More BLACK/WHITE medical care from chain pharmacists

My name is Sxxxx Cxxxx and after the 2 issues I had in one week with two different prescriptions and one pharmacist I would love some guidance/feedback on how to proceed. I have never experienced anything like it and would like to do something about it.

On May 24th 2017, after a 13 hour hospital stay due to pre-term labor at 32 weeks pregnant, I stopped into a CVS pharmacy to fill the script Procardia.  

This drug was prescribed by my OBGYN to stop contractions if they were to start up again. The pharmacist inquired if I knew how bad this medication was for me to take, advised it was a class C drug that was harmful to my unborn baby and would not fill it without speaking with the doctor but was unable to reach the office since it was after hours. I assumed if my doctor prescribed the medication the pros outweighed the cons, that it would be more of a risk to deliver this early then take the medication to try to stop early labor (again… if need be). The pharmacist stated she had the right to protect her license, rather than raise my stress level and  argue with the pharmacist any further I let it go until I had to follow up with my OB the following day and at that time I was able to get the RX after my OB spoke with the pharmacist…

On May 30, 2017 after my next follow up OB appointment I was prescribed Nicotine patches (unfortunately I have not been successful in completely quitting smoking cigarettes this pregnancy).  I was under the impression the patch is better since it only contains Nicotine and not all of the other harmful chemicals in cigarettes such as carbon monoxide and cyanide, and if I were to have this baby pre-term the patch would prevent my newborn from being exposed to second hand smoke while his lungs continued to develop outside the womb.  I returned to the same CVS pharmacy, and again was refused my RX. The pharmacist again inquired if I knew how bad it was for me to take while pregnant, that it was a class D drug and advised the dr could not be reached since they were on lunch and she would not fill without speaking to the doctor.  At this point I became very frustrated, currently on bed rest I should not have tried to get my scripts or expose myself to the risk of this stress, already embarrassed by the fact that I smoke while pregnant and felt like I was being judged and had  to defend myself,  I stated I did not feel like I had to explain myself, that my personal situation is none of her business and why did she need authorization from my medical provider.. isn’t that what a prescription is? I told her to forget about the script, I wanted to pay for my other RX (hemorrhoid cream) and leave and that I would never come back… As a nice apologetic cashier rang me out for my other items , this lovely pharmacist back at her station turned to a coworker and said “remember her?”  I almost completely lost it, I could not believe she went back to her coworkers to gossip about me while I was standing right there. I am still beside myself and baffled out how unprofessional this pharmacist behaved and want to do everything I can to prevent it from happening to someone else! Any advice or direction would be greatly appreciated!! Thank you for your time!

Let me guess this female pharmacist was VERY YOUNG…  IMO.. it takes a pharmacist about 10 yrs of practice to get “ their chops”.. before that they are working on a whole lot of books smarts and have little clinical experience which they will eventually figure out is more important to temper what the book says.

Category C is based on ANIMAL STUDIES and there has no no HUMAN STUDIES… and animal studies cannot always directly apply to human expectations. Given that you were 32 weeks along and using this only if you were having preterm labor…  Personally, if I was in that Pharmacist’s position… I would have advised you of what Cat C means/says and if you had any further questions to contact your doctor… I would have document what I told the pt and filled the prescription..

In regards to the Nicotine patches… Given that it was a Category D.. I would have suggest that you try the Nicotine gum.. instead of the that you could deal with your Nicotine withdrawal as it happens and not having a constant flow of Nicotine as in using the patches. In the end, the fetus should have been exposed to less overall Nicotine. I agree with you that this is a better alternative than continuing to smoke.

My common recommendation is to find you a independent pharmacy  … dump the chains …  you will be dealing with the Pharmacist/owner and someone who is generally older and has some book smarts mixed with some clinical experience and common sense that has evolved over the years. Everything is not always black/white .. there is a lot of gray area and conversations are had with the pt.. not a dictatorial stance.

find a independent pharmacy … I very seldom hear anything but PRAISE from pts that go to a independent pharmacy.. I understand the mindset.. because I had my own independent pharmacy for 20 yrs.

IF you wish to file a complaint with the Board of Pharmacy here is a website to find the state in which you are in and should be able to find a page to file a complaint.

But I would not expect any real concern from them… most board are not much interested in doing their primary charge.. which is protecting the public’s health and safety.

2 Responses

  1. I’m no longer with the chain pharmacies. What a difference. They provide great information with kindness . They never put your doctor on a cooking block. I’m happy now. I have a doctor don’t need them playing doctor over my doctors head.m

  2. Dear S.C.
    I wholeheartedly agree with Steve on this issue. We’ve used chain pharmacies with very bad humiliting experiences. But since we’ve changed to our locally owned pharmacy for the past 10 years, it has made a world of difference to our health, sanity and stress levels ✨

    Lisa Davis Budzinski

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