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missing meds

kimmeamkkimmeam Posts: 149
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:50 AM in Pain Management
I have been in pain management for just over a year. I had acdf on 08/08/08. Never did get any relief. I see the Dr. every 3 months now. All we do is go over my "symptoms" & he writes out my prescritions for the next 3 months. They work with a pharmacy that will deliver my meds once a month for a $3.00 fee. I took them up on this so I don't misplace the written ones. It has worked out really well, until now. UPS delivers them in a regular UPS box with no identifying sender. I opened this last one & 1 of the prescriptions had the amount that I should have crossed out & 1/2 written in. I called & they said that they ran out & they owe mw the other half. No problem. Then I look at the other bottle. It says 60. I can see that there is no where near 60 in this bottle. I pour them out on my desk & count 24! 24 out of 60. I called back. They insist that the bottle had 60 pills in it when it left the pharmacy. Then they were asking if there was anyone in my home that took them if the delvery box was tampered with & so on. I have talked to the pharmicist several times & they still are telling me all the paper work & poill count is right & I am wrong. I called the Dr. & nobdy has returned my call.
How do you deal with something like this? I have never had anything like this happen before. I am terribly upset. I have never misused my medications & have never had any problem with missing meds.


  • I think you have to go down and make a police report and it's helpful to have the UPS tracking number and all the information. I've never had that happen but I think it has to be reported for you Pain Dr. to proceed. I hope it gets worked out and hope the Pharmacy finds their error.Charry
    DDD of lumbar spine with sciatica to left hip,leg and foot. L4-L5 posterior disc bulge with prominent facets, L5-S1 prominent facets with a posterior osteocartilaginous bar. Mild bilateral foraminal narrowing c-spine c4-c7 RN
  • Very important. Tomorrow you are going to have to contact your police department to file a report. Then Monday morning call 1-800-pick-ups and file a claim with UPS. Make sure that they understand that this is a narcotic prescription and that the pharmacy is denying that it happened on their end. You may also need to file a police report in the city that the box was shipped from but UPS will guide you on that. Above all do not get rid of that box and do not do anything to change how it looks.

    I know this is going to be alot of paperwork for you but you are going to need it to prove to your doctor and the pharmacy so they will replace the missing medication.
  • I totally agree about contacting UPS. And a police report might not hurt either.

    It's probably fortunate that they use UPS because there will be records of who handled the package at each point.

    This is awful, I'm sorry you have to go through this.
  • Contact the pharmacy once again and let them know how you plan this approach, ie; with the investigation, police report, etc.,Sometimes they find the numbers (& error) are suddenly their fault and they will make things right before further steps need to be taken.
  • I will definately call again. The UPS box was NOT hampered with. This was one of those self sealing boxes. I could hardley get into it.
    This just really sucks. I now understand even more why it is so hard for us to be treated properly. You can't even trust the pharmacist!
  • Now it is your word against theirs. Only if you call them, be firm, and tell them that you plan on approaching this legally will you be taken seriously and regarded with respect.

    Don't believe me. This thread has over 100 reads and I am the 6th comment, but I have already commented, so.......

    That is the sad state of the CP patient, and when fellow CPPs don't have your back what does that say. Most have been to caught up in the brainwashing that has been done to us all by the mainstream media and in the newspapers everyday, so much so, that when a CP patient does get ripped off by a pharmacy, UPS, whatever or whoever, the patient is left to feel they have to defend themselves and prove once again that they are worthy and respectful.

  • Kim,

    I believe the pharmacy has to keep logs on the 'counts' to verify what medication they have on hand. A member on here posted a while back that after picking up her medications from the pharmacy, she counted them when she got home, and was short like 5 or 6. Her first call to the pharmacy - they tried to blow her off. She got a call the next day from the pharmacy, as they had 5 or 6 pills 'over' on their inventory.

    I don't know if that was policy with that location, or the DEA requires logs of these details. Just another possible path to check. (the pharmacy that is)

    PCTF C4 - T2, Laminectomies C5, C6 & C7. Severe Palsy left arm/hand.
  • Brenda's comment makes a lot of sense. At the hospital, at shift change, all narcotics were counted and verified by the nurse leaving, and the nurse coming on duty. It would only stand to reason that would also be necessary at a pharmacy. Interesting. I will ask my friend who is a pharmacist.

