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PostPosted: Wed May 16, 2012 11:13 am 
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So I received my prescription a few days ago. I had to pay out of pocket this one time because I am waiting for new insurance to become active since I just turned 26. Anyways, I noticed my first box was low after a few days and I thought it was strange. I have never had a history of abusing Suboxones or running out early, I am taking my recovery seriously. I opened the second box and counted them and there was only 20. There was supposed to be 30 in each box but instead I got 20 in each so I am 20 suboxones short. So not only will I run out early or have to ration them now till next appointment but I am out about $150 dollars as well! =(

I called the Pharmacy but they say the boxes are unopened so they know it was right. They say their inventory is correct but if they assume there is 30 in every box and they do not open to count them then of course there inventory would seem correct even if there was only 1 in each box.

Anyways, just wondering if anyone has had a similar issue and what they did. The pharmacy of course thinks I am scheming them... I called my doctor and left a message but I worry he will think the same, however he knows I pass all my screenings and have never had an issue running short so maybe he can help. Anyways, has anyone ever heard of this issue and if so what can I do?


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PostPosted: Wed May 16, 2012 11:22 am 
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Actually, you would have 10.6mg/day, so you might not even feel a difference since you are not on a very low dose to begin with. Some people say they don't feel any difference going from 16mg to 8mg, or even to 4mg. It seems like it's when you get below that, that the wd symptoms kick in. Hopefully this will be the case for you.


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 Post subject: Sealed Box
PostPosted: Wed May 16, 2012 11:53 am 
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I think you have a thief at the pharmacy. As you know, the only seal on the box is one piece of scotch tape over the flap. Think like an addict for a minute. It's very easy to remove the tape, take out 10, and put new tape on it. The pharmacy says it's sealed and it is, after being stolen from.

With this pharmacy, next time you go in, count the films right there in front of them or ask the pharmacist to open and count the box.

I'd go talk with the pharmacist one on one and explain your concerns. They may need to look closer at their techs.

So how the heck are you going to go the whole month being that short? I guess tapering is your only choice unless the store re-reimburses you.

Just a guess here so be careful on how you approach this matter.

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PostPosted: Wed May 16, 2012 4:27 pm 
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I have read numerous topics just like yours. For whatever reason it seems to occur much more often than it should. Personally I never had a problem for about a year I had been on suboxone, except for the last time I filled my prescription.

Just as always, they will always give me two boxes they assume are unopened. I usually count them while I am there just to make sure. So once I walked back to my car I looked at one box, opened it up and there were 30. Then I get the other and it was open, I mean the small piece of tape was broken. So I counted them and there were only 21. I walked back inside, told them and they looked at me kind of strangely. There was only one pharmacist and two technicians. They gave the two boxes to the pharmacist and he counted them. Then, he looked on their computer to see what their inventory was supposed to be. He then counted how many they had, and sure enough they had 9 more than they were supposed to. He told me that because they usually just give the boxes to people who usually have more than 30 they didn't even count them. He said another pharmacist must have opened the box and took 9 out of it for another prescription. Because there are three pharmacists or so, not including the technicians, they aren’t aware of what the other is doing, which is why I was short.

The technicians typically do not need any certain degree or anything so just about anyone could become one. In your situation, just like rule62 said, it appears that someone could have simply taken the extra films because it took you two days before you noticed. I guess the only options you have are to use what you have to get you through, or if your doctor believes you and writes you another prescription you could use as prescribed. I would most definitely never go to that pharmacy again if they don't give you what you paid for and also count your prescription before you leave next time.


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PostPosted: Wed May 16, 2012 6:11 pm 
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I'm sorry this happened to you. I had the same thing happen to me a few months ago, and like you, I pay out of pocket so the problem was that I was not only missing several of my films, but I paid for medication i didn't receive! When i got home from the pharmacy and looked at my prescription, it seemed low so I counted them - I was prescribed 15 but only received 8. And of course, because of the nature of this drug and the stigma attached to the people who take it, you never know the response you're going to get when you call the pharmacy to let them know.
So I called the pharmacy and told them what happened and they told me they would have to do an audit when they had time to do it that day and that they would get back to me. Well, they never did, so i ended up stopping in that day. Luckily, I have a pretty good relationship with the main pharmacist and she believed me and gave me the missing 8 films. And then after she did a quick count, she realized they had made a mistake.
Pharmacists and their assistants are only human and make mistakes just like the rest of us, so its not that far-fetched to think that someone made an error with your prescription. Or maybe, as Rule said, there's someone working there that's pocketing suboxone on the sly. Either way, I would be persistent in that this was their error and you expect them to take care of it. These things aren't cheap! Hopefully, they will make things right for you.
Moving forward, I would definitely count your meds when you pick them up in the presence of a pharmacy worker. That's what I do now so I don't have to go through this ordeal again. Good luck to you and let us know how things work out.


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PostPosted: Wed May 16, 2012 9:21 pm 
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So the pharmacy technician was really dodgy about letting me talk to a pharmacist. She said the pharmacist told her to check the computer and five seconds later she said no its good, there is no way we shorted your prescription. Then i asked to speak to pharmacist again and she said, "She said to call manufacturer." I said what is number, she said go to website address on box and hangs up! Everytime I call back I get the same tech! She is a high school girl that actually did my prescription and I think it is possible she stole some but I will not make that accusation at this point.

