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pharmacist gave me too many meds not too little

terror8396tterror8396 Posts: 1,831
edited 06/11/2012 - 9:01 AM in Chronic Pain
it is weird. my wife read that most complaints against pharmacists where they always give too little meds. people are always short and never ahead in meds. well my pharmacist goofed and instead of 120 oxy, they gave me 150. there was no note from dr or whoever to state that they increased my doseage. i usually get 120 4 x's a day. not it is 150 4-6 times a day. in fact i mentioned to my dr that he goofed by giving me 150. he wrote the script for 120 and not 150. oh well it it their problem now especially if they get audited from dea. apparently according to my wife a person can now request a count of meds in front of them to make sure they are not getting shorted which is 95% of the case with pharmacies. so if you are having problem with shortage, have them count pills in front of you
I have 4 fusions from L5-3, the latest last May '12 where they fixed my disc that broke.They went through my side this time. I take 40 mg of oxycontin 4x a day and 4 fenatyl lollipops 300 micro gms 4x a day.


  • You should contact the pharmacy and make them aware of the mistake. Do you want the pharmacist to lose their job over a mistake? Do the right thing.
  • j.howiejj.howie Brentwood, Ca., USAPosts: 1,732
    I've never counted mine. It must be pretty close cause I don't run out.
    Click my name to see my Medical history
    You get what you get, not what you deserve......I stole that from Susan (rip)
    Today is yours to embrace........ for tomorrow, who knows what might be starring you in the face!
  • counted when it looked like there weren't enough in the bottle. If they did give you too many, you should let them know. I think when goofs are made, eventually someone's going to get into trouble, and you don't want it to be you.
    3 level spinal fusion, L3/4, L4/5, L5/S1, November 2008. Stiff, but I can walk.
  • jlrfryejjlrfrye ohioPosts: 1,110
    Let them be aware of the error. They will not ask for the pills back, once they are dispensed they cannot take them back. The main thing is to cover your butt so you dont end up in trouble with your docs. I realize this is not your error but make sure you do the right thing and cover yourself.
  • I would think as they short so many people they will never notice anyways so i would save it for back up medication in case i had problem runing out of meds and cant see the dr untill later date,

    I never counted my meds and would never know if its short or not,
    I always try to take less pills then whats allowed so i have back up and nothing wrong with having a few back up meds,

    Because nobody going care when you are screaming you cant take the pain and dr is out of town and cant see you for another 3 weeks,

    In my 20 + years i have learned that much,

    Flexicore ADR 2004 resulting nerve damage l4l5 Fusion 2006 same level, 2009 hardware removal with lami !
    2012 scs implant ,
  • I have been shorted a few times and the only reason I was aware of the mistake was because my pharmacist called and told me! It was always one(1)pill.

    He said he discovered his mistake when he did his closing count!! How honest is that??

    Thanks for the tip Jon.

    Patsy W
  • I would absolutely not just call but go to the Pharmacy and even show them....Not only is it the right thing to do....this will show them what type of patient you are that you wouldn't just keep them and take the extra medicine...as well as you are an honest person that cares about their job as well so that someone doesn't get fired over this mistake...

    Wouldn't we want them to do the same thing if there was a mistake on their end of less pills?

    I have been with the same Pharmacy for over 10 years...Having a good relationship with them, just like my Dr. goes a really long way when anything should come up..

    Sorry...but I can't see do anything but the right thing here...
  • i took your advice and called and told then and retorted that i did not want them to get into trouble. they said they could take the pills out of next months count. so now i can sleep and hopefully get a christmas present from them. ha ha
    no sweat. i don't think anything would have happened but my conscience got the best of me. i have been with these guys for 10 years and they compound my oxy and fenatyl lollipops.
    I have 4 fusions from L5-3, the latest last May '12 where they fixed my disc that broke.They went through my side this time. I take 40 mg of oxycontin 4x a day and 4 fenatyl lollipops 300 micro gms 4x a day.
  • Did you happen to speak with the manager there? Make sure you get the name of the person you spoke to and the time saved....Just in case....I have learned to keep every single record of every single phone call for everything in my life...not just medical...And it has saved me so much time/effort...

    Anyway....You have just moved up another notch in their thoughts of you as a honest patient...As I wrote...hopefully if something ever happened in the other direction...they will remember that you are someone who plays by the rules and was thinking of them...

    Some people say Karma...I happen to believe in God....but either way...you did what was right...no matter what happens in the future..