    To Robin-yes, I did read this thread before and did not comment. At that time, I did not have anything new to suggest, and she was looking for suggestions and advice. I know I would be less likely to read a three page long thred than a 9 post thread. I think keeping the number of posts down makes it more likely that someone who might be able to help would read the thread and post a helpful suggestion or good advice.

    kimmeam-I am sorry this happened to you. I hope it is resolved.
  • I agree with the other posters. Have you filed a police report? Have you talked to your doctor?

    I was shorted ten breakthrough pills once, but the pharmacist said that I wasn't so there was nothing I could do. It was a class III medication.

    In the past six months, I was shorted twice. Once, I was shorted five pills and once I was shorted one pill. I never said anything to the pharmacy. I know that I should have. The pharmacist who shorted me mysteriously lost his job.

    Now, when I go the pharmacy, I only go when a certain trusted pharmacist is there.

    Sorry for going on about this. Please update on what happened with you.

  • I never count my pills. I probably should, because I would never know if I was shorted. (I would probably think that I just mistakenly took the missing pills)

    I have heard other people say that they were shorted a couple of pills from time to time, but never as many as Kimmeam was.

    Does anyone think it may might be helpful to actually contact the DEA, or at least tell the pharmacy you plan to contact the DEA.

    If it was a self-sealing box that was packed and sealed by the pharmacy, it pretty much boils down to your word against theirs. Maybe the DEA would know if there had ever been another complaint filed against them.

    It might be worth a try.

    Please keep us posted on what is going on with this.
  • Even if they do a pill count, if someone at the pharmacy is taking them (just saying if) the count would be good-making it appear that someone is not telling the truth.
    I have been shorted, and because I put my meds in those daily holders that holds a months supply (28 days/4weeks), it was always easy for me to count out the two remaining days just to be sure. I have read these threads many times so I have been counting my meds. I was only ever shorted a pill or two on a few occasions, but never given 24/60 like the OP..that would really bother me. I know that I would feel like they would not believe me simply because all I have read.

    outofcontrol, there is no need to get defensive towards my opinion. I am simply pointing out the fact that many times (not you per se') even CPP can turn the other cheek in situations like the one we are discussing, and if not turn the other cheek, just be indifferent. I would think a person needs a lot of support when something like this happens because so many times it would be the patient who would be viewed as perhaps not telling the truth. This would be very difficult if it happened to me and I would be hurt if I thought my integrity were in doubt. That is all that I meant.
    I would sure be interested to learn what happened in this situation.
  • Hey kimmeam, I am soo sorry to hear that this has happened to you also, although I have never experinced this myself my father did. He has passed away now but about 6 yrs ago he had his delivered through the mail and he had to actually go up to the post office and sign for it and one month he never recieved his meds. He went to the postal office and they told him that someone had picked them up which never happened. I believe someone there took them and he never got them back. he had to go through the month without his meds and was VERY sick from it, I hope you get something done for you but its kinda your word against theirs and they usually win unfortunately.If i were you I would never trust the mail cuz they WILL screw you over. GOOD LUCK and many hugz.
  • I am so very very sorry this has happened.

    Please don't assume the box could not be tampered with though. There are machines at the UPS depos that can reseal these boxes. I have a friend who works at one and sees this happen all the time :(

    Please follow through with this and take it very serious - like the crime it is. A crime has been done against you !

    please keep us updated. I will be saying prayers for you :hug:
    L1 - S2 "gone" useless in 1 way or another. DDD. RA. Bone Spurs. Tons of nerve damage/issues. Stenosis. Both knees replaced. 50 yrs old. I had a great fall (hence my user name) at age 41 and it has been a domino effect every since.
  • Outofcontrol,

    Being a retired federal agent, and who was crossed designated for title 21 (DEA's Criminal codes), contacting them for a one time - probably won't do much. Now if she has it happen again, yes, I would recommend contacting the local office. Ask to speak with a Special Agent that deals with the local pharmacies. I specify that, because narcotic issues are broken into a lot of sub categories for investigation and follow up.

    As to the 'count' at the pharmacy Kim, if they keep blowing you off, I would ask to speak with the lead pharmacist with your concerns and complaint (bring the police report with you). You might not be the first, and it puts it in his lap, as he might start seeing a trend beginning. It doesn't need to be adversarial at all.

