There are laws..& then there are laws.. so what's the real deal?

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by abbylee, Sep 17, 2005.

  1. abbylee

    abbylee New Member

    When I first moved to SC several years ago, I took my monthly prescriptions to a local privately owned pharmacy. One of my prescriptions is for Methadone. The pharmacist told me that since my doctor was in another state, he (my doctor) would have to write a letter to the SC DHEC explaining why I was taking Methadone. Once that was done, someone from DHEC would contact the pharmacist and he would then fill the prescription.

    So my doctor wrote the letter and I've been getting my prescriptions filled every month with no problems.....that is until today.

    I took my Methadone prescription to the pharmacy and waited 30 minutes for it to be filled. Once it was filled, the pharmacist told me that I couldn't get the Methadone until Monday because a NEW STATE LAW says that the pharmacist must call the doctor and verify that he wrote the prescription. I asked if this was something new and was told that it had been the LAW for some time.

    Since I had been waiting 30 minutes for nothing, I was very annoyed. In fact, I was livid. I did not have enough medication to last until Monday, and I take so much of it per day that I can't afford to go without it.

    I went to the car and vented to my husband. He was as confused by this as I was, so he went into the pharmacy and talked with the pharmacist. When he could get no cooperation from the pharmacist, he asked for my prescription (sometimes these things get lost), and told the pharmacist that I would probably see him on Monday.

    Then, we went to another pharmacy - a chain. I took my prescription to the pharmacist and asked if he could fill it. "Sure," he said, "if you can wait about 20 minutes. We've been really busy all day."

    He didn't mention needing a letter from SC DHEC, nor did he say anything about a new law, and he didn't say anything about needing to talk with my doctor before he could give me the prescription.

    I'll be transfering all of my prescriptions to the "chain" as soon as I need refills. I spend $400+ per month on prescriptions. I'm sure my new pharmacist will be delighted to have me as a customer.

    I'd love to hear your comments.

    [This Message was Edited on 09/17/2005]
    [This Message was Edited on 09/17/2005]
  2. abbylee

    abbylee New Member

  3. abbylee

    abbylee New Member

    Thanks for responding. You should get one of those irons that shuts itself off if not used for 10 minutes!! I had to get one of those, and I also have a curling iron that shuts off after 10, too.

    I just hate that the pharmacist did what she did yesterday, and I'm sure I'll get a call from the "head" pharmacist tomorrow. For years before I moved to NC I used this pharmacy. When I moved back here, I used it again.

    Not anymore. It's also sad because this is a small town, and the pharmacist is already suffering because of the chain stores. But I guess if you lie to your customers, your customers will go away. [I'm assuming the letter and the law are lies since the chain store didn't mention either.]

  4. rileyearl

    rileyearl New Member

    have a little brain fog herself! Lately, I remember in bits and pieces and confuse things a lot. I can't remember one customer from another anymore and I used to have them all down pat. I never needed paper to write notes to myself. There is no excuse for her response to you, though. Her job is too important to get it wrong. You sure did the right thing.

    Or maybe she's just a perfect bureaucrat!

    About the laws, it seems so dumb to waste time hassling sick people about their methadone. If you try to refill too soon or "lose" bottles of pills, there should be a red flag. But, if they're trying to stop drug addicts from getting methadone, they're crazy. Why would a junkie show up in a pharmacy when they can get the stuff practically for free at a clinic just for that purpose?

    If you do get a call from someone about it, be sure to tell them what happened and why you moved your account.

    Hope you have a great day today!

  5. abbylee

    abbylee New Member

    I already know what I'm going to say if anyone calls, in fact, I hope they call. As I said before, I used this pharmacy years ago, and for the past 4 years I've spent at least $400 per month in there on medication.

    Sometimes people try to assert authority when they really don't have any.

    I think the icing on the cake was when she didn't tell me that I couldn't get the drug until AFTER I stood there waiting for 30 minutes.

    [This Message was Edited on 09/18/2005]
  6. victoria

    victoria New Member

    when you said "Sometimes people try to assert authority when they really don't have any"

    Have friends who have had similar problems with pharmacists, it seems like some people just think they KNOW when there's a 'problem' and a doctor is getting hoodwinked...

    all the best,
  7. orachel

    orachel New Member

    Getting that prescription back was brilliant. They can and do get lost at's happened to me, and what a pain in the tush!

    As for the law's my take on whole deal. I was in mortgage industry for years, and like pharmaceutical industry, energy/utility industry, tax preparation industry(and a truckload of others I can't think of right now!)there are so many federal regulations do deal then add state specific then, you have to consider that these laws are constantly changing due to bureaucratic nonsense, plus fact that some of these state and federal laws are so convoluted and difficult to understand or open to many interpretations, then add in fact that some people in the industry (be they mortgage brokers, pharmacists, whatever) are a LOT more diligent than others about following the rules, period, not to mention keeping up with changes in law....WHEW!!! I have OFTEN run into similar things (though not with pain meds...that must have been terrifying to think you might be without!!!) where one so called "professional" in an industry says one thing, and the dude in the office next to him has a totally different understanding of, or just a total lack of knowledge about the EXACT SAME LAW.

