• Report: #406936
Complaint Review:


  • Submitted: Thu, January 01, 2009
  • Updated: Sun, December 18, 2011

  • Reported By:Wioodway Texas


*Consumer Comment: That person was rude

*Consumer Comment: HIPPA

*Consumer Comment: All things considered.

*UPDATE EX-employee responds: Just the facts, ma'am...

*Consumer Comment: Y'all don't know if the tech was really rude or not

* : It may seem logical to you...

*Consumer Comment: But there was no valid prescription...

*Consumer Comment: Shaun and your point really is ?

*Consumer Comment: I am a Walgreens Customer

*Consumer Comment: Jeez...

*Author of original report: HIPPA VIOLATIONS at Walgreens Pharmacy located on the corner of Estates and Hewitt drive in Woodway, Tx 76712

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WALGREENS on the corner of Estates Drive and Hewitt in Woodway, TX.

It was New Year's Eve, 12-31-08. My refill was not valid until Monday, 1-5-09. Thursday was New Years Day, On 1-3-09 I was going to visit my brother in law in another city because he has stage 4 lung cancer, I was not sure I would be coming home on 1-5-09 so I called and requested the doctor to refill the prescription. I have never asked that this prescription be refilled ahead of time before. But I was hoping that it could be refilled by Saturday 9am before I left to go to my brother in law. Due to the Holiday, and the weekend coming up, I asked for a refill permission on 12-31-08.

I went to Walgreens 9101 Woodway Dr, Woodway, TX 76712 to inquire about the refill. Rhonda Cate was working. She asked me what I needed and she could not find it, so she looked it up and yelled out to me in front of about 5 customers all standing behind me, "It is too soon! This is a controlled substance. YOU had 120 of these!" Rhonda Cate did not tell me that the doctor had approved the prescription for Jan 5, 2009. She left me to believe that I had to start all over again on Monday 1-5-09 the process of getting the prescription filled, faxing the doctor and waiting for his approval on Monday 1-5-09.

I was so embarrassed. I could not look at anyone, but they were certainly looking at me in a critical way. I called back after I got home and reported the incident, the head pharmacist Jenny Goff came to the phone and said, "It has been very busy here all day, and people are coming in to get prescriptions before the doctor's offices close for the holiday and weekend." Jenny apologized and said, "I know that is no excuse for they way she spoke to you but..........." Jenny Goff told me that the doctor had approved the medication and I asked her if I could pick it up on Monday. SHe said "Just tell them you will be picking it up on Monday. She made excuses for the rude pharmacy tech, Rhonda Cate. I doubt if Jenny even reprimanded her. Rhonda Cate has always been curt, and discourteous in the past. She does not care what she says in front of other customers. She has done it before and this time it was even worse.

I got to thinking - this is a HIPPA Violation. So I called back to speak to Jenny but they said she was gone on vacation for 12 days and I could call Jenny Goff again after she returned from her vacation in 12 days. The clerk who told me this was not courteous either.

Wioodway, Texas

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 01/01/2009 11:37 AM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/reports/walgreens-pharmacy-rhonda-cate/woodway-texas-76712/walgreens-pharmacy-rude-employee-rhonda-cate-head-pharmacistjenny-goff-hippa-violation-406936. 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

That person was rude

AUTHOR: Steve - (USA)

I agree with you.  In most states, pharmacy information is private and protected.  The person helping you should have pulled u to the side and told you the info.  Most pharmacies do that so that they cannot be held responsible for revealing personal info.

I agree she should have never told the other customers what the medicine was and that it was too early.  Thats the kind of information no one else should know.  Its called privacy people.

Also, why do these pharmacists treat everyone who comes in with a valid pain prescription like they are some addict or junkie off the street.  Thats none of their business.  I hate the way pharmacies have a god complex just like the doctors.  They should just fill the med and move on.  Its not their job to pass judgement on people and treat them badly.  I go to the pharmacy to feel better and get the meds i need, no to get preached at from the pharmacy pulpit.

