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Thread: One common theme

  1. #1
    Distinguished Community Member Pharmacist.steve's Avatar
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    Default One common theme

    According to my profile.. I have been on this board for SIX YEARS... I see a reoccurring theme... particularly with certain Pharmacists/Pharmacies... people run into opiophoic Pharmacists and they come to this board and b1tch about how they are treated... every time I see this.. I recommend that they complain to the PIC ( Pharmacist in charge), corporate headquarters or the BOP (Board of Pharmacy).
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    To the best of my knowledge.. they seldom follow thru...
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    I can guarantee that you are not the only one that they are treating this way and the longer and the more patient that they get by with such tactics ... they are going to get embolden with their actions and attitudes.
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    Those that have "subjective diseases" ( pain, anxiety, depression, mental health) are generally viewed with suspension ... since their disease state has no means of hard measuring or confirming the presence of the disease or the severity of their disease.
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    Here is the truth/facts... no one is going to fight your fight... the DEA states that they want the people that need the medication to get it... but.. IMO.. they fight this war on drugs with a very broad brush... they are trying to do "surgery" with a chain saw instead of a scalpel.
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    The DEA, CDC, BOP's, general press and the general public are all on the same page.. because they are all fed - and believe - the same $hit from the DEA...
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    I know that it is hard to muster up the mental/physical strength to file complaints and follow thru...but.. that is what the DEA is counting on... which allows them to keep going to Congress to get more and more money to fund the war on drugs... in DC... the size of a agency's budget ... means the number of people they can have in the agency and those two things means "power" in that environment...
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    In DC - or any bureaucracy - their primary function is to perpetuate itself and get larger with more influence/power within the system.
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    Bottom line is that each of you either needs to learn and stand up for yourselves and take actions when you are mistreated... or learn to accept how you are treated in silence !
    Pharmacist Steve
    www.pharmaciststeve.com

  2. #2

    Default

    I live in a small community where everyone knows everyone, or at least it seems that way. While this can sometimes be a curse, in the case of the local pharmacy, it is a blessing. We've known the pharmacist and his family for years. There have been times when I was on very heavy doses of narcotics, even IV. He has never questioned my need for them, and has always been more than helpful with all our prescription needs. Several times, he has stayed late or even opened the pharmacy at night to fill a prescription for us.

    One time, Greg was being dismissed from the hospital in the evening (I don't recall why) and needed a prescription for some kind of pain medicine filled. We knew our pharmacy was already closed, and I didn't want to bother Bob at home, so we decided to stop at the Walgreens a few blocks from the hospital. The pharmacist was a jerk to us. He demanded that Greg come in himself to get the prescription. We tried to explain that Greg had just had major surgery, and we didn't what to make him get out of the car, but the jerk didn't care. The store manager wasn't there at the time, but she got a call from me then next day!

  3. #3
    Administrator/SYSOP Mike Weins's Avatar
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Pharmacist.steve View Post
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    Bottom line is that each of you either needs to learn and stand up for yourselves and take actions when you are mistreated... or learn to accept how you are treated in silence !
    I do agree that folks need to speak up when they aren't being treated properly, but they should not "learn to accept how they are treated in silence". They are free to come here and question their pharmacists actions and/or complain about them as long as they don't name the pharmacist(s).
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    Default

    Steve, great post. Like Brion my local pharmacy at our small town know the doctors and which ones of us are being treated and with what medication. They seem to only be concerned if their is a dramatic change in medication. I do contact DC though as I want my congressman and senators to act for our benefit and not let DEA intimidate dr or us when it comes to medication we need. My philosophy is we have to be our own best advocates as you can't count on others to stand up for you.
    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

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    Community Member Diandra's Avatar
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    Good advice Steve, it truly is but, you hit the nail on the head when you recognized that it is hard to muster the strength to file and follow up on complaints.
    With so many of us, just GETTING to the pharmacy is a huge effort. The errand of running to the pharmacy is only one of many errands that chronic pain patients need to run and for most of us it takes an enormous effort. It is the right thing to do to file a complaint and I have talked to the pharmacist in charge when I have had a problem but with running a busy pharmacy and employee issues, I was treated politely but doubt anything was ever done other than, oh sorry, we will make sure that does not happen again. My latest issue, my Norco script was 100 pills short, yes 100 of 180 pills. I did not discover it until I got home. So back in the car to the pharmacy.Luckily the bottle the pills came in could not physically hold 180 pills so the owner of the pharmacy, whom I know, knew I was not lying. People are just working too fast and are too distracted and mistakes happen OR he had to deal with the problem that one of his employees stole 100 pills. There is a weekend person who often makes mistakes, she is always flustered and distracted, I honestly don't know how she keeps the job. She is often the one who messes up on my scripts. The owner knows it, I know it, but I guess for whatever reason he does not replace her....maybe it is too hard to get good part-time pharmacists on weekends. So, my point is, I do complain but I think pharmacy owners are just too busy to really work on their staffing issues. This is a private pharmacy, not a big CVS or Walgreens.
    Diandra

