• Report: #502466

Complaint Review: Walgreens Pharmacy

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  • Submitted: Thu, October 01, 2009
  • Updated: Thu, December 13, 2012

  • Reported By: Jeanne — Painesville Twp Ohio USA
Walgreens Pharmacy
132 Richmond St Painesville, Ohio United States of America

Walgreens Pharmacy refusal to fill pain medication until day before i run out Painesville, Ohio

*Consumer Comment: Reading comprehension is your friend!

*UPDATE Employee: Wow :(

*Consumer Comment: sick n tired

*Consumer Comment: Pharmacy Techs Don't know the Federal Laws

*Consumer Suggestion: I don't see what the problem is...

*UPDATE EX-employee responds: Controlled meds

*General Comment: It's Federal Law

*Consumer Comment: YOU blew it

*Consumer Comment: YOU blew it

*UPDATE Employee: I am also an employee at walgreens pharmacy...

*Consumer Comment: Normal

*Consumer Comment: Okay...

*UPDATE Employee: i am a pharmacy tech at walgreens

*Consumer Comment: I know what you mean

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September 30, 2009


With prescription coverage decreasing and having to pay more out of pocket expense, I've been checking pharmacies near my home to see if prices fluctuate from store to store in order to find the pharmacy that will save me the most money. I take multiple prescribed meds due to many debilitating conditions of which I suffer.    


On September 30, 2009, I was issued a prescription by my Rheumatologist which I fill on a monthly basis.  Upon arrival at Walgreens located @ 162 Richmond St Painesville Ohio, I gave the pharmacist my prescription, which is a narcotic. The last time I filled this medication was September 9, 2009 at another pharmacy in my area.  Since Walgreens pharmacy was somewhat busy, I said I'd be back to pick it up sometime over the next few days.  Before I made it to the front entrance of the store, my last name was called over ther loud speaker, telling me to return to the pharmacy. Without hesitation, I returned to the pharmacy and waited for the pharmacist to approach me. In front of multiple patrons and staff, the female pharmacist announced she would not fill my "NARCOTICS"  because it was too early from the last date it was filled, which was September 9, 2009. Humiliated and shocked, I asked her to give me the prescription back (as I was thinking I'd never return to this store again because of the embarrassment of 30+ people looking at me like I was a "druggie")! As I stood there waiting for her to give me the written prescription back, I wondered what was taking so long.


I peeked around the corner and noticed this female writing IN HUGE BLACK LETTERS that the prescription should not be filled until October 8, 2009, a day before I run out of the medication. Then she proceeds to stamp an imprint on the back of the prescription that says WALGREENS PHARMACY 162 Richmond Street Painesville OH along with their phone number!  Because I was mortified, it never occurred to me that this was the same pharmacist who stated a few months ago, that I was filling my prescription a week after the date it was written, and I should "be out of pain" by then! Again, loud enough for staff and multiple customers to hear.  In addition to that, she stated she would have to call my doctor to make sure it was a "valid" prescription. This happend on a Friday after 6:00 pm; my doctors office was closed until Monday at 8:00 am. Since I waited until the last minute to fill it, I would've been completely out of meds until it was verified by my physician, whenever he had the availablility to speak with her. I guarantee, the pharmacist would've held on to it as long as possible just to infuriate me! I was extremely angry and demanded my prescription be given back to me (only that time she did not write anything on the prescription, so I was able to fill it at another pharmacy). 


My doctor monitors me extremely close. I see him, at minimum, every other month. Often, I see him several months in a row in order to address the problems from my progressive disease(s). His care also includes print-outs from multiple pharmacies to verify his patients are not trying to abuse the medications by running to different pharmacys to fill too early. He also demands unannounced drug screens by blood and urine taken in his office @ time of visit to see if any narcotics are being used that he doesnt prescribe (legal or illegal). I have been his patient since 2001, and have been on the same medication(s) since that point in time. He writes my prescriptions to be filled up to a week prior to running out of medication just in case any problems should arise from the drug store. On top of his faith in me, my insurance company allows refills up to 1 week prior to running out of medication. Somehow, the Walgreens Pharmacist seems to make her own rules and assumes the role of God while filling or not filling legally written prescriptions.  And now that I've had time to digest the incident, she has been nasty to me, in general, on several other occasions.  I must be a slow learner, but I guarantee, after she fills this medication that she has decorated with her magic markers, I will never return to that store for any reason!


