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Thread: Should I File a Complaint on Pharmacy?

  1. #1
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    Angry Should I File a Complaint on Pharmacy?

    I've posted a couple of updates under my "Morphine Shortage" thread where you all can read about the HELL that my pharmacy is putting me through.

    No one has been rude to me this time, but I've been speaking regularly with the two pharmacists who work there re: the morphine injectable shortage. They've been giving me the run-around for a WEEK!

    I had to call several times to get ANY infomation at all, and when I did, I wasn't given much info at all. I wasn't told that I needed a NEW script before they could even TRY to order an alternate med----and this continued for a week! I even went there last Friday and spoke with the pharmacist face-to-face. They kept saying, "We'll try to order it". I asked them to please keep me posted, but I never received a single phone call from EITHER of the pharmacists.

    Finally, I called today and spoke to the pharmacist once AGAIN. I asked her if she could order an alternate form of morphine. She replied, "Maybe I can get the 50 mg vials." Okay. "Well, have you tried to order it?" I asked. "NO", was all she said. "Well, WHY NOT?" I asked, feeling positively exasperated. "I can't order it without a new prescription" she told me. "So, I need to call my doctor and get a new prescription?" I asked. "Yes", she replied.

    She knew all of this a WEEK ago, yet NEVER said a word to me about me needing to get a new script. I also talked with the other pharmacist on staff on Monday, and SHE led me to believe that she could order my meds WITHOUT a new script. The incompentency and laziness displayed by these two pharmacists really disgusts me! I'm in severe pain and suffering mild withdrawals thanks to their incompetence.

    I've gone a week without my most effective pain med, and I still have to physically drive an hour to my doctor's office to pick up a new prescription. Then, I have to wait probably a WEEK before their order even comes in (IF it comes in at all). By that point, I will have gone 2 WEEKS without my most effective pain med. Why don't pharmacists realize that this kind of wait is interminable for a chronic pain patient??? It makes me so mad, as if they think I don't really need the meds or something.

    BY the way, I'll be calling my doctor tomorrow. I almost feel like asking for Dilaudid injectable, because I don't think there are any shortages on that. I don't know the conversion from morphine injection to Dilaudid injection, but I take 10 mg morphine injectable every day. I get 30 a month.

    I'm confused ny the 50 mg morphine vials. I know how to measure out the 10 mg dose, but I'm not sure how many 50 mg. vials would=#30 10 mg. vials. I asked the pharmacist to please do the math, but she couldn't even help me with that! Would it take #6 50 mg. vials to equal my usual #30 10 mg. monthy dosage? I've been waiting so long; I don't want to end up with LESS medication.

    I don't know if asking my doctor for Dilaudid would make things easier? Presumably he knows the conversion ratios. I've taken Dilaudid before, so I know I can tolerate it. I've never taken Dilaudid injectable outside of the hospital, though, so I don't know what my dose would be. The only other injectable med I can think of is Demerol. I used to get that at the E.R. long ago. 100 mg. seemed to work pretty well.

    Well, for now I guess I'm just asking for a bit of advice on what to say when I call my doctor's office.

    As for suing/filing a complaint against the pharmacy, I'm worried that they will hate me forever. I really don't have many choices for pharmacies in my area. That's why I keep putting up with these intermittent problems of incompetence at the chain store. How can a pharmacist not know that chronic pain patients NEED their meds?! This isn't a game where we can afford to wait around forever.

    Maybe just this month I'll drive an hour and try to find an indy pharmacy. I know that ALL pharmacies are dealing with morphine shortages, but I'm hoping that an indy would keep me apprised of the situation and be able to get the med in within 48 hours.

    Thanks for reading this! This has been one heck of an ordeal to go through!

