Wednesday, August 7, 2013

CVS is refusing my VALID prescriptions. Is this LEGAL?

CVS Pharmacy Refuses To Fill My Prescriptions
My local CVS Pharmacy refuses to fill my valid/legitimate prescriptions
Last month, I went to my local neighborhood CVS and proceeded to the pharmacy to leave some prescriptions to be filled. There was nothing different on this day. After handing the pharmacy technician my drivers license and confirmed a few identity questions, she located me in the computer and I confirmed by insurance had not changed. I have been using this particular location for a little over two years. I also have used another CVS location, which is in the same state, as it was more convenient when I was at work in Boston. The pharmacists, pharmacy techs, and PIC (pharmacist in-charge) all knew me, or at least my name and medical history. The pharmacy tech said she wanted to verify that she had the medication and quantity in stock and went behind the counter to verify the medication and quantity. She returned after a moment and confirmed they had the medications and quantity available and that she did not need to order any. Every few months or so, they would have low inventory and would have to order the medication for me. She said it would be about fifteen minutes and I decided to wait.

A few moments later, the pharmacist called me up to the register. I commented that he filled that much faster than anticipated. He then said he was unable to fill any of the prescriptions that I had dropped off. I thought it was a joke at first, but he was quite serious. He said that there was an "error" message on their computer system and that the "corporate office" said to "refuse" and "do not fill" prescriptions from my doctor. Now, I would understand their hesitation to fill certain prescriptions if I were perhaps unknown to this pharmacist or CVS... but I have been frequenting that location for over two years and have used many CVS locations in the last ten years (during college and while I was living in different towns throughout my career). I must have had a quizzical look on my face because he apologized profusely. I asked if it was perhaps an insurance issue or if I should call my health insurance or prescription benefits company? He said "No, Chris. There is no issue with your insurance. You're not refilling too soon or anything...and when I entered your prescription information, your health insurance approved the medications so we would get paid." At this point, I was literally scratching my head. Had I done something wrong?

I asked the pharmacist if he thought it was a "fraudulent" or "invalid" prescription or if he felt uncomfortable filling the medications because of something I had done or said? Again he said, "Chris, it's not you. I would fill these for you without any issue. Your prescriptions are valid and are verified. I even telephoned the doctor to confirm once I received this error. Your insurance approved them but the corporate lockout says I cannot fill them. I cannot do an override. I might loose my job..."

CVS Refuses to fill prescriptions
I did not want to push the issue...quite frankly, I was starting to become embarrassed as other CVS patrons could overhear the conversation. I inquired if I could pay "cash" and again he said that my insurance wasn't the problem. He suggested I try another pharmacy, but not another CVS since this is a company-wide decision from the corporate office. He handed the prescriptions back to me and again apologized. Before I left the pharmacy counter he said, "If you have another physician write the prescriptions, I will gladly fill them. The computer will not accept his NPI or DEA number. I specially ordered one of your medications and you are my only patient on it...and it is very costly so I hope you come back so I can fill them!"

That was a kick in the pants. Two of the medications are 'scheduled' or 'controlled' substances. The other two prescriptions were not. I have previously written about the absurdity of medication prices and insurance versus cash prices. A 28 day supply of one of the medications is about $1,800. The other medication costs around $1,200 and is only 9 tablets. The other two aren't as much, though they are quite expensive considering I receive generics.

I felt as if I had been accused of someone making "fake" prescriptions or trying to refill too early. I felt dirty...like I had done something wrong. I've never done anything of that sort in the past. I never asked for "early refills" and have always been open and honest with my physicians. I have never "doctor shopped" or done anything remotely wrong. I left the pharmacy and telephoned my doctor.  I spoke to his assistant and then his nurse. She said they were aware of the troubles with CVS, since other patients had alerted her to the same problem. She suggested I change pharmacies and to call her back and let her know which pharmacy I change to so she could update my medical file.

Switch Pharmacies from CVS
I have switched pharmacies and decided to support a local pharmacy, not a national chain retail pharmacy. Is it the most convenient option for me? No. Do I feel better supporting a "mom & pop" business? Absolutely. I only question the legality or liability that CVS is incurring by refusing to fill prescriptions by a few selected physicians. Just for clarification, I took the same four prescriptions that I presented at my local CVS to the pharmacy I switched to and there were no issues. I found this pharmacy through a friend that knows the owners. The new pharmacy and pharmacist(s) were a bit skeptical when I brought those same four prescriptions to them, however I said they were free to verify them and I even brought a copy of my prescription history from the last two years. I am sure they could access this information through the Massachusetts Online Prescription Management Program, but I felt it would be to my benefit to include it. The pharmacist did call and verify the prescriptions and processed them through my insurance without any issue. He had to order one of the medications, as he had no other patients currently taking it and it is a fairly new medication. A few days later the order arrived and I was able to pickup the remainder of my prescriptions. I have since transferred all of my prescriptions to them and have found better service. Although I knew the pharmacists and staff at my local CVS and had built a rapport with them, I am happier supporting the local business and know that I am not just a number to them and they truly value my business.

So is what CVS did legal? I do not believe it is. When I telephoned my local pharmacy to speak to the pharmacy manager or PIC, I was told that "we will not fill any prescriptions from that physician because there is a DEA investigation and he is going to jail." I laughed on the phone and inquired if she was joking. Apparently, she was not joking as she hung-up on me. I telephoned my physician again and after speaking to his nurse, I was able to speak to him. I reiterated what the CVS pharmacy manager had told me and before I could even finish her words he interrupted me with a very weary sigh. He said there was no investigation or anything involving law enforcement nor the DEA. He said they were likely referencing a lawsuit and fine from the US Department of Labor from five or six years ago (I was aware of this fine and lawsuit since I assisted him with some accounting matters in his defense from the allegations back in 2008). He apologized for any issue, but he cannot control CVS' corporate policy and suggested I use a different pharmacy. I explained I had switched to another local pharmacy and we spoke briefly about other news and politics before ending the call.

Still, I was curious. I performed some additional due diligence and found that there were no issues with his NPI or DEA numbers/licenses. I contacted the Massachusetts Board of Registration in Medicine and found his license was in good standing. There were no malpractice claims or criminal/civil charges or lawsuits pending or in the past. The final step I completed was calling the local Boston field office of the DEA. Though I was transferred around a few times on the phone, I finally spoke to an agent there that could not officially confirm nor deny any ongoing investigation against my doctor, but unofficially said there was not. He then asked if I was a patient of the doctor and if I wished to file a complaint or if there is anything that he should be aware of. Since there was nothing for me to report, I explained that I was a patient but had nothing to report other than good things about him and his medical practice. The DEA agent said that if there was an investigation, typically their DEA number and license would be suspended pending the outcome of the investigation. Since my doctor's license was still in good-standing and his DEA number active, it doesn't seem to support CVS' claims.

I spoke to the Board of Pharmacy Registration in Massachusetts and they directed me to their website where I could file a complaint. I'm not certain that is the route I intend to go, but I'm not certain if their practice is discriminatory or illegal. Since my prescriptions are valid, were executed properly by my physician, were approved by my health insurance provider, and they met all federal and state guidelines...does the pharmacist have the right to refuse to fill the medication? Rather in my case, does the corporate office of a retail pharmacy chain have the right to refuse a prescription, even though the pharmacist at their store would have filled it if there were not some sort of computer block citing an internal corporate memo to "refuse prescriptions from a specific physician" though the physician is in good standing with all regulating agencies and the customer's insurance approved the medication that he has been taking for years? I'm not sure they can. I was told by CVS customer service that "a pharmacist works under their own private license and reserves the right to refuse to fill for any reason." They seem to contradict themselves here. If the pharmacist in my local store was indeed free and able to work under his own license and has the ability to permit or deny prescriptions, then why is the corporate office mandating that their pharmacists not fill prescriptions from a particular physician? To clarify, I am speaking about refusing all prescriptions from a particular physician...not only controlled or scheduled substances.

My calls to the CVS Caremark corporate offices have not been returned. I have called nearly a dozen times and have left messages with different persons and departments asking for an explanation. I was transferred to disconnected extensions and mailboxes. I was given non-working phone numbers to call. The last person I contacted today was their corporate communications director, Danielle Marcus. I have not received a return call or email. I was provided with the contact information for CVS Caremark's assist communications director, Caitlin O'Donnell. I telephoned and emailed her as well and have not yet received a reply.

I believe there is a greater issue at hand here. It would be very odd if CVS had a vendetta or some sort of negative predisposition against my physician... it is simply illogical. I suspect CVS has similar "do not fill" corporate policies or memos regarding other physicians, but I have not confirmed this yet. I will post supplemental information if and/or when I am contacted by CVS corporate communications department and will post other information as I work through the discovery process. Feedback and comments are appreciated and you may do so below.

166 comments:

  1. Hey Chris, I stumbled onto your page looking for something completely different. Seeing how this happened recently to you I did a quick google search and up popped some information. Apparently CVS is refusing other prescriptions such as yours because (from what they say) the prescribing dr is (once again in thier opinion{complete and utter bs in my opinion}) writing too many opiod or narcotic prescriptions. Its not just your dr its a bunch of doctors and who knows where its gonna go from here

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    1. i am having the same problems and checked they it violates your civil rights on another note i live in a area that pills are being sold illegally on the streets how nice the drug dealers are getting there pill but some one that needs them cant my wife has cancer and cant get her medications and i have 5 ruptured disc and 2 rotator cuffs that are torn and i cant get my pain medication THANKS TO OBAMA

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    2. accourding to the ADA it is a violation of you civil rights when they refuse to fill your perscrition

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    3. I have worked in pharmacy for 11 years and many of them at CVS, until recently. Unfortunately, you are being penalized for something your prescriber did. When CVS system pops up regarding the prescribers DEA or NPI there are a few reasons which would flag that. The most common ones are the prescriber didn't update his NPI or DEA in time (most common), DEA or local health officials are investigating or have revoked all or some of this licensure when it comes to prescribing controls or CIIs. This has been going on way longer than Obama and if the reasons they told you were indeed the actual reasons that's a result of the last 10 years or so of the DEA trying to crack down on "Pill Mills"(Prescribers who simply will prescribe anyone an outlandish quantity of medication for a check).

      Lastly, it is not that the system doesn't say don't fill "John Doe's prescription" and it's something against the patient specifically, the actually rejection states to call and verify prescribers DEA, NPI (whatever credential is missing or invalid) as a measure to rectify the issue. I've called countless doctors to find out they sent in their renewal paper work late, or there was an error with their renewals of said credentials. And living in a day in age with real time technology any type of lapse like that flags almost instantly and patients are they ones that get the short end of the stick unfortunately

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    4. To Anon from April 2015... THANK YOU FOR YOUR CLARIFICATION!!!! I just went through a very similar instance with CVS and they refused to refill my rx that was very legit and is extremely necessary for me to not skip. (Having epilepsy is really important that I don't miss my meds.) CVS tried to make me wait until the next day and I finally bugged out and they gave me the morning dose so then I could leave my house the next morning knowing I took ALL of my medications, go to CVS and gather the rest. Again today I just found out that there are more issues popping up with refilling them even though I had been previously told that all rxs were already transferred over. I used to love them, but this is not ok when I know my health really is on the line with them waiting for things like this. Insurance should get the short end of the stick, yes?

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    5. I am having a similar problem with CVS. Rather then fight with them I have decided no to do business with them in any form including buying anything at their stores. Losing customers is the best thing that can be done to very large corporations who decide they can run your life health wise.

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    6. I'm having the same issue with the CVS Caremark program. I have ADHD and was taken off of Strattera and put on the Controlled drug, thanks to my insurance coverage. I get a 90 day fill. My last fill was on December 29th, which they came up with an excuse in December, that they were out of stock. So I had to miss a dosage on the 28th of Dec. So I took my new 90 day script, in on March 24th, because I wanted to make sure they had stock and wouldn't have to miss my daily morning dose. They refused to fill it and told me to come back on the 30th of March. I then explained to them that my last dosage would be the 27th of March, 3 days after the 24th, seeing that Dec. has 31 days and Jan. has 31 days, but then the Pharmacist interrupted me and said: "Yes, but Feb. has 28 days" My reply was not this Feb., it was a leap year. When they finally realized how ridiculous they looked, due to their error. The pharmacist began to press me again, as to when my last dosage would be. Once again I repeated the 27th. All they had to do is simple math. So after they huddle together and had their little pow wow. They told me to leave the prescription and call them Sunday the 27th. I did that and called. First they said, OK we will fill it, then they call me back, to tell me they do have enough for the 90 day fill, then they told me that the script was not written correctly and that I will have to wait until Monday the 28th, to get a new prescription. So I went back to the CVS pharmacy, picked up the old prescription, which clearly stated that they could us a generic. I took it back to my doctor and he wrote up just the way the CVS pharmacist requested and took it back to the pharmacy, for the fill. Now it was time, for them to start answering my questions. Which they really weren't to happy, to answer. What is the fill time allowed on this kind of prescription? Answer: It's flagged. That wasn't what I asked. Again, what is the allowed fill time? Answer: 1 day. So you're telling me that that because there are 365 days in a year, but his year being a leap year, that you can only except 4 times 90 days, which equals 360 fills for the entire year and that I will have to miss 6 dosages this year being a leap year? No reply from the pharmacist. I then asked them, who is enforcing this so called Flagging, is it State, Federal, or Corporate? The pharmacist's answer was, "Corporate." I had already contacted corporate on the 24th, because I don't appreciate being interrogated by their police state pharmacy tactics. I'm still waiting for my 5 day, promise to reply, answer. My next, contact if this problem is not corrected, is to show CVS, that people with Disabilities, are protected under the ADA, by law. I've already file with the States Attorney General's office, on Consumer Protection, because I obviously need protection from, CVS Corporation. They are a hazard to my welling being, seeing that they can't figure out that there are 365 days in a year and what a leap year is. If they still don't figure it out, maybe, just maybe, they need a high profile law firm, to correct the issue. My prescription insurance is processed and contracted through the Federal Office of Personal Management, in Washington D.C. Wouldn't Caremark like to have that contract reviewed. And trust me a Federal contract doesn't need to be scrutinized, for signing a contract with a corporation, who is so called, Flagging and Profiling people, who are protected under the American Disability Act, which is considered Unconstitutional. Anyway when I got hope today, I had an email, from CVS, for a survey. I'm not that stupid. It's time for CVS to clean up their ACT. Rather than being know as anonymous. I'll use my FB name: My grandchildren call me: OmaOmie. Thanks for setting up this page and thank you for letting me post.

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    7. hey chris i went to a cvs in long island and i was one day ealy and the
      pharmasist wouldnt fill my script for oxycodone which i have been getting for years he claimed you have to live in the town the store is located in to fill it what a bunch of sh--.

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    8. To the Oma Omie poster, you are delusional if you think CVS is actively causing you harm. The ADA is irrelevant under these circumstances because CVS is not intentionally refusing service based on a disability. The "Flagging and Profiling" you believe to be offensive is simply ways for CVS Health to maintain REQUIRED patient information and notify pharmacists of relevant issues pertaining to each individual. There is no disability flag nor disrespectful flags. The only flags come from corporate or the DEA. This could be for anything from early fills to doctor losing license. Before you think of jumping to conclusions, I was born with an ADA recognized disability and have a thorough understanding of both pharmacy and ADA Law. Filling prescriptions or refusing them is a federal (and state BOP) recognized right of pharmacists across the country and has stood the test of time in multiple court cases. Many pharmacies do not stock 90 day supplies of CII medications as most insurances cover 30 days. Lastly, Caremark has nothing to do with your "federal contract insurance". This insurance you have is part of the FEHB, which covers 9 million federal employees across many departments. Caremark, like express scripts, is a PBM. The FEHB (and Affordable Care Act) allow Caremark to market its insurance to federal employees (along with multiple others). This "contract" doesn't exist,and even if one were to, federal contracts are the MOST scrutinized contracts around. Nothing like blowing tax dollars to get everyone scrutinizing everyone.