Just in case anyone reading this has their prescriptions filled at this Walgreens, again located @ 162 Richmond St Painesville Oh, allow me to describe her physically in hopes you will recognize her if you choose to continue being their customer.  She's caucasion between the ages of 32-38, approx 5'7 and 160 lbs, with dark red/auburn long hair which ends slightly beyond her breasts. If you cant recognize her by that description, you'll certaintly recognize her by her deplorable attitude and unprofessionalism.  Your best bet is to take your prescription to another pharmacy(THATS NOT A WALGREENS) before you encounter her pathetic existence!


I cant wait to return to this pharmacy to have my prescription filled (since she defaced it with her coloring, I feel obligated to return to this store). However, prior to walking to the pharmacy, I will be sure to have her supervisor escort me to the pharmacy counter after I've given him an earfull regarding her deplorable respresentation of their store! And also showing him the bottle of pills I have from last months refill that's still halfway full!


Not everybody who's prescribed a narcotic is a junkie! Some of us actually are a  contributing part of society trying to manage the best we can. t


Thank you (if you read this entire report)!


This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 10/01/2009 01:07 AM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/Walgreens-Pharmacy/Painesville-Ohio-44077/Walgreens-Pharmacy-refusal-to-fill-pain-medication-until-day-before-i-run-out-Painesville-502466. 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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#1 Consumer Comment

Reading comprehension is your friend!

AUTHOR: Canofworms - ()

I know this is old but it INFURIATES me when people don't read and then make snap judgments about someone or something they know nothing about. 

First of all, to the last few faultless. pristine individuals who chastised the original commenter: . She stated, VERY CLEARLY, that she would be back "in a few days" to pick her meds up. Is everyone going to scream about filling it 4 or 5 days early??? If you are, youve NEVER experienced chronic, debilitating pain befor and you need to not even respond bc you have no clue what you're talking about. 

secondly, you can suck it for insinuating the commenter is a liar or a junkie... It's the other way around. a true junkie would have gobbled every single one of those and been begging fir more. 

Im a former abuser so I know what I'm talking about. 

Give it it a rest. I'm sure you have a lot of windows to keep clean in that glass house. 

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#2 UPDATE Employee

Wow :(

AUTHOR: RxEmployee - ()

I work for Walgreens pharmacy and I must say it sucks to see complaints like this! I have worked at many stores in this area and we pride ourselves on being kind and curtious to our customers. To hear the way some of you have been treated is just crazy! They should not have tried to humiliate you this way. The location I work at, everyone is so nice no matter what the situation is or how the customer is talking to us. We like to take care of people at the Walgreens I work for. If there is any sort of problem we work with the MD as well as the patient or insurance company to come to a resolution. There is no reason for pharmacists or techs to try and humiliate someone by broadcasting that their script is a few days too early! If our patients need it early for some reason (dosage change, going out of town, whatever) we do whatever we can to help them! We were not trained to belittle someone for the meds they need. We were trained to jump through hoops if we have to, to make sure our patients have what they need to make it through. We do not think everyone on pain medications are junkies. We know that there are people out there that really need them. And we know which patients or situations may be sucpicious. Those people and the people that are totally legit should not be handled the same way. I can not speak on behalf of my company just please know that we are not all total Jerks.