  • i have known the manager for years. he goofs a lot. once he gave me methadone instead of oxy. i told him and he changed the meds. one time he shorted me and i took the bottle back to him, each size bottle means so many pills. that is how he knew he shorted me. he goofs but he is basically honest
    I have 4 fusions from L5-3, the latest last May '12 where they fixed my disc that broke.They went through my side this time. I take 40 mg of oxycontin 4x a day and 4 fenatyl lollipops 300 micro gms 4x a day.
  • Sounds like a really good relationship you have with them...

    As I wrote, I think that they are just as important of a role in my medical care as my Dr. and counselor...

    Glad to hear it all went well!
  • j.howiejj.howie Brentwood, Ca., USAPosts: 1,732
    You did the noble thing. But I do wonder what would have happened if you hadn't counted?
    Click my name to see my Medical history
    You get what you get, not what you deserve......I stole that from Susan (rip)
    Today is yours to embrace........ for tomorrow, who knows what might be starring you in the face!
  • It's a good thing you contacted them. I'm in my 4th year of pharmacy school and missing oxy is not a good situation. The pharmacy won't be able to take the pills back but at least they're accounted for now. Sounds like you have a good relationship with the pharmacist. I'm assuming this is not a chain pharmacy either. A chain would never do what your pharmacist has agreed to do and it would turn into a huge deal.

    Good for you for doing the responsible thing. You saved the pharmacy a lot of trouble wondering where 30 pills went. Was the Rx Label on the bottle saying you had 150 or 120 pills? If that's the case, then its a data entry problem. If the label says 120 and you have 150, that's a counting problem.

    Usually the stock bottles contain 100 pills (sometimes 90, depending on the drug). In that case the pharmacist will just empty a full bottle into a vial, and then count out another 20 (or 30) from another bottle. Counting an extra 20-30 pills is a really big mistake! It sounds like you've have problems with him before. Please just be careful with every prescription you get. You don't want to be taking something that wasn't prescribed to you. I vastly prefer using indie pharmacies compared to chains like CVS/Walgreens/RiteAid/etc. Independents usually don't have the same level of quality control/error protection systems in place. So if this guy is accident prone, just be careful.

    There's a lot of look alike and sound alike drugs out there. Plus retail pharmacy is full of distractions- phones, faxes, filling, questions, checking out customers, chatting, etc.
  • jon - happy to hear a good ending :) I bet they are more careful from now on with everyone.

    XC - I disagree with you about the big chain pharmacies. I get my meds at Walmart. Those pharmacists bend over backwards for me MANY different times. I am treated with respect & kindness.
    They ask me about other family members who have been ill or had surgery etc.
    They have gone to bat for me with my insurance co when I had some issues.
    The one drug I get monthly is at a "unusual" strength as in no one else gets that med at that strength there. The big shots wanted to stop sending this med in just for me. Again the pharmacists went to bat for me & won :)
    They say hello to me when we run into each other in other public settings.
    My quality of life, health & lower stress is in part due to what these pharmacists do for me! :D

    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.
  • MsHumptyDumpty,

    My point was not to say that pharmacists in chain pharmacies don't care about their patients, do not treat them kindly, or cannot form bonds with patients. I know a lot of great chain pharmacists. The truth is it's really every pharmacies responsibility to help the pt with insurance and make sure they get the drugs they need. I personally know that this isn't always the case.

    My point was to say that independents have a lot more flexibility when it comes to operating and laws. If a chains corporate office ever noticed 30 pills were missing, there would be a problem. Pharmacies are not permitted to take back medications either once they are sold. They certainly would never allow an IOU situation. So my point is, had this been a chain pharmacy, the situation would have escalated into a problem with the corporate company and the DEA. Chains have a lot of restrictions and operate on a very narrow line. After all, CVS has more people working on the corporate side than they do in the pharmacy.

    My other point was chain pharmacies spend a lot more money on error protection systems. That includes barcoding all the prescriptions and using the stock bottle barcodes to verify that the correct person is getting the correct medication. They also must verify what's filled by the techs with a picture on the screen of the appropriate medication. Not to say independents don't or can't have these systems, but it's far less common. Only newer, more expensive systems offer this functionality and a lot of pharmacies are still using very dated pharmacy systems. Some are still running off of Windows DOS!
  • it is not a chain pharmacy, it is independent and that is why they do the compounded pills. the pharmacist told me that i was to bring in my bottle and they would take out the over count and put it in quarantine then add it to my next months pill count. so the 30 over count is to be taken out quarantined and then added to next month's count
    I have 4 fusions from L5-3, the latest last May '12 where they fixed my disc that broke.They went through my side this time. I take 40 mg of oxycontin 4x a day and 4 fenatyl lollipops 300 micro gms 4x a day.
  • XC....A state or federal law has to be applied to any Pharmacy...To say that an independent one has more "leeway" with laws is simply not true.

