Former CVS tech comes forward about lying to pts

 

Patients profiled at pharmacy counters

By Kean Bauman. CREATED Feb 23, 2015

Patients with legitimate prescriptions are being turned away at the pharmacy window. It’s something Contact 13 has been investigating for more than a year.

For the first time, a former insider speaks out exclusively to Darcy Spears to expose how some pharmacists are profiling people in need of pain pills.

“It would be left to the pharmacists’ discretion to see which prescriptions we filled and which prescriptions we didn’t,” says Rose Velazquez a former Pharmacy Technician.

Rosie Velazquez cared for patients from behind CVS. pharmacy windows for nearly 30 years. She was let go last year, but not before she saw a disturbing change.

“It was difficult for everyone. Customers were going from store to store and we can hear their frustration.” And so has Contact 13.

Since late 2013 we’ve heard complaints about many drugstores. “I went to 5 different pharmacies,” said Sean Ladner, a quadriplegic who lives with chronic pain after serious car accident.

“All Christmas Eve and all Christmas Cay, she was in pain, screaming in pain,” says Carl Chamberlan, who lost his wife to cancer.

We have heard from people suffering, in desperate need of medication. “And they refused me. I went back 2 or 3 times,” says Carl. But pharmacy after pharmacy denied their prescriptions for relief.

“I went from Walmart to Walmart, to a Walgreens to an Albertsons and back to my Walmart,” says Mary Borowski.

Contact 13 discovered major pharmacy chains were reacting to a DEA crackdown on prescription drug abuse. CVS. and Walgreens were slapped with massive fines. Some retail stores lost their license to sell controlled drugs so they put in strict procedures to fill prescriptions and started turning many patients away.

“We’ve had patients, had to go to anywhere from 5 to 10…we had one patient go to 30 pharmacies,” says Dr. Marx a pain management specialist.

“It was hard to get the medication because we would order 30 bottles from the manufacturer and they would only send us 10,” says Rosie.

Rosie says she was ordered to turn away patients who came from other stores. “We would tell them that we do not have the medication in stock and we had to lie to our customers. I really felt bad doing that.” She says a supervisor began profiling customers “She would take a look at them and if they looked rugged, she would say, ‘tell them we don’t have it.’”

What else would cause the pharmacist concern? “Tattoos definitely,” says Rosie. Rosie says a pharmacy manager was suspicious of young adults in their 20s and 30s even if they’d come directly from a hospital after surgery or being injured in an accident. She was even told to turn away husbands whose wives just had C-sections.

“’Tell them we don’t have it,’ when I knew well we did have the drug in stock.” And here’s a kicker: people who looked sick and in pain were suspect too. “Someone who actually didn’t look like they were taking very good care of themselves,” says Rosie.

Sometimes pharmacies Rosie worked at were out of certain meds. “But the majority of the time, it was just refusing the customer because of what they looked like,” she explains. She says the pain pills they did have were to be held for regular customers.

So if that’s the case, why not tell patients the truth? “Oh we’re not allowed to say anything like that! We’re just allowed to say we didn’t have the medication,” says Rosie. Many of the patients we spoke to in the last year say they were treated like addicts or, “like I was a drug dealing criminal,” says patient James Kruger.

Rosie says there is a system in place to weed out abusers, which could be done with a few clicks on the pharmacy computer. “So we were able to tell that they were either coming from a pill mill or they were trying to get the same medication twice in a week.”

CVS has never agreed to any of our requests for on-camera interviews and this time is no different. They sent us this statement: “Ensuring that patients with a legitimate medical need have access to pain relief medication is part of CVS/pharmacy’s purpose of helping people on their path to better health. Ms. Velazquez’s allegations are not consistent with our Company’s policies, procedures or values. At the same time, the abuse of controlled substance pain medication is a nationwide epidemic that is exacting a devastating toll upon individuals, families and communities. Pharmacists have a legal obligation under state and federal law to determine whether a controlled substance was issued for a legitimate purpose and to decline to fill prescriptions they have reason to believe were issued for a non-legitimate purpose. Pharmacists must evaluate each controlled substance prescription and consider a variety of factors when exercising their professional judgment as to whether or not to fill a controlled substance prescription.”

Rosie understands the dangers of abuse, but she couldn’t stand by and watch legitimate patients get caught in the middle and turned away. “That hurt me, Rosie says, “because I truly care about the customers and getting their medications and that was my job — helping them feel better.”

For more than a year we’ve been demanding answers from the major pharmacy chains, lawmakers and the Nevada Board of Pharmacy. We’ve been getting the same broad response over and over again with no meaningful solution: Prescription drug abuse is an epidemic that needs to be addressed and there needs to be a balance to make sure legitimate patients get their medication. But hundreds of patients who contacted us are still in pain and have no answers.

