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Pharmacy problems -- the new struggle in Pain Management!

I'm sure we've all experienced problems with a pharmacy at one time or another if you take narcotics. If you happen to live in Florida as I do, then you definitely have experienced such problems. If you've read any of my posts, most of you know about my issue with losing the use of my pain pump due to a blocked catheter. That has caused me the need to return to oral medications that have been mostly ineffective. I get a script for an extended release med along with an immediate release drug. Each time one or both haven't worked at all and I have to return in a week, two weeks or month to get something different or a higher dose. Each time my return to the pharmacy has resulted in raised eyebrows, along with an inquisition. And each time I dread more and more having to go in there and I often leave in frustration and tears.
Well, after my most recent grilling by the pharmacist, I began thinking. For some reason (and I can't remember why) the head pharmacist had given me her email address a couple years back. I didn't know if it even still was a good email address. I thought, why not contact her and let her know what's going on and see if we can resolve this somehow. So I wrote her a couple paragraphs explaining what had been going on, how it had been affecting me and asking for her help. Surprisingly, she left me a very nice voice email saying she would like to discuss things with me and provided me with a day and time to best have this discussion. We had our meeting 2 days later and I expressed how painful this situation had become and also told her my dr had also suggested I move away from her pharmacy and go to a local family-run compounding pharmacy that he felt would be more accomodating. I explained I didn't want to change as I had been with them for 12 years and not only got my narcotics there but at least 12 to 15 other medications on a regular basis. She then explained to me about the changes in laws and procedures on their part and also told me that many doctors are resistant to these changes and feel that anything they write as a prescription should be honored without question, but said those rules no longer existed and while the drs' orders were once absolute, now the pharmacist has a duty both legally and morally to question anything that seems unusual or excessive but also said there's no reason why those things can't be worked out among the dr, pharmacist and patient with a little communication. She then told me what to do any time I needed to have a prescription changed early or additional meds are required. It wasn't complicated and mostly just required me to keep a handwritten or typed chart of what was taking place, have the dr initial or sign off on it and then provide it to the pharmacist along with the new prescription to be scanned in their system. That way everyone's needs are taken into account.
Regardless of what works, my point is if you're going through the same things I've been experiencing with your pharmacy, go in or call the pharmacy manager and discuss your concerns and needs with them. Don't assume they just want to pick on you or single you out. Who knows; you may luck out like I did and be able to find a way to work things out with your pharmacy so you can avoid the upset it causes each time. You have nothing to lose and everything to gain in this regard. It has taken a huge weight off my shoulders.
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Comments

  • Speaking with the head pharmacist was a good move. I have a great relationship with the two lead pharmacists where I get my meds filled and I always keep them apprised of my situation. When I first moved my account to their store I had a talk with them and explained my medical history, treatment plan and past pharmacology. They talked to my doctor's office and everything has gone very smoothly. We're moving across town in a few weeks and I'm faced with the decision of do I move my account to the branch by my new house and hope it works out or stick with the branch I've been going to for years and with which I have zero problems? It's a shame we're faced with it as in issue.
    º lumbar spinal fusion
    º spinal cord stimulator
    º multiple decompressions
    º lumbar laminectomy
    º osteoarthritis
    º I am not a doctor nor am I giving medical advice
  • I can relate to this! Whenever I go to fill my RX for my Klonopin or Percocet I get this look... it's like they are thinking I am out of control or something. It's ridiculous and it has came to the point to where I dread going to get my meds. A few times they even called my doctor to "double check" which she found weird! It sucks!
  • My pharmacy can't seem to process it when my pain management doctors call in or fax more than one ex at a time, which is every month. They will fill one and then tell me that they'll call my doctor to verify the rest. After they put me into cymbalta withdrawal the second time, I gave up and weaned off of it. They also don't seem to understand that my fentanyl patch is a 30 day supply and many months have 31 days. So, for example, if I fill my meds on the 20th of one month, they won't let me fill them until the 20th of the next month. The result is one days a month with not just feeling 100% of my actual pain but also the added pain of withdrawal. It's sad that we're treated like junkies when we're only taking our legally prescribed medications to try to bring our pain levels down enough to function. Yet, actual addicts and people who take them to get high have a much easier time getting them. The second time with the cymbalta withdrawal, the pharmacy tech said that the reason they had to verify was "we have to treat everyone the same bc some people are addicts". This was after the withdrawal had sent me to the e.r. and almost resulted in me being hospitalized. It turned out that they had not called my doctor at all!! As I (FINALLY!!!) picked it up I told her that No, they do not treat everyone the same and that if I really were an "addict" they would have sent me to detox to make sure withdrawal didn't kill me. And that the next time their incompetence sent me to the hospital, they could pay for it.
  • SavageSavage United StatesPosts: 5,960
    edited 11/27/2015 - 6:57 AM
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  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 10,065
    is something any pharmacy should be able to handle. Since I've been on different medications over the years, I have never run into a problem with that.

    The pharmacist and all pharmacy technicians tell me that they automatically handle that situation. Its in their computer and while accessing the insurance records everything is fine.

    But I would imagine you have to use a pharmacy big enough to be able to tap into the proper internet resources.
    I know some small ones, still rely on the phone.
    Ron DiLauro Veritas-Health Forums Manager
    I am not a medical professional. I comment on personal experiences
    You can email me at: rdilauro@veritashealth.com
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