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PostPosted: Sun Dec 04, 2016 7:47 pm 
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I dropped off my Subutex prescription on Friday morning to get filled. A few hours later I get a call that they need to talk to my doctor before filling it, which was fine with me because I am upfront with my doctor about everything. I did ask why though and they explained.

For some background to help understand their explanation... I am in the middle of major dental work. I had an accessed tooth pop up right before Thanksgiving and went to my dentist. He wrote me two prescriptions, which my husband took from the dentist and filled for me because I was in pretty bad shape. Once he picked up the prescription and brought it to me I realized those prescriptions were for a antibiotic and for Tylenol with Codeine. I told my husband to keep the Tylenol with Codeine because I didn't want it in my care. I also let my Suboxone doctor know about it and he actually told me if I felt like my pain was bad enough than I could try one to see if it would help me at all since I have weaned down to such a low dose of subutex now. However I was able to manage my pain with Motrin until the antibiotics took care of my infection and never needed the pain medication anyway so it's now been disposed of.

Well back to my Subutex prescription, because of the fact that I had filled those two prescriptions fairly recently the pharmacist wanted to talk to my doctor before filling it. I understood that and even though they had left him a message I also called him. He ended up taking time out of his weekend to call the pharmacist yesterday and then called me back and told me he had spoken with them and everything was fine now. It was almost closing time so I waited until they opened this morning and called the pharmacy to see if my Subutex prescription was ready. They told me they would get it ready. Well, when I went to pick it up the pharmacist still told me she refused to fill it even after talking to my doctor. When I asked why she said because she disagreed with a drug addict patient in a substance abuse program taking pain medication like Tylenol with Codeine (which actually I never took, but I guess that's beside the point). Which seems a little strange because they had no problem filling with prescription for the Tylenol with Codeine it's the Subutex she won't fill. Despite being able to look back in my history and see I have taken Subutex for months and she spoke to my doctor who let her know he was aware of the situation, I was in regular contact with him and was stable, that he was also in regular contact with my dentist concerning my ongoing dental problems, and that the prescription was fine to be filled. I was fairly upset. I never lost my cool but it was obvious I was annoyed. Mainly because she admitted she told my doctor she would fill it and then decided not to, so after I heard from my doctor I thought everything was fine. No one from the pharmacy ever called me to tell me otherwise. It also didnt help that she had a horrible, very judgemental attitude towards me and talked to me in a very humiliating manner. I finally just asked for my prescription back, which she gave me but only after turning it over and putting labels on the back that made it obvious I have already tried to fill the prescription.

So, I have two questions/concerns. First of all I want to know if there is somewhere I can report her to? I do want to report her because in my opinion her conduct was very unprofessional. However I don't want this to come back on my doctor. He is a wonderful doctor, is very educated on Suboxone, and I just don't want it to put him under a microscope for no reason. Could that happen? Is it worth it for me to pursue or should I just try to let it roll off my back?

Secondly, with those stickers on the back am I going to now have a problem filling this prescription elsewhere? Is there a list or anything she could have put me on that I should be concerned about? I have never had any issues before now with any pharmacist and just don't want this to effect me going forward. I have enough medicine to wait until tomorrow to get my prescription filled so I decided to do that as I didn't want another pharmacist bothering my doctor again on the weekend.

Any advice or help is much appreciated! And thanks to anyone who made it through all that.


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PostPosted: Sun Dec 04, 2016 9:11 pm 
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Hello Carolina,
Let me be the first to say how very sorry I am that you ve run into a judgmental healthcare provider . That is what she is. Period.
There are so many out there who do not believe in the disease model. The person exercised her right to refuse you your medication even after talking with your Dr. Who by the way sounds like a careing educated Sub Dr. This subject just burns me up. Will it ever be accepted? .. idk.

Could you go back to the same pharmacy and explain this to a different pharm.? A more understanding person behind that counter? Have you been going there this whole time while in treatment?
The fact you have Subutex and not Suboxone may be the root of the problem. Just another misunderstanding on how these meds work. Bupe is bupe costs aside.

As far as reporting her, sure to the Director of Pharmacy in your state. Or if it is chain you could go over her head.
I think at this point the main thing now is to get your script filled before you run out. Id zero in on that first. Tomorrow is monday, can you talk with your Dr again? See what he advises.
Thoses stickers, well what are they? Meaning what do they say? Are they there to redirect the next person who sees it?

Idk, total disrespect to all of us when something like this happens. I see it at clinic monthly. Others have had these problems on some level.
I really hope you can resolve this asap. Just my 2 cents...


