Pharmacists wants to be recognized as healthcare providers… not everyone is ready ?



I just read your webpage concerning the interaction and legalities between pharmacists, physicians and patients.


Briefly, this is what happened to me. I’d like to know if I can file a civil lawsuit against this pharmacist.

For the last 6-years I have been on prescription pain medications. I’ve had 12 spine surgeries, and as such my entire lumbar spine is fused as is my entire cervical spine. Both are fused with “ladders and girders” with posterior and anterior entries. I’ve also had a lateral entry to fuse T12 to L5. Al the rest are fused, and I have chronic pain as a result. 

My Primary Care physician has monitored my surgeries, and has prescribed 120 mg of morphine and 120 mg of oxycodone to treat my pain. As such, my pain is a 0 or 1 throughout the day and night. Without it, my pain is easily a 4, and it can spike up to a 6-7 if I am active, or turn the wrong way with a fused spine.

I’ve used a Walgreens pharmacy for 5 of those 6 years. The Pharmacy Manager, “Dan,” has always monitored me closely, and has looked at me with a cocked eye. In short, he is routinely looking for some reason to deny me those medications. I am a Ph.D. Medical researcher. I travel frequently. As such, I sometimes need to fill the script early. Other times I am late in picking up my meds. Whether I am early or late, Dan is always grilling me with pill count questions, as well as questioning my reasons for being early. When I travel, I often have to refill a few days early. Sometimes, I’m late getting back from out of state, and I don’t pick up the medications until I’m obviously back in town. How I manage that medication (early or late) is between myself and my physician. I see him in office every time these meds are refilled. He asks me to provide proof of a flights or reasons for having to refill early. He is my physician, and he monitors my refill schedule and the reason for that early or late refill requirement.

I provide “Dan” photo copies of my plane tickets when I refill early. And my last refill was 06 June 2017. When that refill occurred, the pharmacist who refilled it, had a conversation with my physician. The physician was angry, accused the pharmacist of playing doctor, and produced other extenuating and mitigating issues—bottom line, he made it clear that he would not tolerate a pharmacist playing doctor and directing me to withdrawal. The pharmacist agreed to refill the meds on the phone. However, when I walked up to the pharmacy counter, the pharmacist present, said she would refill the morphine, and oxycodone this time, that she would refill the morphine on 6 JUL, but stated, she would not refill the oxycodone until 13 JUL 2017. This meant I would not have full medications on the 06 JUL refill date, instead, I would be forced to wait until 13 JUL to refill my oxycodone.

As such I was forced to managed my medications with what I had available. Since the female pharmacist told me she would not refill my oxycodone until 13 JUL; this meant I could not take the medication as prescribed. In other words, she and Dan did not care about the 06 JUL date—they were going mandate that I not refill until 13 JUL.

I understood I would have to miss doses and stretch the medications out until after 13 JUL for refill. This is why I did not visit my physician until the 19th of JUL, and then try to have the pharmacy refill on the 20th.

On 20n JUL, “Dan” refused to refill the medications. Further, he grilled me on pill counts, asked horribly personal questions and made absolutely inappropriate allegations that I had been deceptive with him, that I had lied to him, and more. He wanted to know if I’d gone into withdrawals. He wanted to know if my physician knew I was in withdrawal. He then started telling me (with the entire staff listening) that I lied about plane flights, and that I did not take my medications as prescribed. My efforts to tell him that it was his staff who pushed my refill date out of range for me. I also asked him if he was calling the airlines to see if I canceled my flights or not. He admitted he had done this. I told him he had greatly exceeded his scope of practice; that he was not a private investigator, and I doubted Walgreens would stand behind him on that kind of conduct. He continued speaking disrespectfully of me, and of my doctor, and said, “you are not answering my questions to my satisfaction, perhaps that “hot shot doctor” you have can do it, but I’ve been on hold with his office for 20 minutes.…etc., etc..

Angry, I snatched my scripts back and walked out.

I want to sue him civilly, for his calling the airlines to check on my flights, for calling me a liar, for telling me in front of everyone that I was deceptive. I want to wipe that smart ass smirk off his face. My physician, is going to call him and let him have a piece of his mind as well, but I want to take it further. I feel he violated my civil rights, among other things. To be clear, I did cancel my flight one time—why? Because I thought I was having a heart attack. The flight attendant called paramedics and I was escorted off the plane and taken to the closest emergency room. I was admitted into the hospital where I stayed for the next five days undergoing cardiac work ups.

What do you think? What can I do to remedy this?

I have migrated my entire prescription file (15 scripts + 2-pain meds) to another pharmacy that was ecstatic. The other 15 meds are cardiac and hormonal meds.