    They must follow all regulations that pertain to prescription medication and especially narcotic medication.

    If they fail to do so, than they can and will get shut down.

    They also have to work with a patient's insurance company in the exact same manner as a chain.

    The only difference between a chain and independently owned Pharmacy is any "corporate" red tape...But that really does not funnel down to the patient.

    Prescribing laws set by each state, as well as many states now have the Prescription Monitoring Program, and any DEA regulations which apply to all 50 states, MUST be followed, to the letter by all Pharmacies regardless of their size.

    It really comes down to preference in one's area. I have used a Sams Club Pharmacy for over 11 years. The "bonus" on the larger scale places is they have more buying power and access to a larger selection of medications.

    As well as they are usually less expensive than independent Pharmacies as they have more bargaining power when they purchase the medications in bulk.

    They are less expensive than any Pharmacy in my entire area (popluation of over 3 million)....which means hundreds of Pharmacies from grocery stores, drugstores, independents, Target...and yes...even Walmart (as they are the same complany as Sams)...

    So, it really boils down to personal preference as I mentioned. As I wrote, it's extremely important to have a great relationship with your Pharmacist just like your Dr...

    And if that means you have a good one with your independent Pharmacy...that is great....

    But just know they have to all play by the same rules.
  • Jon...it sounds like you had a bad experience...This is why it just shows it is different for everyone...

    I've never waited in line...And as I wrote...when I called many, many Pharmacies in my area to get the cost of the 5 medicines that I take....Sams Club was the lowest cost as I don't have any insurance...The price at a grocery store or independent in my area is literally 5 TIMES the amount that I pay for the exact same medicine.

    I know all 3 people who work there and just adore the head Pharmacist. They are always so wonderful to me...and any time there has been a slight glitch...when a shipment arrived later than expected one time (2 days late)....they gave me the entire prescription for FREE...

    They also have never had any of the shortages that many other Pharmacies have seemed to have in our area. As I wrote...the larger places have more buying and negotiating power...

    So...I really don't think there is a good/bad between chain and independents....It's all figuring out who we like, who handles our business the best, and who we can develop a good relationship with in the long run...

    I'm glad that it sounds like most of us who have posted on this thread are very happy with our choice....That is what matters:)
  • i would never use a chain pharmacy agin ever. i have to wait in line and listen to some person talk about her incontinence and how she or he has shingles and her dog has diarreah and her son flunked out of school etc etc. you get the point. i just go in and get my meds and out in 2 minutes. i always have to wait in a line also beside listen to person discuss their problems. the pharmacists are goofie also. 20 people in line then person at register leaves and doesn't come back for 10 minutes or he can't find your name because he can't read or spell. i guess you get the idea that i don't like chain pharmacies. if you like them good luck.
    I have 4 fusions from L5-3, the latest last May '12 where they fixed my disc that broke.They went through my side this time. I take 40 mg of oxycontin 4x a day and 4 fenatyl lollipops 300 micro gms 4x a day.
  • Under or over I would call ASAP.

    We are all scrutinized enough ...unfair as it is.

    Our chance to show again how unjustified it is.

    Until recently I have never counted, but given the stories, I think I will start,as my meds are kind of in flux as we are exploring increased pain ~9 months post L5S1 w/ neuropathy TLIF.

    New surgeon think pseudoarthrosis / no growth :-(

    CT to confirm pending...

    Jun 2011 -TLIF @L5-S1
    Mar 2012 -NonUnion @L5S1
    May 2012 -Multi Level Discography
    July 2012 -XLIF 2Cages @L3L4/L4L5
    Aug 2012 -All New Hardware @L34L45/L4L5/L5S1
    Mar 2013 -FBSS = Pain Management until they figure it out.
  • Let me preface this by saying I have worked in the world of retail pharmacy for the past 6 years. I'm currently a 4th year Doctor of Pharmacy student. I've worked for 3 independent pharmacies and one chain, in addition to 2 hospitals.

    Love To Travel- you statements are theoretically true, but the reality is independents do have FAR fore flexibility. Chain pharmacies do mean higher volume, but that doesn't always translate into cheaper price.