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 05, 2016 12:02 am 
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The way I see it..your DR should pursue action. Basically..and docm and Dr Jeffrey can correct me on this if I'm wrong..a pharmacist is a legal lackey between a doctor and patient..
Sure, they have 'some' control..but they are sent orders to follow, and they are required to follow them.

We are facing a similar situation in this country in politics. Imagine us, the people, are the doctors. We said what we wanted for the patient (our country, the USA)..and now it's up to the electorate college to follow those orders as we ascribed. But, turn on the news, and you'll see that a few of the electors of the 538 that we have are going to go against what the people told them they wanted....and vote how they want. They are claiming their "conscience" ...is the reason. That's total BS.
The same applies to your RX not filling the orders sent over by your DR. They are told, via a paper prescription, to follow these orders and give you this medication. They aren't doing that because 1)power over another person, 2)conscience..3)who the hell knows for sure.
There would definitely be a volley of phone calls made tomorrow if I were you. Starting with the DR.
Would they deny a heart patient their blood pressure meds because of their "conscience"? I doubt it.
If they did, and the person died..well..there's a lawsuit, and hopefully some jail time.

I'd be more than pissed if this happened...this is exactly why I use a non-chain local pharmacy. I've dealt with the CVS's and Walgreen's of the world...and I hate them. Too much into my business, or they try to be.

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 05, 2016 2:35 am 
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razor55 wrote:
Hello Carolina,
Let me be the first to say how very sorry I am that you ve run into a judgmental healthcare provider . That is what she is. Period.
There are so many out there who do not believe in the disease model. The person exercised her right to refuse you your medication even after talking with your Dr. Who by the way sounds like a careing educated Sub Dr. This subject just burns me up. Will it ever be accepted? .. idk.

Could you go back to the same pharmacy and explain this to a different pharm.? A more understanding person behind that counter? Have you been going there this whole time while in treatment?
The fact you have Subutex and not Suboxone may be the root of the problem. Just another misunderstanding on how these meds work. Bupe is bupe costs aside.

As far as reporting her, sure to the Director of Pharmacy in your state. Or if it is chain you could go over her head.
I think at this point the main thing now is to get your script filled before you run out. Id zero in on that first. Tomorrow is monday, can you talk with your Dr again? See what he advises.
Thoses stickers, well what are they? Meaning what do they say? Are they there to redirect the next person who sees it?

Idk, total disrespect to all of us when something like this happens. I see it at clinic monthly. Others have had these problems on some level.
I really hope you can resolve this asap. Just my 2 cents...



Thanks for your reply and concern over the matter. That in itself helps, venting and to hear others say the way she treated me was in fact wrong.

I may could try to go back to the pharmacy. I get the feeling that she is not the pharmacy manager. Actually after I walked out of the pharmacy and back to the car my husband was quite upset and went back inside to get her name. He asked her directly if there was a manager and all she would say is that she was the pharmacist working. I do think she is the pharmacist who has handled my prescription the whole time though and I have no doubt there are notes in the computer regarding it so I am not sure if talking to anyone else there will get me anywhere.

I haven't been filling the prescription the whole time at this pharmacy, which for what it's worth is a CVS. A little over a year ago I used to fill my prescriptions there, including Suboxone from a different doctor I saw before I switched to my current doctor. My current doctor from the beginning wrote for Subutex to help me with costs and at the time CVS didn't have it in stock so I went to Rite Aid who did have it in stock and have therefore been filling it there. Recently I decided it would be so much more convenient to use CVS again since it's much closer to me and they said they had the medication in stock then so I transferred everything over.

I can't fully see what the stickers say, as in some spots they overlap each other. It looks like perhaps intake labels or something, except there weren't any on there until she put them on there right before she handed the prescription back to me. It doesn't seem to redirect the next person, but it does make it obvious I have taken the prescription to a pharmacy already to have filled. From what I can tell it shows my name, DOB, phone number and address and I also can see the pharmacies name, phone number and address. I guess I just fear the next pharmacy will see that, give CVS a call, and I will be back to square one. I can talk to my doctor again and get his advise though. I hate to bother him, but you are right he is a good, caring doctor. I have seen one that wasn't so I know the difference and truly appreciate him. He may have some suggestions for me.

I will certainly look into those avenues to report her.


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 05, 2016 2:48 am 
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jonathanm1978 wrote:
The way I see it..your DR should pursue action. Basically..and docm and Dr Jeffrey can correct me on this if I'm wrong..a pharmacist is a legal lackey between a doctor and patient..
Sure, they have 'some' control..but they are sent orders to follow, and they are required to follow them.