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#3 Consumer Comment

sick n tired

AUTHOR: jay(de:vn) - ()

    I am also a customer of walgreens i only go to the guy on the night shift because he is a sweet old man...I am goin to be 21 in a couple months but I have arthrtis real bad (i have bones of a 70yr old because of it), a joint tissue disease, lupus and a couple other things but u get the piont...i also get treated the same way by this guy around my age...i take my script the way im suppose to i even have some left over most of the time which my script is stronger then urs (its opana 10mg). but since im young they give me crappy looks which if they looked at my fingers they could tell there is something wrong with me considering i cant barely use them...but even when i get them filled two days early IF that young guy is workin is the only time i have trouble...to me if u go into any walgreens or cvs or any place like that they always have a problem...its like they r poutin cause they hate their life or something...but i havent ever had a problem with a mom n pop store...what i think is crappy u wasnt gonna get them right then U SAID U WOULD BE BACK IN A COUPLE DAYS...they should have called u back and yelled at u

 

but the people whom r junkies make it hard on the people who really do need meds

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#4 Consumer Comment

Pharmacy Techs Don't know the Federal Laws

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

First- yes- it was 9 days, but she clearly mentioned that she dropped it off and went to leave the store.  She wasn't trying to pick it up that day.  She even said she planned to come back in a few days to get it.  I do that with my insulin prescription all the time.  no one chases me back into the store to yell at me.

I am so very tired of hearing pharmacy techs - or even pharmacists - say that "federal law" and the "DEA states" things like " we can't fill your CII or CIII prescription until the full 30 days, etc. etc.  None of that is true.

Yes - there are state laws that vary widely on these types of narcotic drugs for pain.  And these can be more restrictive than the federal law.  But those of us with cancer or lupus or other chronic pain conditions are so tired of hearing Walgreens and CVS employees tout company policy as federal law.

Thank god for mom and pop places who explain the law to you, the insurance company policy to you and actually cite the source of their factual information.  There is a wonderful small shop here in Kansas that actually treats pain patients like people and not junkies.  As far as federal laws:

NO - the DEA and federal law does NOT require you to wait a full 30 days from one fill of a CII to another new fill.   Neither do most insurance companies.   Some states do have restrictive laws.  I don't live in one of them.   So if I my doctor says yes, my insurance company says yes, and the state and federal law all say yes- where the hell does a 20 year old tech get off telling my I have to wait until the 30th day because of "strict federal laws"   They accuse chronic pain patients of being junkies and they are just bold faced liars.  

NO - not every fill is by default a 30 day supply.  If my doctor writes me a script for 120 pills at 1 pill every 4 hours for pain - guess what - that is less than a 30 day supply.  It is 5-6 pills per day (depending on the sleep allowance aspect).   So 120/5 = 24 days.   Which means my next script written the exact same way....does not need to be held until 30 days.  that is 6 days of chronic pain with no medication.  Do the math.

It takes 30 minutes on the DEA websites and a 30 more on your state controlled substances sites to find out whether the pharmacy is calling company policy a "strict federal law."  If they lie to you - take your business elsewhere.   They are not your treating physician and they are certainly not the one crippled in bed unable to work or take care of your family.

Do you think they would do that to you if it was insulin that you needed?  Of course not.  Don't lie - just tell us your company won't let you.  The internet and government web pages call out the untruth pretty quickly.

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#5 Consumer Suggestion

I don't see what the problem is...

AUTHOR: Killaweeel - (United States of America)