    It is truly one of my biggest pet peeves. I've taken to calling or asking 3 or more pros (of any type) before I believe anything out of their mouths, for the most part. Sucks, totally...and so sorry you had to deal with a potentially nightmarish situation!
  8. orachel

    orachel New Member

    ... a curling iron! I cannot remember the last time I did anything other than throw hair into ponytail! I'm so impressed with you, abbylee! lol

    And I'm also one of the idiots in the world, I guess. I stuck my (hot!) coffee pot carafe in the fridge this morning! And I'm thinking there isn't a timer in the world that'll fix that...sob! lol
  9. JLH

    JLH New Member

    Maybe the pharmacist at the small locally-owned pharmacy was "afraid" to fill it and wanted to ask the owner on Monday--she was afraid that she might get the pharmacy in trouble. She probably kept your waiting for 30 minutes because she was trying to get in touch with the owner. ??????

    The pharmacist at the "chain" pharmacy had no problem filling it because they did not stand to lose anything if they got in trouble for filling it.

    People get nervous when it comes to the high-powered narcotics. There is so much in the news these days about all the arrests for people operating meth labs. Maybe she didn't think the perscription was legit or something.

    I really don't know why the local pharmacy would not fill it.

    I know my 84-year old mother-in-law is on a low dose of oxycotin for 3 fractures in her back. She sent her grandson (my son who is 24 yrs old) in to the local pharmacy and they had a new pharmacist who refused to fill it--said the patient must come in herself. He tried to explain that she was 84 and unable to walk. He still refused, so my son brought it home and said he would never ever go and try to fill any more of her prescriptions.

    After a phone call in to the pharmacy, the owner explained that the new pharmacist was just being "extra cautious" because of the "drug issues in our county with oxycotin" and he was a young male. He had thought that my son had stolen the prescription and was trying to fill it for himself. He apologized profusely--going on about how upstanding our family was and knew that we would never try to do anything like that.

    Sometimes, though, you feel like a pharmacist thinks everyone with a prescription for narcotics is a drug addict, or trying to obtain them illegally, until proven otherwise. I don't like being treated like that.

  10. abbylee

    abbylee New Member

    jlh - I've been filling that same prescription since 2001 in that store. She's been in there many times when I filled it.

    orachel - I don't use the curling iron anymore, in fact I wash and scrunch now. But when I used a curling iron, I made sure I got one with an auto shutoff!!

    foggedup - When I was with Kaiser I had to sign a contract, but my doc is in private practice now and there are no contracts.

    rileyearl - this same pharmacist didn't want to fill my husband's prescription a month or so ago because he took it in 1 day early!! And what's so ironic about that is that if he had followed the directions on his bottle, he would have run out 6 or 7 days early!! As it was, he still had 3 or 4 pills but was in the area and decided to refill a day early to save a trip to town.

    Thank you all so much for your support. I've never had a pharmacist refuse to give me my prescription before - ever. And I've taken a new script in 3 or 4 days early before (not this time, though - I was right on the day) and I've never had a problem.

    But I won't be going back to this pharmacy, regardless.

  11. jake123

    jake123 New Member

    How did you keep from killing that pharmacist? I think I would have filed a lawsuit for that remark. I have never heard of anything so crass.
  12. abbylee

    abbylee New Member

    Good point. I agree.

  13. Bailey-smom

    Bailey-smom New Member

    I know that this is a bit nasty but I did this to a car dealer at one time. I was going to buy a car - my boyfriend (now hubby) was with me - the car dealer would not speak with me he just kept addressing my boyfriend. Then when I asked what I would owe + my car on a trade he actually said "Are you serious about buying a car becuase if you are not serious I'm not going to waste my managers time by looking at your car". I looked at him and said that if I was not serious about buying a car I would not be on his lot (there were other 4 letter words in there as well) and we left. We went to another lot and bought a car. The next day I called the salesman and told him who I was and he said he remembered. I told him that next time he had better not be so rude because he lost a sale because I bought a car somewhere else.

    I guess my point is...I would write a letter, you don't have to be rude or anything, but just let the other pharmacist know that he has lost a big customer due to his practices. He is a businessowner and it hurts to know this sometimes.

    Good Luck!!

  14. abbylee

    abbylee New Member

    You were nicer than I would have been had someone said that about me.

    For the most part, I am a very calm person - almost to a fault. I rarely get angry or upset about things. After dealing with five children, I've seen it all, heard it all, and come to terms with most of it.

    But when I got in the car and told my husband about the BS that the pharmacist had handed me, I was shaking all over, cursing like a sailor [I very rarely use any profanity - not even darn], and very close to an asthma attack.

    This is completely out of character for me, in fact, my husband later told me that he had never seen me that upset. Since this isn't good for fms, I've been paying for it ever since. But at least I got my medication.

