy is trying to make a statement. They've probably heard of this kind of tough tactics before, especially if this guy does this to others. I would explain that you are in dire need of the med until surgery and ask him if he would help you because you are suffering.....And that you'd like to start using his pharmacy from here on out.

    I'd also assure him that once your Doc is back from medical leave, he'll clear all this up. Explain what I wrote earlier....That you seriously doubt he would have given you a script for 50 pills with refills if you were only allocated 2 per day....Any reasonable person can figure that out. There is little to no risk for the new pharmacist to help you....Your request is well within the range of reasonableness. In fact, I'd be surprised if he/she doesn't help you out. He'll also realize that this is a good opportunity to pick up a new loyal customer for all your pharmacy needs.

    Worst case scenario is he says that he can't help you and you're no worse off than you are now. Rest assured, when my Doc got back, I'd really make a statement with him about how much you had to suffer and no one would help.


    Quote:
    If I'm unable to find an independent, does anyone have suggestions on another good pharmacy? Or are all the large chains alike?
    Most of the chains are alike. The problem with the chains is that they tend to get pharmacists who develop attitudes. First of all, those folks are overworked like crazy...12+ hour shifts....All weekend, every weekend....9am to 9 or 10pm, with few breaks, and on their feet all day. Secondly, due to the nature of their size and volume, they tend to see more than their fare share of abusers & etc., so it wears on them. Lastly, the large chains are paranoid of the DEA so they go too far sometimes with Rx rules. These big chains are super strict because they have so much to lose. However, there is room for common sense and they're not using it in this case. Who knows, you may have just come across a super jerk. They are out there.

    Some large chains are fine if they happen to have a good pharmacist...Some chains have great pharmacists. I'd ask around with your friends and see if any they use are "compassionate"....Just like you would ask around about using a new Dr. The word "compassionate" is often used for "understanding" and "liberal." However, even when you find a chain with a good pharmacist, problems can occur with the "substitute" pharmacist....The one who rolls through your store when your pharmacist has a day off, vacation, sick, or whatever. You never know what you'll get then.

    Have you tried to refill it when this strict pharmacist isn't there? He can't work every day all day. Or, refill it at a different Walgreens? There was a post on here recently by someone with a very similar situation, and they filled it at a different location and it went through just fine.

    Best case scenario is that maybe another pharmacist (that store or another Walgreens) will fill it....I wouldn't say anything....Just try to fill it and see what happens. If you transfer it, I wouldn't worry about transferring it while he's there, but it would be better if he's not.

    Best of luck with this.

    Regards,

    Ex

    Last edited by Executor; 03-15-2009 at 05:44 PM.

     
    Old 03-15-2009, 06:51 PM   #24
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    Re: Refill Question

    In the past, when I came across a strict pharmacist, I would tell them to just cancel the script. I'd then call it in (same day) to a different Walgreens and get it refilled - no problem. I did that this week. I told the first pharmacist to cancel the script. I then waited several days and tried to refill at a different Walgreens. That's when I was told today that it couldn't be refilled until the 25th day. Which makes me wonder if there isn't something noted in their system to not refill early. I'm not sure how long my doctor will be on medical leave, but hopefully he'll be back before my next refill so I can clear this up. Because it looks as though that even if I transfer to another pharmacy, Walgreens will let the new pharmacist know not to refill before the 25th day. I left the pharmacy today in tears. I felt like a child who was being punished. I may take your advice and try to talk to my new pharmacist. It's just embarrassing. You feel as though they automatically think you're a drug seeker.

     
    Old 03-15-2009, 08:16 PM   #25
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    Re: Refill Question

    y'know, you don't even have to go into the pharmacy to get a printout of your meds. I sometimes use Walgreens and you can just go to their site and sign in to get an accurate list. Probably other companies do the same thing.

     
    Old 03-15-2009, 09:28 PM   #26
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    Re: Refill Question

    I went thru the exact same thing with Wal-greens.

    I will not use them anymore I transfered to another pharmacy. They also took some of my pills. Then denied it.

     
    Old 03-16-2009, 08:11 AM   #27
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    Re: Refill Question

    I'm so sorry you are having such a problem. This is such a terrible thing to happen to us since we rely on these meds to lead some kind of a "normal" life! I agree that it seems this pharmacist is trying to teach you a lesson, and it's just not right.