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  2. Class action suit time!

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    1. How? I'm tired of this "Bureacratc Bullshit"

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  3. Perhaps... There are a few people I know looking into the possibility of civil litigation or class action. Contact me for details and I can connect you with them.

    The one thing I did do was file a complaint with my state's pharmacy board as what this CVS did was contrary to the pharmacy board of Massachusetts' standards, rules, regulations, and code of conduct. The pharmacy board of Massachusetts is the regulating group or board of oversight for pharmacies and pharmacists that hold a license in their state. I have posted the URL below and contact information, should you wish to speak to them or file a complaint directly. While a complaint may cause a censure or disciplinary action on the pharmacy or pharmacist's license, it is unlikely to provide any compensation to the complainant. A civil lawsuit may do that, though it may be difficult to show cause that CVS' actions caused damages. However, since their actions seem intentional, punitive damages could be awarded. One could show cause that their actions could be construed as malicious against the physician (which hurt the patient by proxy or transitive property) and punitive damages could be awarded in that instances as well.

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    1. Hi my name is Aaron I moved to PA from Kansas City for a better life for my family. I have been paying out of pocket for the last 4 months yesterday they confirmed meds and I just received insurance in PA they refused me saying I have to be seen by a PA doctor for I am 100% disabled down to one day left I am in a bad situation because I have had cardiac arrest from not having meds. My doctor does web sessions with me and works with people all around the nation they have denied me and have been very rude I feel I have been discriminated against because I am from KC now I do not know what to for they have led me on till the end of the wire now I will be out and can not find a pharmacy anywhere that has my meds in stock and it is the weekend. After 24-48 hours of not having medicationthat I have been taking almost a decade and the same doctor prescriber I am looking at possible life threatening seizure that I have excperinced once and almost lost my life. If it was not for CVS misleading pharmacis I would not be in this deceiving situation what can be done?

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    2. Hi Aaron, I'm sure you have resolved your issue by now, seeing that this post is from back in April however, I just wanted to mention that from my experience with a medication I was prescribed to treat Neuropathy (which was an anti-seizure medication)...if I ever ran out of the medication and had to wait a few days to get a new script (like when I moved across the country), I was able to get what's referred to as "loaner pills" from the pharmacy which is usually a few days worth of the medication to hold you over until your script can be filled. Most pharmacies will do this as a courtesy for a patient, for NON narcotic medications ONLY. I haven't read past your post on this page yet, so maybe you were able to get some "loaner pills" from your pharmacy back in April. Also, I wasn't aware that docs offer "web sessions" as a service to their patients. Well, I'm sure not all of them do..but I wonder if some of mine, back in CA do! I HAD to relocate to VA last year and left my Neurosurgeon and Pain Doc that I've had for years in CA. I'd be thrilled if they'd treat me via "web sessions"! I'm having the toughest time finding adequate care in VA! The treatment here is SO different (and not in a good way).

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    3. Please contact me its Oct.3rd2014 I live in las Vegas Nevada I would love to participate in class action lawsuit. My email is itsokpook@gmail.com My phone number is (702)789-8429 My name is Lawrence

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    4. I was in a crash 2008 roll over bad neck injury have had same DR.all the years same meds loratab 5/325 120 pills and ambian never a problem filling today no luck 13 cvs locations 10 walgreens locations and a handful of mom and pop pharmacys all told me they could not fill they were out or didn't meet policy not early in fact i was 2 weeks over due i take when needed not abusing they treated me like a junky or a criminal embarrassing me in front of other customers

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    5. Hi Chris,
      I am interested in the class action or civil case info. Could you get me this info?

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    6. Hi Chris I came across your letter after having almost word for word the same experiences with CVS. I would be very interested in any information you have on any lawsuits class action or civil. Thank you in advance for anything for any information or help you can give me

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    7. Hi Chris, I came a across your blog after experiencing a similar situation today. I am very interested in participating in a class action lawsuit suit. Please contact me @ kimmichesney@yahoo.com or my cell 610-209-3400. Thank you

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  4. Chris, I stumbled onto your page while researching the "prescription verification" now being conducted by my local CVS. I have been a customer of this and another CVS in my area for well over a decade now. I'm there every 30 days with the same medications for refill, written by the same doctor, with the same DEA and Federal ID numbers. Until recently it has been no problem for me to get my meds filled, but for some reason CVS now says that they are required by "law" to call the prescribing physician to verify that they indeed had written the prescription, and CVS also inquires to it's validity. Now Chris, we are talking about the same person dropping off and picking up the same meds written by the same doctor or his PA for well over a decade. Here's my problem with this ridiculous "law". The meds that I legitimately take are schedule 2 meds, and while I know that we have many illegal users and abusers of these drugs, I have spent years building a relationship and level of trust with my doctor as well as pharmacy (or so I thought). Now it seems that CVS wants to treat their customers like criminals, or junkies regardless of their past history with the local branches, and company as a whole. While this may not be illegal, it sure leaves a bitter taste in ones mouth, and it makes me want to take the same route as you did in your story. I have access to several "Mom & Pop" pharmacies and I'm seriously giving thought to switching my prescriptions due to the treatment by my local CVS, and it's corporate policies. It just really saddens me to know that the honest people out here who are being treated for very real and in my case painful conditions, are now being treated like common criminals who deserve to have their whole lives and situations put on display in front of other customers, and all the employees of that particular CVS.

    Let's put this scenario into play for a minute. Let's say that I need my meds are scheduled to be refilled on a Sunday, and I visit my doctor on Friday for my Monthly appointment and paper copy of my prescriptions. Let's also say that I can't see my doctor until later in the day on that particular Friday. So here's what I'm left with. My doctor visit is later on a Friday afternoon, and by the time I make it to CVS the doctor has closed. How does CVS now "verify" that prescription before Monday morning, even though I need my meds filled on Sunday. Now Chris, these aren't meds that I can simply go a day or two without. If I did that I would not be taking my meds as directed by either my doctor, or the med guide that CVS prints out with every prescription. I would also probably end up in the hospital with serious medical consequences from missing my regular doses of medication. Why should a decade + long customer of CVS whose records they can easily look at via their computer system be treated in this way? Why should honest, law abiding customers and users of schedule 2 medications be treated like a common criminal who's only interest is scoring a "fix"? It's ridiculous, and down right disturbing IMO, and it needs to stop, or at the very least change.

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    1. It is not legal. Check with the ADA. The pharmacist can not cause you harm. Without your medication you are at risk!

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    2. It is completely legal as a pharmacist can refuse to fill any prescription

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  5. Hi Chris. New to your blog. Almost all "chain" pharmacies are doing some variation of this same thing to patients with "Narcotic" prescriptions because of the major ass kicking the DEA served up to Walgreens recently. DEA claimed a handful of Walgreens in FL filled too many Rx and got hit BIG TIME. Odd thing is - if you read the litigation and divide the number of pills prescribed by the number of patients especially at any given 24 hour pharmacy it really doesn't strike me as excessive. But it did the DEA. So now EVERY corporate chain is pretending to be good little corporate citizens and meanwhile screwing the chronic pain patients in the process. But it is perfectly legal unfortunately for any pharmacist to refuse to fill any Rx they don't want to - all they have to do is cite concern over the sanctity of THEIR license etc Just thought I would add my 2 cents worth. You can Google that Walgreens litigation - pretty scary stuff.
    -catwomaninstl

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    1. Okay, then, what you said about pharmacists having the right to refuse, explains a very frustrating day I had with CVS: After a asleep study confirmed that I was waking up to 147 times in the night, I was prescribed two sleeping pills per night (once for when I reawaken). I went to the CVS and encountered a new pharmacist, who proceeded to have a COW over my two sleeping pills.! Really, he made a scene. I changed pharmacy's forEVER!

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    2. Walgreens is now doing this to people,all in the name of controling our citizens!

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    3. Pharmacists often think that they can refuse any prescription, but they have to do it in good faith and cannot do so for discriminatory reasons. A pharmacist who refuses a pain relief medication is probably refusing it to someone with a specific medical condition. If they are not treating every person with this condition the same, then they are probably discriminating. Also, treating every member of a class different from other classes is discriminatory (e.g. not refusing to fill meds from a doctor who prescribes too much hydrochlorothiazide).

      If chains are becoming afraid of the DEA censure that really CAN occur by over filling opiates, there are remedies that could be done on a store by store basis if appropriate. Say, have 25 slots for big-dispense oxycodone patients per month. Have people sign up and they are "guaranteed" their meds if all else is well. If person #26 comes in, they can be put on a waiting list. This way, the pharmacy avoids DEA censure by controlling their med dispense but they do it in a way that is not across the board discriminatory. When an institution has a protocol for how they work with difficult issues, it is always better for all involved and can stand up legally, and not end up in these capricious denials of meds because of a pharmacist's or corporate's bad mood on a Friday.

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    4. Only 25 patients month for high dose pain medications how many pharmacies do you thing there are? There is millions of chronic pain sufferers. How do you think this policy would work and I suspect this is probably the current policy, which is causing so much unneeded suffering

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  6. Just started having these problems with CVS day after New Year (we are 6+ yr customers). They were very vague at first why they couldn't fill my prescriptions. They asked me if I had changed insurance (I had not). Then they asked me to check to see if my insurer had contracted to another company (they had not). My insurer does contract out my Rx coverage but it's same one now for several years. I called them and they blamed it on all the pharmacies software. Called CVS back again and now told it is the Feds new ACA rules and software. It's all still shady to me because 2 of my prescriptions are for my heart, a small dose water pill and a potassium pill. What's the problem there? I have another Dr prescribing double strength Naproxen and kiddie Hydrcodone all for my back I've had surgery on. Sound like 2 pill mill Drs.? Sound like I'm a dealer or and addict? It'd day it's starting to look like CVS thinks so.
    I haven't resolved this issue yet and do need to get some refills before relapses set in. (They do offer non- controlled prescriptions to you for cash but nothing for controlled substances). This is what the ACA will wind up doing to us. Our medical neede will be controlled, determinded and dolled out by the purely idiological idiots way of thinking

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  7. Good luck, my friend. It seems it was only the beginning when I first wrote about this and the problem only continues to grow. I wish you all the best...

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  8. o god im so glad i found this as i am going through this exact thing at this moment, well i decided to film my encounter with rite aid with my cell phone, so they can not deny it, they had no such policy in plain view for me to see this, so i decided to send rite aid a message on FB and they have ask for my information we will see if they call, i stated to them they had violated my patient bill of right to select a pharmacy of my choice and be treated in a respectful manner at all times. well that didn't happen and i called the district's office, well the lady decided to lie to me and say he didnt meet their criteria, so i asked is he valid to practice? yes. is my script legal? yes. so whats the issue, well the dea said he isnt in good standings with them, so i asked for DEA's #, she refused and then said its rite aid's decision not to fill them, soon as i said your really gonna tell me a lie? are you a God fearing person? a believer? she hung up FAST! i called right back talked for a second she hung up again, so i played the sad role and she said if another dr rights the script we can fill it. so exact same thing that happened to you happened tom e only this was the last time for me i had to film it just to feel better about myself that i wasnt doing anything wrong and they were. & this is america right? where we have laws to protect patients? well these legal Drug dealers are acting more and more like street dealers, when they are a place of business here to serve the medical community, not to violate hipaa law asking for a diag of which you didnt allow them to obtain, and which they shouldnt need anyway because they arent your dr, they are only there to fill meds needed by us patients, Walgreen got a little smart about it and used the loop-hole in Roe vs Wade of not filling something based on faith, well that is irrelevant to pain, it relevant to contraceptives. enough is enough until people start using their smart phones and making video documents of these pharmacies violating our rights they will continue to try and belittle us and make us feel as if we are in the wrong for even coming to them and asking. i wanna post the video so bad but i wanna see if they are gonna fix this.

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  9. Complaining to the DEA or your physicians may not heed the kind of results you are looking for. The only way I was able to receive a modicum of respect and an answer to my issues, back then, was to submit a complaint to my state's pharmacy board. Complaints of these nature are taken very seriously. Each pharmacist in the retail store you patronize has a license that can be sanctioned, suspended, or revoked... much like the doctor(s) you see. Food for thought, if you feel your complaints merit it! Good luck.

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    1. Thank you for al the info. Ive experienced the same issue you are referring to in Fl. But at Walgreens. Their decision to not fillbfor certain drs happens from time to time and is usually because the pharmacist at one or more locations sees/handles/fills what can be considered to them an excessive amount of medication per patient, or they dont like the 'combination' of medications written repeatedly for numerous patients.
      I understand they are trying to discourage inappropriate Schedule 2 and 3 drug use but they are sticking their nose in where it doesnt belong.
      I found your site because currently my NEW pharmacy of 4 months is now requiring me to transfer ALL of my non narcotic prescription medications to their pharmacy or they'll no longer be able to fill my ONE schedule 3 pain prescription. Mind you when no one else would fill it for me after Walgreens stopped after 3 yrs this pharmacy agreed to if I would transfer 2 prescriptions. Which I did HAPPILY at the time ( just to fill, and I tranferred high dollar prescriptions at THAT!) But now they are just being greedy. AND she even tried to say something about the DEA requires them to do this now!! THE ABOVE POSTER HIT THE NAIL ON THE HEAD WHEN MENTIONING RECORDING YOUR PHARMACY VISIT!!! That is exactly what im doing from now on and I WILL be filling a complaint with te board you mentioned. They cant MAKE us do business with them by using the threat of not filling our schedule 3 prescriptions against us!! RECORD EVERY PHARMACY VISIT....Because chances are something will change next month!!!

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    2. How did it go reporting to the MA licensing board for pharmaceuticals (or whatever its called)?
      I had a MA CVS pull this crap with my ADHD meds, and my family & I have been using solely this store since they opened. My primary sent over a script to quit smoking middle of the week I had no intention of picking up, but I also had a script my shrinks office sent over on 5/27 along with that days script as the prescriber was going on maternity leave. So I politely call, explain their robot called to say come in for pick up (it also called wed.) but I do not want the primary's medicine until I discuss it with my shrink, I would like to verify which script(s) were ready & do not want to come in early as the Adderall wasnt supposed to be picked up until this morning. The woman said we have the one from your primary, no others, hung up.
      I call shrinks office, it was a few minutes after they left & not an emergency.
      I call back CVS & my favorite tech picks up, I say hi,explain the dilemma, she puts me on hold. Then comes back to say yes we have it, verified all info, even checked the math - then puts me on hold - comes back & tells me they're out of stock until further notice, call back middle of next week & no we arent going to transfer to another pharmacy.
      K so I get pissed and text my shrink, explain every step including verifying with his office everything would be ok this weekend to pick it up. He asks me why they wont transfer, thats what they should do.
      Call CVS, get my nice lady tech but she wasnt allowed to discuss further I must speak with the pharmacist. 1st woman gets on the line who proceeds to tell me:
      We dont have it - Yes you do Claire told me so an hour ago & verified everything on the prescription.
      Then she gave me each line below:
      It's expired.
      This isn't valid.
      I cant transfer it.
      It's only in the computer, e-copy.
      We dont have your paper copy.
      We recvd both by fax.
      We dont have the script.
      We're maxed on DEA limit.
      We're out of stock.
      You never gave us the 2nd script.
      - and so many many more! Luckily I was smarter than her. She only told me her first name, refused her last, none of my business apparently. She states she has to verify with my DR, if she talks to him she'll forward to another CVS, takes the preferred location address & everything (its friday night now) I called BS, gave her his cell# & name. She promises to call, but doesnt. My shrink calls, we go over the whole thing for about 15 minutes on the phone.
      He calls her. He calls me right back to say "Vicky"-The-WonderC*%# states she has no prescription for me and if she did shes not legally allowed to transfer it. I apologize for wasting 2 hours of his personal time. Wasted 3.5 hours of my night on the phone, missed work & a cookout I was hosting there. Give up. Make plans to drive hour round trip to go to his office Monday morning to get a new paper script. Cancel my travel plans.
      Wake up this morning, my fiance (who I work for & have lived with for 5 yrs) calls CVS and guess TF what! We have the script right here Sir, we have 50 in stock Sir, want them in 15 minutes? Sure thing come on over easy-peasy, just have her grab a paper copy for the remaining 10 pills because we are short right now but we'll have more right away, have her come back beginning of the week.
      WTF! I will be doing my own search to discover "Vicky"s last name, will be notifying the Pharmacist, the Manager in person & writing, as well as sending the sequence of events (written out thoughtfully & articulately) to Corporate & the pharmacy board in MA. Because Vicky also lied and claimed to be the pharmacist, but she's not.