If you’re being denied or delayed when trying to get a prescription filled let us know about. Send us an email to 13investigates@ktnv.com

 

88 Responses

  1. Thank you Rosie!! I Call B. S. On CVS!
    Pharmacies should all be Clicking their computers in order to Stop the Addicts! If they all used the system that’s in place these addicts, dealers, and pill mills wouldn’t be able to take the medications away from the patients that’s truly in pain..

  2. There has to be plenty of Ex pharmacist and pharmacy technicians that used to work for Walgreens or CVS that would be willing to testify on behalf of pain patients That were turned away when indeed the pharmacy had the medication in stock. This would be the basis for a class-action lawsuit for medical malpractice.

  3. Also the buck should stop and start with the prescribing Doctor. Pharmacies should not be put in the middle of determining whether or not a patient needs a particular pain medication. If a doctor is prescribing pain medication that is unnecessary then it is the Doctors license that should be on the line. Period. By going after the pharmacies and giving them the responsibility for determining whether or not a medication is medically necessary only adds to the confusion and causes unnecessary suffering of chronic pain patients.

    • You are 100% correct. The blame and the control both need to be taken from the pharmacists. The DEA created all of this.

    • It’s both the pharmacist and the Dr. both are held accountable, like joined at the hip. According the reading the whole DEA website.

      • In my professional opinion.. the DEA is expecting Pharmacists to do things that exceed their authority under their Pharmacy Practice Act and do not have the education/training to do. A Pharmacist’s basic functions is to determine that their is no drug interactions between the pt’s medications, no allergies with medications and the dose is within acceptable range. Requiring Pharmacists to determine if the prescription is “appropriate for the pt” when the pharmacist does not have access to the pt’s medical records… nor has the education/training/ability/authority to do a personal examine on the pt. It is illegal for a prescriber to prescribe any medication for a person that they have not done a in person exam on a pt…why is it allowed for Pharmacists to do this ? The starting, stopping, changing a pt’s medication is a basic function of the practice of medicine. No one – including the Boards of Pharmacies, Medial Licensing Boards, various professional association has taken action to stop the DEA from insisting that Pharmacists perform functions/tasks outside of their authority under their license. But.. it would seem that the DEA – in various areas – have little concern as to what is legal/illegal when it is something that they believe should be done.

    • I agree, one had the nerves to tell me my prescription wasn’t worth a anything to him. I was like wow, this is what you think of your clients. Smh

  4. I hope she can file for wrongful termination. I know she’s speaking the truth when CVS in Smyrna Tennessee would not even order mine- and I will never believe that they were out until the unusual snow we had this week. What about the patients that could not get to the pharmacy on the 30 th day or the clinic that didn’t open for 3 days. So much unnecessary suffering.

  5. I believe she’s telling the truth…I’ve temped at an independent up north and I heard stories from patients who would ask us if there were shortages on certain drugs because that’s what CVS told them. We had everything and told them…No, there’s no shortages of such and such pain meds, we’ve been getting it not problems. As a mom who has has 3 C sections….if my then husband had been denied take home pain meds…believe me it would NOT have been pretty for me to have to have gotten out of the car to give them a piece of MY mind about NOT getting my Percocet. We didn’t get my post C section meds filled at CVS anyway as they weren’t even in our town when I had my kids. But he would have had to have bail money. Talk about cruel and unusual punishment…I believe that’s in the Constitution. I hope CVS gets the pants sued off of them

    • CVS and Walgreen’s already did get sued/fined by the Federal government via the DEA. These pharmacies can no longer afford to provide opiates to patients. Drs. need to put indication of treatment on the prescription so a cancer patient can get care…The large spread abuse and sale of opiates by “legitimate” patients have caused states to restrict the sale of these drugs. Same thing occurred with Sudafed once it became the starting ingredient for methamphetamine production.
      The drug makers of these opiates enjoyed their profits for many years..but in reality it is patients that now suffer..and Drs. need to stop over prescribing.

      • Really,,,my medical condition is no-ones business but mine and my doctors!!!!what rite does any pharmacist have to have access to anyones medical conditions,,legally that are NOT doctors,,,wow,,,,nosy little bugger aren’t you,,,If I am a adult,,,my medical records are none of your business!!!u think over prescribing eh???look up” petition 2 congress do no harmdea targets physician,”,,and tell that to the 34,000 who are FORCED TO ENDURE PHYSICAL PAIN FROM PEOPLE LIKE U,, who think they have a rite to decide who suffers in physical pain and who does not!!!,,No-one has a rite to literally torture another living being as u suggest,,,maryw

        • I agree with you that it is not the business of nosy pharmacy technicians with questionable training and lax ethics to know my diagnosis. Drug manufacturers created this problem by making opiates so much less expensive and easier to get than other medications which potentially work better for chronic pain but cost a lot more. It’s not up to pharmacists to fix it or patients to pay the price.