    Yes, pharmacies operate under the same laws. The difference is how the pharmacy uses them. By law pharmacies are allowed to give partials on control medications. CVS, I know for a fact, will never give partials on control medications even though they are allowed to under law. Additionally, most chains will only fill CII's if they have the hard copy. In emergency situations, CII's can be phoned in as long as a follow up hard copy prescription is obtained within 7 days. Chain pharmacies never do this. I find independents are most willing to be flexible because they're more likely to be in the store every day, and they don't have the corporate rules bearing down on them.

    CVS is the second largest pharmacy chain in america, and because of Caremark is really the most powerful player in the retail pharmacy world. CVS has the most expensive prices of any pharmacy if you're paying cash. If you're using insurance, then everywhere will cost the same. I've seen people be charged $50 cash for a month supply of ambient. The wholesale price for an independent is about $2.60/100 tablets. I doubt an indie would charge you more than $15. Fluticasone (Flonase generic) costs $75 at CVS, $45 at Walgreens, and the wholesale price is $20. I know indies that sell it for $25-$35.

    While CVS, WAG, WM, etc are big and have bargaining power, independents are part of networks that also allow them to negotiate drug prices. In fact, of all the prescriptions in the US, more are filled at independent pharmacies than chains. Surprised? That probably won't be the case though since indies are shutting down almost as fast as chains are popping up. This is mostly because of poor insurance reimbursement rates.

  • You are only giving information about CVS....As mentioned....all Pharmacies can choose to do as they wish under the law...as in do "less than"...but not more than...Just like some Pharmacists can decide not to carry the Plan B (morning after) pill. A Pharmacist has full discretion under the law...

    My Pharmacist has provided a partial fill when needed...and as I said...is a Sams club Pharmacy...

    My point about price was for people to call around...I never said that big box would "always" be less expensive...just said that many times they have more buying power as well as stocking capabilities of more medicine.

    I called around and happened to find my Sams club over 11 years ago and have been happy with them ever since...I have a CVS near me and their prices are close to 3 times that of my Sams Club...

    As I wrote..it's up to each person to decide where they want to go...and it's also about developing a relationship with their Pharmacist...

    I've included a portion of the Partial fill on Schedule 2 prescriptions under DEA law for those to read the exact verbiage.

    Partial Dispensing

    A prescription for a schedule II controlled substance may be partially dispensed if the pharmacist is unable to supply the full quantity of a written or emergency oral (telephone) prescription, provided the pharmacist notes the quantity supplied on the front of the written prescription, on a written record of the emergency oral prescription, or in the electronic prescription record. The remaining portion may be dispensed within 72 hours of the first partial dispensing. However, if the remaining portion is not or cannot be filled within the 72 hour period, the pharmacist must notify the prescribing practitioner. No further quantity may be supplied beyond 72 hours without a new prescription.
  • I'm just speaking in generalities. A chain pharmacy would never want the liability of giving an IOU situation/we'll figure it out with the next prescription as the OP stated. Chain pharmacies have very tight regulation over their controls because they used to be one of the biggest sources of drug diversion. The pharmacist has to answer not to drug control but to the corporate office as well. My point is, chain pharmacies err on the side more of caution and restriction because they don't want to be held liable.

    What the pharmacist did in the first place was risky business. If the OP went to Walgreens and they miscounted the pills, they would not say we'll take it out of next months count. What if the pharmacist quit or wasn't working the next time the OP came in. What if the the OP changed medications. What if the OP just never came back? Even the most trustworthy patients have been known to screw pharmacists. My point is, if any of this happened, the pharmacist would have to answer to the corporation who would not permit business to be conducted like this. The corporation audits the company and has their own control levels to make sure the DEA audits go smoothly. As of right now, in Drug Control's eyes, this guys pharmacy is missing 30 pills which would be considered a significant loss.

    I talked about both CVS and Walgreens because they are the 2 biggest retail chains with the most corporate girth supporting them. Sam's club/Walmart, Stop & Shop, Targets, are very, very, very small in comparison.Different chains have different house rules and can even vary store to store. Some chains are cheaper with certain medications, like antibiotics, but then screw you with others.
    So when I talk about flexibility.

    I'm well aware of what the laws are. My point is it's the pharmacy's discretion on what they want to do. If they want to say, come back tomorrow when we get the shipment is, that's they're option. If they want to give out a couple pills until the shipment comes, they can do that too. Regarding CIII-CIV controls, a lot of chains will only give out what they can. They'd rather you wait or go to a different store.

    Many chains will not do any partials on CII's per corporate rules.