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    3. I had a problem with my CVS pharmacy in Orange County Ca. today 01-05-2017. Before I go into detail I wanted to know if you are interested in pursuing legal action. I am very familiar with California pharmacy law as well as HIPPA law, as I have owned a pharmacy and worked in this field for quite some time. For me it's about the principle.

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  10. Hey Chris,
    Stumbled across your blog post as I was looking for answers to the exact same question! I have been a valued CVS customer for years and have also been prescribed the exact same medications for 4 years (and none of the dosages have changed, either). Today, the pharmacist at my CVS Pharmacy denied to fill ANY of my prescriptions and claimed that she had the right to decide what medications I take. She then told me that I have the right to switch to a different pharmacy and that would be easier for her because it is "less risk."
    I was unfortunately in a horrible car accident 4 years ago that left me with some damage. I am not on any pain medications, but am on 1 medication that is considered "controlled." I am only allowed 15-day supplies (according to my insurance) and always call on "day 14" to make sure it is filled for the next day, just to be safe. The pharmacist said that she had to flag my file because of this medication and insinuated that I must "have a problem."
    I have never had this type of issue before. I felt belittled and angry. Who are the pharmacists to decide what medication I take? I have one main doctor and he prescribes all of my medications. He is in good standing and is an excellent doctor. But, I am "red flagged."
    It is not the pharmacist's job to decide my medical fate. This is unacceptable. I had to make a trip to my doctor to have all of my prescriptions re-written and am now officially switching to a small mom & pop pharmacy the town over. I am definitely hoping that I am treated with the dignity and respect that I deserve.
    While there are people who are illegally getting prescriptions, why is it the people who are doing everything right are getting punished? It is very upsetting.

    Sorry to hear that you experienced the same thing.

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  11. It happend to me a few weeks ago in Indiana. The district office said all Cvs pharmacies were notified not to honor his prescriptions. I took the prescription to wal-greens and it was filled with no issues. I agree chris, they made me feel like a criminal and my son witnessed the ordeal.

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  12. This was interesting, I have just gone through the same thing in AltaVista Virginia and they brought charges against me for leaving one cvs where they wouldn't fill my prescription, and I went to another cvs and they filled it the same day,my prescription was valid and my doctor is going to court with my lawyer to verify, If you could send me what you find out I would also file a complaint, nhfielder68@yahoo.com

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  13. Just went through the same thing in AltaVista Virginia,my prescription was in order, doctor even called, and they still wouldn't fill it, so I went to another cvs and they filled and now they have brought some kind of suit against me, so I have to talk to my lawyer tomorrow to see what I have to do, he seems to think this is a weird case I guess we will see, if anyone has any information on this please send me some info, nhfielder68@yahoo.com Thanks

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  14. In Massachusetts, a pharmacist has the right to deny ANY prescription. It's their license on the line IF the prescription is fake, the doctor is a nut, etc. The manner in which the pharmacist denies the prescription is a huge factor though. I work for a large retail chain and I can tell you for a fact that I am required to verify any narcotic taken more than 4 times a day or a high dose from the DEA PLUS it has to have a DX code (diagnosis from the doctor) on why we're filling it. Trust me, it's a huge pain in my ass as well as the customer but I'm just trying to do my job. There are doctors DEA numbers that we are not allowed to fill with per corporate, that is something we cannot bypass. I personally don't know any pharmacists that would deny a script with a logically reason but I'm sure they're out there.

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    1. I do not disagree with the process of verification and I could care less that CII-CV medications require a Dx code... I know that was a big issue in the past with some people, but it doesn't phase me. I respect the job of a pharmacist that has to be compliant with regulations and juggle patient care. However, my issue is that "corporate" has blocked certain DEA or NPI numbers from providers and yet hold the pharmacist liable at that store. When the customer calls the corporate office, we are told that these decisions are made "in real time" and "in the field" by the PIC (pharmacist in charge)... However, it is clear that it is actually being done on a corporate level when the pharmacist showed me via their computer screen. It seems like the corporate office is throwing the retail pharmacy locations under the bus. I can only imagine how difficult it could be to work for such a place.

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  15. I am having problems with Walgreens near my home in Gaston, SC. Pharmacist refused to fill a prescription for a sleeping pill because the dr had me on Valium as well. Several years ago i took all of my business to a locally owned pharmacy and hate dealing with any if the "BIG" ones. I am still waiting to hear from Walgreens concerning my complaint. Thanks for your story! Joni

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    1. Joan,

      Sorry to hear that. It is best to keep all your prescriptions at one pharmacy or the same national chain at least. The pharmacist has some discretion if they believe a health condition or other medication is contraindicated, however that is easily remedied by a quick phone call to your doctor. Very odd.

      Personally, I support the small family pharmacy versus the chains. Yes, I don't get fancy text alerts when my medicine is ready but the pharmacist and his family know me by my first name. Something to be said there, I believe.

      Wish you the best...

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  16. Dear Chris,
    I feel for you. I am an MD who gets cares and gets very frustrated when obstacles are created for patients by healthcare providers. Moreover, I have been through a bad experience with a chain pharmacy, which called DEA and reported my own Doctor who had called in a prescription for a medication that is NOT a controlled substance. Simply put: the pharmacist was a bitch (No I don't need an excuse for my French)

    2 issues are at hand in your story:
    1-defamation of your doctor. I am not an expert about this one, but I encourage your MD to discus it with his lawyer.
    2-is there a "duty to fill" ?.
    **In Maryland the answer is 'yes': pharmacist must "provide complete pharmaceutical service by preparing and dispensing all prescriptions that reasonably may be expected of a pharmacist.'~ Health Occupations Article § 12-403(b)( 5); COMAR 10.34.11.05A(3).
    Please see footnote in This document: Please ignore the subject of the document (contraceptives) and just focus on the footnote on page 1: www.oag.state.md.us/Opinions/Advice2004/Rosenberg.pdf

    ** in Arizona: the answer is 'No'. "There is no legal obligation to dispense a prescription" see this document:
    www.azpharmacy.gov/pmp/pdfs/pharmacist%20best%20practices.pdf

    From this discrepancy, it seems to me that the matter of "duty to fill" is differs by state. I personally find this ridiculous, because medical ethics should establish such duty. But as we know, ethics has no say in a Capitalist world.

    I wish you (and your Doctor, hopefully) the best in pursuing this matter.

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    1. what about NM ?

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    2. I just tried to fill my npain meds which was filled on the 25 of last month for the second day in a row they keep telling me to come back the next day.Well im about to call their 1800 number.

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    3. Dear Everyone,
      I am a physician I Georgia and I have female pharmacists blocking my scripts all the time and it is not for the safety of the patient. These CVS, Kroger, Walmart and Walgreens and others refuse to fill prescriptions based on erroneous, information. They are unaware of the scope of medicine in psychiatry and refuse to fill all kinds of medications that are well studied and used safely by psychiatrist around the world. They called the DEA on me for prescribing vitamin D which is well known to be involved in mood stability and in which I regularly and safely follow blood levels and which can be bought over the counter. They are ignorant of the use of metformin in weight loss in patients with high resting insulin levels and tell patients it IS ILLEGAL FOR ME TO PRESCRIBE MEDS FOR DIABETES AND OUTSIDE OF MY AREA OF SPECIALTY. When TOLD BY MY NURSE THAT THIS IS IN MY AREA AND IS NOT FOR DIABETES and to look it up in psychiatric literature AND THAT I HAVE AN UNRESTRICTED DEA LICENSE, THEY HUNG UP ON HER! I COULD GO ON AND ON. WHILE THEY DO THESE THINGS TO ALL DOCTORS, THEY REALLY DO IT any chance they get TO FEMALES PHYSICIANS. RARELY THEY WILL CALL ME AND ASK WHY I AM USING CERTAIN PSYCH MEDS TOGETHER AND I WILL INTERUPT MY SESSIONS TO TAKE THOSE CALLS. I AM HAPPY TO EXPLAIN ABOUT NEUROTRANSMITTER RECETPORS- THE DIFFERENT TYPES, AFFINITIES, ETC AND reference THE LITERATURE AND THEY KNOW NOTHING ABOUT THE MEDS OR ANYTHING I AM TALKING ABOUT! They think everyone knows what they do which is very little. They make up rules about doses of ADHD doses they will fill and think 70mg of Vyvanse is 70 mg of Dexedrine when 70 mg is the molecular weight of the compound bound to lysine!! And they continue to this day with these ignorant rules and this is at chains like Kroger and Publix. They need to be stopped and made to go before the board. They tell patients doses of meds are dangerous when they are not. They harm patient care and PHARMACIST SHOULD HAVE LAWS TO FOLLOW THAT THEY CANNOT GIVE OUT FALSE INFORMATION TO PATIENTS, AND REFUSE TO FILL BASED ON IGNORANCE AND A PATHOLOGICAL ISSUE WITH TAKING ORDERS FROM FEMALE PHYSICIANS.LAWS SHOULD BE IN PLACE TO PREVENT THEN FROM REFUSING TO FILL MEDS FOR BECAUSE THEY FEEL LIKE IT. ONE FEMALE PHARMACIST REFUSED TO FILL A PSYCHIATRIC DIET AID LAST NIGHT STATING I WAS NOT ALLOWED TO (IGNORANT THAT EVERY PATIENT IN MY OFFICE AND ALL COMPETENT PSYCHIATRISTS' OFFICE HAS HEIGHT, WEIGHT, BMI,BP, HR, WITH EXTENSIVE APPROPRIATE BLLOD WORK, EKG'S, ETC.)AND WHEN TOLD TO GOOGLE PSYCHIATRY AND WEIGHT LOSS MED RESEARCH AND MY DEA WAS UNSTRICTED AND YES I AM ALLOWED TO PRESCIBE THIS DRUG, SHE SAID, "YEAH, WELL, I DON'T HAVE TO FILL IT," AND HUNG UP ON MY OFFICE MANAGER. THIS HAS TO BE STOPPED! NEVER ABOUT THE CONCERN FOR MY PATIENTS. AND I NEVER EVER HAVE A PROBLEM WITH A MALE PHARMACIST UNLESS, ON OCCASION, AND NOT OFTEN, HE THINKS MY PATIENT IS A DRUG ADDICT(NO EVIDENCE- JUST THINKS THE PATINET LOOKS LIKE A SCUM SUCKING ADDICT UNWORTHY OF LIFE ITSELF,)AND THEN THEY MAY FILL THE MED, BUT TREAT THE PATIENT DISRSPECTFULLY. Male and female pharmacists discriminate on who they think is in pain and who can get opioids and who can prescribe them. They harm patient care and patients thinking they are addicts who are not in pain and they are not MD's and know nothing about the patients. THIS NEEDS TO BE STOPPED!THIS IS NOT RIGHT AND THEIR POWER IS BEING ABUSED FOR THEIR OWN PATHOLOGY.

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  17. So Chris do you know anything about a pharmacist refusing to transfer (and deleting) your prescription because they no longer accept your insurance?

    Had this problem with Walgreens.

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    1. In NYS per NYS pharmacy law a RPh can refuse the transfer of a prescription to another pharmacy just because they don't feel like it, no reason needed.

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  18. I found this by searching for CVS controlled substance policies as I was just denied my rx yesterday. I take klonopin to sleep. a low dose and have been on it for years. At the same CVS for 11 years- I mean they know my name. I was told that I could not fill my prescription for 2 reasons 1) was printed with auto signature from MD - i have been bringing those in for the past 18 months without problems and 2) the doctor I see is more than 5 miles from the CVS. I was told that i could not fill any controlled substances if the person I saw was too far away from the CVS. Really? In Atlanta you expect me to see a doctor within 5 miles of where I live and work? The person who helped me actually greeted me by name and was very apologetic saying he knew me and knew I had been getting that medication for years. I could come in to speak to the 'head pharmacist' if I wanted to. I don't feel I should have to. I get 20 pills for 30 days. No drug seeking and no change in dosage. I deserve to be able to get my medications from the same pharmacy that is on my way home. I have been seeing that MD for 8 + years. I called the customer service hotline and complained. We shall see what happens but I fear I will be taking my business elsewhere after this.

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    1. For the automatic signature they are correct. They were filling it illegally during the previous 18 months because no one noticed that the controlled substance RX was not manually signed. That's a federal law issue.

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  19. This just happened to me with my local Target Pharmacy! They called me and said they can no longer fill prescriptions from my doctor and suggested I get a new doctor which is ridiculous. I have only just begun to look into the situation but they are saying almost exactly the same things to me. They won't fill any prescriptions from my specific doctor. I felt like I was getting the run around. They referred me to their guest services department 800 number "for more information" which I called and they couldn't tell me even as much as the local pharmacist told me. I'm so frustrated!

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  20. Hi Chris. Came upon your story while I was looking up a "2 day rule' that CVS has about a controlled drug I must take. I gave them a script on the 28th. The script was dated for that day and under Note: it also had the same date. It didn't say may fill or fill on the 28th. I have been told several various stories regarding scripts and dates. CVS refused to fill it for me. The pharmacist called the dr., why I do not know. She tells me after a 45 minute wait that the doc said not to fill it until 4/2. I have never heard of a 2 day rule and have no clue as to why she would question it. The doctors office has told me several times in the past as they did on the 28th when I picked it up at his office that whatever the date is on the script is the date it can be filled. Still not sure why the doc said not until the 2nd of april to fill it, if she even talked to him or a nurse at his office. Does anyone know about this 2 day rule or if indeed a script can be filled on the date written on it? I almost think the cvs makes up the rules as they go along!! I am going to change my pharmacy. I used to be with walgreens and never had a problem. I wonder now which pharmacy I should change to if walgreens is in question. I live in Danvers Mass and the choice of a pharmacy is limited in the country. Anyone able to answer my question or help with a decent pharmacy? Thanks so much!

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    1. I recently filed complaints with the WA state board of pharmacy regarding Rite Aid and Bartells. At both, the pharmacists cited a 2 day "corporate policy" in refusing to fill my legal prescription . I had been filling at Bartells for two years, same medication, same doctor, usually dropped off around day 25, picked up sometime in next week. (Sometimes it took up to 5 days to order and receive stock.) I changed to Rite Aid and was told by pharmacist that Rite Aid had copied Bartells policy. After my complaint to the board, I was contacted by district managers by both companies. The Rite Aid DM told me that there was no corporate policy but the pharmacist just said so because she wanted to avoid telling me that she was uncomfortable filling my prescription. The Bartells DM confirmed that the pharmacist could be fired if she violated the corporate policy. Then the Bartells Director of Pharmacy contacted me but refused to confirm or deny the existence of the policy. State Board investigation is in process. Note that in WA state, the board clarified pharmacists duty to fill unless there is a legal or medical reason in response to a few pharmacists refusing to fill Plan B contraceptive prescriptions due to religious objection.

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    2. Stores are allowed to have a policy in regards to when they refill a controlled prescription. For my store, it is 3 days. That means that I can not fill your control until you have 3 days left of medication (unless you are going on a trip). It does not matter what the date is on your prescription. If a customer has a problem with it, we have no issue with telling them they can go else where.

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    3. Not sure what state you are in LeeRAWket but in WA state, a pharmacist must have a legitimate legal (like pill mill doc Rx) or medical (like drug interaction) concern to legally refuse to fill a prescription. Refusal without a legitimate medical or legal concern is considered as acting as a medical provider which WA pharmacists are not considered under current licensure.

