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refuse to pay back

Complaint Rating:  55 % with 29 votes
55% 29
Contact information:
Burlingame, California
United States
This is an ongoing complaint I have with Walgreens Pharmacy; not just one of them, but all of them. The following seems to be pretty much typical of every single Walgreens I have ever used (and I have to use them...I don't have many options): Here goes:

The pharmacists take it upon themselves to regulate refills, even if there is no need to (i.e. not "too soon"); additionally, they love to try to make customers feel like total druggies, if the RX is for pain meds or anti-anxiety meds. Their favorite blocking move to not fill an RX is that "it's too early"...well, if the doctor hasn't instructed that the medication must (for example) "last 30 days", and I want to get it, say, after 22 days or so...who the heck cares? IF there are refills, then that's it...end of story! MY DOCTOR EVEN TOLD ME THIS!! It is not some pill counter's job to decide when they will deign to dispense my medication. I don't even care if insurance won't pay for it...I'LL PAY FOR IT, OUT OF MY OWN POCKET! Simply because insurance won't pay, does NOT MEAN that it is not a legitimate request for a refill! What if I didn't even HAVE INSURANCE? At what point would these idiots deign to refill my medication? Is it at 12:01am on "x" date? Is it 9am, when the non-24 hour Walgreens opens? Is it 9:59pm, right before closing? Ridiculous. Either there is a refill, or there isn't. It is NONE OF THEIR BUSINESS how much I am taking, or why...believe it or not, you idiots at Walgreens, sometimes people DO GO THROUGH THEIR MEDS SOONER THAN WHAT IS ON THE LABEL. I have had the same doctor for 6 years; she is fine with me filling the RX at any time; if not, she would put controls on it, such as "must last 40 days" or "NO REFILL; must have doctor approval". DUH. And again, if the doctor has not specified the med must last "x" amount of days, and there is a refill, and I will pay for it myself, THEN FILL THE DANG PRESCRIPTION. Now, here's another example of their incompetency/problem: Walgreens, on two separate occasions, has given my RX to someone else! And I don't mean an antibiotic, I mean (1) Soma and (2) Ativan - the so-called (not by me) "good stuff" that they are so dedicated to not dispensing to me...the person it was written for! (Ever notice they never balk when the RX is for an antibiotic or some other type of non-narcotic, non-tranquilizing drug? They pick and choose what they withhold!!) They LOVE that feeling of "power". That is SADISTIC. Once, my Soma RX was not ready, so I said "No problem, I'll go to the library and be back in 40 minutes...is that OK?" Yes, it was. So...after 45 minutes, I'm there (and why do they insist on being higher up than us? Jerry Seinfeld does a hilarious routine about that); and I am VERY SNOTTILY TOLD: "You already picked this up". WHAT??? I just started laughing! And there were 4 people behind me, so I made sure everyone KNEW HOW THEY FOULED UP. I said "Don't you remember me? I told you I was coming back after going to the library, like 40 minutes ago?" and the KID (most of them are NOT EVEN TECHS...they are kids, nothing wrong with that, but I betcha they are dipping into the meds; I stand there and count my pills, each and every time; I don't care if I look like a nut job) says "Oh, yeah...I do remember you!" Bravo...after all, it was 40 minutes ago! Long story longer; the EXTREMELY RUDE manager got involved, told me to be quiet (I talked over him when he basically called me a liar; I said "Just rewind your security tape, then you can see who you gave my SOMA to!" in a loud voice...). Well, of course they knew they were wrong and gave me a replacement RX at no charge; but to make up for it, they were EXTRA RUDE. And of course, no apology. Also I have had them mysteriously "lose" a refill; I had 3 refills on Wellbutrin, had it transferred from another pharmacy to Walgreens, and when I picked it up..."1 Refill Remaining"??? See, I guess they can't even count! They are even worse than Longs, and that's saying a lot. It's the attitude, the frustrated doctor attitude, that gets me. They seem themselves as oh so important, and do you know what? I can fill an RX! I can count and read! There! I'm a pharmacist! Also aren't we customers just giant pains in the neck? Always wanting our medication, at the right price, in the right dosage, willing to pay for it out of our own pockets, etc. I'm gonna copy this whole email and send it to Walgreens via their website. Fat lot of good it'll do. Unfortuntely, where I live, I'm limited to Walgreens or Longs (Safeway is just OK, but there aren't many of them, and certainly none near me); Longs is almost as bad. I just have come to the conclusion that Walgreens pharmacists are (1) frustrated doctors; i.e. were too STUPID to make it through medical school (and I mean, c'mon...how hard is it to be a pharmacist? Can you read? Can you count? Congrats! You are a pharmacist!) This BS about how they "carefully monitor your drugs so there are no adverse reactions" or whatever is a total lie; the COMPUTER WILL ALERT THEM; (2) they are sadists and bullies; they get a kick out of withholding medication; ESPECIALLY PAIN MEDICATION. There was a great story about a year ago; several Walgreens pharmacists accidently printed on several labels snotty comments like "Watch Out for this one..drug addict" and other worse things; they got BUSTED!! Very embarrasing; but certainly proves everything that I've written, wouldn't you say?? They look at ANYONE (even my mother) as piece of crud drug addicts, if you have an RX for - wooo weee, big deal - Vicodin. God forbid you have a more potent RX. I am perfectly presentable; I'm not a drooling junkie; I work for attorneys (well, don't hold that against me); I'm 47 years old; so I just cannot imagine how they treat the poor slob who looks like...well, a poor slob. WALGREENS PHARMACISTS are Frustrated Doctors, and practicing SADISTS (actually, they don't need to "practice" anymore...they have at least gotten one thing right).
From: Message Author (click here to email author)
Date: Thursday, 19-Jun-08 23:03:08 CDT

