• Report: #220925

Complaint Review: Walmart Pharmacy

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  • Submitted: Thu, November 16, 2006
  • Updated: Sun, July 13, 2008

  • Reported By:Pine Bluff Arkansas
Walmart Pharmacy
Olive St Pine Bluff, Arkansas U.S.A.

Walmart Pharmacy ripoff Bait and switch Pine Bluff Arkansas

*UPDATE Employee: It's the new CFC laws -- inhalers have a new propellant now

*Consumer Comment: It was probably discontinued because of new federal laws

*UPDATE Employee: $4.00 Prescriptions

*Consumer Comment: You are wrong

*Consumer Suggestion: Exact only if doctor specifies no generic

*Consumer Comment: How is this Walmart's fault?

*Consumer Comment: How is this Walmart's fault?

*Consumer Comment: How is this Walmart's fault?

*Consumer Comment: Albuterol is the drug

*Consumer Suggestion: its not discontinued

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November 13, 2006 my daughter had a prescription called into Walmart for Albuterol inhaler as she has asthma. I had seen this on their $4 list. When she went to pick it up, she was told it had been "discontinued" and instead had a $40 inhaler she had never used before. I hope this is not a "bait and switch" tactic being used on others as well. The list needs to be updated if medicines are discontinued.

Cynthia
Pine Bluff, Arkansas
U.S.A.

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 11/16/2006 01:14 PM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/Walmart-Pharmacy/Pine-Bluff-Arkansas-71603/Walmart-Pharmacy-ripoff-Bait-and-switch-Pine-Bluff-Arkansas-220925. The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year.

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REBUTTALS & REPLIES:
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Updates & Rebuttals

#1 UPDATE Employee

It's the new CFC laws -- inhalers have a new propellant now

AUTHOR: Moriah - (U.S.A.)

I do work for WM but not in the pharmacies, I work taking care of computers. But I am familiar with this issue.

The propellant in asthma inhalers, for a very long time, was a CFC compound.

The CFC compounds have been found to damage the ozone layer. All inhalers now have to be formulated with new propellants.

What many companies did was market their new inhaler as a brand name, like Proventil HFA. Many companies made these before the new rules took effect, so they were brand inhalers instead of generics.

Another thing that one company decided to do was market Xopenex as a metered-dose inhaler. Brief chemistry lesson -- most organic compounds including medicines have a "left-handed" and a "right-handed" form. They're the same compound but their structure is reversed, and they usually have different biochemical effects. They are called "isomers" of each other. You may have seen the prefix "dextro" or "levo" on a medication -- that's referring to which isomer of the chemical the medicine is, if it's the right-handed or left-handed type. Since in many medicines one isomer is practically inert, it's just fine to give the medicine without trying to separate the left-handed ones from the right-handed ones. That is called a "racemic mixture". It's cheaper to give it that way instead of purifying it.

Albuterol is usually given as a racemic mixture because dextro-albuterol doesn't seem to have a lot of effects. Levo-albuterol is the compound that actually opens up your lungs. A company decided to purify albuterol long ago and marketed the resulting levo-albuterol as "Xopenex", and it was usually used in a nebulizer or "updraft", usually for small babies or children that had severe asthma. They noticed that some people did much better with Xopenex instead of plain albuterol -- so some may be sensitive to dextro-albuterol, or just do better with the levo form only.

When Xopenex was marketed as an inhaler instead of the liquid form for an updraft, they only made HFA inhalers, not CFC inhalers. So many doctors decided to switch their patients to Xopenex, especially since the company was giving out lots of free samples and some patients did do better on it.

The side effect of getting rid of all of the CFC inhalers has been an increase in price to the consumer for a medication that is absolutely essential for some people. New generic HFA inhalers must wait until the patent has expired on the HFA formulation. ProAir HFA is likely going to be the first one that has a patent that expires, sometime in 2009.

I was lucky. When my doctor switched me, I expected to have to go from paying $5 for an inhaler to $45. My insurance is covering Xopenex at $5 even though it is a brand-name item.

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Wal-Mart stopped covering the albuterol inhalers in the $4 prescriptions. They cover the oral dose and the nebulizer solution, but not the inhalers, because there is no generic available now.

Proventil has a "transition program" to assist patients to afford their medication.

https://www.proventilhfa.com/phfa/application?namespace=transkit&event=transkit&web_program_id=00000020?PID=0001104901000000

ProAir, a brand that may be cheaper at some pharmacies, also has a transition program:

https://www.proairhfa.com/discountcard.aspx

They also have a way to get it at reduced cost or free.

Good luck.
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#2 Consumer Comment

It was probably discontinued because of new federal laws

AUTHOR: 8675309 - (U.S.A.)

All inhalers are being discontinued and then reproduced using new canisters, as the old version wasn't 'economically' friendly.

