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Update by user Apr 22, 2013

CurrentPharmacist-

Not to denigrate your chosen profession too badly, but pharmacists are doctors because they've chosen to call themselves that, not due to any external accolades, and certainly not due to them taking the training and certification to be licensed medical doctors. As you know, there are still pharmacists around who are NOT doctors, and only received 2 years of pharmacy training before certification. And in every state I know of, it only takes 4 additional years of training (plus certs) to become a pharmacist, not 6+.

I realize you don't want to take chances with your licenses - but up until April 7th, they did not seem to have a problem filling a prescription after receiving a signed, serialized original prescription from my MD. Either they were being too lenient before, or are too overcautious now. And not every pharmacist has the right to refuse prescriptions - there are states which do NOT allow refusal based on religious or other beliefs- 12 states require dispensing of birth control on emergency basis, and 4 states require all legal prescriptions to be filled. I'm surprised you did not know this, being a current pharmacist.

As to bringing them in early, most MD's do not like to prescribe their pain medications early, precisely to combat the problem of diversion. I have no control over when my MD will provide me with a script. And most pharmacies would probably have a problem bringing in the script early - I know mine has in the past.

Bottom line - you are not MD's, no matter what you would like to call yourselves. While you may be experts in pharmaceuticals, you know almost nothing about ME, because you are not my medical doctor. If you don't feel like filling legally acquired and required prescriptions, maybe you should find another line of work. Or, maybe it's going to take a few denial of care lawsuits until y'all get the message. In the meantime, we will vote with our feet and our wallets - I know y'all don't care about 4 or 5 scripts, but that's why I posted here...

P.S. Any "profession" which tolerates (much less approves) of such websites as the angry or angriest pharmacist is not, IMHO, professional, much less interested in the welfare of their "patients"

Original review posted by user Apr 19, 2013

Walgreens Pharmacy Hostile to intractable Pain Sufferers!!!

A warning to all Walgreens Pharmacy customers – due to a legal situation in Florida of Walgreens own making, all Walgreens pharmacies now have a number of store enforced policies of Walgreen’s own creation, which have been forwarded to all Walgreens pharmacy locations and have begun to be enforeced this week, including-

1. Showing state identification to initiate and receive prescriptions determined by Walgreens to be suspect (I.E. pain medications, including Vicodin, Methadone, Oxycodone)

2. Requiring phone verification of legal, signed, hardcopy prescriptions from primary care physicians for prescriptions determined by Walgreens to be suspect (I.E. pain medications, including Vicodin, Methadone, Oxycodone) in excess of 60 pills.

3. Refusal to dispense of legal, signed, hardcopy prescriptions determined by Walgreens to be suspect (I.E. pain medications, including Vicodin, Methadone, Oxycodone). Since many of these prescriptions are required to be filled at one nonchanging location (to reduce diversion), this equates to denial of care.

These policies are the ones they are now making public – there may be other policies which will not be known until individuals run into their restrictions. These policies ALWAYS require additional time, delay, and labor for the prescriber and the patient, and are designed to delay or DENY the intractable pain patient of legally acquired prescriptions ORDERED by a licensed physician. To me, this smacks of prejudice against pain suffers, and a desire to modify ,contradict , or flat out deny licensed MD’s orders. Although I understand the need for vigilance on the part of the pharmacy to prevent diversion, these new policies (as well as past behaviors) appear to me to be completely too restrictive in their enforcement, and seem to leave all determination of prescribing to the pharmacist or possibly their assistants!!!

My own experience today (18 April, 2013) had me being told by the pharmacist that these new restrictions were a new federal law that was just starting to be enforced this week. After going home and determining there was no new federal or state law with these requirements, I called the store and talked to an assistant, who informed me that the pharmacist was mistaken, and that it was a new company policy, rather than a new federal law, and that she didn’t “know the lingo”, being a non native English speaker(Indian). As it’s a pretty large difference between Federal law and company policy, and since I’m sure none of the words used were “lingo”, this makes me worried about the quality of pharmaceutical care provided, since the pharmacist does not appear to speak the language of this country!

I am going to forward this to Walgreens Corporate, and also inform the California State Pharmacy Board, and see if anything comes of it. But for now, I wanted to warn as many people as possible – if you’re a pain sufferer, stay away from Walgreens!!! As a matter of fact, even if you’re not – is this the kind of medical care we want to encourage???

The store information is as follows-

Walgreens Pharmacy Store # 9048

2595 E BIDWELL ST

FOLSOM, CA 95630

916-817-6533

Review about: Walgreens Pharmacist.

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MattD78
Orlando, Florida, United States #815916

4 states may require "all legal prescriptions filled", however according to the California State Board of Pharmacy...

Can a pharmacist refuse to fill my prescription?

Yes, a pharmacist in his or her professional judgment may refuse to fill a prescription.

