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Randomthought Donating Member (388 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-25-11 02:04 PM
Original message
Melting Down at Target Pharmacy
I was one of the unfortunates who lost there favorite pharmacist when Burch Pharmacy closed. I decided to use Target because there is a location close to my home.
Wednesday I went in to get a 'script that my doctor had sent to them from her office. Not only wasn't it ready but it wasn't even in the queue to be filled. I have asthma and when I get a severe cold it triggers an attack that my normal meds can't handle so I have to take a course of prednisone. Not a big deal if taken properly and over a short time period.
When I finally got to the counter and PAID for the drugs and started to reach for the bag the cashier jerked the bag out of my hand and took it over to the "Pharmacy Consultation" window. I told her I didn't want or need to see the pharmacist. She ignored me and walked away. At this point my fiancee came over and asked what the problem was. I was in tears, I was ill, I was short of breath and I needed to go home and lie down. I said loudly that they were refusing to give me the medication that I had just paid for; a young woman came over and picked up the bag of meds and said I had to talk to the pharmacist. At that point the melt down was complete so I grabbed the bag out of her hand and told her I had been taking Predisone for asthma longer than she had been on the planet and walked out.

Now I'm wondering about this "required" consultation. Could something like this be used to discourage women from getting morning after pills or birth control?
Frankly, it spooks me out.
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MineralMan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-25-11 02:13 PM
Response to Original message
1. Take your prescription somewhere else.
Try Walgreen's.

Since this prescription was new to that pharmacy, and since prednisone has many side effects, a consultation with the pharmacist is a good idea. They don't know how long you've been taking the medication. As far as they know, you're just starting to take it now, so talking to the pharmacist is a good idea. That must be their policy for new prescriptions of prednisone.

They don't know you. They don't know you've been taking it. The consultation would have taken just a minute, and you could have told the pharmacist that you've been taking it for years and know its side effects. That would have been the end of it. The consultation is a safety measure, and is a wise one, especially for the corticosteroids.

When Walgreens fills it, they'll want the pharmacist to talk to you, too. They don't know you, but they know the medication. Better safe than sorry.

This has nothing to do with discouraging people from taking birth control or morning after pills. It has to do with prednisone and new prescriptions. Everyone taking prednisone for the first time should talk with the pharmacist, and Target makes it a rule. Think about it.
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Randomthought Donating Member (388 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-25-11 02:19 PM
Response to Reply #1
3. have thought about it
still pissed.
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Randomthought Donating Member (388 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-25-11 02:23 PM
Response to Reply #1
4. have thought about it
Actually I have no problem with them asking if I want a consultation but I clearly stated I didn't want or need one. That should have ended the transaction.
And yes I do think there are larger implications. Is there a public list of drugs that "require" consultation. If so where is it?
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MineralMan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-25-11 02:33 PM
Response to Reply #4
5. Actually, I don't think there's some sort of "public list." It's pretty
Edited on Fri Mar-25-11 02:37 PM by MineralMan
much decided by individual pharmacies. For example, I used to take a blood pressure medication. When I first picked up my prescription, the pharmacist informed me that I shouldn't drink grapefruit juice while taking it. Now, I read the patient information for all new medications, but not everyone does. That warning was an important one, and the pharmacist wanted me to be aware of that restriction, along with the warnings about side effects like fainting, etc.

Corticosteroids like prednisone can have some pretty weird side effects. It's a good idea to make sure that people taking them know about those side effects. Like I said, the Target pharmacy had no idea you had been taking it before. Typically, the pharmacist will ask you if you're familiar with the medication. If you say that you are and have been taking it for a long time, that's the end of the consultation. If not, you'll get a brief rundown of side effects to watch for.

How can that be bad? What is objectionable about a pharmacy wanting to make sure their customers know about important side effects or contraindications?

Your impatience is understandable. You weren't feeling well. The consultation would have just taken a moment. Sorry, but it's one of the important things pharmacists do. Doctors often don't tell patients much about the drugs they prescribe. That's why pharmacists consult with their customers.

But, never mind. You were put out by the consultation request. You got your meds and left. Still, I suggest you find a smaller pharmacy, where they'll get to know you and won't bother you with unimportant things like warning you about side effects of meds you take. Suit yourself.

If it were my pharmacy, the policy would be that the meds aren't handed to new customers or for new prescriptions except by the pharmacist. Then, that consultation would be done before payment. That's what they do at the Walgreens near me, unless you're a regular customer. New customers get a consultation, even for simple things like antibiotics, which can also have some serious side effects. It's all part of the responsibility of pharmacists.
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Randomthought Donating Member (388 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-25-11 03:03 PM
Response to Reply #5
6. Respectfully disagree.
It is not the responsibility of the pharmacist. They have one responsibility. Fill the prescription accurately. Anything else is stepping over the boundaries.
I've actually had conversations about this with pharmacists.
I do not depend on pharmacist for medical care I depend on doctors. Also the side effects and instructions are clearly written on the label.

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MineralMan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-25-11 03:12 PM
Response to Reply #6
7. Actually, for prescriptions, that information is normally on
a patient insert, not on the label of the pill bottle. As for doctors, they rarely go through that stuff with patients. Why? Because they think that is the job of the pharmacist. And pharmacists don't mind the job. If you use the same pharmacy for all your meds, their computer will automatically flag possibly bad interactions between your new prescription and your others. The doctor, I guarantee, isn't paying attention to your whole list of medications, but the pharmacist is.

Most pharmacies make it a point to explain side effects, warnings, and cautions to their patients. I think it's a great service, especially since most doctors don't bother to do that.

It does no harm, and often does a lot of good. Pharmacists catch all sorts of prescribing errors, drug interactions, etc. You should rely on their expertise. They know more about the drugs than your doctor does, I guarantee.