That might be what the problem is.
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#3 UPDATE Employee

$4.00 Prescriptions

AUTHOR: Aipayne - (U.S.A.)

I agree the list is a Tad confusing I myself have Asthma and need Alubuterol I however went to the Pharmcy and asked all the Nebulizer Albuterol is $4.00. So I get that when I can. Now then. They used to have the old version of Albuterol for $10.00 its the one they discontinued perhaps this one was on the list for the stores who may just carry that.

You need to understand these lists come from Home office we dont sit and make them we are to busy trying to please our ungrateful customers you can always check and if a drug is to high for yuo go elsewhere. I pay right around that for those new inhalers and insurance doesnt pick up but a fraction of the price.

Another thing to all you reading this. Not all Wal-Mart employees are as dumb as you think some of us make the choice to work their for the sake of our children because we would rather be parttime working moms and be home alot with them then to be career women you would be surprised what all you find there retired Military, college degrees, etc etc so next time you want to get ugly think about it you may be screaming at someone who once was in iraq serving for you!
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#4 Consumer Comment

You are wrong

AUTHOR: Tallulah-phoebe - (U.S.A.)

When a doctor prescribes a drug, a generic can be given unless specified otherwise. The generic drug has the same exact chemical properties as the brand-name drug, hence it is considered to beh THE SAME DRUG. You cannot bring in a prescription for Albuterol and then be given "a different drug" such as Xopenex -- you can only be given Albuterol OR its generic equivalent.
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#5 Consumer Suggestion

Exact only if doctor specifies no generic

AUTHOR: Steven - (U.S.A.)

They only have to prescribe exact drug if the doctor notes it on the prescription. Some insurance companies tend to favor generic over the prescribed drug. Insurance may charge more if the generic is available but not used.
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#6 Consumer Comment

How is this Walmart's fault?

AUTHOR: Peter - (U.S.A.)

How is it Walmart's fault when a drug is discontinued? Do you think they manufacturer their own drugs right there in the store?

No - drugs are manufactured by various drug companies and then purchased by Walmart to sell in their pharmacies.

If your favorite drug is discontinued, then you need to take it up with the manufacturer as Walmart has no control over that.

If Walmart offers you a generic version of the discontinued drug, they are only trying to help you. If the generic drug is not to your liking, take it up with your doctor who can provide a prescription for something more suitable for you.

NO STORE CAN LEGALLY "BAIT AND SWITCH" WHEN PRESCRIPTION DRUGS ARE CONCERNED! THEY CAN ONLY DISPENSE THE ***EXACT*** DRUG AS PRESCRIBED BY YOUR DOCTOR!!
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#7 Consumer Comment

How is this Walmart's fault?

AUTHOR: Peter - (U.S.A.)

How is it Walmart's fault when a drug is discontinued? Do you think they manufacturer their own drugs right there in the store?

No - drugs are manufactured by various drug companies and then purchased by Walmart to sell in their pharmacies.

If your favorite drug is discontinued, then you need to take it up with the manufacturer as Walmart has no control over that.

If Walmart offers you a generic version of the discontinued drug, they are only trying to help you. If the generic drug is not to your liking, take it up with your doctor who can provide a prescription for something more suitable for you.

NO STORE CAN LEGALLY "BAIT AND SWITCH" WHEN PRESCRIPTION DRUGS ARE CONCERNED! THEY CAN ONLY DISPENSE THE ***EXACT*** DRUG AS PRESCRIBED BY YOUR DOCTOR!!
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#8 Consumer Comment

How is this Walmart's fault?

AUTHOR: Peter - (U.S.A.)

How is it Walmart's fault when a drug is discontinued? Do you think they manufacturer their own drugs right there in the store?

No - drugs are manufactured by various drug companies and then purchased by Walmart to sell in their pharmacies.

If your favorite drug is discontinued, then you need to take it up with the manufacturer as Walmart has no control over that.

If Walmart offers you a generic version of the discontinued drug, they are only trying to help you. If the generic drug is not to your liking, take it up with your doctor who can provide a prescription for something more suitable for you.

NO STORE CAN LEGALLY "BAIT AND SWITCH" WHEN PRESCRIPTION DRUGS ARE CONCERNED! THEY CAN ONLY DISPENSE THE ***EXACT*** DRUG AS PRESCRIBED BY YOUR DOCTOR!!
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#9 Consumer Comment

Albuterol is the drug

AUTHOR: John - (U.S.A.)

and there are a few manufacturers making it. I was quite partial to one that got discontinued myself and got stuck with I think Glaxo's version. It just wasn't the same.
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#10 Consumer Suggestion

its not discontinued

AUTHOR: Amarie - (U.S.A.)

i dont know about where you live but i live in tn and my son just got his albuteral inhaler on monday so its not discontinued here
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