Tampa, Florida
Not resolved
2 comments

Just about 2 years ago I was diagnosed with Ankylosing Spondilytis, and began receiving pain medication to help me through the night and through my days at work. Inactivity makes the pain unbearable, I am an attorney, so naturally, I spend long hours sitting at a desk; and even when medicated I can only sleep for 2-3 hours.

About 14 months ago I took all of my prescriptions and started using CVS because of one particular pharmacist at Walgreens. She would tell me they didn't have the medication, I would stop at the same store on the way to work the following morning (no time for shipments to come in, and fill the medication).

I learned that Walgreens has a new policy, wherein they have you fill out a dosage form and it is faxed to corporate for an ultimate decision. Given my disease, and relatively low amount of prescription narcotics, I thought it may be beneficial to go back to Walgreens and take part in their new program.

The same woman was working there; however, this didn't concern me inasmuch as I figured somebody in corporate would be making the decision. I spent around 8 minutes with the pharmacy manager, going over my prescription history (he was able to access it via the internet)and discussing the new policy of Walgreens and it being why I had come back. He was very pleasant and helpful.

He then took my prescriptions to the pharmacist, she wouldn't even look in my direction, told the manager to tell me "Walgreens" doesn't carry that medication, and to leave the store. Again, I am a professional, I was wearing everything but my suit coat, was cordial to the manager, was forthcoming about my medical needs, and was prepared to submit to their new guidelines, which are more stringent than anywhere else. They even have a sign posted that reads "To maintain our commitment to dispense narcotic pain medication, some medicines may take 24-48 hours for a determination. Well, she made her determination in about 10 seconds.

I called Walgreens corporate to make a complaint, and was told over and over by the less than intelligent person on the other end of the phone that "We stand behind our pharmacist's decisions." I tried multiple times to explain her decision wasn't my complaint; it was the treatment I had received. She continually repeated the same mantra of standing behind the pharmacists decision, and further, couldn't explain why my information wasn't faxed to corporate as is Walgreens policy, but rest assured, she definitely stands behind the pharmacist's decision.

So, apparently, Walgreens stands behind their employees decisions to poorly treat customers. I'm obviously staying with CVS, and I will never frequent another Walgreens again, not for anything. It was made even worse by the complaint line person being to *** to understand my complaint.

Just so I'm clear, my complaints are as follows: Profiling, poor customer service, and disrespectful behavior toward a customer. Further, depriving a customer of the service promised by the corporation, based on presumably preconceived opinions about pain medication, and obviously people prescribed to pain medication. Walgreens corporation apparently stands behind this behavior, or they need someone who handles complaints that canactually listen to the consumer rather than form an opinion with only a fraction of the information being provided. All she could think was I was upset the pharmacist refused to fill my prescriptions, when truthfully, I could care less, and am actually thankful she didn't. Now that I am better informed, I know I do not want them to make any profits from me or my insurance company whatsoever.

I hope everyone who reads this will refuse to ever give their business to Walgreens again for any reason.

Product or Service Mentioned: Walgreens Pharmacist.

Monetary Loss: $63.

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Anonymous
#863514

I have been filling my pain meds at the same RiteAid for 7 years. In that time, I have NEVER "lost my RX, Dr Shopped, or acted shady in any way." I understand the bad rap pain meds and their patients get, so I was always aware and kept things above board.

I know how the world works, and didn't want to give anyone any reason to deny me..

The next time I dropped of my Rx s for refill, a pharmacist (not the head one) told me that they weren't going to refill after this.. I wasn't given much of a reason except that it was her call. Since this pharmacy had my records for the last 7 years, I knew going to another pharmacy with sched 2 Rx's , would be difficult..

As you know , pharmacies don't like filling these meds anymore to unknown patients. Not wanting to be stuck next month, I went to several chain and mom and pop locations. They all gave me the same answer. They weren't taking any new patients for sched2.

The next month came, and I decided to try again, and maybe find out why they won't fill anymore. Surprisingly, the head pharmacist was working, she said no problem come back in 30 min.. I returned and picked my order up no prob. I asked why I was told otherwise, and she said DEA was cracking down , corporate making changes,...

blah blah blah, but she has known me for a long time , and I'm not one of the customers that they are cutting off.

I was relieved.

Until the next month. The orig pharmacist was on duty, and refused to refill.. I told her no one else in a 2 hour radius will take my Rx's .

And I was stuck.

She ultimately told me it was her call and she refused . Not wanting to look like a junkie , I pulled her aside to find out why, and to plead my case quietly. Basically she said she heard that My Dr (himself, not a staffer!), lied to another pharmacist , and she heard he was in big trouble with the DEA ( or someone similar) . Shocked , I went online and looked up the major complaint board for Drs in my state.

NOTHING.. Not a peep. No complaints , no investigations . I waited til the next day, and had the head pharmacist refill.

I told her my situation, and she agreed it was wrong, but since it's the pharmacists name on the line, they do have the right to refuse . So even though it was rumors , or heresay, she decided to be judge and jury with my meds. Since then I explained to my dr my problems refilling .. Now I have to deal with mail order place .

But at least they handle my Rx's no problem . And are professional . I later found out that my 3 sched2 Rx's cost my ins @ $3700 a month. I am extremely happy that Rite Aid lost my business they have had for the last 7 yrs.

I am also in the process of switching my other Rx's over to the mail pharm.

I don't get the personal service I did with Rite Aid, but I don't get the looks and hassles anymore either when I try to refill. Thanks for listening.

JohnyV
#642312

Thank you for posting, I will no longer give Walgreens my business due to poor service and new policies, such as written by a few people here (check Walgreen's Judge, Jury and Doctor) which now needs to know your illness and if your doctor's professional diagnosis is okay for you being on pain medication for more than a year.

Yeah, it is getting very bad for sick people who must suffer for the criminals who illegally sell drugs.

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