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    4. I think these are very good points to consider. When I worked in Health and Human Services licensed facilities we had a limited amount of time to get and administer pain medications. I believe the longest time was 48 hours. It was considered a violation to withhold pain medication. CVS is one of the largest suppliers in the U.S. and part of a larger health care deliver system. This could be a much larger issue, not that the individual complaints here are not compelling. And, I had a similar experience with CVS that I found objectionable. The Americans with Disabilities Act was another good point mentioned here. The more you know about how health care and medications are regulated can help protect you from unethical treatment especially if you can't rely on your provider to tell you the truth.

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  21. Target just denied my prescription SOLELY because I do not have health insurance. What the christ? How can this be legal? Anyone in Massachusetts know?

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  22. I live in Virginia and my controlled substance scrips were denied yesterday by CVS. I get a lot of prescriptions filled per month, but the only ones denied were from my pain management doc. I have been using the same CVS for over 15 years. They say it is because she over-prescribes, but she is the ONLY pain doc in town. I took them to Walgreen's which had no problem filling them. My fear is that all the chains in town will decide to do the same thing. Then what? We don't have any mom and pops. My doctor keeps meticulous records. They will not tell her why they have shut her off. They just did it. If they shut her down completely, I don't know what I will do. I have chronic pain and have been taking these pills forever. I can't just stop taking them.

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  23. I had the same experience as you with a CVS in Virginia! I couldn't believe it when the pharmacist handed it back to me and told me he wouldn't fill it because he didn't feel it was an appropriate dose or medication mix! (I have been taking the same dose of the same two pain medications for 5 years.). This to me was a new low - though the ”you're too far from home," above, is a close second! But the RPh was actually trying to practice medicine and change both the doses and types of my meds! (though he didn't tell me what I "should" be taking; I guess I would need to make an appointment at his pain management practice for that "advice!"). I was relieved to see the comment, above, from the Maryland Dr indicating pharmacies must fill all Rx there, as I live in the Washington, DC area and MD is just over the river. To ”Anonymous" above, if you are in the part of VA near MD I would suggest you go there for your Rx even if it's out of the way. Fwiw, for anyone living in the DC area there is a small group of pharmacies called ”Foers" that have, maybe, 7-9 stores in MD and DC, several in Dr. Ofc bldgs near hospitals. They always have all controlled Rx in all strengths in stock and would never refuse to fill a script - usually in 15 mins or less. One more tidbit to mention: today I called the DEA thinking (so naively it turned out!) they might have suggestions or even a program by which "real" chronic pain patients could be able to demonstrate that we are not addicts or dealers and truly need our meds for serious medical conditions. They couldn't have been ruder, actually starting out the conversation with "I'm really busy and don't have time for this!" When the person - this one was not a Dr on the side like my pharmacist, but apparently moonlights as a small business attorney - said something just to get me off the phone it was: "let me explain something to you: any small business can refuse to serve any customer, not drug stores in particular, so I would suggest you shop around for one who wants to have 'a customer like you!!' " I was about to become incensed when I was touched by my "better angel" and instead cracked up at the Kafkaesque absurdly of it all. That's my advice to everyone: stick up for your rights, become informed and keep your sense of humor! Good luck to all. Chris, thank you for hosting this blog.

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    1. Be informed. Pharmacists today hold doctorate degrees and in the field of healthcare are the drug experts. If your pharmacist did not agree with a treatment based on a prescription, it is perfectly logical for them to want to consult with the doctor about changing it. Medical doctors have one maybe two semesters of pharmacology in school. Your pharmacist had eight. Tell me who you would rather take medication recommendations from. I personally would go with who had the most knowledge. There are bad pharmacists and doctors all over, unfortunately, but understanding the training behind legitimate practitioners always makes for a better argument.

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    2. Better informed, hear hear.

      That said, I'd rather take recommendations from a physician I trust, who's known & treated me for years, vs a pharmacist who didn't know I existed until a few minutes previous.

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    3. I took the advice of my pharmacist and changed my blood pressure medicine to what my pharmacist said was a generic form and was a WHOLE lot cheaper. It made me sick and my blood pressure went up. My doctor was furious. I went back to the exact medication he prescribed and returned to better health. There is a reason why physicians can prescribe meds and pharmacist can't. Perhaps it is the additional 12 years of training. It is ludicrous to think physicians don't have a knowledge of drugs as they see the effects of them from years and years of practice.

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    4. OMG I am so tired of ignorant information. Do you really think physicians take "2 semesters" of pharmacology? I am a physician and we don't do "semesters" anymore like we are in college like a pharmacist. I would explain more but this comment about MD's taking 2 semesters while pharmacists take 8 shows such a lack of understanding of our training that I really cannot explain it to you. Patients have to be evaluated by taking a history, performimg a physical and appropriate testing to even make diagnoses of their illnesses and then many factors must be weighed as to the benefits and risks of various treatments. Doctors know how to do this and then once they have all of this and more information, they can choose an appropriate medication, if indicated. Now knowing which medication to use and how to use it in this particular patient involves knowledge not just of the medication but of the patient, their other illnesses, interactions with other medications, medical family history, the patient's past medical history and responses to medications, and factors such as cost, type of insurance to cover various meds, and compliance issues and tolerability for this particular patient. Giving out information like, "MD's do 2 semesters and pharmacists 8, etc. is going to cause harm when someone reads this and thinks their pharmacist knows best. Pharmacists need to make sure the right med gets in the bottle with the correct directions and also to double check for physician error. Pharmacists do not have information or the education and are not physicians. Stop the madness as you're going to hurt innocent people who believe your uneducated comments.

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  24. I stumbled upon your blog quite by accident, but I am glad I stayed to read the posts. I take a Schedule II and a Schedule IV controlled substances, prescribed by my psychiatrist. She also prescribes me four other non-controlled drugs (The one is new, and I am tapering down off two of the others).

    I have my prescriptions written for 90 days. Walgreens will not fill them, I guess it is against state or federal law to fill a 90 day prescription of a controlled substance at retail? My doctor also cannot fax or electronically transmit the Schedule II, I have to mail the actual prescription in to CVS/Caremark to have it filled. She can fax the Schedule IV no problem. I also have to sign for the Schedule II, no matter who delivers it. I was pretty pissed when I did my first mail order after taking a month from a local Walgreens, and having to go without an entire weekend with no medication because CVS/Caremark neglected to tell me that it was signature required. I requested that the expedited shipping cost be refunded to me because of the delay (no UPS on Saturday or Sunday, had to wait until Monday), and they refused. Some baloney about the temperature of the medication. I never pursued it further, and now have it sent USPS and they always require me to sign (I usually have to go to the PO to pick it up - our PO makes one delivery attempt and then leaves the card). I just had my dosage increased a few days ago, I now take about 2/3 the maximum dosage. I am concerned that at some point CVS/Caremark will pull this crap on me. I live in Delaware, I send the prescriptions to Pittsburgh, and I believe they are filled in Logan Township, NJ.

    At least I will be prepared if this happens to me. Thanks for hosting this blog, Chris.

    ReplyDelete
  25. This happened to me at Walgreens they would fill my script in Las Vegas but not 15 minutes away at a different locations. When I called it had already been 4 days and the lady said your doc wasnt in on Friday thats why they hadnt filled it, it was TUESDAY what a stupid excuse. I think many of the reasons they give why they cant fill your script is just stuff they make up to get you out the door, a lot of the excuses ive read above are totally bogus and not laws at all I know this for a fact, the real reason they wont give you your medicine is not being told to you most likely because the DEA. Ive noticed that alot of these pharmacies are very secretive and want to give out as little info as possible when you ask questions so you can never get a reliable answer. I hate how you cant just call and see if they have a medicine in stock you could a couple years ago but they put an end to that. IMO this whole system has to be overhauled because this is clearly not working and not doing anything to stop criminals. Walgreens new 24-72hr policy is ridiculous, when your taking some medications you cant just stop taking it for 2-3 days while they wait to decide when they feel like filling your script. I think we as respective people should boycott Walgreens and there stupid policy. Maybe file a malpractice suit against them because thats what it is. Its really sad to see so many good ppl being affected by the DEA so horribly, when they dont care about your well being at all proven by jeff that called them above me. Anyone interested in filling a lawsuit against Walgreens for malpractice please email me at nolanrussell@yahoo

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  26. I have been denied the day before my script was due after they told me they would fill it and now I am facing a possible life threaning seizure because it is down to the wire and have one day left of meds. My doctor is the top of his Harvard class never had a problem highly accredited phycologist he called my script in like he always does and CVS is saying since I am from Kansas City and I am in Pensylvania I have to have a PA doctor. My doctor deals and prescribes all over the nation??? Why can they do deny me seems discriminating I am 100% disabled and made it clear to CVS and now there no other pharmacys at the last minute that have my meds on the shelf why is CVS corp such liars there so full of it now Im screwed due to there missleading guidance very unproffesional what can I do about these jerks?

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  27. I wish there was someone I could get in touch with about my issue. The first pharmacist refused to fill my script. The second one filled it using someone else's id.
    Then just for questioning that, they got hostile and called the police on me.

    ReplyDelete
  28. Hello All: What a nightmare. Local CVS, after many years, 10 plus, on the same dose of pain medication, would not fill a valid prescription. Pharmacist said it was because the dose was too high, my condition did not warrant the pain medication, I should be taking other medications for this problem, which I am, and nothing I could do to get them to fill my prescriptions. He was essentially acting as an MD, without full knowledge of my condition, nor did he care whatsoever. I said that my MD, who was out that day, said that if I go without my pain meds for 1 day, I will most likely stroke out and die, or become severely brain damaged due to sky rocketing blood pressure. Anyone here for a class action? Right behind me were two others, that received exactly the same line from the pharmacist. I can only now go to the ER, and become an inpatient. You all know what a nightmare that is.......

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You're most likely not going to "stroke out and die" from not having pain meds. The pharmacist is well aware of the effects of not having the meds for 1 day, probably more aware than the doctor who supposedly told you that....

      Delete
    2. I am his wife. He did have a stroke due to medication issues. He is no longer with us. His nightmare is now over....

      Delete
    3. Oh my God. I'm so sorry for your loss. While I do not personally feel comfortable managing my pain with narcotics at this time, I absolutely understand why your husband's doctor would have said that, as I have been warned by my cardiologist to never run out of my amphetamine medication, because my body takes several days to recover from the stress on my heart of the tanking blood pressure and postural tachycardia attacks which are not always as severe as during premenses weeks, such as last week.

      I came here to research a "5 day waiting period" law that my husband was told to be the main reason I could not have my schedule 2 amphetamine med filled at CVS with a paper script from MD, meeting all MA security criteria, last week- the week of July 2015. To be crystal clear, my prescribing physician has NO licensure nor DEA issues, and the script was printed on the proper security- encoded, watermarked paper in compliance with MA law. The female pharmacist at the Orleans, MA CVS made no attempt to contact my physician in MD, not even during business hours on a weekday, for any additional verification of the authenticity of the script. While the medication was originally prescribed for an ADHD diagnosis, I have since been properly diagnosed with autonomic failure, connective tissue disease, and mast cell disease, and was consequently sick with crushing fatigue, presyncope, hypotension, and poor GI motility/ gastroparesis for 2 days of our vacation due to running out of my medicine because the Cape Cod CVS refused to fill it and fed my husband all these lies as to nonexistent state laws. As I was managing 2 high needs children while ill and away from home, and was told by CVS that it was state law rather than some arbitrary corporate policy, we did not even attempt to have it filled elsewhere in MA last week.

      Thank you for this blog and to everyone who shared supportive information. I will be filing a complaint with the state of MA, boycotting CVS, and discussing alternatives such as mail order with my physician.

      As an aside to the pharmacy professionals who chose to post less than compassionate replies in the comments, I sincerely hope that you never find yourself unexpectedly chronically ill nor disabled. Please be grateful for your good health which enables you to take the daily conveniences of your lives for granted.

      Delete
  29. Chris, I completely understand where you are coming from with this post. No, what CVS is doing is NOT illegal. I work for a CVS in PA, and as difficult as it is to believe when a doctor abuses his degree, pharmacies are forced to step in. You may have had a reason for your pain medications, but the DEA flags doctors when the begin their audits. I've seen doctors prescribe 30 oxycode 20mg for someone with a minor UTI! The doctor will lie and claim he isn't being investigated, but in reality they are. I do feel the pharmacy shouldn't have been so blunt and rude about it in front of other customers, but if the pharmacist would have filled your pain medication they could have been fined and spent 8 months up to 3 years in jail. I hear the same stores from my customers about other pharmacies and i try my best to explain to them why another pharmacy (walmart, target, walgreens ect.) can not fill their medication. I hope that was a little helpful for you!

    ReplyDelete
  30. I had this problem today, when a CVS in Boston refused to fill my valid Rx for lidocaine patches (controlled substance but not addictive). I offered to pay cash in lieu of pre-authorization from my HI company, but they refused me. I then involved the head pharmacist and they finally sold it to me. My HI has already confirmed they will reimburse me. Will no longer patronize any CVS stores.

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  31. This is for the Anonymous blogger on May 4, 2014 at 6:37 PM. Listen guy or girl, apparently you must work for CVS. There is no DEA flaggs headless. Didn't you read all of these posts that states the DEA would not investigate you without taking your license to practice. It depends on the pain levels of the patient and the circumstances, not the type of pills prescribed dummy!!! In the ER you can get morphine for severe pain and that's ok if it is warranted. CVS is completely out of control with their BS and denying patients. Do you think it's ok to tell a customer that their doctor is under DEA investigation! You should change your job to pharmacy manager and that way you can get a raise (stealing pills from your customers). These pharmacist will steal the pills for themselves and that's why they will not give them to the needy patients. Look at CVS getting sued by 18 states for the False Claims Act... They and you are probably loading their white jackets with pills as we speak.....

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. WRONG!!! This md was under investigation by both the state AND DEA for almost 2 years before his was finally suspended....
      http://beaconnews.suntimes.com/2014/07/02/state-geneva-doctor-sexual-relationships-several-patients/

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  32. What you may have experienced is a civil rights violations & discrimination of the Americans with Disability Act. It is illegal for a pharmacy/Pharmacist to refuse to fill a prescription for a person covered under ADA.. and being covered under the ADA does not mean that you need to be physically disabled.. just that you would be harmed if you are forced to go without your medically necessary medication.. suggest you read this http://www.pharmaciststeve.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/How-to-file-complaints-if-patient-is-being-denied-having-a-valid2.pdf

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Steve. I was trying to find and post that for everyone here.

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  33. I am also glad for this blog. I must say, I'm angry. It appears that certain pharmacies just decide not to fill prescriptions and although they are mostly scheduled meds, they appear to somehow "know" how bad your "sickness" is and lie through their teeth, as to the reasons for not filling these prescriptions. I have been seeing the same Dr for 7+ years, taking the same medications, and suddenly, without warning, am told they won't fill the prescription, leaving me high and dry. One excuse they use is that I had a duplicate prescription????? Really??????. When asked how they came to this assumption, they couldn't explain. I spoke to the head pharmacist, and , got the same answer.....we will NOT fill that prescription, and thats that. When asking them what I should do, to get my necessary medication......"I don't know" was the answer I got, plus, when asked if I could appeal this decision, I was told I could, but it probably would have the same outcome. I am researching options and legalities. Any info would be welcome.

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    Replies
    1. There is a database that they can access that lists all the controlled medications you've had filled...

      Delete
  34. Hi Chris, I am suddenly in the same boat as you with CVS. I've had all my meds, including pain meds, filled by CVS since 2002. I've been on the exact same pain med & dose for the last 4 years. Last week, the head pharmacist called & told me they can no longer fill my pain med scripts. He said CVS has a new "review policy" and they determined that I am taking too much analgesic medication. I began questioning him but quickly realized he was just the messenger & had no say in the matter. His only advise was to try another pharmacy.

