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 Post subject: Personal Freak Out
PostPosted: Tue Jun 28, 2011 12:24 pm 
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So I just opened my brand new box of 30 Suboxone 8/2 strips that I picked up at the pharmacy Sunday. It looked a little lean so I counted them to find ....drumroll please......21 strips. So like the calm, mature person I am I immediately freak out. Not because I can't get through the month on 21, or because I think I'm getting ripped off. But because I DREAD that call to the pharmacy, where they're going to treat me like a lowlife junkie, assume I already took the 9 missing, or better yet, sold them.

But long story short what happened wasn't even close. The pharm was very polite and respectful, and they are checking their inventory now. I'm hopeful that their counts are accurate so they will find the mistake.

So, is it really THEM who look down on us? Or is it our own self perception?


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 28, 2011 1:24 pm 
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Part II

The pharm called me back and said all of their counts are correct. She said the boxes are "factory sealed" implying that RB may have been responsible. She never became accusatory, but she did say "did someone pick them up for you?". I reiterated that the box was NOT sealed when I received it about 3 times. I asked to speak to the dispensing pharm, she said it was her. I said, "so you are saying the box was sealed when you dispensed it". She said yes. I told her flat out, "then someone else opened it between the time you dispensed it and the time I got it." I also mentioned the tech who gave it to me, who I said I had never seen before even though I go there all the time. She said he is a student. (I thought the guy was acting a little weird, I'm not just making that up now). I firmly requested that she document it, and will follow up to a letter to management.

Bottom line though, since I brought it home for two days, and their counts match, I'm shit out of luck. I feel pretty good though that I kept my composure and at no time did they treat my like a criminal (Ive experienced that in the past). For what it's worth I have a call into my doctor. And amazingly, because of my taper I will still have enough for the month. If this has happened when I had just enough for each day I would be f*cked right now, and I pity any addict in that situation. Folks here have said before, count your pill/strips right in front of them. I never did it before, but I will now.
:cry: :cry: :cry:


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 28, 2011 2:53 pm 
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Lilly, that fucking sucks but you should be way proud of the way you handled the situation. I doubt I would have maintained that level of cool.

If this is a corporate chain pharmacy (Walgreens, CVS, etc) I'd encourage you to NOT let this complaint go. Run it up the chain and make a big fucking stink about it. They need to compensate you.

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 28, 2011 3:35 pm 
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Lily,I've had that happen before. When I called the Pharmacist must have known b/c she immed. said it was her mistake. Now,did she know she did that and thought I wouldn't count them? I don't know,but,she was very quick to say it was her mistake.
Perhaps they think we would not call them on it b/c we are adicts. Although,if they know anything about addiction they should know most of us will. How many other ppl does this happen to and they get away with it?

Either way,I always count them right there before I leave now. I know if that happens again there is a good chance they won't admit they made a mistake.

If the box was already opened it's a good chance they took some out for another pt. and "thought" that was a new box. I'd stay on it if I were you. Simply b/c it could be happening to someone else and that problem needs to be rectified.


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 28, 2011 3:57 pm 
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Hi, Lilly. So sorry this happened to you! This has happened to me before too, though not as many were taken. It was when I was on Subutex and it was so weird because someone took just a couple one time and another time took 1.5. Yup....1.5!!! That was what tipped me off was opening the bottle and seeing a partial tab. Like you, I had extra, but I was paying out of pocket; there were no generic, and I learned the hard way that once you walk away from that counter, you are SOL. I also had 'double count' put on my account, so now there has to be two pharmacy people to count and sign off on them. Last time I got my script filled, they gave me some expired films, which really ticked me off. I'm glad you are pressing the issue and filing something, because maybe the result will be a paper trail if someone is taking meds. As far as 'factory sealed', I'm not sure that's true. The last couple times I filled mine, it was for 45 films. So, I got one box of thirty and another box with fifteen in there. Fifteen had been removed. Another time, they gave me a full box and the rest of the films were in a bottle.

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 28, 2011 6:35 pm 
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I called the corporate office just to get the name of the store manager, and I ended up filing a full report. They said someone would call me by tomorrow. But I just keep thinking about it. Like you said, I've gotten 15 in a box, 45 in a box, or got them in a baggie, or large vial. But even if I got exactly 30 I NEVER got a sealed box. In fact, the #30 was circled and initialed indicating that someone checked the count. So WHY would this person say she dispensed a sealed box? I wish I had a recording of that call, because I just know the harder I push the harder they are going to push back, and once the manager sees that the counts match he or she is probably going to turn it on me. I mean, putting myself in their shoes, if I were a manager and it looked like everything checked out, I would probably question the customer, addict or not.

By the way does the store manager outrank the pharm manager, or are they separate? Apparently the woman I spoke to was the pharm manager.


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 Post subject: Lilly
PostPosted: Tue Jun 28, 2011 6:58 pm 
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If it is a major chain like CVS, RITE AID..etc. The Pharmacy District Mgr outranks the Pharmacist and the Store Mgr.when it comes to Pharmacy issues. I would call Corporate and ask to speak to Loss Prevention. Almost all the chains have cameras in the pharmacy including the registers. They could then check to see if it was a sealed box. No matter how small you think your claim is bring up the new student and the way he acted....they will not tell him what you said. Good Luck.