    For the disclaimer: The above is based on my 20 years experience and training as a former 'fed' in the narcotics and immigration side of the house. Now retired, but the laws and procedures haven't changed. Whew! Had to get that out of the way, right?

    PCTF C4 - T2, Laminectomies C5, C6 & C7. Severe Palsy left arm/hand.
  • WOW!

    @Brenda-thank you for the info. I did not know. I just had wondered if the pharmacy had been reported before.

    @Humpty-I didn't know that, either. That puts a whole new spin on it!

    @Robin-I do not want kimmeam to feel that no one on this forum cared. I think that others might have felt like I did; the less BS you have to plow through, the easier it is to read and offer advice.

    It is discouraging not to get replies when you post a question or concern on this forum. I know, it has happened to me, too.

    @kimmeam-what is the latest on this situation?
  • just thought i would add to these comments, that my 20 year old daughter worked at a UPS sorting station in the summer of 2010 in Oregon- and ABSOLUTELY WITHOUT A DOUBT, she had witnessed UPS employees who were hired to load packages onto semi trucks tamper with packages... she was VERY upset and stopped working there after witnessing employees do this with mail order meds and also other valuable items. She also warned me to NEVER use UPS...
    it is sad and disgusting the level of entitlement and dishonesty that today's society has been plagued with... it only takes one "bad apple" to ruin a bunch...
    my trust and faith in ANY method of dispensing my meds has been absolutely diminished to NONE... the only way i fill mine is to hand the RX to the pharmacist and WAIT until the rx is ready... i have been a PM patient for over a decade and could spend the rest of today telling horror stories about the unwarranted abuse and discrimination i have been subject to by pharmacists, nurses and even previous PM doctors... i am infuriated for what the OP is enduring, because PM patients are subjected to the most reprehensible garbage regularly! i am SO sorry for this
  • kim, I was wondering how this whole situation turned out?
    L1 - S2 "gone" useless in 1 way or another. DDD. RA. Bone Spurs. Tons of nerve damage/issues. Stenosis. Both knees replaced. 50 yrs old. I had a great fall (hence my user name) at age 41 and it has been a domino effect every since.
  • I am so sorry that I have not updated everyone.
    I did call back to the pharmacy a week later. They did tell me again that thier "count" was on. BUT they did have several others call to complain that they too were missing meds.I was the first to call. They agreed to contact my Dr. & request an RX for the missing pills. They also have a claim against UPS. They had a substitute driver that day. They have changed their policy not to only send out meds with their regular driver. I was instructd to keep the box & bottles in case they need them as evidence.
    What a mess it has been! I have since been rear ended by a hit & run driver. That I will post seperate on. I saw my p/m asst. & she was unaware. I declined to have them delivered to me this time. I will personally hold on to the paper prescriptions & bring them to my pharmacy myself from now on.
    Thank you all so much for your caring, concern & advice! I really really appreciate it! :)
  • Check the ID /Drivers License of the Person who Picks up the Prescriptions. It has to be My Husband or I who picks it up. Failing to check ID means the Pharmacy has to deal with my Doctor and the Police, not me.

    I had my whole Bottle of Pain Pills stolen a few years ago and they tried to use my refill too. I called to refill it, and found out the person had just called and ordered it refilled. I rushed down and grabbed it before they could but never found out who it was.
  • Happy that this is getting looked into and hopefully stopped from happening in the future.

    Sorry to hear about the accident - I am trying to find that thread and can't

    ID/Lic - I never thought of that !!! I pick up meds for my daughter whose last name is different then mine and hubby and other people have picked up mine and never have we been asked for ID of any kind.

    L1 - S2 "gone" useless in 1 way or another. DDD. RA. Bone Spurs. Tons of nerve damage/issues. Stenosis. Both knees replaced. 50 yrs old. I had a great fall (hence my user name) at age 41 and it has been a domino effect every since.
  • I myself had the pharmacist add a 'note' (in red in the computer) that only *I* or my husband is authorized by me unless called by me to pick up any of my prescriptions. It has worked very well so far. :)

    PCTF C4 - T2, Laminectomies C5, C6 & C7. Severe Palsy left arm/hand.
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