          • I disagree on 1 point,,,THEE ONLY PEOPLE TO BLAME FOR THIS TORTURE AND GENOCIDE,,, is thee United States Government and Andrew Klondyn ,,ie Hitlers Youth,,,,,maryw

            • Yes! Andrew kolodny feels no one needs any pain medication for any reason. I hope, one day, he is in pain and there’s nothing in stock.

              • Amen,,I mean how arrogant he must be,,to think he has th right to deny anyone access to effective medical care/medicine to lessen severe physical pain,,or is he totally blinded to the truth of his damage because he is sooooo arrogant??either away,,he’s killing people,literally tortureing them to death,,maryw

          • Actually opiate pain meds work better and are safer than many of the newer drugs. The newer ones have many horrible side effects and only relieve pain in a tiny minority, if at all. Sooo their are people who abuse opiates. Oh well. Big whoops. There are all kinds of addictions in our world. I don’t believe this is about abuse at all. It’s about pushing expensive iffy drugs nobody wants instead of affordable know opiates.

        • Well put mary . Not hard for us to know who posted that information,

        • Pharmacist are doctors now a days. They have a PharmD, doctor of Pharmacy. They went to school for 4 years to learn about medication where as most physicians only have 1 semester that covered medications. Sadly the people who are abusing these medications have ruined it for the rest of the population. Pharmacists can lose their license if it’s discovered that a physician is over prescribing opioids or is part of a “Pill Mill” and the pharmacists fills every script from that doctor.

          • It doesn’t make any difference at their educational degree.. I have worked with Pharmacists that had a 3-yr degree, 4-year degree and I have a 5-yr degree… they are still regulated by the state practice act as to what they can do. Much of what Pharmacists are doing today… they are doing because of fear/intimidation of the DEA and – IMO – clearly outside of our authority under the practice act… and the 51 boards of pharmacy have neither the balls nor the backbone to tell the DEA to stick their illegal mandates up their ass.. Attorneys have a doctor of jurisprudence degree… and many in the educational system have a PhD in education and are addressed as “Dr”. They still don’t have the legal authority to practice medicine

            • what degree is legit? you stupid fools worrying about what institution babysat who…so pathetic all of you. yes U TOO!

              • Currently the only entry level degree to become a licensed Pharmacists is a PharmD – 6 yrs… and there are still a few Pharmacists working with a 4 yr degree… last year it was granted was 1960. It doesn’t matter what degree a Pharmacist has.. what they are granted/limited to do is defined by their particular state’s pharmacy practice act… and they all had to take/pass the state licensing boards which – once passed – are entitled to put RPh. behind their name… The educational degree is basically worthless until you pass the boards…

                • So r u telling me,,,Some ,”kid,” w/ a 4 year degree is unlawfully viewing my private medical records??I say unlawful,,for it is unjust and wrong,,maryw

                  • If they are providing care to you… they can legally have access to your medical records… here is an example of a pharmacist accessing PMP records for someone that they were not giving care to Pharmacist reprimanded for seeking Prince’s medical records and they were not a pt of the pharmacist – and that is ILLEGAL !!

                    • I was just thinking on that..We had a nurse for our Ma once,come to the farm,Well,,I caught her in my Ma’s Meds,when I asked her ,what she was doing,,she said she was making sure it was right,,huh,,Anywho,,come to find out,,this ,”aid,” has a sister,who works at pharmacies,,and I was thinking exactly what u just said,,Could she illegally ask her sister to look me up,,to have other give me crap?Can a ,”pharmacist ,”
                      ,”tech” look up our stuff too??”Sorry to bother,,but I see a lot of ,’techs” now a days,,,maryw

                  • if 4 yr degrees weren’t granted since 1960 (not sure of this even) they are hardly “kids” by 2017-suspect the vast majority of them are retired now like myself (1976 6 yr grad)

      • Even when the doctor puts the indication of treatment on the prescription, I still had a pharmacist tell me that to fill the prescription they needed the last five years of all my medical records before prescription could be released. This was for a very low dose short-acting pain med. I refused, as I did not feel it was appropriate to bring several hundred pages of my medical records, scans, etc, for the pharmacist to peruse.

        • I would have told them if you want to see them talk to the doctor about it. Of course their reply is that they cannot get them unless you sign a release. Then I would have said well that is the law because you are not a train doctor who has examed me or schooled on what treatment would be best for my condition based on my past medical history. My doctor is suppose to do a exam to make sure the drug is needed but you have not exam me nor trained to do so so you are working outside of your license. You job is to determine if their could be any conflicts with other medication or allergies, know how the medications work for what and to count the pills and make sure the prescription is real. When you become a medical doctor and when you do a thorough exam then you can determine whether I need the pills or not.

