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I have been reading with interest all of the recent posts about Walgreen Pharmacies, as I have had a similar experience. Like one of the earlier posters, I am an attorney (albeit retired.) While trying to fill a legal out of state prescription written on a hard copy watermarked prescription slip at several Walgreens pharmacies, I was told different and untruthful reasons my prescription could not be filled.

One tech said they could not fill certain Class 2 prescriptions and that the DEA backs up their policies.I have since discovered that Walgreens has had a dispute with the DEA in Florida. I am wondering if the DEA has mandated their new policy? A pharmacist at another Walgreens location told me that there is a new "regulation" that went into effect on April 15, 2013, requiring that all pharmacists have to call a Dr. to fill a Class 2 or 3 or out of state prescription (I take Focalin for ADHD) This means that if you have a prescription to be filled on a Saturday or Sunday you would have to wait until Monday and they would have to call your physician to get it filled.

I researched this statement and can find no regulations, state or federal, requiring this. Other pharmacies, including Sam's and Walmart, have confirmed that they know of no such regulation. I have since discovered this website and learned that this is, apparently, instead some new Walgreen's internal policy. Walgreen pharmacists appear to be either misinformed or outright lying.

Like the other posters, I say buyer beware.

It seems to me that Walgreens' pharmacists denying valid prescriptions are, indeed, practicing medicine without a license. Their untruthfully saying that there are state or federal laws mandating their self-imposed policies, also appear to fringe upon practicing law without a license. From recent experience, Walgreens also appears to be using ongoing profiling, including against my United States Marine significant other because of his American Indian heritage or hispanic appearance. As he is mostly Caucasian, if he is getting profiled, I can only imagine that this is a systemic problem.

I would also imagine that some enterprising plaintiff's attorney will have a field day with a potential class action suit.

Finally, there is NEVER an excuse for rude or condescending behavior, both of which I have received from Walgreen pharmacists and technicians in several states, as have many of the posters below in multiple states across the country. It will be interesting to see how this plays out.

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MrCustomer
Fair Oaks, California, United States #643900

Hi Lawyertoo-

I was one of the earlier complainants to this new policy by Walgreens. I too was told it was a new federal regulation, which after going home and finding no such new law, was then told after returning to the store that the non English speaking pharmacist who would have been filling my prescription "doesn't understand the lingo". Hopefully, she understands how to read English.

As you suspected, this is an internal Walgreens policy, which appears to have been brought on by their recent troubles with the DEA in Florida. Perhaps it's some kind of quid pro quo, where Walgreens implements some draconian policy the DEA would like to test run, and thereby slides a little on their punishment for their Florida antics.

Whatever the reason, I can only hope some attorney decides to pick up the ball and run with this, because it's truly shameful, even if it is somehow legal - I'm not an attorney OR a pharmacist, so I can't testify as to what's legal or not...

They also seem to be employing some little trolls to run around various websites to belittle and harass people who dare complain about these policies. One prolific writer is known by the handle LadyScot, who seems to be everywhere when it comes to complaints regarding Walgreens. She doesn't have much depth - mostly it seems to run along the lines of "You're a druggie and an addict, so you can't evaluate how messed up you are". I'm pretty sure she's being compensated for this coverage, as it would have to be classified as one of the weirdest hobbies around if that's the case.

Anyhow, please know the both of you are not alone in your problems - and hopefully someone will pick up the torch on this issue in the courts. Because if this type of heavy handedness IS legal, it certainly shouldn't be...

Anonymous
#643475

This is indeed very interesting.

For now, obviously if anyone has either a Class 2 or Class 3 medication, it is in their own best interest not to shop at any Walgreens pharmacy.

Perhaps if enough people shop elsewhere, Walgreens will either change their policies or be forced to close their doors.

I, too, will be watching this play out and for the outcome of this issue.

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