As far as i know its against the law for a pharmacy employee to reveal any info about a patient to the general public.  Thats a violation of civil rights.  Although i dont know that u could do anything about it, it would take too long and be very expensive.  Maybe u could just switch to another pharmacy, or another chain altogether?  Just my two cents.  Best of luck and i hope u feel better.
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#2 Consumer Comment


AUTHOR: El Bartender - (United States of America)

First and foremost those comments by no means violated any HIPPA violations. An example of a HIPA viloation would be stating the name and condition of the above named consumer. Was the comment in bad taste, yes. Now all emotions put aside from being "fair" and doctors being "graded". Laws where made to protect the patient's health being priority. The patient could have simply had the rx transfered to the nearest walgreens pharmacy and picked up at the APPOINTED time. If unable to accomodate, try alternative methods of pain relief ( ice/heat therapy, otc nsaids i.e) The mere fact the the consumer used " visiting a brother with stage 4 cancer" card is disgusting and sways from the problem at hand, which we've established is not a HIPPA violation but with the root cause not to be speculated. Before any angry ideals are formed, know that im in the healthcare industry and see this on a day to day basis. It does not mean pain is not real as it is only subjective to the person in question. But the same is told to those who frequent ERs and clinics; the law is the law.
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#3 Consumer Comment

All things considered.

AUTHOR: south28 - (USA)

Your response is shocking ,.. no one can group everyone into any one category.  You just grouped every customer into this lieing category.  That regardless of how they are handled, they will just twist it and utterly lie for the sake of being the 'victim'.

This isn't true.

I've been treated horribly by Walgreens before.  I'm generally an easy going person, a peacemaker in most cases.  But when someone crosses the line, I don't care their 'position'.  I am a 3rd Year medical student myself, so soon to be an "M.D." -- Does that give me any creedence in this matter?  No.

I would dare say alot of us have had managerial experience or at least customer service experience.  Yes, some customers are beyond controllable and way out of line,.. but some are justified.. and we know it.  Yet, alot of people will for unknown reasons stand up for a company that does them no favors.

In this case,.. rights were violated.  Does it warrant a law suit.  Heck no.

But, the tone of voice should never be raised on the employee's side.  Even if a customer is being belligerent.  The best way to handle such a situation/customer is to remain extra calm, try to calm the person.. and be logical/rational -- and repeat yourself with that logic.  IF it gets beyond your control, call the authorities.  But this wasn't that type of situation.

It sounded like the employee divulged unecessarily the patients/customers medication 'type' for the purpose of demeaning.  This is totally unecessary. 

As another said -- People who are in some of the worst conditions, chronically, imaginable.. have some of the lowest qualities of life not only have to deal with doctors being stingy and undertreated said pain.. but also secondarily, dealing with pharmacists, pharmacy techs, and so on that want to further 'judge' them for needing to take hydrocodone, oxycodone, or worse yet.. gasp, fentanyl.  If the medication is needed because of a painful condition -- then mercy , if anything, should be shown.  The techs and pharmacists should have compassion for the person.. not vengeance. 

Sadly, this isn't the way it is. 

If this person needed their insulin.. it would be expedited. 

But a pain medication -- no 'favors' are done,.. beyond this pharmacists or techs sometimes go out of their way to make it harder on these patients.

Generally insurance will allow a refill at the LATEST 80% through a prescription.  So for a 10 day, that would be on day 8.. for a 30 day,.. something like day 24-25'ish.

However, some pharmacists will try and tell you that they can't fill it till the DAY OF.  They stick to this.. because they have the 'power' so to speak.. when any rational person could / can see that it is due to be filled on that day.  Not the second that patient would theoretically have taken their last dose + 4-6 hours past.  Sigh.

This kind of action just makes me sick.  It shows a poor side of human nature.    I see it often in pharmacies.. and particularly with Pain medication, benzodiazepines, and ADD/ADHD medications.  Why? Because of media hype -- mainly.   There are certainly many more drugs that aren't actually scheduled II or higher (ie: therapeutic) -- ..

If a doctor prescribes a patient any medication, the pharmacist and tech fill it.  Their job is to ensure there aren't interactions to HURT the patient,.. and ensure the right medication in the right amount is in the bag.