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I am a Walgreen's employee, an assistant manager, and I have to say, this is not always the case. It is regretable that you have had such poor service, but there are a few things you have to understand.

When filling a prescription, if the insurance company sends back a message of "TOO EARLY" some 90% of people don't want to pay the cash price and would rather wait until the insurance will cover it. Obviously this is not the case, and when they enter your refill into the system (as long as you step up to the window to request it), they should be alerting you that the insurance will not cover the cost right then and there. You should be allowed to make that decision.

About selling your prescription to someone else: granted this mistake does happen all too often, but it shouldn't have on this occasion, considering you were there to request your refill and to pick it up within an hour. There are checks, for example, if someone you may or may not know, knows your full name, your address, and the medication in question, it is possible to give it to the wrong person.

You also need to understand that the lost refill could have been on the part of the pharmacy you were using before. If Walgreens employees can make a mistake, so can others. We're all human.

No one, that I am aware of, is a practicing sadist at Walgreens. And you have no idea what is required of a pharmacist. If you can read and count, you are not *POOF* a pharmacist; you are *POOF* a tech. Pharmacists typically know far more abnout the drugs that pass through there than any doctor could. They spend as much time in medical school learning less about medical practice and more about the actual pharmaceuticals. Ask them anything about any current drug and you might be surprised at the knowledge they have. And the computer system only alerts them that you are taking a drug that may have a possible interaction with another prescribed drug. It certainly does not tell them what the interaction is and only needs to alert them because they cannot monitor the prescriptions of all their patients. It is a safety feature for the pharmacist to be sure you are not being subjected to something dangerous.

Unfortunately, a large portion of the techs in service (and not just by Walgreens) and kids, so they have bad attitudes and foul things up worse than others fropm time to time. Comments on the labels like you've mentioned are RARELY on the part of the pharmacist, and instead are usually the work of one of those kid techs. FYI, only the pharmacist can make comments on any prescription file now for that reason.

This is typical of many pharmacies you will find. Some may be better practiced at treating the customer with more patience and understanding, more reqpect, and more kindess, but all too often tensions run high because a customer is not willing to work with the pharmacy staff, anywhere. For example, if someone wants to pick up their script, but the insurance won't pay for it, they don't want to pay the cash price, where is the blame assigned: the pharmacy for lousing it up, when in fact, all they are doing at this point is informing about the INSURANCE's refusal to pay and the cash price.
Complaint comments Comments (57) Complaint country United States Complaint category Products & Services


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D  13th of Aug, 2008 by    +3 Votes
Could you be more wrong? It's amazing how ignorant some people can be.

Pharmacy school is just as demanding as med school. Pharmacists go through a great deal of education, both in the classroom and in the field. Pharmacists are also active members of the community, often giving immunizations and giving smoking cessation clinics. In order to do all of that, they have to pass their board exams, just so they can deal with dumbasses like yourself who can't seem to follow the directions on the bottle. If the pharmacist sees that you are not taking the prescription as prescribed, whether you're taking too much or missing doses, it is his/her responsibility to intervene. Drug abusers come from all walks of life. Pharmacists have the right and the responsibility to withhold your prescription if you are taking more than what the doctor prescribed. If the doctor wants you to take more, he or she needs to write an RX for more.

Oh, and the computer does alert the pharmacists about drug reactions, but does it automatically account for OTC products? No. The computer does not always have information on new products or recent findings. Also, does the computer tell you where that Ex-Lax you so desperately need is? No.

You know what the worst thing about being a pharmacist is? Dealing with know-nothings like you who feel the need to make a scene over your crazy pills.