    I have a progressive condition and my treatment & medications have been approved/confirmed over 10+ years with multiple pain management doctors. I welcome anyone (DEA etc) to review my records. Without the meds, I'll lose what ability I have now to ambulate & have somewhat of a life with my family & children. I am so fearful that over time all pharmacies move to the same policy? I realize there is a war on drug abuse and they need to do all they can to stop it. But what about those who truly need the medications. I pray they find a better way than to just tell everyone no. My God, what happened to just plain common sense - this is my life they are messing with!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I could be looking into a mirror. So similar in every way. Physical condition. Emotional state (angry, discouraged, fearful). I feel your pain.

      Delete
  35. Irine
    May, 2 2014

    I am devastated. Same thing happend to my husband on past Saturday in CVS in Tequesta. He's being loyal costumer of the store for almost 4 years!!! Using same meds, same doc, never called in early or any else. Not to mentiond that he's DISABLED with broken spine. Make it short: Saturday, late afternoon CVS tech refused to fill second part of my husband RX for methadon - perfectly LEGAL RX, from reputable Doc, the same rx they being feeling up for years. I was next to my husband. He replaid to the girl that he only have few pills left, it's Saturday nigth he won't be able to fix it and going to end ap in the hospital. She start saying something senslees and then she went over my husband medical record loudly in front of all costumers in waiting area. I coudn' beilive it was happening.
    I demanded an explanation or to see the manager. Being told that's not possible. Keep insisting and she told me SHE HAS THE RIGHT TO CHOOSE WHO TO GIVE MEDICATION AND WHO DON'T!!!! Med tech can do that - REALY .
    And they have filled up his meds for long 4 years, what happend that Saturday? And she knew we won'n be abble to get meds anywhere, she knew she was sending my husband to the place of pain and suffering WHY I WANT TO KNOW WHY the person wearing wait robe, the person why supposed be helping.......................
    Back to the story. Couple of more Q from me and she start screaming that she's calling 911. I think you all heard that.
    I will not let it go, I will see it to the end, I red an artical about the law from 1964 to protect the right of disable people. Disable person can't be rejected of getting his medication, especialy if pharmacy has mentioned meds in-stock.
    WHAT'S GOING ON IN THIS COUNTRY. GOVERMENT KILLS PEOPLE ABROAD, AND TORTURIES AMERICANS TOO
    sorry for mistakes, too mad

    ReplyDelete
  36. Add me to this list. Chronic intractable pain caused by literally over 100 plexiform and neurofibromas,caused by the disease Neurofibromatosis(NF for short). Tumors are intertwined with, pressing, or pinch the sciatic, femoral and ancillary nerves in my body. Same team of doctors (20+ years), same pain mgt specialist (4+ years), same CVS pharmacy (8+ years), same massive Rx for methadone (10+ years. CVS is refusing........ same thing everyone else is describing. I'm angry, disappointed, and frustrated just like the rest of you. What to do???? First off we need to discuss the elephant in the room. DRUG ABUSE.
    Because the AMA and state medical boards did not self regulate themselves, renegade doctors and supposed pain clinics with the winking eye of the big chain pharmacies where allowed to establish "pill mills ". Instead of taking direct aim at the abusive doctors and pain clinics, the DEA made a strategic decision to target big chain pharmacies. Targeting pharmacy dispensing records is the fastest and easiest way to identify unusual volumes that don't match industry standards. I.e.,who is prescribing to many drugs.
    The problem is that the"pendulum " has swung too far. Because the DEA can end a doctor's or pharmacists career,or can shut down pharmacy businesses or pharmacy warehouse operations and because they have DONE it to Walgreen's, everyone is running scared. CVS has implemented new computer programs and policies designed to flag anomalies with pain medications. If its not the "standard" type of pain medication, in the "standard" quanity, for the "standard" hurniated disc problem, the system flags the Rx for further investigation by the newly created "medical review" teams.
    In other words, the big chain pharmacies are in fact acting as doctors by requesting more medical information and documents than ever before. Any doctor, pharmacist or patient that falls outside the "standard, usual and customary" types and dosages will be flagged for microscopic investigation.
    Make no mistake. This new approach will no doubt put hundreds or even thousands of the bad guys out of business (which we all know is a good thing). There are thousands and perhaps tens of thousands of us law abiding, hard working citizens that are being harmed in the process. I'm talking about you and me. And I'm sick and tired of being caught up in this "meat grinder".
    And the final kick in the ass is this: Where do you supose all this additional medical information will end up??? Health insurance companies? Life insurance companies? Your employer, potential employer.

    Anyone with acute or chronic pain in their life does not have the time, energy, or stamina to fight this on their own. The only way to put a stop to this abuse is through legislation. If you believe in the idea that it is better that a 100 guilty men go free than for one innocent man to be convicted, then it follows that no law abiding citizen should be hurt by the governments effort to stop illegal drug use.

    I wish all of you good health, and good luck. For now, it's every man for himself.

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  37. The real answer for all of you is that each state is different. A pharmacist in the state of CT reserves the right not to fill any prescription. ANY PRESCRIPTION FOR ANY REASON. You do have the right to take your business someplace else. I know for most CT pharmacists we do not dispense medications for out of state controls. We will if you just moved here but for not a long period of time. To respond to some of your earlier statements, if you are only video chatting with your doctor by CT law that does not qualify as a patient relationship. If there is something that is not valid about the prescription, wrong strength, doctor didn't sign etc. The law is explicitly clear that we CAN NOT fill that prescription for any reason. So before all of you get bent out of shape, know the laws for your area. Some states are like CT some are like Maryland.

    I work for one of the companies listed above in CT.

    ReplyDelete
  38. This is perfectly legal. A pharmacist can refuse to fill any rx if they so choose. They can keep your scripts and must be willing to transfer them, but under the law there is no obligation to fill anything for anyone.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Actually, in many states, they don't even have to transfer them.

      Delete
    2. Wring wring and wring. Oops wrong. Unless there is an issue with the script, you are red flagged, they are our...out..sorry backspace freezes typing...they have exceeded the number if class 2 drug yiu want per month ..meaning some states let pharmacies out limit ..put limits on how many. Of each class 2 pills they sell a month. Barring that, they MUST fill. And NOOOOOOO pharmacy can legally deny to xfer your Rx

      Delete
  39. Here's the issue with cvs & Walgreen's...due to their "issues" in FL the past few years with the "pill mills", they are under greater scrutiny from the DEA regarding their controlled substance fills, particularly CII meds. The DEA ALWAYS denies any type of "involvement", UNLESS it's a situation that makes them look good. The ADHD "drug shortages" of the past few years? Reality: the DEA was rationing the raw materials..."their response": we have nothing to do with the raw material supplies, the manufacturers are the "problem".

    And AFA the pharmacy denying your Rx & saying the doctor was "under investigation". A) A doctor can be "under investigation" and still practicing. There was a local case where a doctor was under investigation for almost 2 years before his license was suspended. & B) In many states, a pharmacist can deny a prescription for any reason. They have gone to school as long as your doctor, but ALL they have studied is pharmacology. Most people don't realize that. And quite frankly, some doctors are idiots. I had one prescribe me a medication we discussed my allergy to for 5 minutes!!!!

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  40. One more thing...if you want to be upset at someone, direct your anger at the people who abuse the very meds you're taking. The people who frequent the "pill mills". The ones who forge the scripts. The people who "doctor shop" or visit the ER every week faking the very pain you and I suffer from that makes it difficult for us to get what we need. The people who have made pharmacists become the "prescription" police instead of the caring healthcare workers they WANTED to be. Believe it or not, they don't LIKE having to turn people away or scrutinize every Rx with a fine toothed comb....it's the abusers and criminals who have put their jobs in jeopardy if they don't.

    ReplyDelete
  41. Hi Chris, CVS is not the only pharmacy refusing to fill or refill some or all prescriptions, Walgreens also has a secret policy that labels those who get a controlled substance a an addict or pusher. Talk about over the top. I don't see how this can be legal but if it is it needs to change. The ironic thing is that people were so concerned about the government getting in between a person and their doctors when they should have been concerned about corporations getting in between a person and their doctors.

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  42. At CVS/Walgreens/etc. even when they DO fill a prescription for a scheduled drug most of them will treat you like dirt. It doesn't matter if it is the same prescription you've filled regularly for months or even years, it still happens. Every person here that has complained of a refused prescription fill has one thing in common: you are all buying from large, corporate chains. What's the answer?

    STOP GIVING YOUR MONEY TO THESE BUSINESSES. Visit a local "mom and pop" store and I can almost guarantee you will have a better experience. I know the one I visit monthly remembered who I was the second time I came in. It literally takes 3 minutes to fill (even while waiting in a drive-through window.) I have never been questioned about anything even once. This is also NOT a "shady" place. It is a nice establishment run in a very safe community in a safe city, so they are not doing any favor to doctor-shoppers or criminals. I am sure they follow the law 100%. The point is you don't NEED to be treated like dirt from a corporate chain.

    The other benefit of these smaller stores? Lower prices, believe it or not. I don't have insurance and pay cash every time. After I visited Wal-greens with the first new prescription I've had in years, my bill was $140 for a one month supply. So I decided to get on the phone and call nearly every pharmacy nearby. Out of the 10 or so pharmacies I called, three of the "mom and pop" stores were the cheapest - each was between $85-95. Wal-mart was $120. Wal-greens was $140. I'm not sure about CVS because they were probably too busy to take my call or told me I'd have to COME IN to quote a price. Only one place did this and it was either Target or CVS, I forget which.

    Don't assume that big chains means lower prices. Don't assume that it is difficult to switch from one pharmacy to another. You are a customer and have the right to shop where you want. Some of you may have become lazy because of routine or your insurance, etc. but walk into a smaller, non-chain store and talk to them for 5 minutes, and I'm sure you'll wonder why you wasted hours of your life dealing with (and constantly fearing!) these wonderful corporate companies that know they own you because they have the final say on handing out the medicine that your life often depends on.

    Personally, I used to self-medicate and I avoided going to doctors and pharmacies my entire life because of all the B.S. that came with it. For the first time in my life I went to a doctor and on the same day walked into a little pharmacy I'd never known existed. My life has literally changed as the result of finding an extremely caring doctor and a pharmacy I don't fear driving to after leaving the doctor with a legitimate prescription in my hand.

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  43. They can only refuse if:

    1) u are red flagged in a national db as an abuser of the system
    2) the national db shows you've picked up too many opoids this month at various places
    3) the suspect tamped or false Rx. But then they r supposed to call dr to confirm
    4) out of stock, but then u get delayed a few days, not refused
    5) the Dr writes a script for too much. If a pharmacist allows a Rx to fill that's too much and u od, they are legally liable.

    ReplyDelete
  44. 6) cvs sees you are an too many opiates already.

    It's ok to be on an ER for constant pain plus an OR ..oops IR for breakthrough. But if OxyContin (Oxycodone ER( is added, they may refuse

    7) they have a right to call and question the DR. If he said sprained ankle, no way will they fill it. Blown disc, degenerative disease

    But when it comes to it, if you legit need it, you are not red flagged, it's in stock, the ammount isn't to high, they legally must fill in MOST states. In nc, a pharmacy can limit the number of each class 2 med it sells per month. In that case always go the first few days if the month

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    Replies
    1. You sir are a moron. Plain and simple.

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  45. In MD there is no such thing as a "duty to fill." The law misquoted above states that PHARMACIES must provide complete pharmaceutical services - it is a reference to the requirement of a pharmacy to obtain a waiver permit if they only want to dispense certain medications (e.g. a compounding pharmacy). Citation: http://mgaleg.maryland.gov/webmga/frmStatutesText.aspx?article=gho&section=12-403&ext=html&session=2014RS&tab=subject5

    In actuality, according to HO §12-501(a): "A pharmacist may refuse to dispense or refill a prescription if the decision is based on professional judgement, experience, knowledge, or available reference materials."

    Lastly and VERY most importantly, 21 CFR 1306.04(a) states that "...The responsibility for the proper prescribing and dispensing of controlled substances is upon the prescribing practitioner, but a corresponding responsibility rests with the pharmacist who fills the prescription." The section goes on to say that for illegitimate prescriptions, "the person knowingly filling such a purported prescription, as well as the person issuing it, shall be subject to the penalties provided for violations of the provisions of law relating to controlled substances." Citation: http://www.deadiversion.usdoj.gov/21cfr/cfr/1306/1306_04.htm

    Meaning pharmacists have a federal legal obligation to verify the legitimacy of controlled prescriptions.

    Unfortunately one poster above has hit the nail on the head - pharmacists are struggling to balance their fear of being reprimanded for filling prescriptions that aren't legitimate with their desire to treat patients that do have a legitimate medical need for controlled medications.

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  46. chronic pain is bs,I have two medically reconstructed arms with titanium in them. Have never had anything stronger than tylenol III/OXYCODONE 5-325. Unless you are terminally ill or have had a freak accident that has left you in a state from which there is no repair, you are using narcotics to cope with how pathetic you are and your doctors are all too complicit to help you losers

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    Replies
    1. Let's see you not sleep for 4 days because you can not lay down or even sit in a recliner because of the swelling around a lower disc. This WHILE being on a strong opiate like Dilaudid. By the 2nd day of no sleep, not a minute, and still standing hunched over with hands on your knees let's see how tough you are. You likely were lucky enough to have nerve damage and not feel much pain in your arm.
      Those who never experienced severe pain, pain that makes a grown man cry, can NEVER pass judgement on anybody. Punk ass.

      Delete
    2. Resist the urge to assume your experience is everyone's experience.

      Delete
  47. This Next thing I wrote is long but I have a lot to say when the government tells a Business how much product it can have in stock.
    It is about my experience trying to get Pain med's in Florida for my Father.
    I must say anybody who thinks we are free in this country, you better take a look at the drug war in this country. When I was young the drug dealers knew that the streets would be dry 3 weeks before an election that meant that the politicians knew who the big drug dealers asked them not to bring in any big shipments before the election because if there was a big bust it might make the local state senator look bad! Now the states are passing new laws that only pushed people from pain pills to Heroin, and pain pill deaths are down but heroin deaths are up and the cartels are happy because they now have a bunch of new customers. The only problem with these new laws is the person who is law abiding and really in pain cannot get their meds. They tell a business how much they can have in stock, they can arrest a pharmacist just if they happen to fill a bad proscription. I must watch my father be in pain and the only thing that helps is what I cannot get filled, I am told that he has the wrong doctor, or you must go to the CVS near you and when I do they never have any. I asked what day does it come it I will be their but I waited a week and they said they just ran out, the person just before me got the last of it. I complained to CVS and waited another week went their earlier and they said that we will never have it, they cut me off because I complained I guess, I then called customer service and they called the Pharmacy and told me that I cannot get it there anymore. I was so mad that I went to an attorney to sue, but he said he does not know if my father has rights when it comes to having his medication filled, and it would cost $250.00 per hour to find out, since the last job I had only paid me @11.00 per hour I could not afford to file a law suit. I have called everybody I could, Politicians, they are on recess until next year, the head pharmacist of the local supermarket and he could not help, he says there is not enough supplies in the area to go around. My point I have to watch my father suffer because the American people keep voting in Politicians that are tough on drugs, when all they are doing is making war on the American people, and not protecting those that really need certain drugs, if they want to make it tough for drug dealers OK, but put some protection in the law for sick people that need their meds, the pharmacy should have to fill their proscription and should have the right to have the amount of supply they need. I will try and get legislation passed that protects patients from a pharmacy denying them the Medicine they need, because they have a doctor in a different zip code, or because you sent a letter complaining about the service, or because they can. I would also stop the government from telling Business how much product they can have for a customer, even if it is OxyContin, what's next Cigarettes, then maybe Gun's, Bullets, or maybe how much gas you can sell. Charlie

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  48. I sent a Letter in this was one I published on Facebook and I do not mind my name on it. But since we are talking about my father and with hippa laws I think you better take out any names. Thanks Charles Peters Jr.

