Is This The "Norm" For CVS?

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Tux's picture
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Joined: Mar 26 2009
CVS vs Walgreens

Hey all, long time no see!

Gtrplayer, I read your very informative post about the issues with the docs in your area and the sign at CVS. It's been awhile since I've posted, I'll try to catch up. I have used Walgreens for 35 years, until they re-modeled the one I'd been using (plus a few more). They put their techs at the counter, and the pharmacist was at a desk at the end of the counter, literally 6 feet away from waiting patients. There was no privacy, no consultations or questions without - literally- everyone in line and in the waiting area hearing the conversation. This is a major concern of mine, so I switched to CVS.

The CVS is just up the street, and I like it because it's small, there IS privacy, and they knew me on my 2nd visit. I've never seen any signs like you quoted, and I find the sign interesting (and insulting) because:

1. If they won't fill your script till the 30th day, what if they don't have stock of your CII med? What is the state law where you are? Here, my CII scripts can't be filled until 3 days before 30 (day 28). I'm sure the law there is similar, state/ federal law MUST allow for issues like this. Pharmacy is closed, holidays, doc out of the office (which was my issue at Thanksgiving and Christmas), don't have meds in stock. The pharm tech told me about the 3 day law here (which I really didn't know about, as I usually take the script there the day I put on my last patch, which I wear for 2 days). Apparently, my state has been cracking down on docs writing too soon, and pharmacies making a habit of filling too soon, and both have been losing their licenses. The pharmacy has no legal right to tell anyone, however, they will not fill until day 30. That's not right. The comment about whether your insurance will pay for it early is irrelevant. It's the law that's relevant. I would probably ask an attorney, if they did that here, had to order my meds, and refused to send me to another CVS (I can see that happening there). I've been through withdrawal once, and it was enough. The pharmacist may have the final word on filling your script, but if you are a regular customer, there should be no reason no to, especially with your records in the computer. And be limited to 60 tablets? I would question that too. How can they limit you if your doc writes for more and has been for you? Legally, I mean. Unless you walk in there acting all goofy and out of it, your pharmacist may be genuinely concerned. LIke Q and his reaction to his meds (not that you did go to your pharmacy, Q), that concerned me just reading it.

2:The comments about needing a diagnostic code, a copy of your pain contract, your next appt, and the length of time your doc expects you to be taking your meds could be true. When I signed my pain contract (and everyone who has signed one may have seen this line on it), it said my pharmacy would get a copy of it. I've never seen a diagnostic code on my scripts, although there is a big bar code on them. My back pain has been going on for 36 years. Been on CII for about 7. Last year, my pain was increasing, and I had a full MRI of my spine and neck, saw a neuro-surgeon, was told surgery wasn't an option due to the complexities of my spine and neck issues, it would probably fail. I asked for a referral for PT, which wasn't really working, so I am in a wellness program,  and working with my back as much as I can take it. My doc now says we will keep up with my current meds, and the wellness program. I no longer work. This info could all be sent electronically to the pharmacy, now that records are pretty much all electronic now (hacking is a major concern of mine, but that's another thread). This is not to say they weren't very rude and crude about the sign posting and how they sent the message.

3. I can't get a 3 month supply of my pain meds, although my step-father apparently can, he is in medicare, could that be why?. He also has to have a urine test on every monthly visit. CII can't be mailed (there are a couple of programs, like the VA that can do this).

Hey Q. Your question about privacy and your pain contract... basically your pharmacy has access to your medical records, so yes, your doc can send it if necessary. That was in the forms you signed when you got your HIPAA paperwork. I'm sorry to hear about the hospital, but I'm glad to hear you are walking every day. Moving your body as much as possible really helps (I'm saying this to everyone, not just you). It's interesting they had your wife bring your CII meds to you, and didn't give them to you in the hospital. I've never heard of that, they usually don't want you taking your own meds, how would they know what you took, when?

Gtrplayer, I get your post (#5). While the DEA is cracking down everywhere, your conversations are true. I would hate to try to get into a PM doc now. My primary doc is licensed to prescribe (not all are, or can be now) and he and I go way back. This is not to say he will give me what I want, but we discuss the options and I am a very responsible patient. I don't fill early, nor do I ask for early refills, I ask questions, and he answers. When I was switched back to duragesic patches from ER morphine, I asked hiim for a lower starting dose, and we worked up from that (so he could sleep, I could see his concern). Docs are under so much pressure to not write pain med scripts, I bet when they do, they don't sleep much, worrying if a guvment agency is breathing down their necks. And all the crooked docs and crooked patients and drug sellers, and the fakers are the ones who make it hard for legitimate patients to be able to get the meds they need.

Some people get so worked up when they can't get their meds 2 days earlier, and flaunt the fact their doc writes early, and curse and complain they know their problems better than their doc, pharmacist, or mom. But there are laws for this reason, and a mom and pop that can't fill a complete script, so they give you what they got, and you go back in two days for a refund and get rung up again when they can fill it completely? That's against the law, if they get caught, they won't be in business and you'll be back to getting your script on the very same day from the big pharmacy anyway.

Goat, good to see you. I'm sorry you got dropped after 12 years. Walmart x*#&s. They'd be a last resort for me, but when I go into CVS, the first thing they do is check stock, and tell me if they don't have it. I have the option of ordering, or going to another one (with a phone call to my doctor, of course). Of course, I'm not being written the same qty's as you, but still, your pharmacy should be able to tell you what they have first. Not sure I'd say anything about a stash to anyone but my doc, if he or she was ok with it.  