By the way, I work for CVS. You can keep taking your business to Walgreens.
N  12th of Sep, 2008 by    +2 Votes
What is funny is that you say your doctor doesn't have a problem with you getting it filled early and they they don't put restrictions on the medication. I'll assume that your doctor writes no specific directions on the prescription, because this would be a restriction. I also find it funny that you specifically know how a physician would restrict a prescription, did your last terrible physician have a problem with your consistent overuse? You also make it seem as though you're simply using a few more per month and that's why you need it a little early, but 22 days after the last fill is not a little early. I'm going to guess you're bad at math or you would've changed that fact in your story since you've only finished all of your medication in 73% of the time, taking on average an extra days medication every 3 days. Also you seem to think 8 days early is no big deal, if you do this consistently, which is obviously what you do based on your tale, in a year you would get an additional 4 complete fills.

I do not care what you think about pharmacists, but we are charged with the duty of protecting you and the community from abuse of medication. Also ask anyone who has been addicted to prescription medication they would tell they were addicted before they know it. The reason why a pharmacist doesn't fill your medication when you deem it to be necessary is because unless we controll early fills how would anyone know someone is abusing a medication. The doctor wouldn't unless they keep a close eye on the last time they wrote a prescription and often times unless they have electronic record it is difficult to do. Also if a physician determines that a patient has been getting fills too frequently they will sometimes call us to determine if thats the case.

If your doctor is as comfortable as you claim they are with the early fills, have you approached them about writing a prescription with increased directions? If a patient needs an early fill I'll look at the history and if it's consistentally early I'll explain to them that they need to have their doctor write for a new prescription with the current increased instructions and that I will check with the physician about an early fill. Nearly every time I feel it is necessary to speak with a physician and the patient wants me to (most don't want me to talk with the doctor at all) the doctor agrees with me.
N  12th of Sep, 2008 by    0 Votes
drug addicts, drug addicts, drug addicts
N  14th of Sep, 2008 by    0 Votes
This summer while waiting in line to pick up my RX at Walgreens after 5pm, I witnessed an uncomfortable confrontation by the pharmacist with a woman picking up her medications. I've never seen or heard this happen before. It was wrong! I believe the pharmacist was the manager because she looked like the big photo on the wall.
In a rather loud voice the pharmacists asked the lady if the new doctor knew another doctor was giving her doubles on her pain pills? She said, 'By the looks of what you're picking up I thought you had a terminal illness!' (Everyone else in line heard this conversation and it was embarassing to all of us).
The woman made a phone call on her cell phone and stepped aside. It was then my turn and I didn't know how it turned out (which was none of my business anyway). The customer didn't say anything and seemed timid and shocked.
Other than that time, I've never witnessed any problems or had any at Walgreens. I like refilling online and like getting emails when Rx is ready. They've always been polite.
They DO balk at refills before the date when there are refills left. When I ask what the problem is they also say 'Your insurance won't pay for it until Thursday'. But they don't volunteer the info before they say, no. I think they should do that so as not to upset people.
PS. My last refill of an antibiotic came from an India pharmacy called 'Autobindo'. I saw President Bush say on tv that overseas pharmacy's were not safe to bring into the USA. I'm still alive and the Rx worked really good. ~
D  13th of Oct, 2008 by    0 Votes
Wow, I don't know where to begin. The others that have replied to this complaint (besides Blueskiesaz) sum up my thoughts exactly. As a responsible, mature tech, I have a unique perspective. The biggest misunderstanding about medications and refills is the difference between controlled medications and non-controlled medications. There are 7 levels of medications: Scheduled 1 narcotics (not sold in the U.S.), Scheduled 2 narcotics (Percocet, Adderall, Morphine), Schedule 3 narcotics (Lortab), Schedule 4 narcotics (Clonazepam), Schedule 5 narcotics, non-controlled RX medications, and OTC medications. The list of controlled substances (Scheduled 2 - 5 narcotics) is extremely small compared to non-controlled RX medications.

With this in mind, you now have a much better understanding of the pharmacy world. First, federal prohibits refills on Schedule 2 narcotics. If you are even thinking about complaining in regards to Schedule 2 drugs, forget about it - the laws are very strict. Schedule 3 - 5 are a little more lax, and laws regarding these may vary from state to state. You must realize that pharmacists are going to be vigilant and cautious when filling prescriptions for these medications, not only for their own sake, but for the patient's and doctor's as well. Don't think the pharmacist is trying to "power trip", especially if you are not taking the medication as is written on your prescription. This is a big no-no with controlled drugs, and you absolutely cannot expect a pharmacist to go easy when his career is on the line.

