When a COSTCO pharmacist lies to a pt… is it unprofessional conduct ?

Not all healthcare professionals and first responders are pulling their weight

About one week ago I posted the above on my blog. If you haven’t read that post maybe you should since I am going to make some references what was stated in that post .. in this post.

The last communication that the pharmacist from Costco said that she had was a denial – after TWO APPROVALS and the PCP’s office had called me saying that it was APPROVED FOR THE THIRD TIME..

But the pharmacist said that she no such communication from them.. last was the denial.

Early this morning, I get a text from Costco that this prescription had been filled and ready to be picked up.

I checked the EPIC pt portal and there was no communication about this Rx to Costco since two weeks ago…  which was an APPROVAL – which the pharmacist denied receiving that day.

SO… was I lied to that day by that pharmacist ? Where all of sudden did they get the approval ? It is still a WEEK EARLY to refill…  I guess that there are distinctly different shades of EARLY ?

Of course now, Indiana is under a shelter in place for another 2 weeks and now there is a NATIONAL QUARANTINE for two weeks, since Trump invoked the Stafford Act.  Barb does not have two weeks worth of medication left  and this Costco is some 30-35 miles from our home and in ANOTHER STATE.

They have now expanded the “high risk” categories for people and between the two of us… we hit ALL BUT ONE… neither one of us is diabetic.

So I just composed a letter to the Senior VP of Pharmacy service for COSTCO  (Victor A. Curtis) … and enclosing our cards – show above…   I still did not refer to this female pharmacist as a “nasty woman” ! I kept the letter to just one page… didn’t want it to turn into a diatribe.

I did not demand that she be fired… I just stated that it would seem that the only part of her education that stuck with her decision making process was limit to “by the numbers”  and that with the pandemic – putting us in uncharted territory and dealing with a pt with subjective diseases.. “by the numbers” just doesn’t work.  As long as she fails to talk to pts – which counseling pts is required by OBRA 90 – probably enacted into law before she was born, but I didn’t reference her failing to counsel, but did mention that she will never develop any clinical skills if she doesn’t change her processes… that she will be one of those pharmacist scratching their heads when they are replaced with AI, IBM’s WATSON, and a robot.

I told him that the only reason I was having that Rx filled at Costco was because of their cash price, hundreds of dollars less than the copay demanded by our Part D, but we survived before we joined Costco and we would do the same going forward without being a member of Costco.

But the local independent that we normally use, will fill it and Humana will cover it and Barb having her necessary medication is more important than the cost.

7 Responses

  1. Yes.
    Unprofessional.
    Worthy of sanctions

  2. Costco has some great prices on things, I hate to see you guys miss out or have to pay more due to the mean pharmacist. But I guess if you only went there occasionally then it might not bother you guys too much. We just buy so many things there so it would be hard to stay away.
    Is there someone you can file a complaint with? I mean in a way to really get her in trouble? If she did this to you, I’m guessing she has terrorized others. Costco is famous for “not receiving rx’s” funny how it only happened with controlled rxs though. Ours has gotten so much better now that they fired the biased pharmacy manager. She was applying pressure to the other pharmacists to also be biased and find reasons not to fill. I’m so sorry this happened to you guys, as this is just added stress that you didn’t need right now. I hope you see some sort of resolution to this. Just an idea but you could also post on their facebook page that the pharmacist flat out lied to you and discriminated against you. they don’t usually like public criticisms. Good luck Steve! 🙂

    • I put this out on my blog and FB, Twitter and LinkedIN and I suspect that they have auto-bots looking for their name being mentioned.. between all those formats I have about 7000 followers… I am sending the Senior VP of Pharmacy services a certified letter.. I am just waiting to see what response I get… we actually have a SAM’S warehouse a lot closer to us … this Costco is some 30-35 miles away from our home and in another state…

      • Steve that’s great, sounds like plenty of people will hear you. Sams club is supposed to be great too for good prices, we don’t have one near us. I hope they look into this and somehow try to make it right. 🙂

  3. Maybe if more people complain the more these pharmacies will get there act together. Things like this should be report to the corp0office and you state pharmacy board.

    • I have a certified letter to send to the Senior VP of pharmacy services of Costco… not sure about Board of Pharmacy… I will have to look at who is on the board – I am licensed in KY ..but … most BOP’s are stacked with non-practicing corporate pharmacists.. in 2016 KY BOP had 15 denial of care complaints and they dismissed 14 of them with no action and never could find out what happened to the one.. KY is also one of the few states that have UNLIMITED tech to pharmacist ratios and they don’t require techs to be certified.. they just have to register… and looking at the law.. it was to collect $25/yr from each tech and be able to stop anyone caught diverting control drugs from working in another pharmacy. I couldn’t find anything on the number of licensed tech in KY.. but like everything else in a bureaucracy… they find a reason for a money grab. like annual registration fee.. actually techs in KY are not really licensed they are just registered

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