Monroe, Michigan
2.8K views
Not resolved
48 comments

Our problems continue to be with customer service and demeanor from the pharmacy end of walgreens. My mom has terminal medical conditions and suffers immense pain 24 hrs a day for years until recently the last year. My mom's new doc had worked for 2 yrs to find a pain control regiment that works for best quality of life and it works well with minimal side effects. It consists of very large mg doses of narcotic pain meds and something like 3 different kinds for instant relief, extended relief for bedtime and breakthrough pain.

The doc prefers she use only walgreens to fill meds and many times she is judged and harassed by pharmacists, lied to on two occasions and today the pharmacist flat out refused the monthly refill. The guy took it upon himself to decide that my mom does not need her refill this month since she has other pain meds. The guy even said that she has too many pain meds and he; who has never even met her, doesnt know her illness or anything about her... alters her doctor's prescription regiment after years of trying so many other treatments and meds. the current regiment would not be in place if it wasn't needed or if there was some other method or if my mom and her doc hadnt exhuasted all other means.

The pharmacist told us that he would give her one day supply until he contactcs her doc who isnt in for two more days. He actually told my mom she didnt need the refill and I told him the script is lagit and has been for some time and we always fill it there. The man said there is no since arguing (as if we were) that she go home and he will call her doc to verify why she needs so many meds and he sternly said not to call him either just to wait for his call. Upon our efforts to complain about past harassment, i learned that walgreens policy is that all prescription fills are at the discression of the individual pharmacist so they are allowed to refuse for any reason.

Further, the pharmacist filled a one day supply yet printed on the label that he filled the full quantity over 200 pills so we called to tell him knowing the importance of medication label accuracy and the guy said it was no problems and makes no difference and hung up on my mom.

We have complained to the doc before about walgreens but the doc really preferred we stay with them but this next vist we are going to demand a new pharmacy on the pain contract.

As far as i know, a pharmacist is not a medical doctor and has never treated my mom for her illness. I do not understand how he or any pharmacist has any right to make adjustments my mom's treatments. We are tired of her being humiliated almost every time she gets her meds just because they are pain meds and she gets 15 other scripts from them as a huge revenue source they are about to loose but dont seem to care.

This pharmacist was the pharmacy manager so we will start by talking to the store manager after she gets her meds. Anyone know of another source to file a complaint about bad customer service knowing we cant dispute the decision not to fill a script.

Product or Service Mentioned: Walgreens Prescription Refill.

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Anonymous
#1208600

I am having a similar issue as well, only this time the new Walgreen pharmacist was so upset with me having my doctor call her and educate her on the difference between a narcotic med and a controlled med that she changed my 2 refills from 2 to 0 and had the other pharmacist lie to cover what she did......long story short, the nurse verified my script was altered by the pharmacist and basically shamed them........i contacted the local DEA and they are conducting an investigation as of now........i will let you know how it turns out.

khylacouture
#1051634

I don't even know what to say you have no idea how much I feel this way every single day that I go to a pharmacy. You see I was diagnosed with ganglioneuroblastoma as a two year old and the cancer was removed but the tumor grew back non cancerous and all of the attempts to remove the tumor through my spine wrapped around my spinal cord created scoliosis from all the surgery they put a ride and my back that they insisted was not infected when my mother knew it was luckily on my 4th birthday I got a slip and slide and their rod itself topped above my skin in my neck and the doctor would not visit my mother or come to her and then she was right when she said she knew I was infected with the road because I even had a pus filled pocket coming out of my back I know gross I'm sorry.

Anyways so I have really bad scoliosis and in high school I did not need to take any pain medication I was okay I was active and Nelson PE I push myself really hard I didn't want to be treated differently and now once I was like 20 years old I started vicodin after a surgery that I got from a 3rd degree burn on my back that is numb from all the nerve endings being damaged so that I started feeling more intense pain and eventually progressed to 10 milligram oxycodone then to 15 mg and then to 20 milligram tablets extended release those made me very sick there is a filler inside that hurt my stomach after a while I upgraded to 30 milligrams oxycodone! I absolutely cannot express the amount of disrespect hatred and bs that I feel from pharmacy staff and other workers in the pharmacy or whatever judging me because if I wear a jacket I look so normal from the front it's not like I'm taking my jacket off taking my t shirt off and showing them my scars and the hunt I have on my back I cover it up for a reason for my own sanity and they have the audacity to treat me so horribly no matter where I go.