Now, let's move on to insurance and refills, all the while keeping in mind the controlled drugs discussed above. If you try to fill your prescription too early on your insurance (because you are either: 1. taking it more often than listed on your prescription, 2. didn't realize it was too early, 3. are going on vacation, and so on), your insurance company will send a rejection stating this fact, and will often provide the date of the next possible refill. At Walgreens, we are able to put that date in (if it is provided or if it is obvious) into the system, allowing our system to automatically fill it on that date. Now, remember how there are non-controlled RX medications and controlled medications? This difference is key when looking at refill-too-soon rejections. If you pay cash (non-insurance) price for all of your medications, you often will never see any problems refilling your medications unless the pharmacist notices patterns of abuse and early refills. HOWEVER, if you have insurance (as most people do), and your insurance rejects saying refill-too-soon, the type of medication comes into play. IF the medication is a non-controlled RX medication and you want to pay cash (non-insurance price), go for it. IF the medication is a controlled medication, is it absolutely up to the pharmacist to decide whether or not it may be filled, and he will often call the doctor to clarify - lo and behold, often times the patient is taking the medication more often, at which point they must have a prescription reflecting this dosage increase, OR the patient is abusing the medication, the doctor was not aware, and the doctor informs the pharmacist to not fill the medication this soon. Finally, keep in mind the entire time that we do NOT automatically fill a refill-too-soon prescription because 90% of the time, patients want to wait until the next possible refill date on their insurance. Therefore, by going with the majority, we are able to satisfy the most amount of customers. If you happen to decide: hey, I'll go ahead and pay cash (non-insurance price) for it and are nice about it, sure! We'll have it ready for you in 20 to 30 minutes. If you get pissed off and yell - don't expect respect in return! We'll fill it for you, but you can't possible expect a nice reaction from the techs and pharmacists. If I was helping the complainer that posted this complaint, I would have called the cops on them and had them escorted out of the store.

Finally, there are so many things going on behind-the-scenes that you can't possibly have any good argument against the pharmacists or techs. Granted, we are all humans, some techs and pharmacists truly are dicks, and some truly don't care. However, please don't paint the entire company, or any pharmacy, with the same brush as your one bad experience.

I pity the fool who is required to help you (Pit Cole) in the future. That situation is a disaster waiting to happen.
N  11th of Nov, 2008 by    0 Votes
Just for the record. Most pharmacist have a doctorate. They are not pill counters/pushers, etc. My husband has seen other Pharmacists get sued because they did not have documentation to back up the fact that they were questioning a patient's refills. (The patient died of an OD and the family sued everyone.) The pharmacist had contacted the doctor's office over and over again about the amount of medication the patient was taking. Pharmacists do make mistakes, but you never know how many times they quietly saved a life by checking a prescription, contacting a doctor, or refusing to refill early. Don't forget my husband has to answer to the FDA. His job and career are important. Patients don't realize sometimes that they ask pharmacists to do illegal things (refilling early, getting medication without a prescription, trying to fool the drug companies).
A  24th of Feb, 2009 by    0 Votes
I have to agree that pharmacists tend to think that they themselves are doctors. I understand that they go to school to learn an abundance of material regarding the molecular makeup of a drug; however they are not prescribers of medications. They have a license that says they are responsible enough to fill the medications without consuming what they have in stock. Who are they to determine if a presciption should or should not be filled??? Funny how you can ask one pharmacist when you can get your medication filled and he will give you one date and ask the next pharmacist on duty when they can fill your script and they will give you a date with a two day difference. You pharmacists' need to grow some balls, stop trying to hide behind the insurance companies as well as your so called "company policies." Who are you to question a prescription that a doctor has ordered for their patient, unless that drug has some kind of concerning interaction. Have you not heard of the word tolerance??? Oh yeah, patients do have chronic pain and they do build up a tolerance to their PRESCRIBED BY PHYSICIAN pain medications, or did they not teach you that in school. Pain is what the patient says it is. Granted you do have some people that abuse the system, but you can not treat everyone as if they are abusing the system. Do you think that docotors are not aware of the drugs that their patients are taking?! Give me a break. I hope that all of the pharmacists who have declined to fill a physician ordered presciption for pain relief will some day experience a dibilitating event that requires them to need pain relief only to have some anti-social pill counter to refuse to fill their script even when you offer to pay for it out of pocket.
A  9th of Mar, 2009 by    -1 Votes
I have gone thru the same stuff w/Walgreens
D  4th of Apr, 2009 by    0 Votes
Patients must start taking more ownership of their health and medications. Please stop blaming and pointing fingers at everyone and look at where you can improve--and you can start by not taking more of your medications than prescribed UNLESS your physician increased your dose/changed the instructions, which legally (for the most part) requires a new prescription (or if you really lost your Rx, broke the vial, or are going on vacation). Plus, if it is an increased dose, how the heck would the pharmacy AND your insurance company know if there's not a new prescription that documents it. This is legally enforced by the way. You should write this down, you might just learn something and have your ranting complaints addressed. It's tough to be empathetic, especially when you really want to, if there's a screaming, belligerent person verbally attacking you.

But I digress...