    I stopped using Walgreens when they treated me like an addict and spouted out something totally rude about my meds in front of several other people standing at the counter. I had been on the same meds, same strength, same dose for more than 2 years and had used only Walgreens as per my contract. Never once had an early fill, and the ONE and ONLY time I was asking for an "early" fill was with my PM doctor's written consent for travel to a family funeral. This wasn't really even an early refill, it was day #28 on a 30 day script. Anyway, the pharmacist said something to the effect of, "Your doctor really doesn't have the authority to authorize an early refill on your narcotics, and if the insurance company says no, then you can't get your drugs- period." He then told me to go home and IF he fills the drug order he would call me back. I looked him dead in the eye and said, "No, I will NOT go home, and I am NOT looking for drugs, but simply getting a refill as per my doctor's orders for a family death." I then told him that I will NOT be using Walgreens ever again since they feel people with medical needs are addicts.

    Before that even happened, they had shorted me pills once and denied it, and another time released a scipt for my pain medications to some person who wasn't me or my husband and couldn't tell me who they gave them to because they don't have people sign for them when they pick up scrips. I had to go an entire month without my meds because I didn't want to cause any problems with my PM doctor. I did let my PM know about it, and he offered to write a new scrip, but I declined because I wanted no kind of red flags. It was a terrible month for me.

    You know, I should have stopped using them well before the rude pharmacist incident!

    I'm sorry I can't give you any help, but just really wanted to let you know I'm here for you along with all the others who are helping you. Ex has offered some great information, and I would totally find a new pharmacy once this incident is over. You deserve better treatment than what they are giving you. I hope and pray they haven't flagged you because of the assumptions of a rude, nasty pharmacist!!!

    Last edited by ozzybug; 03-17-2009 at 05:12 AM.

     
    Old 03-16-2009, 08:43 AM   #28
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    Re: Refill Question

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by DerbyCityGirl View Post
    I'm not sure how long my doctor will be on medical leave, but hopefully he'll be back before my next refill so I can clear this up. Because it looks as though that even if I transfer to another pharmacy, Walgreens will let the new pharmacist know not to refill before the 25th day.
    Yes, having your Doc clear this up is the best option....Assuming he's back before Thursday.

    However, your missing my point on the transfer....It's not up to the Walgreens Pharmacist on whether or not you can get it filled...Maybe if you fill it at another Walgreens, it is. But, if you transfer it, it's up to the new pharmacy. That's why I would take my print out to them ahead of time and discuss everything with the new pharmacist up front....Tell them why you are transferring and would they help you and fill it. If they say "no", we can't help you, then you are no worse off. I'm betting, they will help you.

    If you go to XYZ pharmacy and ask for it to be transferred, there is nothing Barney Fife at Walgreens can do....it's out of his hands at that point.

    Best of luck to you.

    Regards,

    Ex

     
    Old 03-16-2009, 12:53 PM   #29
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    Re: Refill Question

    I'm jumping in on this late, but just wanted to add that I had the same experience at walgreens years ago very similiar to yours and then had an aweful experience at another chain when I was started on schedule II's. They would routinely "forget" to order the meds and I was on meds that had to be special ordered. So none of the other pharmacy's (and it was a small town) carried them which meant I had to wait. In addition they treated me like a drug addict and like you I left many times in tears not understanding why I was being treated this way. I now have my reg. pharmacy and a back up and they are both small and one is independant and like Ex said, that's the best way to go. I have a relationship with both places and I have made them a part of my medical team.

    I would tell your doc what's going on when he get's back. That's what I finally did with the pharmacy that was forgetting to order my meds and my doc was livid. He had me to go to an independant that did a lot of his patients and even though it wasn't as convenient, it was worth it to be treated well.

    My current doc is an hour away, so I use a local pharmacist, but one time he switched me to a hard to get med and while I was still in the exam room, called the pharmacist that usually carries more of the pain meds and told him he was sending me. Again it was an independant and if I ever move to that town, that's where I am going, he was great, we talked "shop" and I liked how he talked about my doc who is great, very respectful.

    Good luck getting your scripts transferred and I hope you can get it all sorted out.

    Melissa

     
    Old 03-16-2009, 03:34 PM   #30
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    Re: Refill Question

    I live in Kentucky, which has been the focus of much scrutiny of doctors in the eastern part of the state for over-prescribing narcotics. There has also been many arrests of both doctors and patients selling them illegally. A friend whose husband is a chronic pain patient was recently told by his doctor that they are really cracking down on them. I'm assuming this has trickled down to the pharmacies. Maybe that's why I've run into so much trouble lately. Unfortunately, we all must suffer for the misdeeds of others. It's a shame.

    By the grace of God, once my surgery is complete, I'll never have to deal w/ this again. But I will not let this die. I truly feel for all of those whose posts I've read on here who are dealing with the same issues. This mistreatment has to stop.

     
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