I recently relocated to my hometown, hooked up with a new pain management specialist, and got my prescription for roxycodone like I have been doing for the past five years, religiously, every month.
I then went into a Walgreen’s and handed them the prescription. I asked if they had the medication in stock and the technician replied, “Yes we do.”
I was so relieved to hear the word “Yes”, but then a nightmare ensued.
“We have a 72 hour fill policy to make a decision if we want to honor and fill it or not,” she informed me.
She also said I must talk to the pharmacist.
I said to myself THREE DAYS to get a prescription filled?
I should have left right then and there, but I had no idea what was to follow.
The pharmacist came over and conducted some type of invasive interview with me about personal and confidential information that was absolutely not acceptable. I knew exactly what he was doing, he was profiling me. Because I was a new customer at this pharmacy and the pharmacist did not know me, I decided to go along with this non-appropriate “interview.”
I had a copy of my MRI results to let him review my conditions (which I should never, ever have to do under any circumstance — especially to a pharmacist). I believe because of this undue intrusiveness that Walgreens may have violated privacy laws between me and my doctor, but I am not sure.
The pharmacist didn’t even bother to read the MRI results and just threw it onto the counter. I found that extremely rude and disrespectful to handle a medical document in the manner that he did. He then informed me that he would let me know later, “If I decide to honor your prescription.”
Who is this pharmacist to dictate this to me? Who does he think he is, God? I left and never did I feel so humiliated, violated, and angry over what I had just went through with a damn pharmacist!
The nightmare only got worse. Four hours later, the pharmacist called on the phone and said, “I cannot fill your prescription because you did not fall under our ‘Good Faith Refill Policy’ guidelines.”
What? I then asked, “Okay, then I want to know where is this policy with explanations and reasons as to why you will not fill my prescription?”
The pharmacist told me that I could come and pick up my prescription, and with an arrogant tone added, “Walgreen’s policy dictates that I do not have to disclose the reasons or explain to you why I am refusing to fill your prescription. Plus, I have added you to the Walgreens’ ‘Do Not Fill’ list for this specific medication. You cannot go to any Walgreen’s to try to fill this medication.”
I am now in their computer system for being a victim in this sad war.
I went and picked up my prescription from the pharmacist, telling him, “Who do you think are, God? You had no right treating me the way you did, and shame on you for working for a company that obviously has no clue about what chronic pain sufferers go through just to get out of bed in the morning.”
I left in disgust and quite angry, but lost at the same time. What do I do? The undue anxiety and stress that Walgreens imbued into me is something that I will never forget.
What bugs me the most about the Walgreens nightmare is that many chronic pain sufferers out there like me are being systematically profiled by this company. I want my name off that Do Not Fill list.
If anyone is interested, look up Walgreens’ policy online and you will be shocked about their so-called guidelines. One of their stupid policy guidelines says that if the customer’s doctor is too far away from the pharmacy they can refuse to fill it.
Are you kidding me?
On a good note, I eventually found a pharmacy that filled my prescription without any questions whatsoever.
Walgreen’s is the ABSOLUTE worst, and I am fairly certain many of you out there can add countless other pharmacies and pharmacists to that “worst” list as well. I am also interested in knowing if there is a class action lawsuit against Walgreens for discrimination and illegal profiling.
We must also hold the DEA accountable for their reckless disregard and the thoughtless aftermath that has fallen unto the countless chronic pain sufferers out there.
The atmosphere that the DEA, pharmacies, and doctors have created for chronic pain sufferers is unacceptable. New laws and legislation must be passed to protect the rights of every chronic pain sufferer out there from any bias, racial, or prejudiced views when it comes to getting our prescriptions filled. They have taken away so much from us that we need this forum so that our voices can be heard and get our rights back.
Jason Warner lives in Nevada.
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The information in this column is not intended to be considered as professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Only your doctor can do that! It is for informational purposes only and represents the author’s personal experiences and opinions alone. It does not inherently or expressly reflect the views, opinions and/or positions of National Pain Report or Microcast Media.