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Thread: pharmacy woes

  1. #1

    pharmacy woes

    I started with a set of circumstances that is not new to me, and probably not to anyone who takes regular meds. Simply put, I made the travel plans that I could swing and they didn't line up with refill dates for 1 of my scripts. I've been through this several times over the course of my SCI-dom, have seen my doctor in plenty of time to arrange an early refill and things have been fine. Not so much this last time. I saw my Dr last week (deliberately, a week earlier than usual), went to the pharmacy right after and was told, yes we just need to verify with your doc and get insurance approval. Same as always. I called back the next day and was told that because it was a pain med (and Yes I am fully aware of and in agreement with both the existence of and reasoning for such scrutiny with respect to controlled substances) and such an early refill (~10 days early at the time of initial drop-off) that the earliest I could pick it up was today. No problem, that's why I started all this early. I was assured when I spoke to the pharmacy the day after dropping off that they had received the appropriate authorizations and that I could just cal ahead to pick it up today. It's never been an issue so I didn't feel the need to triple-check, but I guess that's where I went wrong.

    So I showed up today at the pharmacy to do some shopping and grab my meds and was told they were still awaiting Dr authorization. Of course, the Dr office staff is not in the office today and won't be until after I am scheduled to leave for my trip. The last day to resolve this would have been yesterday, which I didn't know was required because I was already assured we were good to go.

    In my expression of... not even sure what to call it... something..., I was told by the pharmacy staff that they have no record of a fax being sent to my Dr (or insurance provider) for confirmation/authorization nor anyone talking to them directly as I was told had happened 24 hours after dropping the prescription off. This seams unbelievable to me for 3 reasons: 1). I can't imagine (and have yet to experience) even the lowest-wrung healthcare employee who fully understands the situation at hand would blatantly fabricate this conversation with my Dr's office 2). Unless I'm wrong about #1, the whole process started with a fax sent through some sort of software being run by the pharmacy - again not knowing for sure (but being in the software biz), my guess would be that at least a record of the outgoing fax would be logged somewhere. 3) when I called my insurance company earlier this week to confirm everything was ok on their end, they were aware of the early refill request and determined that they couldn't/wouldn't pay until today (as opposed to sometime this past week like I would have liked).

    Anyway, I was able to get the script filled but it involved calling my Dr's office, jumping through many, many hoops with the on-call doc, who was understandably less-than-thrilled (and thus a peach to explain all this to) about the entire situation, and finally many more hoops with the pharmacy.

    I'm super frustrated and mostly just venting. And I also take ultimate responsibility for securing my meds... I just have never had this issue before where I've been told I'm good to go for such-and-such date and then be told the opposite upon arrival.

    But I am trying to get all the facts straight for when I do submit my complaint to the pharmacy and for the explanation that I surely will have to give my Dr at my next appointment next month. I can't imagine that a pharmacy has to log every bit of patient communication (such as info given over the phone), do they? But am I right in thinking that if the fax to my Dr's office for the initial confirmation was in fact sent (as I was told last week when I first dropped it off), that there should be some record of it in their system? The actual pharmacist wasn't there to speak with today by the time I had calmed down enough to make these inquires again, but maybe he has access to info in my file that the rest of the staff did not?

    Just trying to make sense of it all.
    Last edited by daveh0; 12-23-2018 at 09:41 AM.

    *** c4/c5 incomplete *** Injured in Summer 2003 ***

  2. #2
    All I can say is I have had similar experiences and it seems to be getting worse!

  3. #3
    Super Moderator Sue Pendleton's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2001
    Wisconsin USA
    This is why when TRICARE tried to set us up with Walgreens we went along with it knowing we would be back with our small pharmacy of 10 branches. We both needed a schedule pain drug and for more than 3 days before left and more than 30 days for me of that and Ditropan. We went through the "we will fill the one early and then you can have the other refilled anywhere with a copy of your doctor's order. "Really? Because counting out the days we will be in Guatemala when I need the refill." Cashier ��Me ..umm, Guatemala as in Central America and according to your Web site there are no Walgreens in Guatemala ��. Cashier...but it is in America so someone did not update the system. Me �� IS THERE A PHARMACIST BACK THERE? I only raised my voice enough to be heard. And up pops a guy about 50 and from his tie I am thinking he went to school here. Doc ��asks what he can help with. I smile and defer to his colleague the Cashier ��. She needs more schedule drugs because they will be on a cruise and she said the name of the town is not on our Web site. (Obviously a reject from Surfer Girl High). Doc ��turns to me and asks the dates we leave and come back. Then where we are in the current month on pills. Establishes that yes, refill at mid trip is needed. So, where about will you be on that date? I �� inform him that we will be in Guatemala and I would need to call him with the name of the port town. Cashier�� She said it was in center America! I�� said it was in Central America. Doc �� clicked in real fast. Asked ��to go finish stocking the cough syrups. And then �� apologizes and asked if we were from TRICARE and had a very well set up system elsewhere. ��We do. Small place down the road about 8 miles with the winning high school football team this year. No problems from doctors or TRICARE because I have not accommodated to it or my Valium for muscle spasms and they order in caths, bags, tubing and my favorite chuxs. My pharmacist there �� even calls me if I have recently picked up antibiotics to see if they have kicked in, am I taking them right and remember my probiotics. Doc �� pulls a couple pieces of paper out from under the counter and signs off on Walgreens not being able to meet our extensive needs. Please sign here �� and here for �� the spouse. Then he just asks for the number of our old pharmacy so he can send our very short history with Walgreens to our �� old/new pharmacist. Oh, and he apologizes about his cashier. "Things were so much easier when everyone smoked pot and knew where it came from on a map."

    We had no problems with a 3 store pharmacy in Maryland and our 4 store pharmacy here sold 2 of their stores to Hometown and the other 2 went back to what they were better known for, costumes. I highly recommend checking out what is in your area and try a smaller company. ��Sue
    Courage doesn't always roar. Sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying, "I will try again tomorrow."

    Disclaimer: Answers, suggestions, and/or comments do not constitute medical advice expressed or implied and are based solely on my experiences as a SCI patient. Please consult your attending physician for medical advise and treatment. In the event of a medical emergency please call 911.

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by Sue Pendleton View Post
    This is why when TRICARE tried to set us up with Walgreens we went along with it knowing we would be back with our small pharmacy of 10 branches....
    Funny, I never even mentioned Walgreens, but they are in fact the culprits... and the absolute WORST. Coincidence? This was definitely the straw that broke the camel's back for me - my business is officially being taken elsewhere.

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