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    Distinguished Community Member Pharmacist.steve's Avatar
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    Default

    Diandra... one of the places that I routinely work temp at have a couple of RPH's (females) that are micro-managers... and they drive themselves and the staff nuts having to be abreast of all the minutia going on... Me, on the other hand.. I am an macro manager... I know the staff .. I take care of my responsibilities and stay out of their way.. they know that if they have problem or question.. I am there to help... This is a very large long term care pharmacy 20,000 -30,000 sq ft with a dozen or more techs... I typically do a "walk around" about every hour to make sure that everyone is on time track of getting the "run" out on time. It takes a great deal to get me rattled.. I suspect that this type of micro-managing you are seeing on the weekend shift.
    Pharmacist Steve
    www.pharmaciststeve.com

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    deleted for my own reasons.
    Blessings
    Alex44
    Last edited by alex44; 10-15-2012 at 08:30 PM. Reason: Alex44

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    As someone who has experienced some problems with my chain store pharmacist, allow me to express some of the reasons why it is important to let people "vent" their frustrations on a CP forum such as this.

    1. Comfusion about the myriad of rules and regulations pertaining to C-II meds, as well as lack of knowledge of the inner workings of a pharmacy and its suppliers. A patient will often wonder if they are really being treated unfairly, or whether or not the pharmacist is doing his or her best in a difficult situation. And having severe chronic pain that can make it difficult to think clearly at stressful times doesn't make the situation any easier.

    2. Did the pharmacist really say what I thought he or she did? Or am I being too sensitive? Perhaps the pharmacist seemed "rude" because he or she was busy. It can be difficult to remember conversations word for word, unless the pharmacist said something absolutely egregious.

    3. Being forced to deal with a chain pharmacy, due to lack of a local indy pharmacy. This leads to reluctance to "make waves", especially when the patient is unclear whether or not the pharmacist did anything wrong. How many of us patients know all of the rules and regulations of being a pharmacist? Perhaps the pharmacist was doing their best in a difficult situation. So obviously this leads to reluctance to "tick off" the only local pharmacy that can get your meds.

    I really could go on and on, but I can only say that personally, it has been VERY helpful for me to post about my pharmacy problems on this board, because I've learned a lot. For example, by posting on this board I learned that there is/was a nationwide morphine shortage, so the fact that my pharmacist couldn't get my morphine really wasn't her fault. It's not wise to be TOO QUICK to complain, especially if it turns out that the pharmacist hasn't done anything wrong. No need to make unnecessary enemies, especially when you are dependent on them to fill your scripts each month.

    By the way, when I went 3.5 WEEKS without my morphine, I DID call my chain pharmacy's 1-800 number and file a compliant, mainly because I wasn't getting much info or answers about the situation from either of my pharmacists. But I really do not think that filing the complaint changed anything.

    But if I'm not mistaken, Steve, I thought that you posted that Walgreen's isn't even looking at complaints regarding C-II meds. Maybe I got this mixed up, but I could swear I read that recently on this board.

    Anyway, I just wanted to say that sometimes people just need to vent about an extremely frustrating experience to other CPer's. We might not even be sure that we were mistreated; that's why we might post about the experience to hear what others have to say. And as Diandra posted, sometimes pharmacists make mistakes because they are rushed. I also recently had an incident in which I was shorted on pills. Fortunately, when I discovered it 2 days later and went back to the pharmacy, I encountered the same pharmacist who had incorrectly filled my meds and she knew I was telling the truth.

    So it can be difficult to decide what constitutes grounds for an official compliant, vs. understanding that everbody makes mistakes. It's a tough call to make, especially when in excruciating pain. And I second that just GETTING to the pharmacy is a major task when in this amount of pain.

    Eva

  9. #9

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    Steve, I agree with you if we don't stand up for ourselves no one else will that is a proven. This also goes with our treatment from Dr's and their office employees.


    Diandra, I had this happen before also and there was no way you could physically fit the amount of pills in the bottle, they tried to use that it was s different brand but even with that it didn'd fly.

    Off topic here is the deal where you come up a few pills short every few month this is a common way that your pills are being stolen either for personal use or to sell on the streets.

    I had this happen for a long time before I caught on and I did report this not only to the head phamacist but the company and the local DEA..The system is they rotate the amount of pills and the customers then when you get cut short you start counting them every month at the counter then after a couple of months you start letting up and that is about the time you come back up on rotation it is a heck of a system for the theif..Does't sound like much but when you think about how many customers they rip off every month it adds up.

    I believe that many of the pills sold on the street are obtained this way. I don't understand why they do not have video of where the pills are counted for this reason it wouldnt be as eay to rip pills off if your being recorded..

    Sorry for the off topic just ticked off this happend to my son last month and had brought up a lot of anger issues of this..

    Linda

    again excuse spelling new lap top and having trouble getting everything set up such as spell check..

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