Walmart 12300 Lake June Rd.
Balch Springs, Texas United States of America
Walmart Pharmacy staff unwilling to fill prescriptions for antibiotics and gave no clear reason for doing so. Balch Springs, Texas
THIS IS A LONG ONE...
I called the Walmart pharmacy located in Balch Springs, Texas after receiving a message from the hospital M.D. stating that a prescription for an antibiotic had been called in. My little brother had been released from the hospital the night before after being admitted with pneumonia.
I called the pharmacy and was first told that they did not have a record of the script in the computer system. I then asked the technician to please consult with the pharmacist and she put me on hold. Another employee answered the phone twice and I explained why I was on hold. After being on hold approximately 25 minutes total I hung up, called called back and asked to speak to the pharmacist directly. I explained my time on hold and told him all I needed to know was whether or not the prescription had been called in. He told me it was in fact called in but not filled because the patient was not on file.
I then answered all the questions the Rph asked, provided a call back number, and informed him I would be paying cash. (The rx's were included in the $4 generic plan) This all took place between 10 and 10:40am. I was told the script would be filled as soon as possible. I finally go to the pharmacy to pick up the prescription at about 2pm. I figured they'd had enough time to fill the rx's. I was informed that the scripts were not filled because the doctor's identifying numbers did not match what they had on file. No one had tried to contact me to inform me of the issue even though there was a lapse of about 3 hours. I asked what had been done to correct the problem and the tech told me they had tried but could not reach the doctor. I asked for the number and called myself. It was a voice mail service so I left a message for the prescribing MD.
I then asked what "identifying numbers" she was referring to and was told they needed the doctor's DEA. Now in the state of Texas a doctor is required to provide a DEA number for all controlled medication. The prescriptions the doctor called in were for an antibiotic and an anti-inflammatory. I informed the tech she could process the prescription using the hospital's DEA (I am a CPhT and have processed prescriptions this way before). She told me she could not because the doctor's i.d. HAD to match. I told her I was familiar with pharmacy operations and it is perfectly legal to process with the hospital's DEA because the rx's were not for controlled substances. She then became very rude saying "well not all systems are the same and my pharmacist said we cannot fill this prescription unless the DEA matches." Now as a pharm tech I understand that not all systems are the same but the law is the law regardless of the pharmacy's system. And the law does NOT require a DEA number for non-controlled medication. An insurance carrier can but I was paying cash.
In the end I called my pharmacy to have the rx's transferred. I had to use his insurance and paid a bit more but at least I got the medications he needed to recover from the infection. His insurance did in fact require a DEA so the pharmacy used the hospital's DEA (as I had suggested at Walmart). I can honestly say I will never use Walmart pharmacy again. I know that one bad experience doesn't mean all are the same but this had to do with the health and well-being of my family. Who in their right mind would deny an antibiotic to a patient with pneumonia? The doctor did end up returning my call and I was informed he never received as message from the pharmacy. So while they may have called they never bothered to let the him know of the problem. They just found it easier to let me know he "could not be reached"
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