This just happened today to my wife with narcotic pain meds she has been on for chronic pain. She has been on these for 15+ years.
Our doctor notified us that in his opinion what Walgreens is requesting violates HIPPA and is advising all his patients to switch pharmacy. I went to the Walgreens to question them on the policy and the pharmacist picked up a preprinted card and read me a canned response telling me this is all they were allowed to say on the matter, it was one paragraph of here at walgreens we strive for customer satisfaction and safety blah blah. I then elected to have a regional manager call me to discuss the situation. I was told by this manager that it is a new company policy and they are the only ones in the industry doing it now and they suspect other pharmacys will follow suit.
They do not care how many customers will leave because of this and they are aware that some will but don't think it will be a significant amount. The policy is here to stay unless someone challenges it in court and they lose.(she says they are on firm legal footing) I understand why they are doing this but I am a little alarmed when our doctor tells us he feels it is a violation of HIPPA for walgreens to allow their pharmacists to be asking for medical records and taking on the role of doctor to review and arbitrarily decide whether you can have a certain script filled based on your diagnosis. This is a job better left to the better educated, namely the doctor who wrote the script in the first place.
Doesn't it seem silly to allow someone with less than half the education and little if any real interaction or health history be the "decider" of your medical care? I for one after 15+ years as a customer will no longer patronize walgreens, they do not deserve the business especially considering this was rolled out on the down low as it seems they were making an effort to keep it as low profile as possible by not allowing their pharmacists to discuss this new policy with the very people whose privacy they are violating in the first place.
Product or Service Mentioned: Walgreens Pharmacist.