    • I hope they get sued also. They just lie to the public something is wrong with that.

    • I hope they get sued to. Rotten bunch.

  6. Those few clicks of a computer don’t show any out of state fills, so that can get hairy. And sometimes it’s not the patient that deters the pharmacist from filling, it’s the doctor. Today, I had even a very respectable local doctor commit what would be considered fraud if the right parties were to find out how she ACTUALLY instructed the patient to take it. This patient being someone who she admitted could sink her license and has played games with her and with us for months. Yet because of the way she actually wrote the prescription (faking a dose increase {double the dose, mind you}for 4 days only), and with a little documentation from me that I spoke to her about it, I could fill it….and I did, even though I felt pretty uneasy about it and a lot of people probably wouldn’t have done it (and rightfully so) Damned if you do and damned if you don’t sometimes.
    So, sometimes there are more factors to it than just what the patient looks like. (Just a side note- this patient doesn’t look the least bit concerning, either.) But if people are turning those in obvious need of it away without at least assessing the situation or checking to see if they even have it in stock, that’s pretty wrong.

    • What gives u the right to ,”assess,”’ anyone??R U MY DOCTOR,,OR A DOCTOR,,,,????,,it is your job as a pharmacist,,to fill the legitamit script,,,THATS IT!!!!!maryw

      • Actually, most pharmacists are doctors now. And they also have licenses to protect. They don’t make money from your script. Your prescriber,however…

        • Tortureing a human being to death,literally is not ,”protecting,” anyone,,its murder,,but 1 big ??,,Since it is literally impossible for u to physically feel the physical pain of anyone,,Why do u think u have the right to torture another human being by denying them access to effective medicine for the medical condition??SERIOUSLY,,,,NO-ONE HAS ANSWERRED THAT QUESTION FOR ME,,,NO-ONE,,, and I truly would like to know thee answer??thank u for your time?maryw

      • PharmD, which means they are DOCTORS of Pharmacy.

  7. If you heard the story, they are doing this because they received large fines. I also know that pain meds are not being stocked in locations because the government is not allowing them to be stocked. Think about it. Do you really think they want to turn away profits? If there is a question with an Rx, call the doctor. Perhaps I don’t have issues because my store gets my Rx’s electronically.

    Too many people abuse pain meds. On November 11, 2014 I was prescribed (for pain from an infection in a leg wound that was not healing) 130 Vicodin. 1 tablet, every 6 hours – so I had a 30 day supply. Since I have a high pain threshold and my pain is specific to night time (which again doctors don’t understand why – it’s so intense that I get waken up) I have 103 left, so doctors prescribe for me without a problem, and CVS gladly fills the order.

    I am up right now – 12:52 AM because of pain in my leg. I cleaned my would, and took an Alka Seltzer (had spaghetti for dinner). I had a blown knee and nothing worked. The doctor told me that all he could do was prescribe a narcotic. I told him not to – I did not want to trade one problem for another, so in my case, they know that I will not take a Vicodin unless I genuinely had to. I used to get migraines and would not turn to the narcotic until day 3 of an episode. Why? By day 3 I was in so much pain that I had little choice since on day 3 the pain would cause lost work time because literally I could not function.

    Being honest, if you take them for a few days, at the slightest pain your body starts pushing you to take a pill. It takes willpower to beat that feeling back and many people do not have the willpower to say no. Vicodin with 750 mg acetaminophen is no longer manufactured, and the most you can get is 375 mg. For me that makes a difference. Everyone’s body is different.

    • Mario..imagine your pain level on day 3..being every day pain levels! Im thrilled you can handle whatever pain you have with an over the counter drug. I for one would love to have those level of pain again. I have 3or 4 bulging disc. Sciatic nerve damage..hip that screams in pain.tailbone that you can’t sit or stand on..can’t sleep for my pain. Im just saying…I hope you never get the level of pain that thousands of people deal with all day every day. It is a sadife to live and then with the DEA coming down on patients in real horriffic pain..its sad. Yes..there too many people out here getting pain meds and selling them for people wanting a high..or people who have a doctor that can’t get their pain levels adjusted..J/S..Don’t say what you wont do until you have walked in a chronic pain patients shoes. Trust me..its not a life thats even worth living some days..its a miserable struggle..God Bless all those that suffer needilessley every day.