  • XCSwimmer90 said:
    Additionally, most chains will only fill CII's if they have the hard copy. In emergency situations, CII's can be phoned in as long as a follow up hard copy prescription is obtained within 7 days.
    72 hrs. for 'some' insurance/s. I just went through this Thursday and took a printout of the law into my Drs office as they only just started with e-scropts and printouts. However, the info in differences you mention between the chains & independants all sounds like very good info.

    It's good for any pt. to report script filling errors. I disagree that most people are shorted rather than given too much, but believe that those are the cases we tend to hear about most.
  • I'm not too sure about that 72hr rule. It sounds like to get the hardcopy ASAP. If the pharmacist allows the emergency prescription, they're putting their license on the line. If they don't get the RX, it's their problem. I'm not sure if insurance companies would necessarily have a way of knowing whether the hardcopy was obtained or not. Some pharmacy systems don't even allow you to enter in a CII as anything but a hardcopy as the origin (with no workaround).

    The insurance company could audit the pharmacy for the hardcopy, but they usually only audit extremely expensive drugs and you have a while to submit the paperwork.

    Was this 72hr mandate told to you by the pharmacy or your insurance company? I've never heard of such a thing.
  • The 72 hr. mandate is from the insurance company, who won't reimburse for funds w/o the hard copy. The pharmacist obviously wasn't willing to risk it.
  • a rant ;)

    My 1st experience with a CVS pharm. My normal pharm (walmart) was out of my oxy. The head pharmacist at CVS took my info, script, insurance etc and said about an hr.

    I come back and same person checks me out and says AFTER I signed for meds "oh by the way your insurance only allows for 120 a month of these pills not 240". I said "how many did you give me" - 120 she all but yells at me. I explain to her that I have been on said med for x time, same dose, same insurance same everything. She responds with "sounds to me like someone is upset they aren't getting their DRUGS". Why don't you keep getting your DRUGS (says drugs with a very derogatory tone) at your usual place. Very nasty. I left.

    Called Dr next day and told him what happened, he asked me for the name of pharmacist on bottle and when I told him he told me that she hates anyone who uses this type of med and does this crap all the time.

    For insurance reasons my daughter (an adult) has to get her meds (same class as mine) at CVS and I often drop scripts & pick up meds for her. That lady is no longer there and the people that are there now are just nice as could be :D

    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 "have" been shorted, and when I told the pharmacy, they said, sorry nothing we can do about it. "IF" you leave the store with your meds - you are SOL. My pharmacy has given me the runaround on several things tho so I'm probably a little biased.
    I got an early doc appt to go to Vegas, and they refused to fill it. Then he LIED to me and said he tried to run it thru insurance and it was too early, and that he had called the insurance and they wouldn't fill it - well, I pay a lot of GD money for my insurance, to the tune of around 1,200 per month so i called them and they said NOBODY had tried to run it thru because it would have showed on their end and if it is for a vacation, they ALWAYS will fill it early. Yeah, I was pissed. I recently switched for those and a few other reasons because of one pharmacist. I had been there for years, but this guy came about a year ago and is nothing but a know-it-all, snot nosed little brat that thinks he owns the world. Looks like he's about 18, and acts like he's God. I shoulda gave him the ass whoopin' his mamma missed! Oh I was mad over the vacation thing - to flat out lie! He knew I caught his ass too and so did the others working there and whatever customers were standing around cuz as you may or may not have noticed - I hate liars and don't mince words about it!
  • I would have reported this guy to your insurance company, especially when he shorted you and told you you were SOL. There are pharmacists who are drug addicts, you know. That is why a lot of this stuff is so well-regulated. The pharmacist isn't supposed to be scooping your extra drugs into his pocket and then taking them home for recreational use. I think it happens more often than we want to know.

    Jon - good for you. Honesty is always the best policy, even if not that many people take notice. I keep thinking I'm Father Guido Sarducci, and I'm going to end up standing before God and be just 35¢ short. I don't wanna go there! ;P
    3 level spinal fusion, L3/4, L4/5, L5/S1, November 2008. Stiff, but I can walk.
  • my pharmacist always lectures me on getting meds early, trouble with dea etc. he says i can get meds up to 15% early which comes up to about 5-6 days early. when he gave me too much oxy i gave him script for fenatyl lollipops which were 10 days early and i told him i would pick them up in 10 days. well the next day they called and told me my fenatyl lollipops were ready to pic up. 10 days early not 5. go figure.that's all right i still like him even if he screws up occassonally
    I have 4 fusions from L5-3, the latest last May '12 where they fixed my disc that broke.They went through my side this time. I take 40 mg of oxycontin 4x a day and 4 fenatyl lollipops 300 micro gms 4x a day.
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