Pharmacists are following the law in addition to practicing professional ethics so whiners like you can't abuse the healthcare system. Sure, you probably are honest when you say your dose was increased/directions changed, but is every patient honest when they say their prescriber increased their <>dose? But sure, you'll guilt us into taking your word for it and make a fit (a fit worse than a 2-yr old misbehaving child) and force us to allow it!!! Allow any script, any controlled medication. And then the pharmacist who was unfortunately there while you were there, gets his/her license revoked, fired, sued, arrested, etc. Pharmacists are not proactively prohibiting you from receiving your medication (you probably think everyone is against you for anything they don't agree with you on), they're simply informing you of the message your insurance company replied back with.

And that message, verbatim, is "REFILL TOO SOON--Last fill on _______. Next fill at all available pharmacies on _______." If you can't understand that in plain English text, then maybe YOU can't read or follow instructions. If your dose was increased or the directions were changed that requires you to need your Rx early, the pharmacists needs to process this in a LEGAL manner. Simply put, we need a new prescription to document this action OR we need to speak directly w/ your prescriber to verify this change/dose increase, and again, document it. Key words: document, legal (did you write that down in your notes?)

We can't take your "word" for it, even though we would LOVE to! (less steps for us to call your prescriber, wait for the fax or new Rx, process a new Rx, document this process, call you back, wait for you to come into the Rx and give you your Rx, etc). Everyone's lives would be easier if everyone was honest, which we know isn't always the case. And oh yea, you're not the only person coming into the pharmacy, there are other people who need their medications too. But hey, why would we care, we're preoccupied spending all our time scheming of new ways to prevent you from having your medications early...

Next time you make a fit and act like a child, try recalling all the times you scolded your child for misbehaving, raising his/her voice, ranting, whining, complaining, screaming, pouting, overly-dramatic, etc. and think where your child/niece/nephew may have seen that. Probably from witnessing you do it in public and then perceiving that to be socially acceptable. "Everything I need to know, I learned in Kindergarten." Maybe you should have been held back.

Good day and that is all. I'm glad I don't work in pharmacy anymore because every time I read these stories I sympathize for all pharmacists and pharmacy technicians in community pharmacy.

As I roll my eyes...
N  4th of Mar, 2017 by    0 Votes
@disasters wow...it amazes to me how ignorant and stupid people like you can be. It's the exact reason people who have disabilities and other medical issues can't stand you, and why pharmacists who suck and Dr.'s like you who suck, and teachers and cops etc. all of those who chose any job in a healthcare profession or any line of work where they should be compassionate or have a good bed side manner etc. and have no business helping people should be fired. Because the truth is you don't help people you just chose those jobs to boost your tiny insecure egos and make yourself feel smart. Because you aren't. Sadly, what you do not realize, ( and this also goes out to the ### that wrote "druggies, druggies, druggies, " who by the way is probably doing so while slugging back some chilled glass of some alcoholic liquid as hypocritical delusional incompetent ###-offs two-faced losers usually do), is that once in a while people who actually DO take their medication PROPERLY as described might oh I don't know have to go on a vacation, or say have a death in the family of which requires them to travel unexpectedly, etc. did you ever think you aren't God? If the Dr. has written the script and has not directed the oh so powerful pharmacist any special instructions on the patient being oh I don't know red flagged as "crazy", I think a two day window is ok. Oh wait, actually, legally, it is! Interesting! Also, if your insurance company in addition to your Dr. also agrees than who in the hell do you think you are as a pharmacist who is NOT a Dr. and I don't care if you went to school for 8 years, to say whether or not bean counting is appropriate at any time? We aren't talking about a week early here. Guess what? I don't take any of those medications either and I am not a drug addict! So you cannot respond with any of your nasty comments about how that must be the case. In fact, I am a Dr. and I am disgusted by what I am reading. I also feel horrible for these patients being shamed for having to take medication for issues they cannot help. Illnesses occurring in the brain whether it be emotional or otherwise is no different than a heart problem, it is an organ and needs to be controlled. Shame on all of you for your judgments and bullying. In addition I am willing to bet none of you have ever dealt with traumatizing events, suicide, PTSD, etc. or physical pain so crippling one may not be able to function with medication. If a "druggie" wants to do so they buy it on the street, you are simply assuming every person is an addict, you should be ashamed of yourselves. Rite Aid, Walgreens and CVS behave this way because of MONEY not because they care about DRUGGIES lol, don't think for a second AS I ROLL MY EYES it has anything to do with your well-being, or your fill date...for god sake I have watched these so called "pharmacists" who are just oh soooo above it hand over hundreds of brand spanking new needles to a woman who was clearly a very sick and high HEROIN addict. DISGUSTING. But, oh that's ok. You know what I think? I think you are secretly just pissed off because at some point you realized you can't write YOURSELF ANY SCRIPTS! :) You certainly aren't going to go to a fellow Dr. and get them or a fellow pharmacist, my what would your peers think??? It's ok, you'll be just fine. Keep bullying poor defenseless patients who really have problems, and slug back that liquor.
N  4th of Mar, 2017 by    0 Votes
@healer78 oh and please forgive any spelling and grammar mistakes, I tend to do that when I am hot and bothered by a topic that infuriates me. Especially when it comes to anyone bullying anything that is defenseless.
I get very hopped up when it comes to disabled people, children and animals.
N  14th of Apr, 2009 by    0 Votes
After today, I'm completely FINISHED with Wallgreens pharmacy. Period.