      • Amen. You hit the nail on the head as far as how a chronic pain patient lives. It really isnt worth living most days. And with no light at the end kf the tunnel, its depressing. Most pain meds dont even work well enough to kill all of the pain. But I can’t imagine not having anything. I’d of commit suicide by now. I suffer from 3 types of neuralgia in my neck, for unknown reasons. Been suffering 7 long years now, with it only getting worse each day. And no end in site. I’m usually in bed most days. That is my life because of pain. Not an easy life to live. Did I mention I’m only 28? This started in 2011. I was 22 when pain started. I question every day of this will finally be the day that km in so.much pain that I just can’t take it anymore.

      • Amen!!! I suffer daily from multiple back injuries from blown or herniated disks and crushed vertebrae, along with osteoporosis, osteoarthritis, fibromyalgia and before my Daith piercings chronic migraines from around age eight to age 52(2 days ago when I the piercings done), which I highly recommend to chronic migraine sufferer’s who don’t mind the short pain of the piercing process. I had been in bed three days with a migraine when the nurse told me how these piercings (based on acupuncture treatment) completely stopped her disabling headaches. Well back to the pill police, I’ve been turned away by Walgreen’s and given the wrong pills at CVS, which after looking at pill identifier turned out to be a diabetes drug which could cause serious problems because I’m hypoglycemic. Walmart is just as bad now in the pill police department.

    • Oh gee, you’re SO above others..
      Nice virtue signaling. Where are your citations for the “So many ppl abuse Rx drugs” ?? You have NO fu**ing idea that another Intractable Pain Patient’s level of pain can drive them to Suicide. Since this Gestapo – type action taken against CPP’s, the suicide rate has jumped dramatically. (You’ll find info online 4 that, because the Lame Stream Media wont report that) . Chronic Pain Pts. aren’t going to sell their pills b/c they need them too fuc*ing badly.

    • Exactlly every ones body is different,,,THUS,, since it is literaly impossible or anyone to physically feel the physical pain of another,,,as a HUMANE society,,,we do what-ever it takes to lessen said physical pain from a painful medical condition…THATS NOT HAPPENING ANYMORE!!!We have people sayen,,”marijuana works for me,,soo all must do marijaun,,or kratom will stop people from opiates,,i know ,i use it,worked for me crap,,,,Again,,someone who thinks they have the right to decide for other free adults,,how much physical pain they are too forcible endure,,’
      My point is,,we need to go w/fact and truth,,Fact,,everyone’s body is different,,.Truth,,it is literally impossibe for anyone to physically feel the physical pain of another,,thus,,NO-ONE has the right to decide,,,who forcible suffers in physical pain,,Agree,,the definition of torture to be true,,that denial of effective medical care that causes physical pain,,is torture,,and that law need to be brought and honored in a court of law..Also,,”informed consent,” we give our doctors need to honored in a court of law..STOP blaming doctors for your 35 year old babies od’en,,,,,,maryw,,

  8. My old Walgreens has a sign up that says the pharmacy has the right to refuse filling a narcotic script. My husband has been turned away many times from that one pharmacy. We then tried our closest CVS and they do carry certain pain meds.i am thankful that we have now both found pharmacies that are helpful and accommodating.

  9. After breaking my back 10 yrs ago I was put on pain medication. It’s been many surgeries and issues since. The worst pharmacy I ever tried to get a script filled was CVS. Countless times I was turned away. When I asked how long it would take to come in I was told lie, after lie. Then they would reject my script for not having certain info on it. Next month it would have that info and it would need something else. It was frustrating. I hated to go there, but my usual pharmacy would get hit by groups of people with scripts, paying cash. They would go from one pharmacy to another cleaning them out. So while I try and see it from both sides it’s still frustrating to be without meds and in pain. Yesterday, the CDC released a statement that deaths from opioid overdoses has tripled since 1999. How much bigger has the population grown since 1999? Are these deaths from people with legitimate scripts and conditions or are they from illegally acquired drugs. Even though I have 10 yrs of medical history, numerous operational and procedures and a rare nerve condition even going to an ER people like me are treated like addicts.

    • THank you i Agree have the same As you and that’s the way I get treated not right at all!!!!

    • 32 5 back surgeries over 10 years… I was treated and still treated like shit. I have tats and a piercing but I’m not an addict I organize my pills into boxes and realized my pharmacy shorted me one morphine and 2 Norco this month. They stole from me.

  10. Wow wow wow so glad I stubble across this Iv been on meds for quite sometimes cause of my bad back cvs kept denying me saying the same then I had to switch to Walgreens then all the sudden out of no where my prescription had been altered by three pills with a different colored ink went to police and pharmacy of coarse is pointing that I did it when I take a higher more potant than what ER prescribed so needless to say I’m now being investigated so everyone watch ur backs with these two pharmacys cause I would never in my life do that!!!!!!!!!

