Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Pharmacy Phuck-ups

I called my pharmacy to have a prescription refilled. It was brought to my attention that I was calling 13 days early, however by my count I was calling 5 days early.I had 2 pill scripts needing re-filling.
  • I was accused of over medicating. 
  • My family/ housemates were implied as possibly having taken them by the pharmacy tech.
This was frustrating and my first encounter with a pharmacy problem. These accusations knocked the wind right out of me. I called them back to explain there was no error on my end after having awkwardly confronting my family. The tech told me that pill 1 count on their records show correct and pill 2 count shows as over by 5. They acknowledged an error on their end but refused to attribute it to my prescription shortage.

I was willing to cut my loses. I don't handle confrontation well and figured a weeks worth of pills wasn't worth the argument I was clearly in for as no accountability was offered from the pharmacies end.

The next week I went in for the refill. I asked for the the pharmacies manager card so I could send them an email about what had happened the previous week. I didn't want the pills. I wanted someone to know what was going on in their pharmacy.

I got my script home and counted the pills because of the previous weeks realization that my script had been shorted. When I counted the pills one of them was off by half. I was irate. That's a huge mistake! After how I had been treated the previous week I was not willing to let this one go. Someone had to be accountable for this pharmacies errors.

I called and spoke to the pharmacy manager and shared my experience (negating the need to email him at all). He sounded sincerely sorry and offered to count their stock and get their inventory count and compare. This was frustrating as when it happened on Thursday the counts were off and offered no resolution. Every job has policies and procedures to follow so I accepted his due diligence and waited for him to call back.

When no one called me back after 2 hours I called and was told I was wrong. Their counts were on except the 5 I knew about from last week. He was willing to offer those to me as a courtesy. This wasn't good enough for me. There was no admission of error, implied drug abuse and implicating my family as abusing my script was more than enough to push me to my limits.

He continually said "There is no proof of error on our end". Finally I said "look, I am not accusing your staff of stealing but if they were of course the are going to try their best to keep counts correct as not to get caught." He offered to call head office and get their advice. Feeling helpless I agreed to speak with him the next day.

When he called he said that he had spoken to my psychiatrists supervisor and his head office, as a good will gesture they were willing to give me the 30 pills I was shorted when I received half the prescription amount. I wanted my meds so I gratefully thanked him for finding a way to to get me what I wanted.

I then asked what agency I could report his pharmacy to for mistakes. Her again, said there is no proof of error on their end. He did provide me the information to the agency responsible for complaints in my area- The College of Pharmacists for Nova Scotia, Canada. I'm still waiting on a call back to log my complaint. I've left 2 messages, one this week and one last.

This blog post seems more important to me than any other I've written for a few reasons.
  •  Just because I am mentally ill I will not be bullied into being the victim. 
  • Back to back mistakes of being shorted the same medication from the same pharmacy seems phishy. If nothing else I need to protect my peers from similar issues.
  • I stood up for myself and got the result I needed. We can all do that. This is one example of not backing down in the face of difficulty.
I've got to say that the #TwitterPsychWard was out in full swing providing me support, advice and laughter. I am forever indebted to the crew on twitter who have become my support base. Thank you so much to everyone who helped.

How have you challenged that status quo to get what you need in health care?


  1. Good for you for standing up for yourself! That is not easy

  2. Thanks for reading & the support

  3. I have had this happen to me as well. Not by so many pills. But the incorrect dosage or not having the pills on hand and having to go back another day. With my pharmacy (very small family run store), I know the name of all the staff and they know me. So I'm not willing to change pharmacies because of a few errors (that were fixed immediately upon discovery).

    But you have to be able to rely on your pharmacy and their staff. Especially when you are on a lot of medications, or medications that can potentially leave you in a very risky situation (withdrawl or other side effect related situations), including distress or anxiety.

    As a person who has suffered with depression and anxiety most of my adult life, I can so relate to wanting to just not make a deal out of little things. I sure as heck know to stand up and yell when I get ripped off or taken advantage of. I'm so glad you did too!

    If it happens one more time, or you do not get a resolution from reporting the situation, change pharmacies!

  4. I'm sorry. You ain't loony enuff, Miss Gorgeous. Girls in that condition have wild-hair, bags under their eyes, and most are overweight. I should know. I'm a Medical Professional. No, you aren't crazy; I give you a cleen-bill'a-health - just don't let the martians in your room at night. God bless you.