The whole "Too Early to Refill" thing is insane.

Pharmacists are not doctors. Sorry to all the pharmacists, and pharmacy-supportive commenters here. If you want to dictate how often people take their meds, go back to college and get your M.D. My doctor gives me a prescription, and he decides the number of refills and the frequency at which I can take my medicine. Period.

I take Klonopin and Celexa. My doctor is very liberal with me on the Klonopin, prescribing one per day or "as needed". She usually gives me 2 or 3 refills on each prescription. That's a pretty good indication of trust.

Four times in the past year, Wallgreens has refused to fill my prescription because it was "too early". And it's not even an insurance thing... I am self-employed with no insurance, and pay cash. Each time this has happened I have had to call my doctor and it's usually a day-long process getting my Klonopin refilled. The last time, my doctor was so angry with Wallgreens... conferenced me and the pharmacist on a phone call and went into this rant about what "as needed" meant and how I was under her medical care, not the pharmacist's.

That's MY story.

So earlier today, my ex-husband calls me begging me for a Klonopin, falling all over himself apologizing. Wallgreens strikes again!!! He recently went through a really messy breakup and was diagnosed with Panic Disorder. His Psychiatrist (a *M.D.*) gave him a prescription of Xanax with two refills. He filled it the first time, refilled it late last week. He had one refill remaining.

He traveled to see his parents and extended family over the Easter weekend, and ended up leaving all his medicine in a hotel bathroom. You guessed it... no way in hell anyone would be returning it.

He called his doctor, explained the situation and that he was going to use his last refill to replace the Xanax he lost. Doctor was fine with it, said "Sure".

WALLGREENS REFUSED TO REFILL THE PRESCRIPTION. Even after a call to the doctor's office and two explanations. My ex says the last time he spoke with them, the pharmacist said that "[He] has heard it all and knows the truth, and that Wallgreens will not support his drug habit. It was simply too early." But it didn't end there. The pharmacist went so far as to completely "deactivate" the prescription, where it can't be filled even after the *scheduled* refill time!!! I'm not even sure what THAT means other than my ex has a refill at Wallgreens that cannot be used or transferred anywhere else.

I have never had these problems with Wal-Mart or independently owned pharmacies. This just makes me sick. After my dramas at Wallgreens, and after my ex's drama today, I am totally done with that joke of a store.

Oh, and to the commenter who said something about pharmacists having doctorate degrees: A PHD DOES NOT MAKE YOU A DOCTOR.
N  15th of Apr, 2009 by    +1 Votes
Agree: First, Walgreens should have filled your prescriptions if you were going to pay cash for it--that is a mistake by them. You're right, it wasn't an insurance issue, so no reason why you could not receive it. Second, your husband should have received his prescription if he was going to pay cash for it--again, since it's not an insurance holdup, there is no reason he should have been withheld or his prescription "deactivated", whatever that means. I've never heard of that before, but yes, should not have happened.

Disagree: Your last comment: "A PHD DOES NOT MAKE YOU A DOCTOR" is completely inaccurate with every angle you may try to argue it with. You may have just misspoke which is fine, but to clarify:

PhD directly translated means "Doctor of Philosophy." A Ph.D is therefore considered a doctoral degree (as is written in the name), and qualifies college professors to teach and conduct university-level research. Thus, we call them Dr. so-and-so. If you made that same statement to any PhD holding individual, they would laugh because that statement is 100% contradictory. PhDs can do more years in school than an MD does. Second, pharmacists can pursue a Ph.D, but the majority only pursue a PHARM.D. (like how most physicians only pursue an M.D.) A PharmD is recognized as a doctoral degree. A practitioner who holds an M.D. is recognized as a physician. Thus, you are being cared for by a physician, but historically we use the term "doctor" to describe a physician.

A more accurate declaration on your part would have been "A PharmD does not make you a physician."