I did have a problem at CVS about the 3rd month I'd switched. I went in there with my script. Substitute pharm behind the counter. My doc had just changed my from every 3 days to 2-1/2 days on my patches. They come in boxes of 5, so when it printed from the computer, it printed for 15 instead of 12. First thing I did was ask the pharmacist about it (after showing him my ID), telling him I thought the amount was wrong. He immediately asked for my ID again, I said, I just showed it to you. His answer? "THIS IS CVS". He then looked at me closely, and asked me if my dosage had changed. Yes, I said. And he was talking loud, with other customers picking up at the next window. Idiot. So, I told him I thought the amount was wrong, and I wasn't sure why (at the time, I was having trouble coming to terms with the fact the days in the month and the qty weren't right. I finally figured it out). I told him I was only supposed to get 12. He said, let's try your insurance. Told him it wouldn't work. He said the law wouldn't allow him to fill it for 15. Told him I as only supposed to get 12. He again asked me if my dosage had changed. Yes, I said. I was waiting, and asked him if he had more questions so I could go sit. He said to wait. He then asked me another question. Had my dosage been changed?  What??? I told him that was the 3rd time he asked me that question, and what did he mean by it, as I'd answered it twice. He looked at me, I was being polite, but needed to sit. He said it would take a bit, as these scripts take longer. When it was ready, told me he'd call my doc. I said great, I'm going to call him too (it was a holiday). Was doing everything to let him know I was being compliant. I still got "the look". Then the same thing happened next month. Regular pharmacist. I said, it's the wrong qty, don't know why it's printing wrong. I was worried about my docs office getting in trouble and possibly me too! He said he'd call. I called, they said the computer is supposed to automatically put the qty in right.

Next visit, I told the doc. He changed the frequency to every 2 days, so it was ok, but those mistakes happen, and for it to happen more than once was worrying me. Hearing phone calls at the phamacy, sounds like they happen a lot. Is this part of the problem? But yer right, Q. Putting up negative signs and having the same attitude doesn't help. Being positive is much less stressful.

Back to the "stash" kept, just in case. The responsible ones won't have an issue with it. If it's ok with your doc, then that's between you two. That's how I'd keep it. I find it strange that in different locations in Florida you are limited to 60, or maybe 90 or 200 pils, no matter how your script is written. And in other states. Isn't it the law that dictates that? And if so, how can a pharmacy limit you? You get a 15 day supply? Then pay again in 15 more days?

What about the people who are retiring now, who've worked in pain many years, and it's caught up with them? And the older folks who are living longer? Is it worth it? If you saw your doc was illegally prescribing meds, pain meds, and had a racket of some kind going, would you tell the authorities?  Line up a new doc first? If it's too easy to get meds from your doc, without discussing them, that could be an issue. Even if you are a long time patient. But for all the docs and so-called patients who are running a scam, thank you for making it harder for the rest of us who go by the rules.

Even now, with the affordble care act, there is a new program that docs can try to wean you off your addiction. So you don't have to go into rehab. The difference between dependency and addiction. Being dependent is when your body is used to taking the drug after a time and you'd go into withdrawal if you ran out. Addiction is the psychological need for it, and you are actively looking for your next dose, and thinking about it. Then you go into withdrawal big time becasue of the psychological issues. Big difference. Dependent is when you sometimes forget to take your med(s). Keep that in mind, DEA people.

Been awhile since I've been here, please fogive any mispellings. It's late. Hope you are all doing as well as can be. I'll check back soon.



User offline. Last seen 10 weeks 5 days ago. Offline
Joined: Jan 1 2007

My friend in So. FL has been through the wringer between getting treated poorly by Walgreens and now CVS.  It seems in that county there either playing Dr. as one of you "suggested" or that they don't order meds correctly and cause her one serious blunder after the other.  She is not a well woman and her pain is out of control in many areas of her body.  She is on disabilty for her back, she has a torn rotator cuff AFTER going through 2 shoulder surgeries.  She has a very compassionate pain doctor but the 2 big pharm's mentioned aabove insist they cannot fill her MS 100's or even 60mgs.

She is on a few other meds too. It seems he writes her something differrent becuse they don't have the MS in stock. EVER!!! They used to fill them (CVS) but now she feels hopeless.

I told her of a mom and pop place where I go when I need to but they can't take any new patients because they will run out of those and would end up not being able to supply existing patients.   

Does anybody have experiance with mail ordering controlled substances?  Can it be done?  She is insured through CarePlus.  Any feedback will be so appreciate...

THANKS...I hope you all get to feeling better.  Obtaining a legal Rx should not be the quagmire it's become.  It's very hard to help someone from 1000 miles away but we are so close.  And she doesn't have a computer.


Rocker Dan
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Is this "the norm" for CVS

Dear pain people, the "norm" for CVS,Walgreens and Walmart is to be condasending to such a point you go elsewhere to have your percriptions filled!!!!  I only can guess that there are several great "Mom and Pops"stores who would love having clients who do not complain nor have foolih demands and are honest, hard working and smart persons who will enhance thier enviroment!!! I have read most all the recent posts and surmise that 9 out of 10 pharmers here are people who truely are in need of a outing where by the RXs are filled with a smile from the other side of that tall counter.I go several towns away via taxi cab in order to avoid morons.I allways get a smile or a tip such as "have your Doctor call and we can get your order today"instead of tomorow durring the parade or what ever. Cold big box stores and stores such as CVS and Walgreens could care less and kiss up to the local DEA or whatever in order to make them feel like the big man(woman)on campus.Pain is bad enough withoutCool interference from "little people"who are on a power trip.No need to try and win them over,they will allways stab you in the back and walk on you to advance thier persenal goals!And to all the few Pharmers who complain,be glad you get any medication and leave your bad vibes in the lounge.Peace, Rocker Dan