But, you will do as you wish. I can tell you this, though: If you grabbed the bag at my pharmacy, like you did at Target, I would never fill another prescription for you, and would advise you to find another pharmacy. But, that's just me.
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Randomthought Donating Member (388 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-25-11 03:33 PM
Response to Reply #7
8. They will not have to worry about it
I have filed a complaint with Target by the way and the manager I spoke with agreed with me that once I stated that I did not need or want counseling the transaction was over.
I wonder how you would react if someone refused to give you merchandise in a store after you had paid for it.
You seem to be judging me very harshly for respectfully disagreeing with you.
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ISUGRADIA Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-25-11 04:03 PM
Response to Reply #8
9. Minnesota State Pharmacy Rules
All 1st time prescriptions must have a pharmacist consulation. They don't have an option. They should have made that clear.
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Randomthought Donating Member (388 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-25-11 04:53 PM
Response to Reply #9
11. Thank you
Yes they should have.

Does that apply to all prescriptions? I have been getting prescriptions filled at Target for 9 months and this is the first time this has happen.
Three weeks ago they filled a prescription for an antibiotic that is on their records as one of the drugs I'm allergic to. No one said a word
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MineralMan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-25-11 06:53 PM
Response to Reply #11
14. Were those prescriptions transferred from your old pharmacy?
If so, they weren't new prescriptions. As for the antibiotic, did you record your allergy with the Target Pharmacy? And why did your doctor prescribe an antibiotic you were allergic to? Lots of questions here. This is all pretty unclear, actually.
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Randomthought Donating Member (388 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-26-11 10:26 PM
Response to Reply #14
17. My dentist talked to my doctor
between the two of them they created a course of antibiotic with Benedryl to clear up an abscessed tooth. Both were prepared for questions from the pharmacy and none where asked.
George quit being such a curmudgeon. Bad things happen to good people all the time.
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ISUGRADIA Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-27-11 06:57 PM
Response to Reply #11
21. Looks like when a renewal occurs, consultation is optional
Here's the admin rule I came across for this situation, full text at the link:

https://www.revisor.mn.gov/rules/?id=6800.0910

A. Upon receipt of a new prescription or a new prescription drug order, following a review of the patient's record, a pharmacist shall personally initiate discussion of matters which in the professional judgment of the pharmacist will enhance or optimize drug therapy with each patient or the agent or caregiver of the patient....

I've had good luck at Walgreens when I have had prescriptions. They seem to be fairly on the ball when it comes to speed and customer service. It's a shame the independents have been driven out of business.
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dflprincess Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-25-11 10:14 PM
Response to Reply #9
16. I've never been told I had to have a consultation with a new prescription
(which fortunately I don't have happen very often) but everytime I fill the one I take regularily I'm asked if I have any questions for the pharmacist. The same when I pick up my Mom's meds - they'll always ask if I want to speak to anyone. I believe that is a HIPPA requirement.

BTW another nasty thing about Target pharmacies is that, if they only have one pharmacist on duty, they will close the pharmacy when s/he goes on break. I discovered that one day when all I wanted to do was pick up some Advil Cold & Sinus pills which are kept behind the counter. I would never use Target for prescriptions as you can't depend on being able to pick them up at any time during regular business hours.
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Randomthought Donating Member (388 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-26-11 10:54 PM
Response to Reply #16
19. come to think of it that did happen once
Edited on Sat Mar-26-11 10:55 PM by Randomthought
i went in to get some 'scripts refilled and the pharmacy was closed for a few minutes. I hadn't hit the wall with them yet so I swallowed the inconvenience but is inexcusable.

edited for typos

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Randomthought Donating Member (388 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-26-11 11:34 PM
Response to Reply #16
20. I have no problem with pharmacist/assist.
asking if I have question. I happen to be a person who doesn't leave the doctor's office unless i am sure about the instuctionsbut not everyone has the opportunity for that kind of communication.
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catrose Donating Member (591 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-25-11 02:18 PM
Response to Original message
2. It's hard when you're standing there sick
to be patient with their procedures. I recently started going to a small, locally owned pharmacy after the 2nd or 3rd time Major Chain USA similarly messed up my order, leaving me sick and woozy in their waiting room. In one case I never did get my meds. So I hope there's another option for you than the big boys.
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Randomthought Donating Member (388 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-25-11 04:55 PM
Response to Reply #2
12. It sucks doesn't it.
I've never not gotten my meds.
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kickysnana Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-25-11 04:52 PM
Response to Original message
10. No words but so sorry. Similar things have happened to me with people who should no better. n/t
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Randomthought Donating Member (388 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-25-11 04:57 PM
Response to Reply #10
13. thanks
Hopefully filing the complaint will make them exam the way they do things but I'm looking for another pharmacy.
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southernyankeebelle Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-25-11 08:41 PM
Response to Original message
15. Find yourself a new place to go. I have a place that is like a mom
and pop place in my little rural town. I can call in a refill and they are happy to call anyone of my doctors to get me a new script. I never have to wait long. If I call a refill at 8:00 am in the morning I can got pick it up at 9:00 am. Unless it is out than they usually tell me it will be in the next day after 11:00 or later that day. I use to go to WalMart. They have where you can call in for your refills. You could call the night before and go the next day in the after noon and you still have to wait. I finally said the hell with it. I stick with my pharmacy and I wouldn't trade. They even allow me to put it on credit because they know I will pay at the end of the month for mid month when I get my social security check. They are really good to me. I could get my drugs cheaper through this military call center but I rather pay alittle extra get know I don't have to wait for the mail for my drugs.
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Randomthought Donating Member (388 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-26-11 10:27 PM
Response to Reply #15
18. would love to find a place like that
it's not easy in the cities. I will keep looking. Thanks for the support.
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