  15. Bruin63

    Bruin63 Member

    I'm now on Norco 10mg, and you would think it was Morphine the way the first Pharmacist acted.
    He said he would have to order it, as he didn't keep those kinds of drugs on the shelf.

    I told him that my Medicines were not Drug's, and find I would come back in 2 day's.
    Well when I needed a refill, he again had to order them. When I askedy why, he didn't have them on hand since I had refills on the orginal script.?
    He said, he wasn't Comfortable with that.

    I had to change anyway to a close Pharmacy so I went to a big Chain.
    One I had been to before, and they were very gald to keep All of my Med.s on hand, for me.

    Sometimes there is a glitch, happens in life.

    But I think the smaller, Pharmacy's are afarid of a few things, such as Robbery, and the DEA.
    I can understand that, but the way they act, at times,E-gads.

    Glad your DH, went and got that RX back and that you have a Pharmacy that is able to work with you.

    I have a Sister and a BIL, who are on Methadone, and it's been a lifesaver for them, Pain wise."

    Have a Painfree day,
  16. Rose_Red

    Rose_Red New Member

    When I first moved to Scranton, PA I was taking Methadone. I had a hell of a time finding a pharmacy that would take my Rx. the chain stores were too far away and the local ones were awful. After the first one I decided to see how the pharmacys dealt with the methadone before I gave them the rest of my $1200 a month account!

    The first one got all high and righteous and told me they don't carry it. The second one - I went in - told me that I didn't look like a heroin addict. Considering the dosage I was on was nowhere close to treating heroin addiction I didn't go back.

    That was a Saturday, made calls on Sunday and finally made it to Monday. I went to the little pharmacy around the corner (which was closed over the weekend) and asked to speak with the pharmacist.

    I told him that I had many health problems and was having a hell of a time finding a pharmacist that 1) had a clue and 2) wasn't a pompous ass. He busted out laughing and says - I guess you called the other pharmacies yesterday. I asked him what he thought of methadone and he said it's an excellent pain management narcotic that's VERY cheap for those who don't have prescription plans. I'm one of the only pharm's that carries it around here. As we talked about the comments regarding the methadone he actually told me which of the local pharmacists said what. He knew them all. He even had a bum leg and understood pain.

    He was one of the most brilliant pharmacists I have ever had! He knew all his patients, what they took and the interactions without looking anything up. A couple times I walked in with a script and he looked at it and said you can't take this. (My family doc was in a huge geisinger practice so if you had emergency appt's you usually didn't get to see your own doc.) Picked up the phone and fixed it on the spot!!!!!

    I'm a firm believer in interviewing professionals before I give them my business.

    abbylee, I know how much it hurts when unfeeling, insensitive so-called 'professionals' allow their personal ignorance to get in the way of being professional. I've been down the 'You're a drug addict routine' enough times to get REALLY MAD but not cry over it anymore.

    Hang in there -


  17. abbylee

    abbylee New Member

    Is it the doctor or the pharmacist? I thought the pharmacist was supposed to fill what the doctor ordered. Am I wrong?

  18. nje

    nje New Member

    the drugstore i have used for ages recently got a new pharmacist. he has really made my life miserable since he came. the other pharmacist was a sweet person and she always filed my scripts even if they were a day early;because she knew me,and knew i wasn`t a druggie. well the new one (who also has a bum leg) could it be one and the same,lol,anyway i took a presc. in there a couple weeks ago, he said it was 2 days early,and i knew it wasn`t,i argued a little with him,then i just said,give me my script back,you know what that jackass did (no bad word,its a donkey)well on with the story,he gave me my script back but not before he wrote in huge black ink on it, can`t be refilled untill 9-01-05 Friday. when i saw that,i like to have lost it,i wanted to call that man every name in the book,he had no right to do that,because he knew that another pharmacy wouldn`t touch it and i`d have to bring it back to him. plus he got me in trouble with my dr. you all will have to read my post on my pharmacist. i hadn`t wrote it yet,because this just happened yesterday,so bye for now
    hugs((((((for all fm sufferers)))
  19. abbylee

    abbylee New Member

    Why don't you go to your doc for a new script? I would call my doc and tell him that the pharmacist wrote on the other one and I need a new one.

  20. abbylee

    abbylee New Member

    What a great idea!! It never occurred to me to interview a pharmacist. I thought they were supposed to fill prescriptions, answer patients questions, and call the doc if something might be a problem or for some reason the patient shouldn't have that drug.

    Apparently I am wrong. The pharmacist here seems to think she sits just below the Lord and can dispense as she sees fit!!

    I wonder how her boss will react when he finds out that he's lost a customer. Unfortunately he is a small one owner pharmacist and is already competing with 3 or 4 chains and several other private drug stores. Maybe my $400 won't be missed, but come to think of it they've lost my husband, too, so we can add another $200 to the overall loss for the store making the grand total $600 per month - not counting the items I picked up while waiting.


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