Again, I empathize with you regarding your prescriptions--you and your husband should have received them. Life happens, and not everything goes in order as written. Your husband forgets his prescriptions, we all forget and he should have been able to obtain another supply. Period. As a corporation, Walgreens needs to (no, must) employ more staff in order to provide you and your husband, and the entire community, with better PERSONAL service than the service they actually are providing. The corporation has been so caught up w/ providing the latest technology to fill orders that they neglect the personal side of business, which makes and breaks a business. They eliminate a staff member b/c they feel the automation can do that job, but can the automation machine pick up phone calls, listen to your situation and resolve it, etc etc. If the limited staff had more time to tend to your problems instead of dealing with the millions of other problems and responsibilities that need to be completed, this issue would not have blown over for you. The problem is rooted from the top executives who look at the numbers (sales) on a computer screen, then dictate orders downstream to regional supervisors and management, with complete disregard at the final picture, which are you and your husband, and the millions of people who fill their prescriptions at Walgreens each day. It's a culture that needs to be reevaluated, but is trapped by stockholders and investors who look at bottom line numbers, and not at what really matters--you.

N  4th of Mar, 2017 by    0 Votes
@disasters perfect example of what I was saying before...see how this one has to go on and on for like two paragraphs trying to put down someone over the PHD nonsense? That's hysterical???!!! You know damn well a college professor can't write a prescription for an illness you ### and that's what they are referring to you when they are saying a person with a PHD IS NOT A DR but you want to make yourself feel smart because you are a bully...so...what did you do? Unwarranted, you had to go to some online dictionary and review the difference in the definitions of both terms because you're an ###, and then had to put someone down to make yourself feel better. When in reality you're wrong and look like the dumb one because...you're rude and insecure!!! You must be a college professor! That's why most people hate them, they love to be pretentious, patronizing and
put on a show for their own ego!! Congratulations on public masturbation!
N  16th of Apr, 2009 by    0 Votes
Last commenter: Yes... I know what PHD means, LOL... A close family member is a history professor and went by "Dr." at school, but she never would have claimed to have been a physician. I should have clarified that a PHD does not make you a medical doctor.

And I am not totally saying that pharmacists shouldn't be diligent in handing out drugs to people. But there's a difference in me filling a Klonopin prescription a week or two early or my ex losing his medication, and some nineteen year old filling and refilling three prescriptions of Lortab from three different doctors twice a month.

Otherwise I totally agree with you. The main thing, in my experience, with these people in Wallgreens pharmacies is that they assume everyone is some sort of pill-addicted druggie. Like someone else on the board said, you go into Wallgreens pharmacy with an anxiety or pain medication and you immediately feel scrutinized.
N  4th of Mar, 2017 by    0 Votes
@TLDL ummmm, it's their job to "hand drugs over" to people, that's what they signed up for...and it's drugs that are paid for legally and permissible by a...DR., WHO BECAME DR.'S TO MAKE THOSE DECISIONS. DO not try to explain yourself and make this your fault for getting meds from a person who simply reads a paper, follows the instructions and puts pills in a bottle. That's it. They do not prescribe anything, they simply follow the calendar, make sure they pick the right bottle with the right person and check the I.D., collect the money, run the insurance. No rocket science involved. Stop giving them so much credit, it's nauseating.
N  16th of Apr, 2009 by    0 Votes
Apologies - Not sure why that posted twice. I was just trying to change my account name.
A  16th of Apr, 2009 by    0 Votes
I totally agree with the fact that they think every one is a druggie.
personally im fed up with that no early refill thing to.Last month they called me to pick up my script 2 days early. I got there and the phramsist says oh its 2 days early I cant give you this! It was payed for already so it wasnt an insurance issue. Ive had some that will give it early. Most wont though. Its sad cause I really do like the store in general.
N  6th of May, 2009 by    +1 Votes
Pharmacists have a dispensing license, physicians a prescribing one. If a pharmacist is intimidated by the patient or doctor or even his PHARMACY MANAGER not storemanager with an associates degree that's the respective pharmacist fault. The Pharmacy cannot even open without the respective pharmacist there. As proprieter of the license no one can force the pharmacist to fill a prescription. PERIOD. Not your medicaid defrauding physician who took one semester yes folks 1 S E M E S T E R of pharmacology and can barely spell the drug name right let alone dose it or know what it interacts with. Not the R.N who took 2 years of school at some carnivalesque community college and now thinks she can call in no prescribe medications for her friends and the pharmacist "has to fill it" ...ha!. Yes you guessed it I am a pharmacist and too many times I have had people trying to tell me how to do profession I've spent a lifetime studying. As an ethical provider I will take what the physician prescribes and if it passes through all the bells and whistles, it yours. But, I do not have to put up with people who for one thing or another feel they can dump their sh-t on me. Patient or physican alike. Patients educate yourselves before you make a fool of yourself, you may think that our compassion is infinite...we are not your mothers some people never had it that way either, just goes to show. Diagnostiticians, stay in your lane, as a pharmacotherapeutician I'll stay in mine. And for all those who think pharmacy is adjunct, pharmacist are not doctors, thus we don't deserve that level of respect, look at all the medical malpractice lawyers on TV and imagine there were doctors of medicine filling your pharmaceutical prescription and not a doctor of pharmacy, think about that the next time you pick up a script and see how safe you feel imbibing our therapeutic toxins.
D  7th of Jul, 2009 by    -2 Votes
Pharmacists arent just f***ing pill counters! You people are ignorant. If the pharmacist has a PharmD, then they are a freaking doctor!!
N  4th of Mar, 2017 by    0 Votes
@PharmD-student nope. they are pill counters. that's why they count pills and sell them. Dr.'s treat people for illnesses...stop with the technicalities... a Dr. of drugs simply is the one held legally responsible for the actions of the underlings, and the purchasing and the facility etc. and of course the one who gets screwed for giving the wrong medication to the wrong patient, etc. just stop already, your PharmD is showing...
N  4th of Mar, 2017 by    0 Votes
@healer78 oh wait you're just a student you don't even have a degree yet! lol! for god sake are you even an adult? Please go out and experience something first before you comment anything on here...
N  31st of Aug, 2009 by    0 Votes
I tried to pick my class 3 controlled substance tonight 2 days early. The pharmacist at walgreens said I had to wait exactly 15 days from date of the last refill. Now they have put a flag in the computer saying they will have to call my doctor to get my refill. I like walgreens because I travel. I'm going to transfer all off my scripts to a local pharmacy. I am fed up with the pharmacists acting like feds.
D  6th of Oct, 2009 by    +3 Votes
Hi. I am the opposite - my Walgreen's is great & the people have gone out of the way to accommodate me. I am a chronic pain patient with a brain tumor + the pharmacy is in Knoxville, Tennessee -> The Farragut area.
I appreciate them. So some are great + some not. Think I'm on the wrong web-page so I'll run along. Hope it's all working out for You.