So i did call manufacturer and they said they have heard of this issue surprisingly commonly and that they suggest ALWAYS counting in front of tech before leaving (i will def do this now on). She also said that Reckitt Benckiser will reimburse the pharmacy for any strips they may have to give me for shorting me. I was VERY surprised by that. She also said that the techs should always be counting the boxes whether they are "sealed" or not because it is just tape, and the pharmacies tape them back up if they take some out of a box anyhow.

So I called back and told tech this and she still said, "No. I will not call manufacturer and give you more strips whether they reimburse or not, you cannot prove your prescription was shorted and I cannot help you." Sadly, Reckitt Benckiser said it is solely on the pharmacy to do this so I guess i am SoL. I will try to have my doctor call in maybe tomorrow and hopefully he can get to talk to actual pharmacist and fix this... I just cannot afford to be out ~$150 and be short 20 strips.


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PostPosted: Wed May 16, 2012 11:17 pm 
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I always count them on the counter while they are ringing me up. I know they probably think I am anal for doing this, but I don't care. And yes, they should be counting them even though they are in sealed boxes, since it is just a piece of tape. The techs don't have to have a college degree, but they do have to pass an exam to be certified. I know this because I had to take the training course for pharmacy technicians at a company I used to work for. They emphasized many, many times during the course, that ALL meds are required to be counted before leaving the pharmacy, and then verified by the pharmacist, so I'm surprised that they admitted that they don't even count them.


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PostPosted: Thu May 17, 2012 7:47 am 
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After thinking some more about it, I'm not sure if they were saying that meds in sealed boxes/containers need to be counted as well...maybe not. I think I have seen packages of sealed meds go out of the pharmacy without being opened. So maybe those are the exception. Just as the pharmacist has to trust the tech's counting of each Rx when they sign off on the script, the tech might be trusting the manufacturer for placing the appropriate number of meds in the sealed packages. Anyway, counting them in front of the tech would prevent this from happening in the future.

I know, a lot of good this does you now, but it's something you can do in the future.


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PostPosted: Thu May 17, 2012 11:30 am 
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Taurus wrote:
After thinking some more about it, I'm not sure if they were saying that meds in sealed boxes/containers need to be counted as well...maybe not. I think I have seen packages of sealed meds go out of the pharmacy without being opened. So maybe those are the exception. Just as the pharmacist has to trust the tech's counting of each Rx when they sign off on the script, the tech might be trusting the manufacturer for placing the appropriate number of meds in the sealed packages. Anyway, counting them in front of the tech would prevent this from happening in the future.

I know, a lot of good this does you now, but it's something you can do in the future.


Yeah exactly... just going to be a crappy month =( . But doesn't the Pharmacy "seal" the boxes back up if they need to fill an order of say 40? I mean whose to say whether its factory or pharmacy sealed? I mean ive never been handed a box thats totally open.


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PostPosted: Thu May 17, 2012 12:42 pm 
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This subject got me thinking about something that happened years ago. Back when I was taking Vidodin, and not really abusing them too much, every month my script for 120 would be short by 1. This happened for several months until I finally told the pharmacist that he should look at his workers a little closer. What he did surprised me. He just smiled, went into the Vicodin bottle and gave me around 25 pills. "Will this about cover it?" he says. Yep, I'm good. Funny guy.

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PostPosted: Fri May 18, 2012 12:16 pm 
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Rule - Someone must have been swiping a pill out of bottles when they filled them, thinking patients won't notice or miss just 1 pill. After a whole day or week's worth of filling Rx's, that tech could have a lot of pills in their pocket! And that's even weirder (is that a word??) that the pharmacist just handed you 25 pills of a scheduled narcotic. They usually have strict guidelines on those meds to make sure the inventory matches every month or quarter. I'm sure there's a lot that goes on in pharmacies that we don't know about. :shock:

Scrap264 wrote:
But doesn't the Pharmacy "seal" the boxes back up if they need to fill an order of say 40? I mean whose to say whether its factory or pharmacy sealed? I mean ive never been handed a box thats totally open.


I have had an Rx for 45 sub films when I first got on sub, and I just got one original Suboxone box of 30, and then they had to open the seal on another box and give them to me in one of their own boxes from the pharmacy with the other 15 in it. So I'm sure they just seal it back up with their own tape to dispense to someone else.


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PostPosted: Fri May 18, 2012 11:49 pm 
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thats exactly how mine is Taurus..........
My Rx is 84 every 28 days.

so I have 24 in one of the boxes I get. It ALWAYS looks like its 'sealed' but theres only 24 in it.


Just wanted to add that. And after I read this, I went and counted all mine!!!!!!!!!!!!

I DID have a problem with walgreens when I first started on sub. EVERY Rx I got, would be short 4 or 6. they would say "I already got them" becuase I could only afford a few at a time then.So Id know I had lets say 6 left, they'd say I already got them.
Well after that happening 5 times, I went to rite aid. I havent had a problem there, yet.

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