Walgreens — refuse to pay back
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
Business: Reply Online Consumer: Comment On This
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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.
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