  11. I have commented on several articles like this one and have posted in my chronic pain group on Facebook trying to get this message out to pain patients. Don’t use chain pharmacies if you can help it. Use small, independently owned and operated pharmacies. You’ll get a better standard of care, you won’t get the corporate ‘policies’ used to profile patients and after using the same small pharmacy for awhile the staff will probably remember your name.

    The pharmacy that I use is located in the local, small town clinic. The pharmacist is the mayor. Everybody that works there is kind and friendly, and they look out for their customers in every way. They try to save us as much money as possible, they will work out payment plans if a person can’t pay at the moment and they look out for drug interactions and so forth.

    I’ve gone to chain pharmacies and have been treated badly. Never again. Not only have I never been treated badly but if they don’t have something in stock.they’ll order it and usually have it the next day. The idea of keeping business local is very appealing to me as well.

  12. I am all the way in Florida with a serious health issue. Perfectly healthy, physically fit, upper middle class working professional and I have been treated as if I was trafficking a kilo of cocaine by CVS. They have also told me they are out of stock which is a blatan lie. Horribly treated by employees. Again, work for a Fortune 500 company and no where near junkie looking. This issue is horrendous and needs to stop.

  13. This just happened to me. I took in an Rx for Percocet and flexeril. The pharmacist would not fill the prescriptions. He said ” there was no medical reason as to why the Dr should have given me those pills. I told him I have spinal stenosis and almost always in pain. He said “sorry I just don’t feel right about giving you these medications . I usually go to Walmart but I no longer have ins and it was cheaper at cvs with the Goodrx app.

  14. Heres what you have to do, START STANDING UP FOR YOURSELF. A Pharmacist is NOT A DOCTOR. They have NO RIGHT to make a medical diagnosis or refuse to fill a prescription, IT IS NOT THEIR RIGHT TO MAKE THAT DECISION, IT IS THE PHYSICIANS RIGHT TO DIAGNOSE AND TO TREAT… Heres what I did and it worked. I have a prescription medication that I take, as you know under heavy control, and the pharmacists started treating me like a drug addict. I told them immediatly that behavior won’t be tolerated, and they shaped up real fast at the thought of being reported to their superiors. Then the next time I came in an attempt to spite me at another pharmacy, they decided that they’d tell me they backordered the medication and that after waiting 1 week… It still hadn’t arrived. I told the pharmacist that if that were the case, I am calling the Drug Enforcement Agency and reporting her to the detectives for potential drug trafficking and theft of controlled substances, because what ELSE would you be doing with a drug that should have arrived already and you claim hasn’t arrived… I’m sure an investigation would also lead to her removal of a license… The point is, they filled those pills FAST when I told them that… These people LIE and CHEAT to save their own butts and jobs, so don’t give them ANY PITY… if they want to LIE to your face, make sure that you remind them that YOU pay their salaries and their degrees and licenses can easily be taken away with a SNAP of the fingers… YOU ARE THE BOSS, NOT THEM… THEY ARE LICENSED TO FILL PILL BOTTLES AND GIVE ADVICE ONLY IF YOU ASK, ANYTHING MORE THAN THAT RAISES A RED FLAG FOR A DEA INVESTIGATION OR REVOCATION OF THEIR LICENSE. STAND UP FOR YOURSELVES, GOD BLESS ALL!

    • Interesting. If possible, I’d like to see if Pharmacist Steve agrees or comment with his approach. Thanks for this website.

      • what Steve Morosa fails to understand is that most of the BOP’s are stacked with non-practicing corporate pharmacists. They are not going to take any action against another chain employee. I was at a FL BOP meeting in June 2015 and a chronic pain doc asked the BOP’s attorney if it was against the practice act for a Pharmacist to lie to a pt and the attorney stated that there was nothing in the practice act that addresses that… From what I have seen, most BOP’s works under the premise that the bar to cross for unprofessional conduct is either VERY HIGH or doesn’t exist. Here is one incident that I could find in my blog … abt a pt… being escorted from the store BY THE POLICE because the pharmacist didn’t want to fill his Rx.. http://www.pharmaciststeve.com/?p=8751 I have heard stories about Pharmacists calling the police on pts – over little of nothing – and the police are going to believe the pharmacist… disorderly conduct, disturbing the peace, trespassing http://www.pharmaciststeve.com/?p=5554 http://www.pharmaciststeve.com/?p=21151

  15. I have experienced this also. The drill of pain management appointment then calling pharmacy after pharmacy with many telling me they couldn’t tell me over the phone to tell me they didn’t have the medication once I arrived at the pharmacy.

    SOLUTION: Go to an independent pharmacy!!!!! I believe it was Steve that suggested this on another post and I followed his advice and WOW what a night and day difference. To be treated as a human being is a beautiful thing! Thank you, thank you, thank you Steve for the suggestion!