Like I said I get two prescriptions one that my insurance pays for and one that I pay for they cannot all be included in one bottle because the insurance only pays for 120 quantity at most so the remaining I pay cash for and when I go to get the remaining that I pay cash for or debit card whatever you want it to be it doesn't matter they treat me like I'm a drug seeker like I've been doctor shopping and I've had the same doctor since I was 14 twice my age I have had that doctor longer than I haven't why can't we get treated equally I understand that people are stealing prescription pads and I understand that my doctors papers have several measures to accept no fraudulent and security measures but why do I have to get put down by taking a medication that makes my life a little bit easier and I don't mean a little I mean a little little bit it makes it worth living so those pharmacist that make it difficult for me to get my medication literally make my life less worth living. I hope a pharmacist or a pharmacy tech read this because when I feel my mass quantity at my doctor's office pharmacy I do not get treated like *** and by the way I am also on adderall and xanax and Prozac when you have a spinal disorder your brain does not function right so yes you will be on several other medications does that come as a shock or did you cheat medical school you dumb ***

Anonymous
#1022672

Pharmacists tend to have a variety of scopes, experiences and policies regarding controlled substances. I personally have been on short acting dexedrine since I was a child for hyperactivity and only dealt with walgreens once because my medication had a shortage issue and yes, their model of dealing with controlled substances is a lot more jack booted than most.

And they treated me like a piece of human garbage too so I know that feeling. CVS did once too but there are numerous chains out there so just go elsewhere, that is what I do.

But my first major in college was psychology and I was planning to be a therapist and one of the areas I planned to cover was substance abuse and in my state, even as a therapist, if I knew a patient was doctor shopping and didn't say anything to prevent it, I would have the DEA on my *** and in my files and would lose my license or get sanctions on it like prescribers of any kind as well as the pharmacists. I luckily know the ones in my area and had my history and the EEG tests I took as a kid and recently emailed to them out of trust.

I have had places who refuse to fill it and went somewhere else.

We have a drug tracker in my state and in my case due to the nature of my issue and time management, I have been able to obtain mine when 85% of it is gone because there are some like this and others where I was late getting them. My insurance offers a 90 supply and I am going that route again next month because my meds are in a higher dose form now and can't be ordered anywhere because it is new but my mail order via my insurance has a stockpile of them and they are the branded one and 3 pills is better than the 6 I am used to and I feel less "junkie" ish because like anyone else on controlled meds, even when you need them for a legit reason, there are enough out there ruining it.

Some pharmacists are straight up *** and it is pointless.

Others you can reason with but they seem that way at first and some take your word at face value as long as everything adds up and there are also shady ones too. Walgreens had a situation recently of something that had to do with CIIs and issues so they have a Nazi-esque policy

Anonymous
#1008324

This is STRAIGHT from the CDC.

*The United States is in the midst of a prescription painkiller overdose epidemic.

*Every day, 44 people in the U.S.

die from overdose of prescription painkillers, and many more become addicted.

*Since 1999, the amount of prescription painkillers prescribed and sold in the U.S.

has nearly quadrupled, yet there has not been an overall change in the amount of pain that Americans report. Overprescribing leads to more abuse and more overdose deaths.

http://www.cdc.gov/drugoverdose/

Anonymous
#800057

First I am so very sorry that your mom is dealing with daily pain. I too live in complete and daily agony, and am on 3 differnt narcotic pain meds in trying to control my pain enough to have some type of a life.

These meds help me to live and not to just exist. I can not imagine what I would do if I did not have access to my meds. I have a post on here under the name moomoo247, which is another example of the workers at Walgreens thinking they know better than the drs. who prescribe the medications.

The pharmicist who mislabeled your moms med is wrong about it not mattering, IT DOES MATTER and can cause problems in getting the right amt. prescribed. Just the comment from him on the # put on bottle shows you how truly ignorant that person is, and they SHOULD NOT be filing anyones scripts. To me someone who mislabels is taking the meds not given to the person who should have gotten them in the first place.

I have left Walgreens for good and would never return to them for anything, except an apology, even then I am not so sure.

Hang in there and good luck with your mom and changing your pharmacy. We should not have to go through this when dealing with so much.

Anonymous
Milwaukee, Wisconsin, United States #753624

dear magic jack if you read the commment you would see her mother is dying why should she have to die in pain who cares if she gets addicted she is dying try to get home hospice for your moms meds that way a nurse will bring her drugs to her and that poor woman wont have to deal with pharamacists who think they are god and believe me they do think that just go to theangrypharamist.com and see for yourself god help us all

Anonymous
Vallejo, California, United States #720825

hey my name is Vince. My email is vtsutsui1@gmail.com Did you find any other resource to file a complaint?

The only route I found was a 'Privacy Complaint' online. I have been on hold now for over an hour, Walgreens is out of control.