I am a chronic pain patient. When I was 13, I fell and my back started to hurt. Over a year, I went to doctor to doctor trying to figure out why this pain that didn't break anything was causing pain to continue to last. I was at an orthopedic surgeons' office when he looked at my MRI and said, "you have arthritis in your spine and hips, that is the reason for your pain". As I'm sure someone with rheumatoid arthritis you are aware that your condition will progressively advance over the course of your lifetime. Mine advanced very slowly and went into remission until I was 20 and had mono over the holidays. I was working as a retail manager (60+ hrs a week) and was unable to get more than my ONE day off a week to rest. This is what my doctors believe caused my arthritis to go into overdrive after getting mono. Due to chronic pain, I see a pain management specialist and am prescribed 2 opiates a month (MS Contin or OxyContin and Roxicodone). Until 5 years ago when I started at the pain management clinic, I had no idea how serious these meds are. Before then, my family doctor scripted me 120 Percocet 10's a month and was fairly lax as far as early refills if I needed to take more for whatever reason (b/c I always called and got permission to do so BEFORE taking extra to get through flares), but it was never more than 3 days early! At the pain clinic, before seeing ANYONE, I was handed a stack of forms to sign. One was called an Opiate Management Contract AKA "a pain contract". This outlined their responsibilities to me and my responsibilities to them. In return for me abiding by the rules, they would treat my pain. One of the most important aspects of the contract are that I am given a prescription for a 28 day supply. If taken as prescribed, I shouldn't need to get it filled till the 27th day (one day before) and early refills aren't given for any reason! I also have to submit to a urine test ($500-$700 a pop) and a pill count whenever ANY member of their staff desires. In addition, I can't get any pain medication from any other doctors without them knowing beforehand. For example, I had appendicitis (didn't have it removed as it was caused by inflamation, not an infection) and at discharge was given a prescription for Vicodin. I didn't get it filled, but still had to call them to let them know I was given a prescription. They told me not to get it filled and to bring it to them at my next visit to be destroyed. Sounds strict I know, but it also helps me. I am getting several teeth pulled next month. My oral surgeon isn't familiar with managing pain beyond the scope of a Percocet 5mg. My pain doc knows this and has already contacted the oral surgeon to suggest how he treats post op pain for me (increase in the Roxicodone for 3 days after the surgery) as we all know the Percocet won't cut it in someone with opiate tollerance who lives with a pain level of 4 with the meds and a 7 without.

I am 25 and as a result have gotten questioned by pretty much every pharmacist why I am going to a pain clinic and taking these meds at my age. It used to annoy me, but I am used to it. I explain to them my condition and why I am on these specific medications. On every single one of my prescriptions it says Do NOT fill before xx/xx/xxxx!!! I am able to get the paper prescription whenever, but can't get it filled until the date on there. B/c of this, I can't take my script to Walgreens or any pharmacy to get it filled whenever I desire (9 days for example). I try to get my pain scripts filled either at pain management or in the pharmacy in the basement of the medical office. This is b/c I am on an odd strength of the meds and also b/c I don't like the stares that I get from some of the pharmacists and techs. At another Walgreens (Montrose, OH), I would get into an argument with one of the pharmacists on a monthly basis. I would come specifically at midnight on the day that my script was due just b/c I didn't like the way that she talked to me the first time I had dealt with her. Due to my work schedule, it is easier for me to get my prescriptions filled on my way home from work (1130p-1a) than it is in the morning. This is b/c mornings are VERY rough for me and I wouldn't be able to make it to the pharmacy without my pain medication. For well over a year, I would get my prescription filled at midnight on the due date by another pharmacist who never gave me any attitude and was very polite to me. She got promoted to another store and the new night pharmacist (Mira) put up a fight with me. I brought up how the other pharmacist had no problem filling them for me at midnight and to check the computer to verify my story. She verified what I was saying and reluctantly filled them after warning me she was going to call my doctor to tell them that I was getting my scripts filled at midnight. My doctors office was very well aware of me doing this as I asked for permission to do so and they notated it in my chart. The next month, I returned to the pharmacy and she wouldn't fill them for me. She said that it was against the law for her to do so. I asked her if it was illegal why she filled it last month and why her co-worker filled them at midnight for over a year. She then filled the prescriptions. I would return monthly to get them filled by her just b/c I wanted to prove a point I would still be getting them filled there, but they no longer accept express scripts. This experience did show me that there is a lot of prejudice against pain patients, especially younger ones.

It is a federal law for a C2 not to be filled more than 2 days before the due date. If a doctor approves an early fill, the pharmacist can use his/her discretion to fill it or not. The reason for this is b/c these drugs have a HUGE abuse potential. If you are trying to get a script filled 9 days early, there is a problem. Also, why not use the same pharmacy every month (or try to). It sounds like you have insurance, so why does the price of the medication matter? Your co-pay would be the same regardless. If you do pay cash for your scripts, why not use a pharmacy that price matches. I understand that there is a huge variation in prices between pharmacies for their cash prices. But, many pharmacies will price match other pharmacies after calling to verify the price and that they have the drug in stock.