    • It just happened to me today at cvs. I called and they said they were out of my “seizure medication” until monday. Id have to send it to another pharmacy. I said ok ill think about it and give a call back. I just called that same cvs store and now it is magically filled and ready to be picked up. Im now thinking about going to pick it up with an attorney present. Im in my thirtys and have tattoos. Also a mother of a small infant. This is really disturbing to me.

  16. It is pretty sad, that this is STILL going on……I, also, agree with Steve, on using an Independent Pharmacy! Plus, the pharmacists at the Independent Pharmacies, really do look out for your best interests, with regards to medications, interactions, finding and applying coupons for copay help….I continue to urge people to find and independent pharmacy!

  17. all true

  18. I agree. Tried to transition back to Walgreens because it is closer to my home. I was lied to twice by the same Walgreens. Same with CVS a couple of years ago, plus that place was just incompetent on so many of my prescriptions. I’ll shop in their stores for gift cards, but I’ll stay with an independent pharmacy for all of my prescriptions, even if it is a farther drive and means a long walk. I expect some pharmacists are pressured by the corporate office to act they way they do, and others are just lazy (like all walks of life).

    • Do not even shop in their stores for gift cards, hit em where it hurts in their profits. I will not go into a Walgreens of CVS for a bottle of water if I was dying of thirst.

  19. I saw on another site,,I think pnn,,,basically,,,cvs got brought into court by our government,,dea,,,brought up on a bunch of BULLSHIT charges of selling ,”drugs,” by the dea,,,The so-called judge/dea OBVIOULSY IN COLLUSION TOGETHER,,, just like the MOB yse to do, it was called racketeereing,,which illegal,, but our government/dea are ABOVE THE LAW now a days,,,Soo cvs was told by the dea if they did not do this,,,they would be fined even more..brought up on more charges,,,threatened by our government,,which is also commiting thee act of tyranny..THIS GOVERNMENT IS SOOOOO CORRUPT,,,not even the innocent are protected anymore,,,The government amount to the MOB,, with the dea the top MOBSTER,,,,but cvs,,,should of fought back,,instead of torturteing us,,just like our government has done,,WILLFULLY,,,maryw.

  20. This was never a problem for me when I lived in our state’s largest city, but after moving back to my rural hometown after I had to go on disability at age 33 for inflammatory autoimmune arthritis (diagnosed at age 23), I began experiencing problems. I had an allergic reaction which made me need to use one specific brand of medication which was only available at one local pharmacy. I am young and have tattoos and piercings, but I ran a business for 9 years and keep a nice appearance and I’m always polite. Regardless, staff immediately started hassling me about being “out of stock” of my medication and making excuses. One day, I went in when I’d been told my refill would be ready and the women there had obviously been discussing it already and exchanged looks and told me they didn’t have it. One said this wouldn’t be an issue if I would take my meds right. They made derogatory comments about me in front of and to other customers in the store. My fiancé came in when it had taken an unusually long time and ended up in a screaming argument with these people I am not even sure are trained pharmacy technicians. I was so humiliated. All my rheumatologist had to say was that it’s becoming more common and to go to a different pharmacy, even if it means a 1.5 hour drive. How is this legal?

  21. Independent pharmacies are in a position to be familiar with their regular customers/patients and are the best source to address this problem so I wouldn’t waste time at any chain pharmacy pike@

  22. It is 2017 and I had my first experience with CVS and it was not pleasant! First / I had a coupon for my extended release medication (which I’ve titrated down from 50mg to 15mg in the last 10 months) and the pharmacist at an Arizona store would not accept my coupon stating (the medication “only” costs $40 – my coupon for a $15 co-pay was denied). Next I was ready to pick up my IR breakthrough pain medication, which was submitted through electronic by my “pain specialist” 4 days before I could pick it up. When I stopped in on the afternoon (after working 7 hrs), I was told it was not available. I contacted my doctor and CVS supposedly told him they needed 30 pills from my RX to fill someone else’s and they would not give me a partial fill until more medication came in. The next day I was told the pharmacist “did not like my attitude” (gee wiz I was frustrated and concerned), therefore, I may or may not receive my RX the next day (when I would take my last dose) due to pharmacist discretion. In other words – probably not – which caused me intense anxiety knowing I could lose my job, lose my livelihood, etc

    I’ve successfully & slowly reduced my medication utilizing intense hypnotherapy but no one cared to ask. I have never been turned away for an attitude issue???

    The pharmacist clearly had the attitude problem and could have cared less about the ramifications of not receiving my meds. CVS had already ran my RX through Insurance – which precludes me from going to another pharmacy to obtain my much needed medication. Playing “God” is not a pharmacists job!

    Talk to the patients and really hear what they are saying!