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  49. I completely agree with all the non legal stories here. I am in Las Vegas and have experienced more issues with CVS than I care to type. The issue is the pharmacies are businesses. They are hinged on a profit, and not on patient care or customer service. They are being pushed by the DEA to check everything, we are being prevented from getting pills early by our insurance and the DEA. This creates the perfect storm for making everyone appear to be "junkies" we are irate from our meds, irate from the lack of information, and irate from the pharmacies treating us like criminals. The DEA is the main issue here. The war on drugs is over, and it should definitely be over for people with legitimate scripts. All they need to do is change the rules or proof of need mechanism. But there is no money in spending money to help anyone anymore. So, they just keep raking in money while ignoring people. Sounds like good corporate policy to me....

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  50. I manage a comprehensive pain center in SW Florida. We are state of the art; with on site massage and physical therapy, an office based surgical suite, and psychosocial counseling all under one roof. My boss, the pain specialist, is an outstanding Harvard grad with a clean record.We have an ongoing case against CVS for not simply refusing to fill, but advising patients to change doctors, defaming the doc and our practice in front of other customers, and refusing to continue the same regimen as before after a patient has switched to our office. We are as strict as it gets as far as regulations and pass all our DOH inspections without question. CVS, and Walgreen's forthat matter, are not only acting like MDs (which they are not even close to) but slandering the name of legitimate doctors in front of members of the community, all without cause or proof as to the reason.

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  52. I suggest you all get help for your pain med/controlled drugs addictions and you won't have an issue with these pharmacies. Really, just reading these comments, you can feel the desperation in your writings. Good luck.

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    1. That's a very nice post... as if it were that simple for some folks. My boyfriend broke his back in multiple places after falling three stories to the ground. The amount of titanium in his back is horrendous. As is the arthritis, scar tissue, adhesions and resulting nerve pain. How in the hell do you suggest he get help with that?

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  53. I have had exactly the same experience with a CVS her in Ohio. We have been filling this prescription for 3 years @ this same location. All of the sudden, a new pharmacists said he would no longer fill this script. His excuse was that my husband should not still be on this med. So, I guess pharmacists are now able to diagnose illness. It was a valid script from a licensed Dr, who my husband has been seeing for 3 years!! This particular pharmacist, was extremely unprofessional and completely violated our HIPPA laws. He was loudly addressing the issue in front of other staff members and clients in the lobby. We are in the process of changing pharmacies now. However, I feel like this is so wrong on so many levels. I have read all comments above and am fluent with the policies of CVS pharmacy. Plan and simple there is discrimination going on here!!!!

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    1. SAME HERE ! AGREED CLASS ACTION TIME!!

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    2. LOL!! Let me know how that class action goes!!

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  54. Same thing happened to me at a CVS in New York. My usualy CVS was "out" of my particular schedule II medication, but they found another CVS down the road (there's a CVS practically every mile around here) that did have it in stock. The first thing they did was call me back to the counter and said my insurance was denying me. She even called the claims number and spoke with someone who said I was denied. I went home and called myself and surprise, surprise, my insurance was not denying me. The rep told me that there must be an internal block denying me in the CVS system. U went back and explained my insurance was covering the script. They then spent the next 1/2 hour trying to clear the block. Finally, the head pharmacist came out and told me they now had two scripts for me in the system, and it would take her an hour to clear it. So I sat down with a magazine in the waiting area and 20 minutes later she calls me up to tell me that she was not going to fill my script. While i incredulously listened to her, she said it was her "professional opinion" that the dosage I was being prescribed was too high and "there is no clinical evidence that such a dose is effective." Just like every one else on this thread, I questioned the logic of a pharmacist who I never met overriding the instructions of my M.D. of 2 years. She said, "it's for your own safety." i knew it would be like arguing with a brick wall and something beyond my control was going on, so I took my script and left. My doc sent me to a mom & pop pharmacy and they have no issues filling my scripts. I told everyone I know what happened and to boycott their stores. I will never spend another penny in one of their stores.

    Incidentally, I found the comment above by 'Anonymous July 13, 2014 at 12:57 AM' incredibly callous and shallow. The legitimate patients being denied their meds by CVS should be angry "at the people who abuse the very meds we're taking."? Yes, we have a serious problem with prescription drug abuse in the US, but it's a nationwide problem that brings agony and suffering to many good people and families. The war on drugs since the 80s hasn't been too effective at curbing drug abuse. Does CVS and Walgreen's think that by denying all their customers their schedule II meds that this will help end drug addiction? How about the corporate office make the effort to implement a policy that differentiates between a legitimate patient whose health may depend on their meds and a drug abuser? Don't big corporations have at least some obligation to act responsibly in the communities in which they operate?

    In the past when most pharmacies were privately owned, there was much less of a chance that addicts would be able to scam a pharmacy because the pharmacist knew his customers. My new pharmacist knows my name after meeting me once. It's considered part of a pharmacist's job to know their regular customers and be vigilant enough to know who is a customer and who may be a crook.

    You also mentioned your belief that the addicts who "frequent the pill mills" and "doctor shop" are the cause if you having to be the "prescription police"? FYI, the police have a pretty good track record for usually arresting people that break the law. Most of the people you guys are going after are innocent citizens. So no, "prescription police" is a poor analogy for what you are, and it's insulting to police officers for referring to yourself as such.

    Well, ultimately I'm glad to have learned the truth about what CVS really thinks about their customers. I'm grateful my doctor cares enough about my health that he invited me to become a regular patron of a store where the owners respect their customers and they look out for the overall safety of the community. I will be recommending my entire family and friends do so as well.

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  55. CVS in Ludlow Ma, the girl Veronica on the phone, said they refuse to fill a script for me unless I fill ALL my narcotic meds there (not even pain meds). They claimed it was CVS policy but then I called the main office and they informed me that it is the individual pharmacist. So they not only are judgemental, but liars! Not even buying gum from a CVS

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  56. The whole situation is disgusting. Pain patients have to sign a "narcotic" agreement with their doctor so the doctor doesn't get in trouble with the DEA for prescribing legitimate medications. Usually in that contract, the patient stipulates which pharmacy they will fill their medications (narcotics and others) at for compliance issues as this is the new "best" practice. However, when CVS or other major retail pharmacies deny prescriptions for whatever reason they come up with that day, the patient often has to drive to another pharmacy. Maybe that pharmacy is the same retail chain but a different location. Maybe it is a different pharmacy altogether. However, the moment a patient does this, they are "non-compliant" with the narcotic agreement that they signed with their doctor. The patient could no longer receive those meds from the doctor as the doctor could be in trouble if s/he knew the patient was non-compliant... The DEA doesn't care about extenuating circumstances. It is like we are destined to fail here... Oh, and you wonder how your doctor will know you went to a different pharmacy than what you report you use? States have prescription monitoring databases that ALL pharmacies submit controlled substance logs to. So it doesn't matter if you go to the CVS down your stress, the CVS 25 miles away, or the Mom and Pop pharmacy on Main Street. They all report what controlled substances/pain meds that are prescribed by your doctor and disbursed to you from their pharmacy. The system that was put into place to protect us and eliminate drug-seeking or doctor-shopping behavior has turned against legitimate patients.

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  57. In this country Im apparently responsible enough to carry around a loaded weapon, go into any grocery store or convienient store and purchase alchol, and in some states I can even be trusted enough to light up a previously illegal plant....but when it comes to responsibly going to a specialist to seek advice and medication to control my chronic pain, apparently my doctor and I are not trustworthy enough to make a decision on a drug that seemingly removes all my discomfort. All of the aformentioned substances kill hundreds of thousands of people a year, minus pot, but I'm only allowed to use my own judgement on 3 out of the 4?? Why? I can watch a 9 year old girl shoot an ouzzi and mistakenly kill a man or walk amongst thousands of drunken idiots making very bad decisions on the las vegas strip every night, resulting in driving deaths, gambling loses, and domestic violence. But, again, when it comes to me making a choice with a person who's studied the human body and pain for most of their life about how best to treat a debilitating condition I now have to be judged , scrutinized, labeled, and held hostage by corporate America and the government on what is the correct pill and the right amount to swallow. Annnnd if I complain too much or raise a legitimate concern about my own well being,I can be red flagged, black balled, and sometimes arrested by these self appointed demi gods. Even on this message board the few pharmacy floaters are trying to tell use responsible adults that our pain is not real. That the amount of medication is too much, the diagnosis not good enough , and in their judgement we should somehow prove to them why we should be allowed to consume the tiny little pills that are guarded more heavily than a loaded firearm or a fully stocked liquor store. The godamn hypocrisy of our country.....freedom...not here not anymore. I can drown my sorrows and discomforts with legal alchol and weed, but when it comes to taking another controlled substance under actual supervision of a trained proffesional and the mature judgement of myself, a grown adult, I'm not only denied but I'm told I'm an addict or a possible criminal and that I should bow to the judgement of someone who doesnt even know me. Someone that counts drugs and probably knows little more about them than i do at this point after years of researching alternatives and ways to get out from beneath the crushing weight of judgemental eyes. Someone who hasn't reviewed my medical history, my sometimes fragile mental disposition, nor do they have any knowledge of what it feels like to have 6 sugeries in a month, be run over and crushed by a large vehicle, die slowly from a disease that's slowly eating you from within, cry every night you can't sleep because the pain in your back or feet is burning or aching so bad that you finally decide to pick up the 1 thing that the government has allowed you to have, put it against your head, and make the final decision to stop the insanity screaming from your body once and for all. All you riteous fvcks out there.....I pray for you that in the end your maker isn't standing at the gates between heaven and hell saying....I'm sorry but we have a mandatory 2 day wait policy before you can come into this beautiful loving place ...please understand and just wait down here in hell a few days while we check to see if this little bit of information i have about you fits my redundantly strict criteria for entry. Oh..and btw...we don't guarantee entry even if you are cleared. You may or may not have to stay there burning for quite awhile....but you understand, I'm just doing this for your safety.

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  58. I just want to say im a technician, and I'm over the bullshit..over the secrecy of why the rx's cannot be filled..it's not right it has come down to profiling every single person that brings in a control script. It's like it has come down to not only the techs, but the pharmacists being "trained" to profile every patient, even our regulars, getting the point of unfortunately "schooing" them away, scrutinizing every inch of the rx..is the zip code of the dr in so many miles of our pharmacy proximity,etc..the corporate supervisors have now thrown the pharmacists and now the techs under the bus and made the pharmacists so scared that they'll lose their license because of all the BAD scripts and BAD doctors that it has now come down to this judgmental scrutiny. it all goes back to the pill mill /oxycodone scandal in FL back in 2012. and it has just gotten worse to get pain meds filled and it will NOT get any better, i can tell you that. and i just can't stand by a company that does something so dirty behind people's back (pretending to see if they have medication in stock, but really scanning in ID and looking up rx history etc) and telling them lies)...i HATE telling people 'no' i can't fill your rx when i know the person is in pain and would have withdrawals without it...or i know it's a legit rx and a legit dr..and still have to say no just because of some stupid company policy that you may not meet the criteria...i understand you people and i feel for you...and i'm done....i feel so sorry... all i can say is try establishing your self at local pharmacies...i totally empathize that you have established yourself at a chain for years where they know your name, then they deny you, it's going on where i work, and it makes me sad. and the above poster, the ending was great.....spot on!!!!!

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  59. I am a pharmacist at CVS and I hate it. I've been trying to get out since I've gotten in. Their corporate office is a bunch of bs. I feel for you all. Although I've never gotten a block from corporate before for filling a script like mentioned here. I've gotten computer messages saying DEA not active but a call to the insurance fixes that, so I'm not sure what this scenario was caused by.

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  60. It's getting worse. My entire clinic refuses to prescribe any controlled substance. I take Ultram for nerve pain. I've been taking the same drug, same dose for 5 or 6 years and suddenly can no longer get it.

    They recently changed the schedule of drugs. Aug 18th, I believe, Ultram suddenly became a schedule 3 drug. 3 or 4... And now suddenly I can no longer get a script for it. This leaves me looking for a doctor (which I can't afford, no insurance, can't work) who *will* prescribe me pain medications. Will I then be accused of doctor shopping?

    I have Peripheral Neuropathy of unknown cause. The Ultram mutes the nerve pain. They want to throw me to a pain clinic I can't afford. I live in Virginia and they have yet to expand their Medicaid system. And that's the only thing I qualify for.

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  61. I get my meds thru cvs and 3 months ago the cvs I was using no longer had the pain medication I was taking so my doctor office found another cvs that had the medication so I went there and they gave it to me with no problems.

    I only had my pain medication going there but the rest of my medication stayed at the first cvs I was using. I sent my prescription for my pain medication this month and I was denied so I called cvs and I was told the reason I was denied is because I have some of my medication going to a different cvs so I went online and transfered all my medications from my original cvs to the new cvs.

    Now I thought everything should be find now so I called cvs and told them I transfered all my medicine to their pharmacy and I was now told it made no difference they were not filling my valid prescription and that he could refuse anyone and he doesn't need a reason.

    I did file a complaint but don't know what will come of it.

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  62. Chris,

    I have found that going to locally owned pharmacies better then going to a national pharmacy.

    My health insurance contracts its prescription drug out to Express Scripts and a few years ago I was using Walgreens to fill my medications. That all came to an end when Walgreens and Express Scripts decided that they could come to a contract. I moved to CVS and had problems there after. The final straw was when I made a trip to the local emergency room due to a spider bite. I was week and still had a general dizziness about me when I was released with a couple of prescriptions to be filed. I stopped by my CVS Pharmacy and was told that there would be a hour and half wait to get them filled and I ask for my prescription and went 2 blocks down the street to a locally owned Pharmacy and they had my prescriptions filled in about 10 minutes. There seem to be about the same amount of people in their drive through and lobby that CVS had in theirs. I asked CVS to speak to the head of their region but to this date I haven't received a phone call. It has been about 3 years so I am not holding my breath. I transferred all my prescriptions to the local pharmacy. I from time to time fill at the 24 hour Walgreens because it is the only 24 hour pharmacy in my little town.

    George

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  63. suggest you read this http://www.pharmaciststeve.com/?p=6142

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  64. When some one REALLY going to do something about this discrimination? Are you all filing American Disabilities Act complaints? Until enough patients, OUR DOCTORS, and the few pharmacists who even give a shit act on this? NOTHING is going to change for anyone and the problems will increase. To this day, NO Attorney will take on class action law suit against the pharmacies or the DEA. Many people have tried and looked into it including a retired judge. How much longer is going to keep evolving? Until there isn't anyone allowed to be treated with opioids ANYMORE!! So Suffering with PAIN is it! The STOPP and FED UP groups get acknowledged because they scream out loud. Because they did speak out, we have lost our pain relievers. Everyone with pain or not, needs to be shouting OUT against these inhumane laws that allow pharmacists to refuse legal prescriptions! EVERYONE needs to start now,Fighting For ALL American's RIGHTS to have Pain relief for suffering! We don't treat ANIMALS like this!

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  65. When I was 28 years old about three decades ago I was hospitalized for psychiatric issues. My Dr . Prescribed Melaril. When I went to our family pharmacy with the script the pharmacists read it, and looked at me compassionately, and asked me if I was certain this was what the Dr. wanted me to take. I said I had been in treatement for depression and psychiatric issues. The point: The Pharmacist was dealing with me as a human being--inquiring in a caring way, in a health professional way just to have a better picture. That is good medicine. One the other hand, CVS did with me just what you above have described. They even gave me an uncounted prescription (no circle on the quantitiy) that had only 28 tablets out of sixty. The shrill little tech hollered at me in the phone to call back Monday. The head pharmacist then gave me the remainder of my prescription practically on his knees. Bad day? No. I was refused in a subsequent situation for my monthly pain review and refill. I was given a snow job by the tech who would not give me a straight answer. Because I don't have time for this b-s*it I took my scrip and left and transfered all my meds to another pharmacy. And guess what? No problems, no issues. Good, pertinent questions? Yes. Mom and pop operation that is human, and cares for humans--not going on the offensive because a person is in pain. God bless and keep you all.