I am sorry that you were upset by your experience, however, the pharmacist was doing her job. There is NO way that my pharmacy would fill a script 9 days early without some very good reason (stolen w/ a police report) and even then my insurance wouldn't pay for it.
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#6 UPDATE EX-employee responds

Controlled meds

AUTHOR: bumpkin - (USA)

I'm sorry to hear of your ailments.  I am no longer a tech. at Walgreen due to a move, but I am a tech for another company.  All I can say is that they did things by the book.  There are MANY controls and Federal requirements regarding filling meidcations esp. controlled meds.  A lot of it is for customer's safety.  Yes, it is a inconvenience to some, but in the long run it's better to have a customer POed instead of ODed from misuse.  Though I don't doubt your story, I am wondering why you shop around different pharms for prices when you have insurance that would cover part of the cost anyways? 

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#7 General Comment

It's Federal Law

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

I am currently a pharmacy technician at Wal-Mart. I can assure you that the pharmacist that handled your prescription made only one mistake.  She should have pulled you to the consultation area and explained the situation to you in a more private setting. Every thing else she did was simply her job. Laws state that controlled substances can be filled only two days early. As long as you take the medication as directed by your doctor, you should not run out before your next available fill. It's okay to shop around for the best prices, as long as once you commit to a pharmacy to fill it you keep the prescription there (and are sure that you make the pharmacy aware of other medications you may be on). Especially with a narcotics prescription, since they are heavily regulated and can only be transferred one time and one time only for the duration of the prescription. Your pharmacist was not trying to call you a druggie or publicly humiliate you. Pharmacies see so many fake prescriptions and so many people who are trying to get early fills illegally, that they must check on such things. It is their license, reputation, and livelihood on the line in situations like that, so they WILL take the time to call your doctor and verify that early fills are okay to give.  It is nothing against you personally, and I wish you the best of luck in managing your condition.
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#8 Consumer Comment

YOU blew it

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

9 days is at minimum 2 days too early.....especially for a narcotic.

You had filled that script at another pharmacy less than 3 weeks prior and were attempting to refill it at yet another pharmacy yet again.....early.(9 days)

Then you state that you didnt care it wasnt a big deal because you had half a bottle left (or something of that effect)

With the last remark said.....why were you getting all pissy because they told you it was too early?

 What that remark also tells a trained ear is you're hoarding your meds and THAT is a RED FLAG to any doctor or pharmacist.

You are not near as innocent as you seek to appear to the readers here.  I have to wonder what is going on that you're not saying. Let me just tell ya....none of the readers here are blind......they KNOW EXACTLY what you're NOT saying so you're not conning anyone.
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#9 Consumer Comment

YOU blew it

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

9 days is at minimum 2 days too early.....especially for a narcotic.

You had filled that script at another pharmacy just a few days prior and were attempting to refill it at another pharmacy yet again.....early.

Then you state that you didnt care it wasnt a big deal because you had half a bottle left (or something of that kind)

With the last remark said.....why were you getting all pissy because they told you it was too early? What that remark also tells a trained ear is  you're hoarding your meds and THAT is a RED FLAG to any doctor or pharmacist.
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#10 UPDATE Employee

I am also an employee at walgreens pharmacy...

AUTHOR: aaaaaaaaa - (USA)

It is standard Walgreens procedure to prevent the selling of prescription based narcotics until the current prescription has expired.
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#11 Consumer Comment

Normal

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

This is normal. Walgreens is just following the rules. Most insurance companies will not allow you to fill a prescription early. You had a 30 day supply, you should be able to come a day or so before and fill out. You were trying to come over a week early. I'm on medication that is not a narcotic, its a breathing medication, and I cannot fill the prescription at wal-mart until a day or two before the 30 days.

These rules are laid down by the insurance companies in compliance with federal law. They are not discriminating against you, they are just following the rules. Just have your doctor file your prescription directly with the pharmacy and then there's no issue with it.
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#12 Consumer Comment

Okay...

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

He writes my prescriptions to be filled up to a week prior to running out of medication just in case any problems should arise from the drug store. On top of his faith in me, my insurance company allows refills up to 1 week prior to running out of medication.