We are facing a similar situation in this country in politics. Imagine us, the people, are the doctors. We said what we wanted for the patient (our country, the USA)..and now it's up to the electorate college to follow those orders as we ascribed. But, turn on the news, and you'll see that a few of the electors of the 538 that we have are going to go against what the people told them they wanted....and vote how they want. They are claiming their "conscience" ...is the reason. That's total BS.
The same applies to your RX not filling the orders sent over by your DR. They are told, via a paper prescription, to follow these orders and give you this medication. They aren't doing that because 1)power over another person, 2)conscience..3)who the hell knows for sure.
There would definitely be a volley of phone calls made tomorrow if I were you. Starting with the DR.
Would they deny a heart patient their blood pressure meds because of their "conscience"? I doubt it.
If they did, and the person died..well..there's a lawsuit, and hopefully some jail time.

I'd be more than pissed if this happened...this is exactly why I use a non-chain local pharmacy. I've dealt with the CVS's and Walgreen's of the world...and I hate them. Too much into my business, or they try to be.


Thanks for your understanding, it truly means a lot to see the solidarity from others who face the same prejudices.

I see things much the same way, in regards to a pharmacist's position. To me there should be some regulation to the control they can exert and the doctor's word should be weightier than theirs. I get them exercising their right to not fill if they have a very legitimate reason to perhaps think the doctor is shady. But it should not just be simply based on the pharmacists 'opinion' over the word of a doctor who has been practicing in this field for years and has been seeing me for over a year now. In that instance the pharmacist is literally playing god. Which to be honest I think was a big part of it with her, she seemed to like the power she had to refuse my prescription no matter what. Which seems incredibly wrong. I wonder the same as you, would this happen to a heart patient who needed their medication? No, of course not because there are no preconceived notions and judgement where that illness is concerned. There shouldn't be here either but there is and for the most part I have learned to just let that go, but I have also never had a pharmacist outright call me a drug addict either.

I think you have the right idea about the smaller, non chain, local pharmacies. They seem much more customer oriented, not to mention once you've been there a few times they come to know you as a person and not just another number. Being that I do have surgery coming up, which may very well require me taking pain medication for a short while while recovering, that may be the way to go altogether so I hopefully don't run into this issue again.


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 05, 2016 8:02 am 
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Hi Carolina. Every state has what's called a Board of Pharmacy. It's the licensing agency for pharmacists. You can report her to your states BOP. Just Google your state + board of pharmacy and they'll have a complaint section. You'll need her name of course.


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 05, 2016 8:04 am 
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However before you do, pharmacists do have the right to refuse to fill any rx without reason. But she shouldn't have been a jerk about it.


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 05, 2016 2:17 pm 
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I think Dr J said once that a pharmacist has the right to flat out rufuse to fill a script....which I had no idea they were able to, I always thought they pretty much just filled the script that the doctor wrote but I guess not. Regardless, if that pharmacist spoke directly to ur doctor and ur doctor explained the situation, it seems like an a-hole move to refuse to fill it. It's almost like this pharmacist was trying to tattle to the doctor that you'd filled that other script and when they found out ur Dr was aware they still refused to fill it....like they'd never intended on filling it from the beginning. That really ticks me off lol! Really, like addicts can't have pain ever? If we get something that requires pain meds and our dr knows about it, we still shouldn't be able to take it because we're addicts??? Ahh I'd just take my business elsewhere. Or talk to a different pharmacist like razor suggested. Unfortunately that's just some of the crap we have to deal with....but I don't like it at all.

Good luck!

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 05, 2016 3:04 pm 
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I am sooooo pissed off on your behalf!!!!

Maybe you've already looked this up, but there appears to be a State Board of Pharmacy in each state that takes complaints.

According to my studies, she has just violated the Americans with Disabilities Act which addicts fall under. She broke the law. She is not allowed to discriminate against addicts because, believe it or not, we are considered "disabled".

If you have a friend who is a lawyer who would be willing to write a letter to her and corporate, that would also be ideal. I have a feeling that that pharmacist would be suspended or fired very quickly. Or perhaps just reprimanded. You could actually go to the ACLU too.

I would also contact corporate for sure by phone.

Here is an article that might have some useful information:

http://drugtopics.modernmedicine.com/dr ... d?page=0,0

Please keep us updated.