Jim


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 28, 2011 8:56 pm 
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Now this is disturbing. The pharm manager just called me back and said they've been looking into it some more, and they "talked to my doctor at length, and he feels comfortable with them replacing the 9". What? Also she said they were going to put a complaint into RB because they maintain that they gave me a sealed box that only had 21 strips in it. I AGAIN reiterated that it was not sealed when I received it. And I asked why someone initialed the 30 count if no one in fact had counted them. She said the initial signified that it was a sealed box. Thats their story and they're sticking to it. So at this point, I don't know who she is covering for, but I did give her the heads up that I already called corporate.
The weirdest thing is the part about my doc. Maybe it's true, but I've never gotten the guy on the phone in less than 24 hours in the 2 years I've been going there.


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 28, 2011 10:35 pm 
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Oh LilyVal,
I all BS on that. They covering there butts,without a doubt.

How dare them to call your Dr.? I'm not so sure they would really do that. I say someone is covering there butt. If they did nothing wrong then I don't see them going to all the trouble of calling your Dr. They would just let it go.

Good for you to continue to persue this. They think b/c we addicts we won't fight for "our" rights or that we won't do anything.

GOOD FOR YOU

Please keep us posted on what happens.


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 28, 2011 11:03 pm 
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That is the biggest crap story I have ever heard. First, they are so in the wrong for calling your doctor!! That's so ridiculous. What if your doctor took that to mean you were sneaking around and abusing or selling your Sub? They could have caused you a ton of trouble that you don't deserve. Second, They don't initial that the box is sealed!! Gimme a break! When I get a box of Sub, they initial the actual printed script that is stuck onto the box, and they are verifying that the amount is as printed on the script. They are verifying that it is, in fact, 30 or 15 or whatever. That is such a crock to say they are initialing that the box is sealed, because it certainly would not be hard to break that little plastic seal, take some films out, and stick it back on or stick on a whole different one entirely. And also, whoever shorted you probably did it for a reason. So, they pocketed those films and the count is going to match, of course. I hate that you have to deal with this, Lillyval, because all your responses and support on here have shown me that you are a respectable person and you deserve to be treated as such. I do think that when this stuff happens, there is an assumption behind it that "Oh, they won't say anything. They know nobody would believe them." So, good for you for pushing it.

laddertipper

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 29, 2011 11:11 am 
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Thank you, both of you. I think you hit on what is bothering me the most. They basically called my doc to discuss MY moral character, when it's fairly likely that someone there pocketed my Subs. WTF. I am open to the possibility that it was an honest miscount, as I got them right before closing time, and I don't want to falsely accuse anyone just as I don't want to be accused. But just the way there handling it.....
If they shorted me on Lipitor or something would they call my doc to discuss whether he feels "comfortable" with them replacing them? What a load of shit.


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 29, 2011 11:22 am 
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You're right....It IS a load of shit. And like Ladder said, they circle and initial the count on the box/bottle because it means they DID count it, NOT because it means the box was sealed. Do they think you're stupid?? Regardless of the fact that they plan to replace the missing strips, I wouldn't drop the formal complaint. I would even inform them what they said about them initialing the count, which is utterly ridiculous. At the very least, they can re-train their pharmacy staff and hopefully prevent this from happening again. At worst perhaps that student needs to be fired.

Good on you for standing up for yourself - and calmly at that. I'm proud of you, Lilly.

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PostPosted: Mon Jul 04, 2011 2:26 am 
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I went to see the Pharmacy manager in person Friday. It was basically an exact repeat of the conversation we had on the phone, with her blaming RB and me saying that the box wasn't sealed and the count was initialed (for like the FIFTH time). She gave me the 9 strips, and apparently her doing that plus filing a complaint with RB made MY complaint to corporate go away. I truly believe that someone in the pharm lifted them and that she knows it. And what's stupid about that is that it's one strip a day for 30 days, so there no way the customer wouldn't notice. It's not like a big bottle of 60 Vicodin that says take 1-2 as needed...so the patient might not be keeping track of how many they took.
Anyway, I guess it's karma's way of punishing me for all the pills I lifted off people over the years. I just wonder if more narcotics are going to disappear from that store, and eventually someone will get caught, and they'll think back....
By the way it was Walgreens.


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 04, 2011 7:43 am 
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Let me get this straight - because your local Walgreens rectified the situation with your missing meds, now your complaint to the corporate office was withdrawn??? WTF? If I were you, I'd write the entire situation down and write a new letter to corporate and ask that they fully investigate the incident. I might even threaten to take my business elsewhere. And I'd also ask them how they plan to remediate the problem so as to avoid recurrence. Lastly, I'd ask them point-blank about their practice of circling and initialing the amount of meds dispensed. That's just how I would handle it myself. The fact that they pulled your complaint because they fixed it for you is bullshit. I wouldn't let it drop just quite yet if it were me.