You went in on September 30th.  That is 9 days before your other prescrpition would have run out.  Last time I checked 9 is greater than 7.  So while they say they will allow this UP TO a week in advance you attempted to fill it more than a week in advance.  So when they called you back they were correct, it was too early to have it filled.  On top of that you had the previous one filled at another pharmacy.  Not saying that you were doing anything wrong but with both of those you have to see where they could see a possible problem.  So I am not going to go into her attitude as I was not there so do not know if that is the entire story or if it has been slanted in your favor. 

But there is one other strange item.  This is that with 9 days left you stated you had half of the pills left.  If that is the case why are you so worried about running out before the 9th? 

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#13 UPDATE Employee

i am a pharmacy tech at walgreens

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

i can tell you right now that it is a federal law that you cannot fill narcotic medication and other certain medications to soon. thats why it says 30 day supply. that is enough to get you through till your next prescription refill. The reason why she wrote on it and stamped it is to prevent  you from walking out to another pharmacy and refilling it there. It is a safety procedure. To many tim s i have seen people come in with fake scripts and try to get them filled. What you dont know is that they went to 3 other pharmacies trying to get them filled. The pharamcist was doing her job.  Did you ever ask why she was doing what she was doing, instead of getting indignant.  She called your doctor because like you said you shop around at different pharmacies to see about lower prices . Guess what if you are not in their system they are going to call your doctor to verify . Especially on a controlled substance. Take a chill pill. Its for your benefit. With all the people writting fake scripts out there that is one of the reason why medication is so expensive.  She is doing you a favor going thriough all these checks.  Again i reiterate if your medication was filled at another pharmacy besides walgreens you are not in there system. STOP GOING TO DIFFERENT PHARMACIES!!! that might help. guaranteed if you went back when you are supposed to fill your script you would have no problem. Why are you filling your script so soon anyways?  And no one looks at you like a druggie when a pharmacist says they cannot fill your narcotics. Its not like your buying meth, get over yourself.  Everyhting they did is in the confines of the law and what she is supposed to do.
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#14 Consumer Comment

I know what you mean

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

I had virtually the same experience here. I saw my rheumatologist and he gave me a written prescription for pain medication. I decided to switch from CVS to Walgreens after hearing such great things about their convienient drive-through window. Since I had a few from my previous prescription, I didn't bring in the new one for a few days. Once I did I had a heck of a time since my doctor wrote additional info on the script and they questioned it. I told them it was the same type of medication as CVS provided and even showed them the bottle, but they still insisted on calling the doctor. Even though they could have confirmed it, they treated me like a criminal until the doctor called them back and even then they treated me like scum. 2 weeks pass and I called in to get a refill, and I was told it would be ready in 2 hours and they gave me a price. I drove over and gave my info and then the technician starts giving me this look - I just knew it was trouble. She informed me that they would NOT fill it early for any reason and I would need to contact my doctor. Though I was upset that they told me it was ready to go 2 hours earlier, I said that I would contact my doctor the next day and see what could be done. I called the next day and I was informed that Walgreens sent the doctor a fax stating that I was beligerent and combative and demanding the prescription. Also, they absolutely would NOT refill it until 30 days from the pick up of the previous prescription.

Now my doctor is treating me like garbage and is convinced that i'm up to no good, and would not listen to me. If Walgreens had not interferred I could have explained that I took additional doses to deal with a toothache I had developed from a car accident a few days earlier (bit down hard after impact). Also, he would have learned that I was not out of medication, but just trying to get the refill early since my pain doesnt exactly have a set schedule. Thanks to Walgreens I spent additional time in pain, and my relationship with my rheumatologist is severly damaged. I am in the process of having my refills switched to CVS and getting documentation stating that I no longer have an account with Walgreens so my doctor doesn't think I am jumping from pharmacy to pharmacy.

I went to Walgreens hoping it would be more convienent, only to find that it was far from that. And one quick little thing - once the prescription was ready after the full time elapsed, I noticed that the refill count listed was off by one. I wonder where those pills went, uppity Walgreens employees? Enjoy your investigation and impending inventory!

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