The pharmacist as well as the technicians are showing no regard or professionalism and my mother is disabled. I can not stand for this any longer.

Anonymous
#484076

Wallgreens policy is to ignore a patient who needs pain meds if they go to a specialist out of their local address. Cancer patients and people going to a specialist can forget about getting service this is from the manager of pharmacists own mouth.

She says a Walgreens manager opinion supersedes a patients right to receive pain relief because of local doctors who abused the system, which means a legitimate doctor with a DEA number and issuing a code explaining condition will be refused.

So much for patients rights in this country. Her name is Sandra Vasques and you can call Walgreens customers support she is the managers supervisor over all the walgreens.

Anonymous
#474268

To shanegilly,

I am very sorry that your mom has to go through that. I know its already hard enough to have to be on the meds and get them with the ever increasing harrassment by the federal govn't and state govn'ts without having pharmacists playing doctor and being rude.

I am also a pain patient on pain killers and I live in one of the worst places to be on narcotic pain meds. Orlando florida. I am young and unfortunately its hard to even get a doc to treat you when youre under 30 in this state because of the govn't but walgreens is only making it harder by keeping obsurdley low amountd on hand (supposedly anyway) and lying to us, refusing to fill for us, and putting insane restrictions on us like only being able to fill in our zip codes, and refusing to fill over certain amounts and profiling us saying they suspect we are drug addicts if they dont want to fill for us.

I really hope things change where you live if only for your moms sake. Things certainly havent changed here.

Anonymous
#357104

I refuse to go to CVS to fill anything! I get prescriptions that are over $1000 a month and the girl that works at our local CVS in Middleton, WI seems to be on a power trip as I needed my anxiety medication refilled.

I didn't ask for it to be refilled until my insurance would pay for it which happened to be the next day. But she gave me a third degree lecture about over using the medication as I needed it on the 27th day instead of the 30th day. She let this prescription go through finally BUT to get back at me she refused to fill my brand new pain prescription which was a dose increase. My insurance said it would go through just fine but just to be a ---- she counted the days at the new dose and said I still should not need it until about a week from the day I had wanted to fill it!!

I hate CVS because of this and I thought they were very nice at first and they were until this girl took over the pharmacy. But she made everything a hassle I had to wait for the 30days and not a day sooner just because I needed my anxiety meds one month 3 days sooner than a month.

the person earlier that said we should be thanking the pharmacists you don't know what your talking about! If someone needs their medication refilled especially anxiety and pain medication the person NEEDS the medication and what they don't need is to be treated like a criminal.

Anonymous
#322452

This 'MOM OF TWO' is wrong!! Are you a pharmacist? Have your spent 6-7 years on college, taking a whole year just on law in pharmacy??? No, you haven't, or you wouldn't even say something like that. The State Board of Pharmacy, grants us the right to use our discretion in filling presciptions, that is our job!!!!!!!!!!! We have 50% responsible for an adverse event, even if it was the doctor's error and we get sued. Try looking at the lawsuits we have to put with. A patient filing a lawsuit can take away the money we use to support our family even if we are innocent. Look at the Medical and Pharmacy Examining Board Complaints on doctors. You will see their licenses have been revoked by overprescribing of narcotics. You will also see where a pharmacist, should have, and didn't be alert to possible outcomes.

I can see your points from so many angles. Yes, I have seen my colleagues be very rude to people. You mom needs a pain clinic doctor, where she signs an agreement with the doctor and the facility in terms of her narcotics use. The pharmacist at Walgreens will then make notations in her file.

There is a law per the Pharmacy Examining Boards that it is illegal by an M.D. in some states to force or refer a patient to a certain pharmacy. You should have the right to choose which pharmacy fills your drugs.

By your letter, I can tell your relationship with this certain pharmacy is so poor, I would encourage you strongly to go to a different pharmacy!!!! Having been a pharmacist for over 20 years, I have never heard of a doctor advising a patient to have meds filled at a certain pharmacy! This is the first and I have no idea why. Could he be tracking drug use and it is easier with one pharmacy?? I have had many doctors call me and ask me if I know a certain patient is using multiple pharmacies and what we have filled for that patient from him/her at our pharmacy.

I am guessing your mom may be on a large dose of MSContin or Oxycontin, with varying degrees of oxycodone regular release thrown in for breakthrough pain. The pharmacist is worried about his licence with large doses, he must be careful of his dispensing.

The lay public is totally unaware of what our job entails. They are also have no knowledge of the number of mistakes we catch each day and you never ever know this has happened. We have contacted the doctor, asked questions, and the rx has been corrected. We catch very severe drug interactions the patient is not aware of.