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  66. I was just told by my CVS pharmacist that he won't fill my prescription unless I have my physician lower the quantity. I have been a customer there for years with a wife that suffers from M.S. I have had several surgeries and might have to have 2 vertebrate fused and I work outside climbing poles, digging and busting my butt. For my pharmacist to tell me (Starting next month I won't fill you prescription unless the doctor lowers your dosage from 4 to 3 pills a day) was a slap in the face. I work and am not an abuser sitting at home collecting disability checks. My doctor is responsible for my lab work to make sure I'm not in harms way and my insurance is covering the prescription. It really has me upset as nothing within the past several months has changed! Now I have to feel like an addict driving around to every pharmacy in town looking for a prescription I've taken for several months with no issues.

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  67. The pharmacist can choose to fill or refuse anything he wants, it's perfectly legal. The DEA will be quick to rip his license off the wall if he is filling narcotics from a doctor with a suspended license.

    I work as CVS and have never seen a message like what you describe, though we have decided to refuse scripts from certain pill mill doctors

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  68. Part of the reason corporate CVS can do that is because they insure their pharmacists up to a few million dollars in liability. If a pharmacist was to be sued for dispensing a valid narcotic prescription that a drug abuser patient overdosed on, corporate CVS may take a hit along with the pharmacist.
    The sad reality behind this mess created by the DEA is that they have made the pharmacist/pharmacy the judge of every narcotic patient even though they don't want to be. When our pharmacists refuse to fill our narcotics, don't forget the gun that is pointed to their heads by the DEA. They want the country to take this "power" away from them as much as they don't want it. But that will only happen when the DEA finds a way to make sure every narcotic prescription that gets to the pharmacy is valid without the pharmacy having to double check anything. The pressure needs to be put on them by the citizens of this country to fix the mess they made.

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    1. Let's sign the petition: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i44bH2HlvZ4

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  69. Hello everybody! I really like the last few posts made. CVS formed a non-profit organization to stop people for getting treated for pain at, "RxAbuseSolutions.org" They have the right to refuse to fill prescriptions but they don't have the right to harass and humiliate all the people the I just read about in this blog. CVS and Walgreens are slandering doctors and harassing their patients all over the country. A little boy recently got angry because a CVS pharmacist was talking bad to his mother and humiliating her. He got his cell phone and his friend and he video tape the pharmacist telling his mother, your doctor is no good, you should find another doctor, i don't have the medication in stock, and with a lot of attitude. The video is on youtube and there's a link to sign an online petition to stop the madness and stop disrespecting people.

    Video Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i44bH2HlvZ4

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  70. Please people read the pain guidelines! It explicitly says not more than 3 months of pain medications for non oncotic pain is not recommended. things are changing. And according to the guidelines alternative therapy should be recommended and utilized and patients should be taken off of opioids and opioids related meds. Before you trash the poor pharmacist who is caught between a rock and a hard place, understand what are common standard of therapy. All research and opinions (expert: Both EU, CANADIAN, AUSTRALIA and U.S ) concludes that the max daily limit of opioids/ opioids related products should not go above 120 mg of morphine equivalence. Granted some people might be what is termed as high metabolizers, medium and low. But you don't know until you do a battery of genetic testing to determine that. MD's have the backing of strong association like AMA (American medical association) that protects them and pharmacist don't have a strong association to back them. For this reason, it is easier to go after a pharmacist for punishment rather than going after the MDs by both DEA and Boards of pharmacies. Also you have to understand the mutual relationship between a pharmacist and the chain they are working for, its an agreement whereby you are responsible for license. The day you loose the license, you are no longer useful to them. They dump you on curbside!
    Onesolution is proper training for both MDs and Pharmacist. They both have to keep up with guidelines that is constantly changing and evolving like chameleon. Most people (MDs,DO, Dentist, NP and Pharm.D's ) stop reading after starting practice. Some guidelines change 2 times a year or multiple times annually depending on the latest research and breakthroughs. What was true 2 years ago might not be through today. It will hard to be bring a case in court of law as long as the guidelines support the idea of not more than 3 months on opioids and not exceeding the total daily limits of max 120mg of morphine for starters. Its dilemma!

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    1. That's fine and good because you're talking about opiods, which are the only meds stigmatized more than amphetamines. So what, pray tell, are people chronically disabled with neuromotor conditions who need daily amphetamines supposed to do?

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  71. Is anyone aware of any lawsuits that have been filed based on ADA violations? I am thinking of filing my own in federal court.

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  72. I went to CVS to pick up a migraine medication last night and was told they would no longer fill it and to take it "elsewhere." I asked why, and they said they were no longer accepting controlled substance medications written by my particular doctor. It was after 5, so I couldn't call my neurologist to ask why. With the way my insurance is set up, I can't just "take it elsewhere." I can pick one pharmacy and that's it. The girl at the counter said it was probably because my neurologist was writing too many controlled substance scripts and was blacklisted. Yeah? So? What if she has to do that? What if she was a pain management doctor and HAD to write controlled substance scripts? Would she be blacklisted then too? I don't understand. And it's not even like this medication is something that's being abused, like oxycontin. It contains a laughable amount of codeine and that's it. Unfortunately, it's the only thing that works for my migraines, which will knock me out for days at a time, and now CVS says that I can't have it. I don't understand. Why am I and my doctor being treated like drug dealer and drug seeker? I called my neurologist this morning, and the girl who answered the phone said she'd get a script ready and told me to take it to a grocery store pharmacy.

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    1. I'd be careful at a grocery chain too. I'm getting hassled at Stop & Shop for my Ativan and after this next refill, I'm taking it to a local Mom & Pop pharmacy. I'm under the care of a licensed therapist, have been dealign (not so well) with debilitating anxiety for 20+ years, I don't need to be bitched out and treated like dirt. We are being conditioned to suffer, I believe. This isn't a war on drugs, it's a war on US & job security for law enforcement. Anybody else find it hysterical that the DEA was created by Tricky Dicky who saw fit to appoint Elvis Presley an honorary member? Then they wonder why drug abuse is on the rise. POLICE NATION...that's why.

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  73. Not sure if my last post went through, touch base with this guy Jay he is one of my clients and works with multiple compound rx companies and helped a friend of mine tremendously. Stopped his pain and got him off the narcotics which he very thankful of. Tell him Rob sent you and it should not be an issue 772-633-8431 ( or anyone else that has had similar issues Jay is top notch)

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  74. All of you that have had bad experiences, i'm so sorry to hear that. I have been a Tech for 27 years and what is happening is not a surprise. Medicine is now a business,that's why it's called 'managed care". It's run by business people, not us techs or Pharmacists,not even MD's. It's run by business people and therefore, you're just a number. The insurance companies are also behind a lot of this nonsense because a lot of your rx's have restrictions on them and they will only cover certain meds with certain medical diagnosis on it. I don't know if any of you are aware, but now the insurance companies with be instituting this new thing that will affect your co-pays, for instance, say your drug was under tier 3 well if it's bumped up to say a tier 5, then your co-pay will also go up, You guys MUST read the fine print of your prescription coverage particularly Medicare Part D. And yes, a pharmacy can deny to fill rx's from an MD under investigation if they don't feel comfortable filling it. Pharmacies can check an MD's DEA number and find out info. The Pharmacy staff unfortunately, we get the blame for a lot of what goes on with bad MDs and criminals. Take care and I hope all works out for all of you.

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  75. OMG - this happened to me just this past Friday night. The pharmacist refused my valid prescription for a narcotic from my specialist at Johns Hopkins University after the senior pharmacist ordered it in the store just for me. She confirmed the meds were there and then said she refused to fill it without even checking my profile or asking any questions. I am researching this phenomenon in preparation to contact my attorney in the morning. After 20+ years as a CVS pharmacy customer, I won't give that chain another penny of my hard earned money!

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  76. I have a similar issue they are telling me how much of a drug i can get in a 30 day time or 70 day time. I played this game with then 6 months ago and now they are doing it again. i think they are trying to make all people be off controlled substance medication.

    think its time for a class action suit

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  77. For what it's worth, my mail-order source used to be ExpresScripts, but switched January 2015 to Caremark/CVS. The ExpressScripts track record was 100% accurate, helpful, courteous and easy to use, over a multi-year period. To-date, Caremark/CVS has literally failed every single household prescription filed. The automated system doesn't work, it is difficult to reach human beings, the customer service reps. are often not friendly, and it has in some instances taken multiple lengthy calls to get scrips properly filled. If you search "Caremark complaints" you will find a very substantial number of complaints about lousy service and major hassles getting prescriptions (most of which appear to be non-controlled). A CSR for my "parent" insurance company acknowledged that they had received a lot of complaints about Caremark from unhappy patients.

    Though this does not directly address your issues with arbitrary refusals to fill legal and valid controlled scrips, I believe it does indicate an overall corporate attitude that treats customers as a nuisance and apparently is accountable to no-one. Combine that with underlying DEA focus on doctor shopping and illegal scrips for pain meds (a very real and serious problem), and you have the makings of a real mess. You may want to consider filing a formal letter of complaint with your parent insurance (Caremark is most likely the managed care carve-out paid by them to take care of prescription medication).

    As for the suggestion that pharmacists as PhDs know more about drugs than physicians and have the right and duty to question prescriptions, this is just complete bollocks. That argument, most likely put forth by a pharmacist, represents nothing more than "scope of practice creep" -- a guild effort by non-physicians to expand the reach of their degree and license to encompass the practice of medicine. The root of this is professional ego ("I know more than your physician") and economic -- a wish to find new ways to get paid and earn more. Pharmacist professional organizations -- like every other non-physician health guild -- have long sought approval of legislation in federal and state governments that deem them to be physician-equivalents by legislative fiat, not by virtue of training and licensure. It is and always will be about money and prestige, even when presented as a health care issue.

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    1. Absolutely. Here are a couple things that I've experienced and will help with filling prescriptions that may be hard to fill.
      1) Know the store
      2) Know the pharmacist and the employees in the pharmacy
      3) Make sure that the pharmacy is plugged in with the doctor(s)
      4) Thank the pharmacist for helping you and filling your prescription (a very important thing to do)

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  78. I have a child with ADD. It's so bad that in PK, religious teachers said, "Well, a little medicine might be good." Every teacher that has had him for more than 30mins -- gently says, "I've you considered that he may be ADHD?"
    I've homeschooled to reduce the amount drugs needed. We do things like fill in worksheets standing up, use tactile seat pads, and use music for memory. I've spent $100s trying to find herbal remedies. We've declined higher dosages several times. He goes months without meds, but ends up needing them to do more demanding work. All this balancing of food, exercise, homeschool, and meds is a full time job. The child is gifted beyond his years, possibly a Davidson scholar; but incapable of sitting still.

    However, I take my legal script from the Dr, who is been in charge of my son's care since birth, to the pharmacy ; and its always the same.
    One technician won't fill it-- she doesn't approve of ADD meds for kids. I wish he was jumping off her couch and literally crawling her doorways. The rest of the time, they have to "check if its in stock", leave the counter, go do something -- probably scan your license plate in the drive through; take you script, delay filling it, and take your license, record your id for anyone to steal, and then make you sign for the script. You also have to drive the Dr once a month for the script and sign for it. I noticed the CVS sent a message to my Dr about the script. (WT@!#). Are they his doctor?



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    1. I don't mean to be a bitch, well maybe oi do.... The reason he is so bouncing off the wall is he needs an output something to take that energy and release it sign him up for martial arts or boxing wrestling. These contact sports will teach him to balance his energy and disapline i promise you. I have five kids 2w/ADD and my 3rd son was hyperactive hes now 16yrs old and with only coffee as his drug hes not only learned to channel his energy over the years but his brain is still intact without the holes that ritallin adderall and so on puts in your brian over a period of years. Its not easy, no its not!! but more then worth it in the end when he feels like he has energy let him run if you don't want him to join the above contact sports. Man I'm not telling you this as a person against the use of medication I'm telling you this as a person a mother and a sister of a brother put on that crap. More times then less these kids lose their intelligence and turn to other drugs as time goes on. My brother as well as 7 other kids I knew grew up just a mess so I swore if I ever had kids with similar problems I would never give them any addhd drugs and I stuck to it. My brother was so smart with such an high IQ all As till just a year 1year after they put him on Ritalin at 8years old he just lost it from there. He's now 40yrs old with a drug and alcohol problem and HIV pos. Hep C pos. My beautiful blonde hair blue eyed brother went from this rumbunksious off the walls playful friendly boy into someone I feel more then sorry for every time I see him. And geuss who he blames our mother. So ask yourself is it worth that high risk. I'm not a doctor and I don't know your life but I do know my kids were diagnosed I fought the doctors the school and I can't tell you the gray hair I had to cover with loreal. But years later my youngest is 9yrs and my oldest 20yrs and their all healthy productive fit beautiful people. I don't regret it not one iota. The giftedness comes with being ADHD I promise you its part of their brain struture. You know who else would of been considered ADHD and ocd? The man who made this conversation possible. The reason why we have electricity cell phones among a crap load of other thing. NIKOLAS TESLA!!! Imagine if he was given these modern drugs....

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    2. I don't mean to be a bitch, well maybe oi do.... The reason he is so bouncing off the wall is he needs an output something to take that energy and release it sign him up for martial arts or boxing wrestling. These contact sports will teach him to balance his energy and disapline i promise you. I have five kids 2w/ADD and my 3rd son was hyperactive hes now 16yrs old and with only coffee as his drug hes not only learned to channel his energy over the years but his brain is still intact without the holes that ritallin adderall and so on puts in your brian over a period of years. Its not easy, no its not!! but more then worth it in the end when he feels like he has energy let him run if you don't want him to join the above contact sports. Man I'm not telling you this as a person against the use of medication I'm telling you this as a person a mother and a sister of a brother put on that crap. More times then less these kids lose their intelligence and turn to other drugs as time goes on. My brother as well as 7 other kids I knew grew up just a mess so I swore if I ever had kids with similar problems I would never give them any addhd drugs and I stuck to it. My brother was so smart with such an high IQ all As till just a year 1year after they put him on Ritalin at 8years old he just lost it from there. He's now 40yrs old with a drug and alcohol problem and HIV pos. Hep C pos. My beautiful blonde hair blue eyed brother went from this rumbunksious off the walls playful friendly boy into someone I feel more then sorry for every time I see him. And geuss who he blames our mother. So ask yourself is it worth that high risk. I'm not a doctor and I don't know your life but I do know my kids were diagnosed I fought the doctors the school and I can't tell you the gray hair I had to cover with loreal. But years later my youngest is 9yrs and my oldest 20yrs and their all healthy productive fit beautiful people. I don't regret it not one iota. The giftedness comes with being ADHD I promise you its part of their brain struture. You know who else would of been considered ADHD and ocd? The man who made this conversation possible. The reason why we have electricity cell phones among a crap load of other thing. NIKOLAS TESLA!!! Imagine if he was given these modern drugs....

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    3. You're a fucking idiot who (1) knows nothing about science--health or otherwise--and (2) think you have the solution to everyone's problem because a particular regimen seemed to work for you. You arrogant fucking moron.

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  79. Anonymous Pharmacy StudentApril 28, 2015 at 11:31 AM

    I am currently a pharmacy student at a major United States university. I am sorry for your problems with the pharmacy.
    However, regarding the legality of the issue, the pharmacist is 100% allowed to decline to fill your prescription. A pharmacist is legally allowed to decline to fill any prescription for which they have a professional reason to believe is not safe to fill. In fact, when a pharmacist receives their Doctorate of Pharmacy, they take an oath to abide by the Pharmacy Code of Ethics. This code of ethics encourages pharmacists to decline to fill any prescription they feel is unsafe or unnecessary.
    Regarding your specific issue, there is an issue with your provider's DEA or NPI number. CVS as a corporation tries their base to protect their patients and the public from harm and if something has gone awry with your physician's licensure for these medications, THEY ARE legally allowed to decline your prescription.

