Walgreens - Pharmacist allowed to override doctor

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This just happened today to my wife with narcotic pain meds she has been on for chronic pain.She has been on these for 15+ years.

Our doctor notified us that in his opinion what Walgreens is requesting violates HIPPA and is advising all his patients to switch pharmacy. I went to the Walgreens to question them on the policy and the pharmacist picked up a preprinted card and read me a canned response telling me this is all they were allowed to say on the matter, it was one paragraph of here at walgreens we strive for customer satisfaction and safety blah blah. I then elected to have a regional manager call me to discuss the situation. I was told by this manager that it is a new company policy and they are the only ones in the industry doing it now and they suspect other pharmacys will follow suit.

They do not care how many customers will leave because of this and they are aware that some will but don't think it will be a significant amount. The policy is here to stay unless someone challenges it in court and they lose.(she says they are on firm legal footing) I understand why they are doing this but I am a little alarmed when our doctor tells us he feels it is a violation of HIPPA for walgreens to allow their pharmacists to be asking for medical records and taking on the role of doctor to review and arbitrarily decide whether you can have a certain script filled based on your diagnosis. This is a job better left to the better educated, namely the doctor who wrote the script in the first place.

Doesn't it seem silly to allow someone with less than half the education and little if any real interaction or health history be the "decider" of your medical care?I for one after 15+ years as a customer will no longer patronize walgreens, they do not deserve the business especially considering this was rolled out on the down low as it seems they were making an effort to keep it as low profile as possible by not allowing their pharmacists to discuss this new policy with the very people whose privacy they are violating in the first place.

Review #403499 is a subjective opinion of a user.

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Confused01
#1279422
This whole argument is void by you repeating that a doctor is more qualified or has more education because a pharmacist is a doctor of pharmacology. Lol. The pharmacist is more qualified to make decisions on drugs and probably has more schooling. Now your comment seems a bit silly huh.
Matthew Brown
Orlando, Florida, United States #944329
My girlfriend is having this exact issue. We went to a walgreens in Altamonte Springs Florida, across from Florida Hospital Altamonte. She has a spinal simulator for pain management, and it has broken, and is now malfunctioning and sending electrical shocks straight into her spinal cord. To have this implant put in it required drilling holes in her vertebre...this is NOT a small procedure. This of course is causing great amounts of pain. We went to the pharmacist with a prescription given by her doctor, and we have no problem waiting for it to be verified. The Pharmacist we find out later blacklisted her, and now she cannot get ANY meds from Walgreens, even cold medications. So not only can she not get her pain meds, she cannot go to any Aalgreens for any medications whatsoever. We found this out when she went in and they treated her like she was some kind of crackhead criminal.
My girlfriend is a 25 year old blonde girl, who is clean cut, was wearing a Ralph Laurren shirt when we walked in, and carries a $300 Dooney and Bourke purse. I drove up in my Audi. We are far from looking like meth heads, or pill poppers. We just want her to get her pain meds so she can stay out of the hospital, until she can have her surgery to fix her simulator. She has been on pain meds for 9 years, and we brought all the documentation to prove this. The Pharmacist was a real a-hole for doing this to her.
disgruntled customer
#820510
I say lets get some tv stations and lawyers involved concerning this wahlgrens issue. I plan on doing this immediately. A store pharmacy has no right to your medical history without your consent and no right to photocopy your id without your consent. What whalgrens is doing is illegal in so many ways and I plan on taking action.
PharmacyTech
New York, New York, United States #733082
Pharmacists know more about medications than your doctor does. And that is a fact. Pharmacists are required to question any script they feel is unwarranted.
dxloat
to PharmacyTech #733515
I am fully willing to admit we have a substance abuse problem in this country and we always will, it is a war that no society in recorded history has ever won. Problem is there is no real standard in place where the decisions can vary with little if any consistency between pharmacists in the same pharmacy. It seems this got exponentially more difficult for legitimate pain sufferers after the huge fine Walgreens was slapped with. I just wish they had a better policy that could be enforced more evenly instead of people literally planning their trips to the pharmacy based on what particular pharmacist is on duty because you don't want a hassle over meds you have been on for years. I liken it to a chain of grocery stores near me that instituted a card everyone policy to purchase alcohol and cigarettes, even if you are obviously 70 years old they still ask for your ID. A small amount of common sense I think could go a long way.
me
to PharmacyTech #798292
But the pharmacist does not know about disease or the human body as much as a doctor does.Pharm tech how much do you really know after only 3 months of training?Pharmacists are only chemists if they want to be a doctor they should go to medical school.
me
to PharmacyTech #820533
I am also a pharm tech.Yes pharamacists know more about meds but doctors know way more about your condition.In our small pharmacy we respect the doctors decision.
Anonymous
to PharmacyTech #1084957
And yes there are idiots abusing these which doctors pharmacys and government cashed in on and now they want to make everyone out to be those idiots. They made that medication for people who need them and is a such thing
Pharmacist playing God
Shelton, Washington, United States #732045
I recently went to refill a migraine medication 50 mg. imitrex and although the pharmacy refilled it they were charging me $98.00. When I asked why my medical insurance would not pay they told me my insurance would only allow payment for 9 tables within a 30 day period. I called my insurance and was told that was not true they allow 90 pills in a 180 time frame and that from what he say on their request screen the pharmacy themselves had written in the 30 day limits. The insurance would be fine paying for more. (my doctor prescribed for me 'as needed' not to exceed 200 mg in a 24 hour period.) The clerk at the pharmacy told me some dance story about FDA recommendations and the need to pursue other prophylactic treatment; since I have been a chronic migrainer for over 20 years and tried all; with what I am taking today being about as good as I have been.

I called and spoke to the pharmacy manager who told me he would not allow that medication to be dispensed from his pharmacy in any amount beyond 12 pills in 30 days even if he spoke to the doctor or the doctor sent another prescription. This same pharmacist had questioned me about another medication of mine and I was reluctant to discuss my diagnosis but he persisted in knowing to see if the coding fit the prescription.

I am changing to another pharmacy; reported the outcome to my doctor and am filing a formal complaint to Fred Meyer Corporation. Three things disturb me 1. why not
... Show more
Shanny
to Pharmacist playing God San Antonio, Texas, United States #949488
I was told by my doctor that the pharmacist MUST call them if they are going to make any changes to your prescription. It's illegal not to. I'm having the same issue right now. It's insane.

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