That is it.. bottom line.

The doctor is responsible for diagnosing the patient and coming up with a treatment plan.  If that plan involves taking X pain medication daily, for life.  Then so be it. 

If said patient comes in 2 days before there Rx would be OUT, ( or 4 days early on a 30 days Rx) -- they should get it.  There is an acceptable level of 'convenience' that doesn't cause medication abuse.  Like I said, people don't need to plan their lives around the day their medication runs out.  They should have a few day window to get it filled, EARLY, so they can not have it run by some chain pharmacy.  I mean come on.. 

In fact, this is why the Insurance companies, and state have specific laws governing at what percentage they will PAY for the medications, and what is allowable.  Which can be as low at 60%, and as high as 90% in some plans... But generally 75-80%.

Nothing anyone says on a site and argument like this will make a bit of change in the industry. 

What will, I don't know.   The only thing that will is a real consequence for actions.

I think doctors  need to be evaluated by the majority of their OWN patients.. Which would motivate proper care.

I think pharmacists should be evaluated by the majority of their customers (those who wish to participate).

If there comes up a few reports that warrant negligence.. then they should be followed up on.  If they come out with some pattern of 'abuse' with the person -- (pharmacist or tech) then there should be real consequences.

This is the only way people who seemingly have no one to 'answer to' will have a reason to act in an appropriate manner.

I am in no way saying all pharmacists or techs at chain pharmacies are like this.. But there are far too many stories, and I even have my own personal experience (which is mostly just what I observe waiting on my own prescriptions occurring to other people) -- to exclude that there exist too many that act in this innapropriate manner and have zero consequence for it.

I really do think we should come up with an evaluation system for Doctors AND Pharmacies alike.  Along these lines.. the DEA needs to shift its "War on Drugs" to schedule I only.  And backoff our doctors.  The DEA needs to stop practicing medicine, and pharmacy techs need to stop pretending they are physicians as well.  (Those of you who are good and know it.. your service is WELL valued.. )

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#4 UPDATE EX-employee responds

Just the facts, ma'am...

AUTHOR: Kristi - (United States of America)

I don't personally know what was going on, but if the doctor said that they could release it only on a certain day, the pharmacy by law can't do anything about it. I also know that, while some people's voices may carry a bit more than other's, no technician would start screaming at you that you "It is too soon!" as soon as you asked to pick it up. I'm sure you were frustrated and wanted to pick your pain-killers up earlier, and frustrated people often stop listening to what is actually being said and start remembering things being worded differently than they actually were. But like I said, I wasn't there, so I don't know for sure how things played out when you were actually there. I do know that Rhonda Cate, who is actually a pharmacist, is the most understanding and non-judgemental pharmacist I have worked with. Out of all the years I worked with her, not once did I see her be anything but respectful, curteous, and careful with customers and their personal information. To top it all off, I know for a fact that Rhonda Cate wasn't even in town on the date of your "HIPPA violation", so there is no way that she is the person you allegedly dealt with. So the next time you're upset because you can't get your drugs early and want to vent, at least know who you dealt with. You better be glad Rhonda Cate is the nice person she is, or she could sue you for libel.

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#5 Consumer Comment

Y'all don't know if the tech was really rude or not

AUTHOR: Strange Magic - (U.S.A.)

We were not there but after many years of dealing with customers at all levels (from being a front line grunt to a store manager) that those customers will make all kinds of outlandish demands or requests and claim that they were mistreated if they don't like what they are hearing. That tech might have been the stereotypical southern version of sweetness and light with the most genteel delivery imaginable and still the person she had to decline would lie thru their teeth because they did not get what they wanted.
Sorry if that upsets people. But it's a fact of working with the public.
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It may seem logical to you...

