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15192678 tn?1439084434

Pain medication prescription confusuion

I am prescribed pain medication for pain associated with a birth defect.  My prescription is written every four weeks.  My doctor writes them for me with the directions "Fill after 4 weeks" and "Fill after 8 weeks", etc.  my last prescription was written on Friday, June 5 as "Fill after 8 weeks".  I was out of town with my 14 year old daughter taking her and my golden retriever on a fishing trip to the Arkansas Ozarks and knew I would need to have my script filled while we were down there.  We were camping in a remote area about an hour from the closest Walgreens.  I am on a pain contract and that's where I stated I would fill my pain medication.  On Friday, July 31 we drove to the pharmacy to fill.  The clerk stated she wouldn't fill because it was a day early.  I attempted to explain that it was the day after 8 weeks, or the 57th day and she insisted that it was the last day of the 8 weeks.  She said "I'm done arguing with you and wrote a code on my script not to fill until Aug 1.  I spoke with the pharmacy manager and he said the Friday to Friday was 7 days, and I tried to explain that Friday to Thurs was 7, and Friday to Friday is 8.  He disagreed.  He said they don't count the day the script was written as the first day.  I asked "even if the patient is using the medication that day?"  He said no.  I have NEVER had this issue at the Walgreens in my home town - my regular pharmacist always counts Friday to Thursday as a week, and always fills my script on the 5th Friday.  Is this unusual practice for a pharmacy?
4 Responses
15192678 tn?1439084434
To clarify, I called my Doctor and he cleared up the confusion with pharmacy and told them he intended me to have the prescription that day so they did fill it finally.
547368 tn?1440541785
Hello Lameducky,

Welcome to our Pain Management Community. It's sad and I am sorry you had to go through hoops to fill your opiate RX.

Walgreens has had some major issues in some states/stores in dispensing opiates. In June 2013 this was publicized "The Walgreen Company, the nation’s biggest pharmacy operator, agreed on Tuesday to pay $80 million to resolve federal charges that it failed to properly control the sales of narcotic painkillers at some of its outlets."

If you search fines and lawsuits you will find - in my opinion the reason some Walgreens are overly cautious. Walgreens is my pharmacy also - two reasons, I often travel between two states and they have my many years of records  - and two, like you I named them on my pain contract. In one state I have never had an issue. In the other state I always have an issue. You may just found one of those Walgreens that are overly cautious.

It doesn't excuse them. It's just another reason why there is a war on us, the Chronic Pain Patients instead of a War on Drugs. We suffer because others abused the system - all for addiction and/or money.

I hope you'll have better service at your next encounter. Good luck our friend in pain.

Take Care,
~Tuck
15192678 tn?1439084434
Thank you Tuck.  I was aware of the litigation, and my regular pharmacist and I have talked about it.  I actually teach his 6th grade daughter, so obviously I have a good relationship with him.  I just had a hard time swallowing the fact that I could not make them understand their erroneous counting at the out-of-town Walgreens.  It seems to me that they would have a company wide directive on how to count days, weeks, and months at such a large pharmaceutical retailer.  But I also understand that a pharmacist can refuse to fill, period.
547368 tn?1440541785
Sadly, as you discover - Walgreens varies drastically from store to store. I live in an area where I have access to four Walgreens. The two closest are the rudest with the crazy rules and inability to "count" correctly. If I'm feeling really stressed I drive the extra 10 miles to a kinder, gentler Walgreen's pharmacy - otherwise I handle the closest ones bull. There are days I just can't - so for everyone's peace I drive. :0)

However I'm in FL where all the trouble began with the Pill Mills. I'm in a County that was only surpassed by Dade County (Miami) in opiate prescriptions and Pill Mills. It's tough here!
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