Amy

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 05, 2016 8:06 pm 
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Amy, I totally agree, what the pharmacist did was a really shitty thing to do. However pharmacists (at least in NC where I practice) have the right to refuse any rx without reason regardless. It is a crappy rule but it is a rule nonetheless.
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 05, 2016 9:26 pm 
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This is a blurb I found:

"Legitimate refusal: A pharmacist can refuse to fill a valid/on-time prescription for a controlled substance if doing so would harm the patient, such as when the patient is allergic to the medication, the medication would adversely interact with other medications that the patient is taking, or the prescribed dose is ..."


"If a patient is denied a medication upon presentation of a valid/on-time prescription for a controlled substance, that patient may be eligible to file an ADA complaint.

If the patient is disabled, as determined by coverage under Social Security, Medicare, or private disability insurance, that patient is covered under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Many chronic pain patients meet this criterion."

Amy

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 05, 2016 11:52 pm 
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Hi Carolina girl. I'm Bamagirl. Nice name btw. So sorry you had to go through such a thing. You got some great responds and I sure hope you take action. Unbelievable!


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 06, 2016 8:05 am 
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The pharmacist I used to work for fought one of these complaints and won. Professional judgement, which is the basis of refusal, can be anything. Again, I don't agree with it, but it is the rule anyway.
Plus, most corporate policies give pharmacists the right to deny a rx. It sounds stupid but it's true. Especially if it is a controlled substance.
The other actions are very nonprofessional but the pharmacist was well within her rights to deny the rx, at least in NC.


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 06, 2016 12:24 pm 
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We should all show up at that pharmacy with our scripts like a cult and demand service lol!

I bet she'd probably faint thinking a bunch of 'ol drug addicts were there to rob her :) Ppl like that hopefully experience some karma....I'm all about karma.

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 08, 2016 12:27 am 
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What cha talking about Jenn, I love to see Karma play out, unless it's on me! lol Wouldn't that be the icing on the cake, if we all showed up there with our scripts! lol That's too funny, girl. -----Bamagirl


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 08, 2016 8:55 am 
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Bamagurl22 wrote:
What cha talking about Jenn, I love to see Karma play out, unless it's on me! lol Wouldn't that be the icing on the cake, if we all showed up there with our scripts! lol That's too funny, girl. -----Bamagirl


I'd even be tempted to stand out of earshot and talk about buying some Goody's, and how much each one costs, and things like that. You know, goody's...

https://goodys-prod-upload.s3.amazonaws ... powder.png

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Last edited by jonathanm1978 on Sun Dec 11, 2016 11:15 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Sat Dec 10, 2016 8:19 pm 
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NOW YOUR TALKING JONATHON! This is unreal though. I remember when my Dr. got in a little trouble, not my Suboxone Dr. but another one. Pain pill Dr. Anyway the pharmacist in the area all banned together and decided they were not going to fill this Dr. scripts any more. Needless to say there were ALOT OF LONG TRIPS MADE JUST TO GET OUR MEDS FILLED. They can pretty much do what they want to who they want, though.---------Bamagirl---------


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 06, 2017 11:41 pm 
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Amy-Work In Progress wrote:
This is a blurb I found:

"Legitimate refusal: A pharmacist can refuse to fill a valid/on-time prescription for a controlled substance if doing so would harm the patient, such as when the patient is allergic to the medication, the medication would adversely interact with other medications that the patient is taking, or the prescribed dose is ..."


"If a patient is denied a medication upon presentation of a valid/on-time prescription for a controlled substance, that patient may be eligible to file an ADA complaint.

If the patient is disabled, as determined by coverage under Social Security, Medicare, or private disability insurance, that patient is covered under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Many chronic pain patients meet this criterion."

Amy


thanks for the info. i'm kinda of on a war path about this issue.

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 14, 2017 11:17 pm 
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I had the exact same problem (refusal to fill my first bupe script) at FOUR pharmacies in a row - I think it's b/c the first pharmacy put a little barcode sticker on the back, and then the next three knew I'd already tried to fill it. Each had a different excuse, but it was VERY upsetting and frustrating.

When I told the doctor, she found a workaround - she can order the bupe directly at wholesale prices and then dispense it to me. So if you go to every pharmacy in the area and nobody will fill it, tell your doctor and s/he should be able to order it.


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 27, 2017 2:59 pm 
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I was spoken to and sneered at like a little child when I went to fill my subutex.
My pharmacist from Walmart in Pennsylvania told me that because of the ZIP code on the prescription and my residence that I was out of their protocol range- when I live in the same county as the pharmacy. She talked to me so horribly I left in tears. I will never forget that blonde bitches awful face and the way she talked down to me. I am not some addict that steals and only thinks of myself. I was just trying to get help for the Percocets that I had to take and then stop taking after being in a near fatal accident I survived.


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