AUTHOR: Dave - (USA)

But with a controlled substance, you simply cannot refill it too early for any reason. Your insurance company is not a charity. If they deem a controlled substance an  early refill, it simply cannot be refilled. It is NOT a HIPAA violation to tell you that it's too soon to fill. On your original report, you said the clerk said it was for a controlled substance. On your update, you changed your story and said she told you it was for hydrocodone. Which one is the truth? I suspect it's the first story. It's not a HIPAA violation or even illegal to give bad customer service, it's simply bad business, and nothing else. At Walgreens, we respect all customers privacy. Of course sometimes, unfortunately, employees do violate policies and laws, but they do not do so with the support of the company as a whole.
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#7 Consumer Comment

But there was no valid prescription...

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

it wasn't available until 01-05-09. She should have been told it was available then and she could have seen if any Walgreens were available in the area she was going to, but the pharmacy could not refill the prescription when she went in. And yes, I agree the Pharm Tech should not 'yell" any information.
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#8 Consumer Comment

Shaun and your point really is ?

AUTHOR: Cynthia H - (U.S.A.)

The OP did what she needed to do, called her Dr and her Dr agreed to an early refill. The Tech or whoever had no reason to yell at her period even if the Dr had said no you don't yell at people. The real issue here is simple Walgreens has a problem with customers who are being treated long term for pain. I have had problems with Walgreens which posted about in yet another complaint about Walgreens. Here is the deal people like you Shaun want all pain patients to be ashamed and embarrassed. I will not be treated like a criminal or an addict because I am in pain 24/7 all who have a problem with anyone getting the treatment they deserve and need, GET OVER IT. I have an issue with pharmacists that think they know more about what is best for a person than their Dr. Whats up with that ? If the pharmacists has a "feeling"about a Dr then report them, funny that dosn't happen the patient/customer gets to deal with a pharmacists "feelings" moral issues or whatever the he!! their problem is. ENOUGH if a Valid prescription is presented to a pharmacists just fill it. Keep the editortial to yourself.

Pain patients check out PainReliefNetwork.com A lot of good info including legal help. They do class action suits for sport.
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#9 Consumer Comment

I am a Walgreens Customer

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

And informing the customer about the prescription should not have been yelled for everyone to hear. This is the complaint!

That is why they have a consultation window - to privately discuss prescription info. No one else in the pharmacy needed to know that the OP was refilling a prescription too early or what the prescription was or how many.

As explained by the OP, she had a valid reason for requesting it early and asked her DR to authorize based on the trip she was taking.

To the OP, The great thing about Walgreens - is they are all over the US. You may have been going out of town - you could have also had it refilled on the 5th from a store in the city you traveled to. They have access to same database.
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#10 Consumer Comment


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

If you're embarrassed by what you take then don't take it. Pharmacists and staff deal with all kinds of people and all kinds of medications that you would consider more embarrassing...and people calling in prescriptions earlier than what they're supposed to be allowed to do is a common thing that happens all the time and the pharmacies have to keep it in check. Telling you it's too early isn't some weird out of the ordinary situation. I guarantee that happens several times a day. I used to work in a pharmacy so I know.

And what is she supposed to do? put ear muffs on everyone else around and ask them to not look at her lips while she talks to you? It's not her fault if there's people around when you come to the counter. It's not like she went walking around the store trying to tell everyone your business.

Next time why don't you stake out the counter and wait to go up when everyone else is gone so your feelings won't be hurt if they tell you it's too soon for your prescription.
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#11 Author of original report

HIPPA VIOLATIONS at Walgreens Pharmacy located on the corner of Estates and Hewitt drive in Woodway, Tx 76712

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

Rhonda Cate violated my civil rights and Hippa Rules and regulations on 12-31-08 when I went in to Walgreens Pharmacy to inquire about a prescription. Rhonda Cate found the information and yelled out "Are you talking about the Hydrocodone? It is too early. This is a controlled substance.You had 120 of these." Everyone standing behind me heard her. So she told everyone the name of my prescription, how many, and it was "too soon"

It was a New Year Holiday on Thursday and a weekend was coming up. The pharmacy rules state to give 48 hours for a refill. With that in mind and the Holiday weekend and I was leaving town 1-3-09 to visit my brother in law who has 4th stage lung cancer I would be gone through 1-5-09. The prescription would be 30 days on 1-5-09, I felt the circumstance given were logical. But instead I was treatedn like a criminal.
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