I was hoping that someone could advise me of my options, if any. I have a Dx of Psoriatic Arthritis. I was on Humira for 6 months prior to 2013. At the start of this year, my insurance changed their acceptance for a co pay assistance plan called Humira Protection Plus. I have had the Humira script "parked" at Walgreens because I have not found a specialty pharmacy that will accept the discount plan. The last month of WI winter weather has caused a record # of severe flares. I ran out of my Tramadol, the only pain med that I take besides Diclofenac (NSAID). I am prescribed 4 a day of the 50mg. I sent in my refill request through their app for the next day. I received an email saying it was too soon to refill and I could resubmit in 3 days. This had never happened to me before. I have been on Tramadol for about a yr and have refilled it prior to running out of pills previously when I have been in picking up other meds (MTX, etc.) as too not make double trips. I called the pharmacist & explained that I have been off of Humira for the last 2 months & the weather has me in crippling pain. I asked if I could get it filled if I pay for the med instead of waiting for ins. (I regret asking this with all my being. I think that this was my downfall but I am naive when it comes to these things & it didn't even occur to me that it would come to this.) He advised me to call my dr & he couldn't fill it so soon. Not a problem. I called my dr & he gave me a free sample of Humira & some Vicodin to get me through until I could pick up the Tramadol & clear up this co pay mess. This was the FIRST time I have ever been prescribed Vicodin for arthritis. I think I got it 8 yrs ago after a root canal. I picked up the med, waited the 3 days & went to pick up my Tramadol refill. They said I couldn't get it for another 4 days. I showed them the email that they had sent me saying I could pick it up that day. The pharmacist said that they can't fill it until the bottle was completely empty while taken as prescribed. I then got a barrage of questions that made me feel like a junkie. I explained the entire situation & asked her to please look at my record to see that I don't usually refill this early & that I have an untransferred script for Humira. I said that I don't want to over medicate myself by taking a Vicodin if I am only in a Tramadol amount of pain. I explained that I didn't understand since I was trying to fill Tramadol & not Oxy. She explained to me that it is the same thing as far as overdose. She said she could call my dr and I told her to please do. I know you can OD on Tylenol pretty easily but they don't make you feel like an addict when buying it. I didn't say that, by the way. I was so confused since I didn't think Tramadol was anywhere close to a level as other narcotics & think of it more as an analgesic. If you have ever taken them you would know that it is not something that you can get a "high" off of one. I don't think any addict would be looking for it on the street.
I was furious & humiliated when I got home. I have used that same (& only) pharmacy for 10 yrs. I have had the same primary care dr for 10 yrs. I have had 2 rheumys during this time because one left for private practice. I called Walgreens HQ customer service for some answers. I was told that the pharmacist can use their own discretion on whether to fill any script & they need to make notations because the DEA is cracking down on all pharmacies. Shockingly the pieces fell into place & I asked if I am flagged now. She said yes, that I am flagged in their national company database. I asked if that flagged info is then sent to the DEA & I got contradicting answers. I explained that I could understand if I was on a huge amount of heavy narcotics but I am not & have a prior history of no problems but these were undo circumstances. She said the pharmacist has the right to flag an individual & no one can question it.
From reading a few posts, this seems to have happened to some people on pain regiments or with multiple narcotics. Has this happened to anyone trying to fill Tramadol? Is my name now put into a DEA database as a drug addict? Does this follow me if I take my business to another pharmacy? I am confused, embarrassed, humiliated and upset. Any thoughts are appreciated.
Product or Service Mentioned: Walgreens Pharmacist.