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Turned away by pharmacy for pain meds - again Turned away by pharmacy for pain meds - again

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  #1  
Unread 01-20-2004, 06:56 PM
Turned away by pharmacy for pain meds - again

Sisters, I am getting so weary of the way we pain patients are treated! I just took my perfectly legitimate rx to a major chain in my town. I brought it there despite past bad experiences with chains, because my last 30-day supply, through mail order, was an incredible hassle and arrived 2 weeks after it was supposed to (having been shuttled to three different facilities of the rx fulfillment company).

The pharmacy technician brought my rx to the pharmacist and came back to say, "He does not know when we will get this." I said, I have enough for 3 days or so, so it's OK. "No," she looked at me like, Lady, don't you get what I'm trying to tell you? Then she said, "We're not sure if we're going to get it in, ever." And she pushed my rx back at me across the counter.

I know there is a privately-owned pharmacy that will get it for me - these are usually the people I go to - but using them means I will get the tablets in dribs and drabs..."Gee, we have 20 today....we can get another 20 by the end of the week....hmm, the rest of it, I'm not sure." Which means I'm constantly having to worry about it and use any good days (less pain than usual) when I could be doing something productive, or even enjoyable, to chase after it. I'm always worried about running out, going through withdrawal, etc....it is so unfair. No pharmacy has ever refused to fill my thyroid rx, which I need to stay alive; this is just as important but isn't treated that way.

I am just so angry and frustrated....thank you for letting me vent!

Have a good night, everyone....

Hannah
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  #2  
Unread 01-20-2004, 07:13 PM
Turned away by pharmacy for pain meds - again

Dear Hannah,

I am so sorry. I have been fortunate -- it truly seems like the people that work at my pharmacy are compassionate with me, and truly empathize with me, that I should be in so much pain I need all of this to survive and live. They see me with my children, and ... well ... I feel like they are a part of my healthcare team and care for me. Sounds hokey, and maybe it is all in my head, but I believe it, and it makes my life easier every time I go in. This is the kind of place we need to find you. Maybe you need to move to Montana? Oh wait, it is frigid here and I am sure you would miss all the people and excitement?

I am sorry you had to have a bad experience today,
I hope something comes along to brighten your day!
With love and light,
Loretta
  #3  
Unread 01-20-2004, 07:14 PM
Turned away by pharmacy for pain meds - again

Hannah,
Is this a fairly common med? I have went to my pharmacy and they've been out of the duragesic patch that I use, but I will ask them to call a few other locations and they will usually do that for me. Maybe you need to contact management or go higher up the corporate ladder.

I've been using the duragesic patch for quite some time now, along with phenagran for nausea and darvocet n100 for breakthru pain. I've only had a problem once with the pharmacy and that was only because the doc made a mistake on the script. When I go in every 30 days I am greeted warmly, called by my name and so far I haven't had to deal with any looks or rude remarks. I guess I have been lucky so far.

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  #4  
Unread 01-21-2004, 06:13 AM
Turned away by pharmacy for pain meds - again

Hannah,

I am so sorry you're feeling bad and being treated poorly. Maybe you should pick a single pharmacy and do your business there. My son is on a controlled medication for his ADHD and the particular formulation has to be ordered from a supplier each time. It takes about 5 days for the medication to come in so I just need to mark it on my calendar to pick up the prescription from the doctor (refills are not permitted - each time I get it it has to be a hard-copy prescription) and drop it off at the pharmacy. They call me when it comes in.

My DH is an MD and I know that what sometimes happens is that when people go to a pharmacy that is not their usual one for a controlled prescription, the pharmacy calls the doctor's office to get verification. If they can't get verification (like its 6pm, the doc's office is closed and the on-call doc has no clue), they won't fill it. If your doc does pain control, s/he can probably advise you about what pharmacies are cooperative and which ones are not.
Sometimes one branch of a chain is fine and another is not. I know one specific supermarket in my area ALWAYS loses prescriptions - which is one thing when it is for a common antibiotic that can be called in easily and entirely another when it is for a controlled medication that I need to schlep to the doc to pick up another script.



Dorrie
  #5  
Unread 01-21-2004, 06:34 AM
Turned away by pharmacy for pain meds - again

Hannah,

It really makes me angry to hear about you being treated this way. This is outrageous. What happened to a patient's right to pain control?

Time to start calling the pharmacist's manager and the manager's manager and on up to the corporate level. By the way, written complaints are taken much more seriously than verbal ones. I know in our company that all written complaints are run through the legal department and risk management and are tracked in reports until the matter is resolved.

Best wishes!

  #6  
Unread 01-21-2004, 08:35 AM
The medication is a common one...

I'm reluctant to write the name here b/c it's so controversial. (That in itself should tell you what it is.) I don't understand, because it's the one my pain doctor uses with nearly all his patients, in some combination or other.

DH and I agreed last night that, to stay sane, I should deal with the one pharmacy that treats me humanely, even if I have to put up with going back and forth to collect it in small amounts. My doctor knows this pharmacist personally and has confirmed that I'm not the only one in our area who's had problems with chain stores especially. It's a "ya gotta do what ya gotta do" situation. I suppose that expecting this to be easy means I'm spoiled and princessy - no one said suffering was going to be easy, lol!