    Eva

  2. #2
    Distinguished Community Member Pharmacist.steve's Avatar
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    The conversion between SC/IM Morphine & Dilaudid - which is not an exact science - is 10mg Morphine is equal (in pain relief) to 1.5mg -2.5 mg Dilaudid.
    I would file a complaint ...both with corporate & the Board of Pharmacy.
    History would suggest that maybe only 1 out of 20-25 patients who have problems with a pharmacy will file a complaint with the BOP.
    IMO... these Pharmacist are causing you grief,stress, pain & withdrawal... sharing your "pain" with them.. would only seem appropriate..and.... you could be helping 20-24 other patients who don't know how or have the physical/mental strength to follow thru.
    I would not worry about retaliation ... any Pharmacist that would do such... to a patient that has a legit complaint ... is either -IMO - extremely arrogant or ignorant.... either way... repeating the same with the same - or different patient - will probably get them called on the carpet ... if not fired.
    IMO - it would serve these Pharmacist right.. if they were called to appear before the BOP to explain their actions...
    I have found .. that in this world you get cooperation either thru respect or fear... apparently these Pharmacists have little/no respect for their patients... may a dose of FEAR ... will provide a attitude adjustment on their part.
    Pharmacist Steve
    www.pharmaciststeve.com

  3. #3
    Community Member Lil E's Avatar
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    Eve,
    As far as I know the conversion is five to one. Different companies use different amounts in the formulas and pharmacies buy at the lowest price so its not consistent. I cannot take morphine it gives me hallucinations, same thing for my son. I do get better pain relief from dilaudid, lasts longer for me. I'd file a complaint and would look into a suit for pain and suffering.
    If no pain, no gain is true, where is everything I should have gained?
    DDD, Fibro, CFS, pain for 20 years. ADR c 5/6 Feb. 2018 doing well.
    Back to pain management, fibromyalgia getting worse.

  4. #4
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    Thanks for your replies, Steve and Lil E. Yes, Steve, these pharmacists have really put me through hell.

    In the past week, I have spoken with one or the other pharmacist virtually every day. I cannot believe that it took them a WEEK to FINALLY tell me that I needed to get a NEW script from my doctor. How was I supposed to know to do that? My pain doc's receptionist didn't know that. I don't think my pain doc even knew that I'd need a brand new script for the SAME med, just at a different dosage.

    I made the one hour drive to my doctor's office today and picked up my prescription (along with one for next month, because who knows how long these shortages will last?).

    I went to my paharmacy today and dropped off the script. I made a point to take with the pharmacist, who happens to be the pharmacist in charge! I calmly told her that I had been waiting a WEEK for my meds and that NO ONE at the pharmacy had told me that I needed to get a new prescription for my medicine.

    I told the pharmacist that I WISH she had told me I needed a new prescription a WEEK ago. She just looked at me kind of blankly and said, "Oh, you didn't know that?" "NO, I didn't know that", I replied. She never even uttered the word "sorry"! NO apology---NOTHING.

    Now I have to wait probably a WEEK for them to get the order in, so it will be TWO WEEKS without my medicine.

    I really cannot believe how unprofessional BOTH of the pharmacists who work there have been. Would it have been so difficult fo her to say, "I'm sorry"?!

    I'm exhausted and in a lot of pain. I'm still not sure if I have the guts to actually file a complaint, because I'm afraid that then they will absolutely HATE me. Now, they just seem to be utterly indifferent to my pain and suffering, which is at least better than being hated. No wonder so many patients who've been mistreated fail to file complaints! I can understand. Since I'm really stuck with this pharmacy and don't have local alternatives, I don't think I want to make waves.

    Thanks for everyone's support and advice. I really do appreciate it.

    Eva

  5. #5
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    Eva, sorry to hear about all you have gone through with the pharmacy. Steve and Lil E have given you some good advice.
    1979 spinal issues, 1993 lumbar microdisectomy L3-4, 1996 360 3 level lumbar fusion L2-5, 1999 open thoractomy fusion T8-9,
    2002 C3-7 herniations and T4-7 herniations, 2004 total disability, a new limited life

  6. #6

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    Eva, I have a very good relationship with my pharmacy. They have gone through hell and high water to get it. The *********r just doesn't have it, at least here. The single dose injection is still on back order. If you need it in another dose age they need a new script and still no guarantee they can get it. It's not mypharmacys fault they can't get it right now, even hospitals are having issues with it. I would try a small independent pharmacy. They may be able to find some.

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