Anonymous
Los Angeles, California, United States #807724

I can not believe that without knowing the back round medically of this person everyone assumes he is a junkie.You have to be a really ignorant person.

Would you say that to someone with cancer or any other illness that the pain is so bad that they wish that they were dead. I hope you get that ill and learn how *** you are.

I have much more to say but I am not going to waste my time.

Anonymous
New York, New York, United States #807628

It's the law that they ask for your ID or to call and verify that the prescription is legit when it comes to certain classes of meds.If you have a problem with that, then you've got something to hide.

THESE ARE LAWS IN PLACE BY THE DEA! That number you see on your script is reported to the DEA. That's why it takes a while to get your prescription ready.

They don't just count out pills into your pill container and then you go on your merry way.Not sure what kind of pain you're in but if you're that dependent on pain pills, then you're the one with a problem, pal, not Walgreens.

MrCustomer
to anonymous Fair Oaks, California, United States #807669

Dear anonymous-

I can't believe the chronic pain community is still having to get this word out, but in fact you are wrong.It is NOT a law put in place by the DEA that we are having a problem with-it is the Walgreens "Good Faith Dispensing" policy implemented as part of a settlement with the DEA, after they got their wee-wee's smacked due to Florida's mess.

If you have access to a "compuuuterr", you can find out this info pretty easily-

http://www.wthr.com/story/23469086/2013/09/18/walgreens-secret-checklist-reveals-controversial-new-policy-on-pain-pills

http://www.wthr.com/story/23469086/2013/09/18/walgreens-secret-checklist-reveals-controversial-new-policy-on-pain-pills

http://americannewsreport.com/nationalpainreport/walgreens-secret-checklist-pain-meds-8821775.html

There's plenty of others - just search on "Walgreens pain policy" for all the info you can absorb. But what I'd like to know is - why the *** are you commenting on this an entire YEAR after it happened? And why so hostile to the pain patient? If you think I've got a problem, you're right - it's a chronic disease with intractable pain, no cure, and a poor prognosis, with probable death in the next 5-10 years.

So yeah, I've got problems. What I don't have is problems anymore with my pharmacy - I switched long ago to CVS. So why the vigilant defense of Walgreens? Are you one of those "paid anonymous's"?

Or just REALLY bored at night? Why attack...

I really don't understand the motivation, unless you're just the kind of person who likes to laugh at sick people.If so, I'd hate to have your karma - or your brain, for that matter...

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MrCustomer
to anonymous Fair Oaks, California, United States #807674

Actually, it's not a DEA law, or any other law, that people have been complaining about.What they're complaining about is the Walgreens (somewhat) secret "Good Faith Dispensing" policy.

See the following sites-

http://www.wthr.com/story/23469086/2013/09/18/walgreens-secret-checklist-reveals-controversial-new-policy-on-pain-pills

http://americannewsreport.com/nationalpainreport/walgreens-secret-checklist-pain-meds-8821775.html

and if you want more info, search google on "Walgreens pain policy"

This info is not news anymore - it's been out there for almost a year now.

What confuses me is why you're commenting a year after the first blog, with incorrect data, false accusations, and personal attacks. BTW, you're right on one thing - I do have a problem. It's a chronic, non treatable pain syndrome, and it'll probably kill me in 5-10 years. But I don't have a pharmacy problem anymore - I switched to CVS a long time ago.

SO why the personal attacks? Why comment at all? Are you one of the "paid" commenters?

Or do you just like to laugh at sick people?Either way, I'm glad I don't have your karma - or your brain, for that matter...

Anonymous
Jersey City, New Jersey, United States #788731

Walgreens in Hoboken New Jersey after being a loyal coustmer to walgreens I decided to take my business to rite aid.I was born with both dislocated hips I gone though 20+ operations.

I have a lot of metal in my legs. I began taking my oxycodone prescriptions to walgreens a few times there was a generous nice man who filled my script no questions asked. However a Chinese pharmacist one day rudely says to me (this is the last time I'm filling meds for u!!) I went home in tears after being treated like I was some sort of a junkie and embarrassed me around other coustmers. Then a second time I tried to fill my script (including authorization from my doc) she took my perscription and never gave it back not only did I lose $160 doc payment but didn't get my prescription back I had to spend another $160 just to see the doc for a new prescription ( my doctor was very upset and advised me to file a complaint against Walgreens) kind hearted me let it slide now, the third incident, went there, same Chinese lady takes my pescription and starts yelling at my husband and I demanding why I needed pills and what was u going to do with them, was I abusing them, wanted proof of X-rays, MRI, even had the nerve to tell me to never return to walgreens again.

Again, I was sent home in tears by this unprofessional lady and just cried begging why pharmists automatically think just because your prescribed pain medication your some criminal and get treated like ***. I believe I...

Someone please so something about this lady!Again, Walgreens in Hoboken NJ.