    I’m a 59 yr old well kept chronic pain patient and do not deserve the kind of disrespect or self indulging treatment from someone who is supposed to “care” for their patients. Especially not knowing the intensely difficult journey I’ve endured while working, and being a productive member of society (even volunteering at our local Veteran chapter), while titrating to lower & lower doses of medication with a goal of complete reduction.

    Shame on CVS! If this company is so intent on “helping” with the opioid crisis – that help should reach patients like myself who really want to reduce the medication and need support doing so!

  23. People with legitimate problems have to pay for a few bad apples.
    The DEA made a terrible call by punishing everyone for a problem they can’t handle..
    Drug enforcement agency…
    .do your job and quit expecting patients to suffer because you can’t enforce drug laws effectively

  24. Thos has happened to me at Wallmart. I am in pain management for bone disease, and had been a regular customer for many months.They suddenly played the we dont have it game with me..I ended up in the local emergency room.People in intractable pain without their meds can stroke out and die..This is an issue that needs to be exposed..We should not be under such restrictions and lies..We are being assaulted for the overdose craze of heroin and illegal fentanyl users..complete insanity..smh.

  25. They do it in south Alabama too.

  26. Nice work,Michelle,,really,,jmo.,maryw

  27. I have taken adderall since I was 14. I take adderall because it calms my mind down and allows me to actually focus and complete tasks. Read a full paragraph once instead of 4-5 times to understand what I just ready. I’m truly ADHD and I have been through very similar situations. Many pharmacies have changed which manufactures they use due to lower prices and when my prescription pills changed from peach to white, they came with very different side effects. Causing extreme tiredness or extreme nausea so I started asking the pharmacist when I dropped off my rx which pills they had and if they weren’t the ones I’ve always say nm. I’ll try somewhere else. And when I started doing that, I noticed pharmacies started telling they didn’t have any of my prescription in stock. So I’d say ok I’ll just get the ones you have and I was turned away with we don’t have any. So I stopped requesting the old kind and still got turned away. On one occasion I took my rx in and said I’d wait for it. The pharmacist called my name and in front of about 14 other people said she couldn’t fill the rx. I asked why and she accused me of changing the date. I asked her to call my doctor to verify that I hadn’t changed anything and she refused. She told me never to come back. I was mortified. So humiliated. I went across the street to Walgreens and was told they didn’t have it. I tried 3 other cvs pharmacies and was denied at every one. I was denied for 4 days. I lost my job that week because I was late everyday, I missed 3 deadlines. Unprepared for sales meetings and unable to do my job. Everyone treats you like an addict if you’re taking a class 2 drug prescription and it’s not ok. I’ve never abused my prescription in all the years I’ve taken it. Friends ask to buy some and I don’t sell it. I don’t give it away. I don’t abuse it. I take them becuse I need them.

    • exact same thing just happen’d to me..Every since they changed my oxy to this pink pill,,not the original mallincroft manufacturer,,I get headaches,,the medicine is less effective,,,nausea..I asked my old pharmacist to change it back to mallincroft,,she said give some time..Soo I did,,Called last week,,to ask if they could again change it back,,,THEY FLIPPED A TWIG ON THE PHONE,,,TELLING ME THEY CAN’T JUST CHANGE MANUFACTURERE AGAIN,,,i TOLD THEM I NEVER CHANGED IT IN THE 1ST PLACE,,THEN THE BITCH ON THE PHONE STARTS TELING ME MY LITTLE 60 PILLS WILL SCREW UP THE %%% OF WHAT DISCOUNTS THEY GET ETC,,ALL BULLSHIT,,,SAID I HAD TO TALK TO THE ,”NEW,” PHARMACIST,,MY 1 OF 30 YEARS RETIRED,SMARTLY,,,BUT I HAD TO GET A NOTE FROM MY DOCTORS,,,WHICH I WILL BUT GEEZ,,,TALK ABOUT MAKING A MOUNTIAN OUT OF A MOLE HILL,,,WHAT THE HELL IS IN THIS GENERIC CRAP,,,NOTHING???NO PAIN RELIEF MEDICINE AT ALL???MARYW

  28. I think there should be a Class Action Lawsuit, regarding this matter, and it is unfair that one has to go through all these changes and they’re in pain. It’s unfair and unhealthy that they would let one suffer like that. Thanks for confirming what we a already know Rosie.

  29. What’s going to happen is all these PAIN medications are going to become a STREET drug because the DEA is cracking down so hard on them. The CARTELS are going to start getting the drug from the pharmacuitical manufacturers and put them on the street as a street drug. The manufacturers has to make money some kinda way and they will sell the drugs to the Cartel. Since the doctors are not writing the prescription and the pharmacies are not dispensing them how else are the manufacturers going to make money. Think about it!

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