You need another pharmacist!!!!!!!!! Your relationship has been degraded to a point where there is no return. I myself, have changed pharmacies a number of times due to dissatisfaction. Their pharmacy is not up to my standards, usually do, not to the pharmacist, but to the customer service.

Try to find a smaller pharmacy and encourage your mother to have the pharmacist contact the doctor if for questions. Ask the pharmacist to document his call to the doctor. Did your mother alter her presription?? If she did this, even once, we are alert to not trust this patient. This trust is broken.

You are in a tough situation. You need a clean slate!

Anonymous
to Krisdiamond #799634

that's *** sweetie. That;s just one more way you try to play doctor.

I've had so many swollen patients come back crying bc they couldn't gert what i prescribed, always from Walgreens! So why dont yoiu do your job and let us do ours.

If you wanted to play doctor you should have become one! (shut her up..:)

Anonymous
#319242

Absolutely right. These *** have run amok with power and there's nothing in the database laws giving them that power.

So why do they have it. This law should be challenged in the Supreme Court.

Anonymous
#300418

In reply to: "The pharmacist shouldn't be telling your mother what to take or when to take it or how much, just as the dr shouldn't be telling your mom which pharmacy he prefers..." That's what we do. That is our job. Doctors will lock you into pharmacies, especially if you are on a pain contract with them.

In reply to: "Guess what... your not a doc! I will never fill there again!!!" Actually, we are doctors. PharmD, to be exact. Doctors of pharmacy. Depending on what type of prescriber writes your RX, we may actually have a higher degree than your prescriber. Nurse Practitioners (NP) and Physician Assistants (PA) do not have a doctoral degree like we do.

Doctors are not as educated as you think in drug education. Dosages, interactions and limits are what WE go to school for. That is our job. If that pain med interacted with something else she has taken, it would be against our oath to fill it without question. "When in doubt, don't" is a good motto. We would rather you be safe than sorry. Our would you rather take your pain meds with your anxiety meds and stop breathing because your pharmacist didn't question it?

Anonymous
to Rx Tech/Intern #799635

But you are not allowed to prescribe meds like us sweetie, and this is the doctors patient no do your job and let us do ours!!

Anonymous
to Anonymous #964151

Sounds like you think you are God and dont make mistakes. Maybe you should open a pharmacy and fill your own scripts.

The pharmacists are doing their job, by making sure no one gets hurt by the rxs that mds write!

Appreciate and respect them. They may save your ×ss

Someday.

Anonymous
to Anonymous #998397

Give me a break. You our just being a bully.

Stop with you insults . Just because someone dose not have your education . Does not mean they our truly suffering or watching someone suffer due to judgement call. You our not at all concern or think outside your box.

Saving life's . When ever I I pick up a med from them they don,t even ask if I have questions. There is only the concern of what shows up on there record. Nothing more.

Not fooling anyone.

Listen and care instead of insulting .

Anonymous
to Rx Tech/Intern #964146

I totally agree. Most people dont realize how many mistakes and interactions rphs catch!

Pharmacists are watching out for your welfare and is trained in medication, your dr knows your illness and prob learns from drug reps, or looks up a drug to prescribe. No one should look at their rph as a glorified counting machine. You have no idea the pressure and responsibility that goes with being an rph. Drs and pharmacists should work together for the health and safety of their patients.

As was stated a pharmacist IS a dr. They didnt get their degree out of a cracker jack box. The pharmacist as well as the dr has your life in their hands, and if they give you something they believe to be harmful and you get hurt or harm someone else, then that has consequences.....for your dr AND the pharmacist. My husband was on several narcotics and I lost him last year to cancer.

I filled Many types of cii meds and the rphs knew he was dying and were caring and prompt.

Trust me, most do care, but they also deal with rxs that arent legit, and people judging them and yelling and using profanity every day. Be patient, and try to understand they are there to help.

Anonymous
to Rx Tech/Intern Fort Lauderdale, Florida, United States #1042829

How could you even say something like that if you don't know what that particular person is going through or how they feel or their pain tolerance or there tolerance to medication(esp if they've been on that narcotic for a while.) you are very wron in what you are saying and doing. Like someone said a few comments ahead. DO YOUR JOB AND WE WILL DO OURS.

Anonymous
#257141

Your Dr. did a diagnosis.

Good for him. When he prescribes you meds that becomes a treatment. Your pharmacist has more education about drug treatment than you Dr. If not then ANYONE could be a pharmacist.

Is that what you want? Some kid just out of high school blindly filling anything written on a prescription? With education comes judgement.

If your medication levels are dangerously high then the pharmacist has an OBLIGATION to ask why. That's the system we have it's not perfect but it works most of the time.

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