A  18th of Dec, 2009 by    +2 Votes
Today I experienced the same problem with Walgreen’s. My Klonapin prescriptions are written in 30-day cycles, and I deposit them with the pharmacy with three refills. I attempted to get my Klonapin refill today seven days early (23 days after the last fill) because I am leaving town for several weeks. The Walgreen’s pharmacist said she couldn’t fill it because “it’s way too early.” I respectfully asked her what, in our state, the early refill law was for Class IV substances (my impression was that per law, Class IV could be refilled after 21 days). The pharmacist said she “didn’t know” what the law said, but that she “thought” it was “27 or 28 days.” I asked her if there was any way she could find out exactly what the state law said, and she dodged my question by saying “not even insurance companies will fill it this early.” I politely told her that the insurance issue was immaterial, because I always pay out of pocket for my Klonapin. Still, the pharmacist dodged my question about state law, and said I couldn’t get the refill until “Tuesday or Wednesday next week at the earliest.” Because she sounded confused about the state law issue, I politely asked her if there was any way she could find out what the law was: I assumed she must have some manual somewhere in the pharmacy with this information. Unfortunately, she angrily retorted “I’m telling you, not until Tuesday or Wednesday.” She actually raised her voice and made an aggressive facial expression. I thought the pharmacist’s behavior was outrageous, especially since she was dodging the question about state law and early refills. After all, if she had merely told me that, per state law, it’s too early to get the refill, I would have been fine with that. But she deliberately refused to address the question, and became noticeably aggressive. There were several people behind me, and I didn’t want to create a scene, so I left. I am going to research the law on this issue, and if it turns out that the pharmacist was playing god – as I suspect she was – I am going to vigorously investigate all possible means of getting her reprimanded, both by the board of licensure and by her employer.
A  18th of Dec, 2009 by    0 Votes
Just a few comments about doctoral degrees. First, a doctoral degree does not make someone infallible or omniscient. Like anyone else, people who hold doctoral degrees are expected to know the limitations of their own intellectual and moral authority. Second, the individuals above who claim that pharmacy school is “as hard as”, or “more difficult than” medical school are deluded. Getting a PhD in pharmacy does not put someone on the same footing as an MD. Thus, with respect to the complaints posted on this board (such as mine and several others), IF the pharmacist is permitted per state law to use their own judgment about early refills (and that’s questionable), then the pharmacist should have politely offered to call the patient’s doctor to get permission to refill the scrip early. That would have been the sensible and responsible thing to do. If the pharmacists have any suspicion of drug abuse on part of the patient, such information could be promptly reported to the doctor. Third and finally, the pharmacy personnel who have posted on this complaint board sound utterly narcissistic, self-indulgent, and deluded about their intellectual and moral authority. The one I dealt with today looked rather young. Based on the judgmental tone and sanctimony so obvious in the remarks of pharmacy personnel on this page, I am guessing that those individuals are quite young, too. That tells us something about how these situations at Walgreen’s pharmacies ensue.
N  4th of Mar, 2017 by    0 Votes
@kenneth1103 oh my goodness, finally, someone who makes sense! THANK YOU!!

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