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PostPosted: Mon Jul 04, 2011 11:04 am 
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Hi Lilly,

I just wanted to jump in here and let you know how proud I am of you that you didn't "go off" on the pharmacy. It looks like you handled everything very professionally, when in my opinion, after they called your doctor, I would have gone T-Totally ballistic!!! I have no doubt they were discussing what kind of patient you were, had you had any kind of "issues" like this before, etc., etc. Really, after the call to the doctor I would have probably been running around there like my hair was on fire!! Thinking about it now for a second, all that would have done was reinforce to them how crazy we addicts are......again, I'm really proud of you for being able to maintain your cool. Way to go!!

BTW, like was said earlier, if they had shorted you or I on something like our blood pressure medication, I bet it would have been replaced with barely a question!!

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PostPosted: Mon Jul 04, 2011 2:03 pm 
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I was pretty bent at first, too, but I had this discussion w/ my husband and there IS another side to this- assuming the pharm. manager really doesn't know who took them. By being on Sub, at least for probably 98% of us, we're admitting we are addicts. So like the person who comes in for early Percocet because they "fell in the toilet" they're going to call the doc to see if it's OK. I actually thought they were going to assume the addict was lying right from the get go. But they checked their counts and they all matched, and they STILL gave me the benefit of the doubt and gave me the 9 I said I didn't get after checking with my Doc.
But Hat is right. Someone DID most likely take them, and I shouldn't let them just close out my complaint. I think I will do what Jim suggested and ask loss management to investigate it.
Thanks for all your support you guys. Have a great 4th!


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 Post subject: My Take
PostPosted: Mon Jul 04, 2011 9:48 pm 
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Lillyval,

When I first started Sub, the nurse told me to count the pills at the counter of the pharmacy to make sure I wasn't shorted. She said it happens all the time that an employee will pilfer some to sell on the street. Sub is in big demand on the street as we can all see by the posts here.

So if the box isn't sealed, count them or ask for a recount. That's what I did, ask them to recount them. They wouldn't dare short you there.

In other words, trust no one but yourself. Sub is a big money maker on the street.

You did so good the way you handled it. Pat yourself on the back.


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 04, 2011 10:15 pm 
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I'm also wondering if they have some obligation to protect the employee's (or student's) privacy regarding possible theft. Maybe the pharmacist DOES suspect something but she can't really tell you that, or she doesn't have enough proof yet, or whatever.

There is a small possibility that the student who gave you your script has already been disciplined or talked to or had a note put in his file or whatever, but you'll probably never know. Which is frustrating, but I can *kinda* see their side of it. If they admitted to you that they have a student intern who is stealing medication from their customers...who knows what kind of can of worms that could open.

Hopefully the pharmacist & the manager will pay closer attention to what's going on now and this won't happen to anyone else.

And one more time, good for you Lilly, for staying calm and sticking up for yourself. You kinda stuck up for ALL of us when you did that! Happy 4th.

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 05, 2011 1:48 am 
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I agree with everyone.........YOU DID A GREAT JOB LILLY!!

DOQ is right......by making your pharmacy accountable, you NOT ONLY stuck up for yourself, but for ALL addicts! It can be so damn hard sometimes (ok, ALL of the time) being a recovering addict. It's like.....we make all of these changes to improve ourselves and our lives and whenever someone treats us with total disrespect (because they look @ us and just see "ADDICT") it sucks BIGTIME!!!

But, by holding that pharmacy to the fire.....AND keeping your cool all the while....you were able to prove your character. That sais ALOT about you and how far you've come in your recovery!

I also agree that maybe the pharmacy manager knows EXACTLY what happend, but is just trying to "keep it under wraps". However, by you making them responsible for THEY'RE fuck up......maybe this won't happen to someone else. At the very least, Im sure this incident will motivate them to keep a closer eye on they're employees..........AND EVERYONE'S MEDICATIONS!

Are you gonna continue to get your meds filled there? In any case, IM SO VERY PROUD OF YOU!! WAY TO GO LILLY!!!!


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 Post subject: Strips torn or cracked
PostPosted: Tue Jul 05, 2011 12:27 pm 
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I totally agree with you guys. When I spoke to the mgr. the 2nd time, after they had done the count, she told me that since everything matched up, and I had the script home for 2 days, there was nothing they could do for me. Then later that same day (like 9pm actually) she called and said they looked it to it some more and they would replace the 9. And I truly believe this was BEFORE they knew I called corporate. So, if they found out something fishy was going on internally, they certainly weren't going to let, me, the customer know.
Thanks for your support guys, but I think you're giving me too much credit. If they had accused me of something, or gotten nasty or whatever, I honestly don't know how I would have reacted.
BTW, in the meantime, I'm taking the strips and I noticed over the past couple of days some have tiny tears in them (but they are fully sealed before I open them). I didn't think much of it, but yesterday my strip was all cracked up, like a jigsaw puzzle, and kind of looked like it was starting to disintegrate. They seem to bee working, though. Has anyone seen this with theirs? Do you think it could be the heat? I am a little concerned and I'd really hate to have to report a problem after this issue w/ the pharm.


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