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Anonymous
#725686

Not sure why WALGEENS feels it necessary to POLICE MEDICALLy necessary medication given by a DR. The pharmacist should lose license to dispense if they refuse a prescription that they have been filling for years for the same patient. THEY WOULD NOT QUESTIONS MOMS refill, they would not QUESTIONS WIFES/childrens refill BUT FOR SOME unknown reason AFTER YEARS OF dealing with them they feel that it is now time to STOP FILLING YOUR REFILL

Anonymous
to Anonymous New York, New York, United States #807630

You don't even know what you're talking about.He's referring to pain meds.

Those are classified differently from any other drug dispensed and HAS to be policed as you like to call it.

You should lose your job.I'm sure McD's will be sad to lose you

Anonymous
#693980

I have been on the same medications from the same specialist for many years and Walgreens had been been my pharmacy for all of those years.I never had an issue until last month when Walgreens refused to fill my prescriptions that they had previously filled for many years.

Why all of a sudden now does Walgreens decide they won't fill them? They even spoke to my doctor who approved them to be filled yet Walgreens still refused. That isn't right. Why were my exact meds OK to fill last year but not this year?

The year before that? And the year before that? Why were my meds OK to fill last month but not this month? And no I don't fill early, doctor shop, sell or give my meds to anyone etc.

Never have, never will. I deal with one doctor, one pharmacy. All patients are drug tested regularly to make sure they are taking their meds and have the right dosages in their bodies. We have to go through all of this because of the idiots who do abuse pills that make the testing of everyone necessary.

Not everyone is a druggy. I hope these Walgreens pharmacists experience a very painful cancer or something similar and see how they like it when their pharmacy won't fill their legitimate medications that their doctors have written and approved for them. What gives a pharmacist the right to play doctor and override a legitimate MD's decision?

My doctors office told me straight out not to ever go to Walgreens anymore and they are also telling every...

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Anonymous
#667269

I absolutely do not understand where this information was obtained.I work for Walgreens.

In the pharmacy. Now, most states have their own laws and restrictions on dispensing controlled substances. These laws are not created by Walgreens Co. These laws were IN FACT put in place by the DEA and I am certain of this because the information is sent to us from THEM.

I see it myself every time they come up with a new law or restriction that they expect is to comply with. It does NOT come to us from Walgreens. Failure to comply with these laws would result in the pharmacy being shut down. The Good Faith Dispensing Act became affective recently and not by the hand of Walgreens.

Every state has different laws and Walgreens as well every other pharmacy in that state must comply. Pharmacist are not MD's nor do they pretend to be. They do not ALL make their own policies based on what they believe, but it IS their right. Everything we do in the pharmacy complies with STATE and FEDERAL regulation.

It does not matter if your script comes from only one doctor, if it is not time to be filled then we legally cannot fill it WITHOUT AUTHORIZATION FROM THE MD. We can not alter a prescription WITHOUT AUTHORIZATION FROM THE MD. We can't do anything without authorization from the MD. If your doctor approves an early refill of your controlled medication for a legit reason, we have no problem filling it.

And there are only select medications that require this...

i usually tell the patients to call right after i do so that they get back to us sooner, so that we can get you your script as soon as humanly possible. We do everything we can to help our patients but we can only do so much when we have to follow all the rules and wait on authorizations from your precious MD or insurance company. Everything we do comes from instructions from your doctor. When we have a problem, we have to come to a resolution that is okay with THEM.

Also, Who gives a *** if you have to show your ID to get your pain killers filled. You have no idea how often someone comes to pick up their family member or friends pain killers, and never actually gives them to the patient. At least this way we know the patient is IN FACT receiving their medications, and that if they don't, we know who has them. If your prescription is refused, best believe there is a good reason.

We don't deny prescriptions just for the fun of it. Believe me it is NOT fun to *** people off in the pharmacy. You may be in severe pain and believe me we do understand that, but there are people out there that are just drug seekers and because of them we have to be careful. And the fact that y'all want to complain about the fact that you have to wait a little longer doesn't quicken the process.

All we can do is wait on your doctor. And quite frankly, some of them don't give a flying *** that your sitting in our lobby in severe pain waiting for something that will relieve it. I have seen refill requests that haven't been responded to in over a week for vital medications because they just don't answer our MULTIPLE faxes, phone calls and messages we leave trying to HELP OUT OUR PATIENTS. It is just as frustrating for us in the pharmacy as it is for you, believe me.

Y'all are pissed at us because its taking forever? Well we are JUST as pissed at the doctors because they are taking forever to help us help you. Our job would be 10 times easier if these things were actually up to us. If you really think we like stopping everything were doing to call your MD or take all these extra steps to comply with the new laws, your mistaken.

Think about that the next time y'all wanna go off on someone in the pharmacy.

Ask yourself if its really their fault or if it's the MD's or the insurance companies or the DEA's.Because 9 out of 10 times it is something we have ZERO control over and yet we are the ones getting cussed out for doing what we are told to do.

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