When bureaucrats tries to justify something they can’t really justify .. you get …

CVS Refuses To Sell Insulin For Cat Without Prescription


From the article:

He approached the two pharmacists behind the counter about getting the insulin and five syringes.

“I told them the vet gave me this information,” he said. “The girl looked at me and said, ‘These are directions, they’re not prescriptions.”

Quartin said he was pretty sure he didn’t need a prescription for insulin, but thought that maybe the law had changed. So he went home and looked it up on the Internet — he didn’t need a prescription.

“I printed out this information from the Internet and went back to CVS on Christmas morning,” he said. “They told me ‘Well, you don’t need a prescription, but it’s up to the discretion of the pharmacist.’ So I found a Rite Aid at East Hartford and they said ‘Sure, come on down.'”

Is it just me.. or is the staff of this Rx dept so friggin pompous and full of themselves.. that they are refusing to sell insulin & syringes to a person with a note from a vet..??

Danielle Marcus, a CVS spokeswoman, sent this statement regarding the incident:

“Under the law, pharmacists are permitted to use their professional discretion in deciding whether to sell syringes without a prescription. Regarding the incident in question, the customer did not provide our pharmacy with any medical documentation.”

“Pharmacists can always use their discretion,” said Margherita Giuliano, executive vice president for the Connecticut Pharmacists Association. The law doesn’t mandate a pharmacist to do anything they’re not comfortable with, she said.

There are more types of insulin now than ever, she said, so there might be some concerns among pharmacists that the customer isn’t seeking the right one or doesn’t have the proper dosage. Giuliano stressed that she doesn’t know the details of Quartin’s situation and wouldn’t speculate as to why the CVS pharmacists refused to sell to him.

She doesn’t want to speculate… but then she does speculate as to why.. and apparently Ms Giuliano has not read where Rite Aid got fined for refusing to give a HIV + pt a flu shot

Apparently the Rph that refused to give a flu shot… thought that he/she could refuse a pt without an consequences …  apparently that was a $15,000 mistake for Rite Aid

http://www.wlns.com/story/24635348/rite-aid-settles-after-refusing-flu-shot-to-hiv-positive-man.. While this cat is obviously not covered by ADA.. it does put in question a RPh’s absolute right to refuse to fill a legit Rx without consequences.

Even with a prescription, a pharmacist can choose not fill the order, said John Gadea, director of drug control for the state Department of Consumer Protection.

“If a person comes in obviously impaired, you’re not going to fill that script, and you’re well within your right not to,” he said.

Gadea said pharmacists are more proactive than they used to be when it comes to filling prescriptions. “Decades ago,” he said. “physicians would write a script and pharmacists would fill it” with no questions asked.

But eventually the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency began questioning pharmacists when prescriptions proved to have the wrong dose or even medications.

“Now the majority will use their professional judgment and their six years of education, a lot of which was clinical based,” he said.

This bureaucratic bozo .. doesn’t even know that insulin is not under DEA oversight.. but goes right on and attempts to give some “legal sounding” reason why these pompous Rph’s did what they did.

And we wonder why the media is putting pharmacy under a ever and ever brighter light of scrutiny.

7 Responses

  1. I am confused.. I thought the discussion point was about selling insulin and syringes.. and now we are talking filling questionable Rxs ? If your are referencing the filling of a opiate Rx for a chronic pain pt.. that the RPH views as questionable.. I refer you to the fine that Rite Aid received for a RPH failing to give a flu shot to a HIV + pt.. the pt did find another pharmacy to give the shot..but that did not exclude the Rite Aid for being fined for the refusal .. which.. under the circumstances is a violation of the pt’s civil rights under the ADA.. How long do you think that a RPH’s will continue to be employed if their “professional decisions” ends up costing the company a bunch of multiple thousand dollar in ADA fines ?

  2. I must respectfully disagree. If I do not fill a questionable prescription and that person robs a pharmacy, gets arrested, and the state spends lots of money for trial and incarceration, would society be better off if I had filled it? The point that WS is making is valid. If it does not “feel right”, don’t fill it.

  3. The question still has to be asked.. do we believe that refusing to sell syringes to someone…is going to stop them from finding a way to do what they want to do ? How many times does refusing to sell syringes cause our system to incur additional expenses .. treating people who are using “dirty needles” and contracting Hep-C, HIV or some other organism.. and they end up at some ER’s door.. and the system – and taxpayers – ends up paying untold $$$ to treat them ! Because some in our society believes that refusing to sell them syringes.. will change their behavior.. IMO.. more perverse logic in our society !

  4. We are rushing to judgement here. I have had pet owners ask to buy insulin but have no idea which one. R? N? Have even had a few pets on Lantus. Perhaps that pharmacy has had some syringe seekers buy insulin to appear legit. (My grandma needs her 100ml syringes). Glad to see that the CVS spokeswoman backed the pharmacist for a change. If the cat owner was sold the wrong insulin, he would be camped out at his attorney’s office.

  5. as pharmacists, we get to make certain decisions which come under the category of ‘professional judgement’. if you make poor judgements maybe its because you’re a poor pharmacist. never the less, since you went to school, you got your degree and you passed the state board, you are within your rights to render service or deny service as you see fit.
    once upon a time, i worked in a pharmacy that was directly across the street from a big competitor. the pharmacists at that store refused to fill any rx’s for kids with ADHD. no ritalin, no adderall, none of it. that was a poor decision by those 2 lovely young pharmacists. they gave up a lot of business and hurt their store financially. but it was their call, their professional judgement, their decision. i was happy to take care of all those bratty little kids and their cranky moms and it put lots of money in my pocket and they all sang my praises.
    this man did get insulin and syringes for his cat. maybe at a small inconvenience of having to find a suitable pharmacy, but he got what he needed. there are plenty of choices when it comes to picking a pharmacy. i bet he won’t be going back to that rite aid store any time soon. bad for rite aid but maybe the pharmacists there just don’t make good judgements and now this customer knows that.
    do not tell me what i MUST dispense or sell. i am the pharmacist and i will use my professional judgement to determine what is appropriate. if you don’t like that you are free to spend your money somewhere else. that might be a bad call on my part, or maybe not. but either way, it is my call.

    William… you need to re-read the article.. it was CVS that turned the person down and it was a RITE AID that took care of his pet’s needs…

  6. It seems that pharmacists are refusing to dispense everything now. I guess the pharm thought the man was going to OD on insulin himself? Poor cat.
    Why can’t the US pharmacy board change some regulations so pharms have better attitudes towards filling all legal medications that aren’t required a Rx and other legal prescriptions that humans need? I realize it’s the fear factor of the DEA but… What about changing pharmacy guidelines? Seems something needs to be fixed in this regard.

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