I would appreciate any feedback you might provide.

Thank you.


5 Responses

  1. PLEASE DO SUE HIM! We need this madness to stop, we have lost far too many to suicide because of these cookie cutter guidelines built on biased deceptive data! Change pharmacies and SUE!

  2. Find a mom and pop pharmacy where their salary depends on filling scripts. Chain pharmacies look for reasons to not fill prescriptions while mom-and-pop pharmacy is look for reasons to fill them

  3. If possible, everyone please try to use a local independent pharmacy for your medications. I know this is impossible in some areas, as the big corporate chains have moved in and pushed the small pharmacies out, along with the fact that sometimes your health insurance dictates where you fill your meds.

    I’ve (also my parents, grandparents, etc) used the same local independent pharmacy since we moved here in 1990. It has changed owners once since then (pharmacist retired), but the owners and their employees go out of their way for me and my family. If you find an independent pharmacy that treats you with respect and compassion, please stick with them.

    A pharmacist at a big chain makes the same amount of $$ whether he/she fills your medications or not. Corporate backs these pharmacists, allowing them to refuse filling medications that they feel “uncomfortable” filling. Independent pharmacies depend on meeting their customers’ needs. Owners of these small pharmacies also know that word of mouth is the best advertising one can have (esp in small towns).

    (If you want a good idea of how many of these pharmacists and techs who work in these big chain pharmacies feel about pain patients, just head on over to the reddit pharmacy forum. Very rarely will there be a pharmacist or tech who actually defends pain patients. It makes you feel about as important as a cockroach).

  4. I can remember, many years ago, when pharmacists were trusted by the public and received a great deal of respect and deference. At the present time they are glorified pill counters who seem to be at war w/their patient population. Thus obvious solution would be to take your business elsewhere except for two problems.
    1-The problem seems to be an across the board reaction from of profiling and denying care. What happened to those databases we were promised would separate the criminals from the legit patients? Why do we bother to submitting to dehumanizing pill counts and random urinalysis? The problem even extends now to other meds that are neither controlled nor abused.
    2-Unfortunate!y for patients they have less room to choose as many small pharmacies are not preferred providers esp for the elderly and disabled, those who need the specialized care and closer attn to detail
    When you add into the equation the fact that we already have to fight to get every other prescription approved by an insurance company rather than a physician or makes getting even sub prime care hard to find.
    I recently moved to Tn from Ga. There are only 3 medicine docs/centers w/in 80 miles. After waiting several mos to get in when my Rd came due for thyroid med he tried to get me to take generic after being stable in Synthroid for years (side effects from generics). To ally after refusing to be a guinea pig again he relented ALL JUST TO GET OUT OF CALLING AND GETTING PRIOR APPROVAL. When my testosterone came due he gave me a 6month Rx, I got the 1st month w/letter saying I have 30 days to get approval (from same doctor who wrote it?). Despite having 5 refills the doctor s said he did not want to follow me on this medication when I demanded to know why his nurse looked in food and said it looks like doc wanted this to be an emergency /shirt term Rx. I said in go tell that to someone who will believe it. So the time it takes to get two authorizations thjis clown woujld rather lose a patient because when my new primary also refused Rx even in interim w/records going back yrs, it meant I would need a new endocrine doctor it making any sense to have two like I would see some creep who cared that little annoying me than to bother getting a simple authorization. So now I have been dragging around w/no Rd for Testosterone since April 1st!!.I
    This system is broken. The reason is clear to me. I wish it was clear to others but all the propaganda about freedom has warped people’s mimds.
    Wake up Americans, We live in a FASCIST system. When the corporations are merged w/big govt, they take priority over citizens.
    When you add in a police state w/aggressive military and we have a fascist system of govt, it meets all requirements. Just because we lack some clown in a monkey suit makes no difference, it is the system not the face of it that matters.
    Irony is that Veterans who were maimed fighting against authoritarian regimes are now being denied care by one, as are the elderly, and
    crippled/disabled, another hallmark of authoritarian regimes becomes clear…….eugenics…..culling of the weak and those who are unable to ”contribute ” to feeding the beast system.

  5. Would love to see a response. I was put through something similar by a pharm rep trying to practice medicine. They had zero knowledge of my medical conditions but knew 110% they were refusing to continue providing me with the same non-allergenic medication I’d been taking for years. The rep was completely fine knowing the new formula contained ingdients that have sent me to the ER multiple times for extreme tachycardia. They then had the audacity to contact the local pharmacists who DO know me and some of the hell I go through instructing one new employee to discriminate against me and telling another what medicine SHE thought I should be on (again – one I am extremely allergic to which has sent me to the ER in past). These people are unbelievable trying to play god with our lives!

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