Sorry to gripe. Thanks and ((HUGS)) to everyone for your good thoughts and support. Those of you who don't have this problem - count yourselves very lucky - at least in this aspect of the Road.

H.
  #7  
Unread 01-21-2004, 10:24 AM
Turned away by pharmacy for pain meds - again

Good luck. Perhaps if your favorite pharmacy knows that you'll be on this for the long term, they can stock a little more of it. I think some smaller pharmacies may just keep a low stock because they're afraid of being robbed if the word gets out, but if I were the pharmacist, I'd be afraid of being shot for not having enough to give to the robber.

I think it's right to give your business to people who treat you well, and to stay away from people who treat you badly. You have enough to deal with, and being around kind people can only help you.

Finally, I would like to think the only controversial pain meds on the Road are the ones that don't work for you. If you've found something that gets you through the day or lets you sleep through the night, and you and your doctor think it's right for you, I don't care what it is. I want you to have it!
  #8  
Unread 01-21-2004, 10:31 AM
Turned away by pharmacy for pain meds - again

Denise:

Well said!!! Hear, hear!!!
  #9  
Unread 01-26-2004, 08:21 PM
Turned away by pharmacy for pain meds - again

I can understand how you feel.

For me I am lucky enough to work in a store with a pharmacy.

Even with that I had a few issues, more with the pharmasist telling me to loose weight and start walking ETC. They have been wary due to my meds I'm on. No pharmacy wants to see a patient on pain meds 24/7. They know how addictive they are.

That changed after I got my MRI done and was DX with multi level ostearthritis(sp?) and a snovial cyst on my spine.
No wonder I have been in pain for so long.
Now he says nothing to me.
I just had a chat with the main Pharmacy manager yesterday. She too is very concerned. We talked about my concernes for addiction and the steps I am taking to avoid the beast.
So I think she too is understanding more of my issues.

I am now waiting a referal to an arthristis specialist to rule out rumitoid arthritis. Seems it is a big possibility for my cronic urinary problems along with the cronic pain.

I agree with the others. Pick one pharmacy, go talk with the manager and see what their rules are for controlled pain meds.
Explain that you don't want to do business with anyone else, but you also don't want to be treated like a drug addict.
Explain how you can't get out very often and that you need to be able to have your meds ready at the same time each month.

I'm sure they will work something out. You just have to be willing to discuss your condition. If you try to blow them off, like they have no right to know why you take them, they may feel you are abusing the drug.

There are people who pharmacy hop. They get many RX's and hit all the stores in the area. By law, they are supossed to be wary of such actions and report them to other pharmacies,your doctor and even the police if they feel it nessisary.

So the sooner you set one store and set a good relationship with your pharmacy doctor, the better service you will get.

I wish you luck in your journey.
I am finding my way as well.

Patty
  #10  
Unread 01-26-2004, 09:11 PM
That is a fortunate coincidence....

And the pharmacist's advice is good - if you asked for it, that is. I am just now beginning to understand why my pain dr. told me to tell as few people as possible about being in pain management and specifying the names of my meds. All kinds of suspicion, mistrust, and unsolicited opinions can fly in your face when you do, and they have for me, with some family and friends. Except on this Board, of course....we all "get it."

One thing you mentioned disturbs me; that the pharmacists don't like seeing people on pain medication, the reason being that they know how addictive it is. 99% of the time, my pain dr. says, the word "addiction" is not applicable to a pain treatment situation. Physical dependence, yes - but the same thing happens with antidepressants, muscle relaxers, etc. When your body truly needs pain medication, you will experience no "high" sensation whatsoever, maybe just drowsiness.

I do agree with the pharmacist that overall, it's a shame anyone needs pain medication. Suffering is tragic. But if the meds are necessary and the pain is ongoing, I think the pharmacist should keep her views private and just do her job-dispense legally written, medically necessary medication as prescribed by an M.D. It's fine if she wants to check to see if any of the patient's meds are likely to cross-react; other than that, she should keep her opinions to herself. When I switched from norethindrone to megestrol, which a pharmacist hadn't heard of; she called me to ask me what condition I was taking it for, since she wasn't familiar with it. A language barrier didn't help matters. She called me back three more times because she didn't understand my explanation of the med's purpose. My DH was standing next to me, furious, asking what business it was of hers why I was taking this. I knew very well what it was - in larger doses, it was given to my late mother when she was dying of cancer, to help stimulate her appetite. Even if I hadn't, I would've looked it up online the moment the dr. mentioned it to me. The fact that I knew about a medication while the pharmacist did not unnerved me; this was a chain store, to which I will understandably not be returning.

The more important issue is prejudice by providers. Most non-pain management physicians barely understand the need to treat chronic non-malignant pain conditions and how to do it properly. My internist doesn't (and will therefore be replaced asap). So it stands to reason that most pharmacists won't understand, either, and that their prejudice will be reflected in the service they provide.

Thanks to everyone's good thoughts and advice, today I picked up my meds from the non-chain pharmacy; they were ready to go, and I received the full quantity. At least this month, I won't be chasing after them in bits and pieces.

Best of luck to you, and thanks for your good thoughts!

Hannah
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