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  80. You know this is nothing new or unusual. I'm a CPhT, and I'm also a patient who has to take a CII, so I get it from both sides and yes my doc is a huge pain in the butt, because he makes a lot of mistakes and never gets his CIIs correct so I'm always picking up the slack and he says that it's not going to hurt me if I miss a few doses of my scheduled medication~~he's not the one who has to tolerate the excruciating pain that I have to live with, he's never had to live my life for two seconds, what a jerk. I'd be in the hospital in less than 24 hours without my medication. Crooked doctors with DEA licenses are nothing new in the pharmacy, don't blame Obama for this one. Blame it on the Homeland Security Department and the Border Patrol, and the overall war on drugs, and the failed policies which began with Nancy Reagan running around holding a birth control pill between her knees and frightening parents to the point that they won't allow their kids to go outdoors and be kids anymore. No wonder our country is dying.

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  81. I have had all of CVS I can stand and we only have 2 pharms here in this small town & CVS only carries my (one & only) narcotic - though they don't feel I need it after breast cancer, osteoporosis and 4 brain surgeries!!!!!!!!!!! (I have been going to the same Dr for 20 yrs) - anyone interested in class action, I am in!!
    I was a paralegal and will help in any way I can!
    Respond here for email contact.
    Any attorney on here, this is your chance to build your practice and protect innocent people.

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    1. I agree that a lawsuit (and much more) is long overdue. The problem seems to be finding an attorney with a sense of principle (as opposed to only a sense of personal profit) and the courage to take it on. Perhaps if people come together in sufficient numbers, review and organize the legal information that is already out there and build on that information, we might be able to present something that an attorney would be willing to look at. I also think that we need to do more than just look at legal actions, given the political power of these national chain stores. Anyone up for picketing some of them?

      I would be interested in working on both of these ideas - and any others people might have. Please contact me through this Facebook page if you want to work on this.

      https://www.facebook.com/pages/Pain-Patients-Fight-Back/822682491146286

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  82. Chris, thank you for posting this. I've about given up on CVS because of other issues (namely never having my RX in stock). I found your page while researching illegal practices by pharmacists in MA.

    Two days ago, I was refused a valid prescription by the pharmacist at Target because 'she wasn't comfortable filling it'.

    I asked her, "Is there an FDA regulation permitting or requiring that?" She informed me that, no, there was not. It was her 'personal decision.'

    Livid doesn't begin to describe my feelings. A significant argument ensued (I'm not embarrassed by that kind of stuff), and at one point she told me, 'I'm an MD, too.'.

    Long story short, the woman lied -- no MD record for her on file in any state in the US, only a Pharm.D. degree, and her "personal decision", from what I can discern from state laws, was entirely illegal.

    I'm currently developing my complaint letter to Target as well as filling out the complaint form for the Pharma Board for the State of MA.

    I'm so sorry you've had to deal with this bollocks, too. It's insane.

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  83. Chris, thank you for posting this. I've about given up on CVS because of other issues (namely never having my RX in stock). I found your page while researching illegal practices by pharmacists in MA.

    Two days ago, I was refused a valid prescription by the pharmacist at Target because 'she wasn't comfortable filling it'.

    I asked her, "Is there an FDA regulation permitting or requiring that?" She informed me that, no, there was not. It was her 'personal decision.'

    Livid doesn't begin to describe my feelings. A significant argument ensued (I'm not embarrassed by that kind of stuff), and at one point she told me, 'I'm an MD, too.'.

    Long story short, the woman lied -- no MD record for her on file in any state in the US, only a Pharm.D. degree, and her "personal decision", from what I can discern from state laws, was entirely illegal.

    I'm currently developing my complaint letter to Target as well as filling out the complaint form for the Pharma Board for the State of MA.

    I'm so sorry you've had to deal with this bollocks, too. It's insane.

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  84. you need to tell your Dr. that CVS is making false assertions

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  85. Hi Chris I am going through the same exact experience as of today.
    I would like to become a part of the class action suit please provide me with all required information. My email is laffinc@gmail.com.
    Thank you greatly

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  86. Hello, I am a pharmacist and feel as though I should say a few things.
    First, I am sorry to those of you who were treated harshly by pharmacists.
    Second, while we are not "MD's," pharmacists are Doctors of Pharmacy. This means our entire graduate schooling revolved around how all medications work. However, we also receive extensive training on health assessment and diagnostic criteria. So, please do not assume that pharmacists know nothing about disease states including pain-inducing conditions. We also learn about pain management techniques and what are appropriate medications and dosages for certain conditions.

    While many of you believe that pharmacists are just there to fill your medications, that would be an erroneous assumption. We are the last line between you and your medications. We have to make sure the doctor didn't prescribe you something that you are allergic to (which happens ALL the time), we ensure that any new medications do not interact with current medications, and we validate the medical necessity of these prescriptions based on the information we have. If we have any doubts on dosages and such, we call your doctors to clarify.

    You all would be very surprised with how often your doctors write for strengths of medications that don't exist, write for dosages that FAR exceed the maximum guideline dosages, and more.

    Third, at least in the two states I practice in, a pharmacist can refuse to fill ANY prescription for ANY reason. Now, most of the time the only reason pharmacists refuse a prescription is if their chain pharmacy doesn't carry certain Schedule 2 drugs, the patient has never filled at any of their stores and comes in with a high dose/high quantity script for a pain medication, the patient is doctor shopping and pharmacy shopping as I find by looking at the state database, or the doctor is under DEA investigation.

    The last note is important because it was the catalyst for this post. In the post's case, the pharmacist could do absolutely nothing for you as CVS corporate blocked the filling of Chris' scripts. However, if I also know that an area doctor is under investigation, I will refuse the script and explain to the patient why I won't and I will be completely honest with them.

    Even if the DEA says there is no investigation into that doctor, that means nothing to be honest. They will not say they are investigating a doctor openly. They want to covertly be seeing what medications this doctor is prescribing, what quantities, etc.

    Now, you would ask so how would I know if a doctor was being investigated? Pharmacy is a small world, so once one pharmacist finds out (usually by a local DEA agent telling them), they will call their pharmacist friends and tell them.

    Now, I rarely deny a scheduled medication to a regular patient of mine who has been coming to our store for years. I always try to have enough medication on hand and usually I do know their medical history as they have told me and/or I have had to call the doctor for a diagnosis code or the nurse/doctor wrote something wrong on the prescription.

    Most chain pharmacies work all of their employees to the bone with as little help as possible which is why some pharmacists/technicians can get snappy because we are slammed all day with little help and usually 4 out of 5 customers always find something to complain about regarding us even if we fill their prescription right away and nothing goes wrong. Honestly, patients have started to look at pharmacies as fast food places. They think we just throw pills in a bottle and hand it to them so when I tell them 15 minutes, they act as if I said an hour (which I have had to say before). I sometimes tell patients, "Do you want your medication right or do you want it fast and possibly wrong?"

    I will gladly answer any questions y'all ask of me. Also, I know most of you are hopefully nice to your pharmacy staff, but every now and then, a nice "Thank you all" or "I hope you all have a nice day," will do WONDERS for us.

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    1. So as a registered pharmacist who has achieved a doctorate, do you understand that corporate policies that do not allow refills on 30 day supplies to be dispensed less than 28 days from the last pick up make pharmacists (Pharm D or BS) look like miniimum wage cashiers at Target. If you have so much training, act like the schooled professional you are. Look at the state monitoring website for evidence of abuse, look at the patient's fill history in your store and make a decision of whether there is a legitimate legal or medical concern that you need to raise. If not, fill the Rx and dispense instead of reciting some "corporate policy" that your corporation will deny exists and erodes your profession and violates the oath you cited above. And if your state requires you to fill unless you have one of those concerns, you really look like a cashier rather than a professional when you fail to do your job and instead choose to argue with a patient like a temper-tantruming, power-wielding toddler.

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    2. CVS refuses to refill my sleep medication with a 30 day refill because I didn't pick it up until 3 days after they filled it last time. I objected to this practice, saying I borrowed 3 from my husband and needed to replace them so he wouldn't be short 3 doses this month. The Pharmacist told me that was against the law and he could turn me in for doing so.
      I need to find another pharmacy!!!
      Is this legal? To hold you hostage according to how long you waited to pick up you meds??

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    3. Dear Lord pharm D, self important much? I truly cannot wait for automation to take over your pill counting positions. When has the last time ANYONE has been counseled on any medication? The cashier pulls up the screen that says we "agree" to sign off on counseling. Robots can cross reference "allergies" and cashiers can call Dr's offices for questions, they are the ones that usually do. And robots certainly would not project the condescending attitudes that CVS pharmacists in particular do. The power trip to "refuse" filling any rx for any reason is dangerous for many patients. Making the patient feel like drug seekers and almost taking glee in humiliating them for the sole purpose of elevating your own self importance is obnoxious. You don't care one iota about the underlying issues or medical conditions a patient is experiencing. You are all mindless, uncaring, mediocre doctor wannabes.

      See did you liked being judged? Because the lot of you doesn't seem to have a problem doing it to your customers as you hide behind "corporate" or your own interpretations of the "law."

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    4. that response made me feel so good.Thank you for saying that so honestly and eloquently.

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  87. Just had ecactly the dame thing happen to me over my sleep med, my doctor increased my dosage and gave a new script. Pharmacist at cvds made a big deal, so I made a big deal. It was an awful experience for me, I felt she was accusing me and was threatening my doctor. She refused to give me her full name and was indignant saying I insulted her credentials and it was an ugly scene I hope to never repeat. New pharmacy time. Maybe the clients should form a boycott of cvs. This happened in dc, and she was a visitong pharmacist. I still am having a difficult time processing why and how thos happened. I have been a customer of this store for over 20 years, and same doctor for 26 years.

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  90. I thought I was the only one! I strongly believe that the pharmacy manager at our local CVS pharmacy was somehow diverting drugs and using my account to do it. I say this because she requested that over 90% of the prescriptions I gave her for a highly controlled drug I was taking had errors and had to be returned to my physician, a board certified anesthesiologist and pain practice MD wrote them. I'd never filled a triplicate prescription before but found it vry peculiar that he, who seemed so diligent and qualified, could have made errors in how the prescriptions were written but I THOUGHT he would question the requests as well but never did. On other occasions she insisted my insurance company denied coverage and wouldn't speak with them on the phone when I called them and they insisted they HAD approved them. Severak other time she refused to fill prescriptions saying they was denied or refused by the TIRF - Rems program who I also called. Both I, my doc and CVS were enrolled in the program which adamantly denied having any authority to deny anything! They confirmed my registration was valid as were the others and they had no way to tell a pharmacist to deny a scripts. The worst case was when I'd given a script to the manager who kept it in her vault until it was time to dispense. She then refused again, again using insurance as an excuse, then called the police when I became frustrated. Amazingly the police didn't understand any of it, but I DID request the signed prescription be returned to me in front of th officer who also talked to the insurance company who assured them the rx was authorized. Remember the script had been sitting in the CVS vault for 4 days. The last thing blew my mind. She then handed me the script in front of the officer and stated it had been changed (altered) by me! Problem: IF a pharmacist receives a triplicate or any script they believe has been tampered with protocol states they should IMMEDIATELY deny it or call the physician! Since that hadn't been done, only they could have done it! CVS refused to let me come to the store anymore which is fine because I didn't want to use them anymore, but also refused to respond to any of my complaints. They did call the doc who admonished them for their actions and reminded me they should have seen any tampering before taking the script. It was over a very expensive extremely controlled drug that had to be ordered each time and couldn't be done until they had the script in-hand. Twice I paid $7000.00 out of pocket. I finally figured out they were probably using my script to obtain the drug, then delaying dispensing it to me, and diverting it to others while I waited.

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  91. Today i was refused by King Drug & Home Care in Owensboro Ky to fill my legal prescription. The Tech told me "They were losing money by filling this" She said my insurance was paying...so she tells me to go to another pharmacy...ive been here 5 yrs...my Dr. is ok...prescription ok...not early..ins is paying...but she never mentioned a cash option...i didnt ask either...i dont get it?

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  92. I know this post is old but I wanted to add my two cents.

    I use to be an employee of CVS. I was a pharmacy technician. We had some terrible customers who would fake prescriptions, alter them, act like they were going to rob us etc. because they wanted pain medication so they could get high.

    However, the pharmacists took the druggy thing way too far. They assumed anyone getting pain pills was a piece of trash. All of the employees talked about customers like dogs. If you weren't 80 years old then they thought you were a junkie piece of shit.

    The pharmacists think they are doctors and think they know everything. Wanna know how they check interactions? Google. None of the pharmacists knew shit. They would Google all questions on their phones.

    They thought they were better than everyone and treated people like shit. They would refuse to fill even NON CONTROLLED scripts two days early because they "thought" people abused them.

    It's really just a "I went to college so I am better than you" mentality. However, I can see why they would be jaded by the rude asshole customers that do come in but I think they take it way too far.

    I can tell you right now that CVS just wants your money and they DO NOT care about your health one bit. Stop believing that lie. They don't give a shit about you.

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  93. They are now refusing to fill prescriptions at a small Prescription Shop store in Stuart Florida. My insurance approved this medicine but because my physician does not accept Medicare assignment I was forced to pay $200 instead of a co-pay $45. I can also relate to most of the previous messages stating that your problems are very similar to mine. I have moved all of my meds to this pharmacy as they requested. I called United Health Care and they had my script paid for at a Walgreens one mile from my house but I was not allowed a refund to return it one hour un-opened.

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  94. My mother-in-law has a prescription from her dr. in Texas where she lives, but is staying in Mississippi help my wife with our kids while I am working in Virginia, and CVS told her that because the prescription is from a different state they technically do not have to fill it. CVS called the prescribing Dr and confirmed that it was a legit prescription and it was valid and all the other verifiers needed. The medication is a must have and is apparentaly considered a controlled substance in the state of Mississippi, but do they have the right to deny a prescription? if somebody knows the correct answer or finds something online please let me know.

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  95. I was just told that CVS Locations will NOT fill any/including Controlled by my Doctor. However upon checking his records and actions against him, I don't see anything that would stop them.

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  96. Problems! They won't let me pick it up or even start asking until day 28. They have it wrong that I picked it up later so I'm out. On CVS.com the 'on file' scripts are near the end of a very long list (below those over 30days old) not on top as they should be. Plus they often don't have it in stock and it's not possible to transfer. I may have to accept less than a month's worth or wait 4-5 days. Also, I've waited for an uncommon strength of Oxycontin before, patiently for 4-5 days to just be told then "unavailable". A paid doctor said they are planning to stop filling all opiiod (that's what I thought I heard).

    Also, their generic Percocet, Aurolife, is just crap, but so is Walgreen's. Costco stocks Interlife (IP204) and is ok and their prices are better so maybe that's why they are the place to go. I'm taking my business to a small independant that is used to helping people with serious issues.

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  97. How odd for a neurosurgeon, a joint specialist and a vascular surgeon, to preform a 7 hour, 360 degree lumbar fusion, with 2 artificial discs implanted, and NOT prescribe opiates post surgery, said nobody ever.
    The exact same thing happened to me that happened to you. They kicked my neurosurgeon out of ALL CVS.

    WALGREENS now gets the $800.00 for my 20mgs of Oxycontin.
    They have no issue with my neurosurgeon. I have been seeing him and getting prescriptions for multiple surgeries for almost 2 years now. Why the suddenly falling out?
    They said they would fill the Gabapentim, but why give CVS the business at this point?
    I snatched that out of their hand and said, "taking it to WALGREENS".
    My neurosurgeon is brilliant btw...he invented 10 artificial discs and he has a patent on all of them. He does not pander to insurance companies either.,..he never does IME's. That is why I love him.
    Patients spines come first.

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