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Thread: Is There a New Law re: Opiate Scripts?

  1. #1
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    Angry Is There a New Law re: Opiate Scripts?

    I just returned from the worst pharmacy visit I have ever had, hands down. I was DENIED every single one of my C-II pain meds, ostensibly due to a 'new law'. Is there a new federal law? Or did a new law go into effect in California that I'm not aware of?

    Pharmacist Steve, I wonder if the problem is limited to Walgreen's? My pharmacist there told me it's NOT just a Walgreen's policy; that some new law just went into effect. Is this true?

    This was my FINAL visit to Walgreen's---they've been unable to get my meds and causing me untold agony. I still had refills on a few meds, and Walgreen's still owes me on my sleeping pills, so I made the final visit.

    A week before my fill date, I went to the store in person to ask them to please have my meds in stock on my fill date. (They wouldn't let me drop off my scripts early, which was weird).

    Today was my fill date. For 5 years, I've been going to this Walgreen's. The pharmacists know I'm a legit chronic pain patient by now. Both of the pharmacists blamed all of the problems on corporate, which may be true. I told them I don't hold them personally responsible, but IF I CANNOT get my meds ON MY FILL DATE, then I will have to take my business elsewhere.

    I got to the store and was immediately told that they were 'unable' to order my Exalgo due to DEA 'limits'. They told me they had no idea WHEN they'd be able to get my daily pain med.

    It gets far worse. I asked them to please check if my other meds were in stock. They told me all my other meds were in stock and they would fill them. I then waited in pain for one and a half hours. I finally went up to the counter, figuring I'd be able to get my short-acting pain meds (Dilaudid). NO, the pharmacist told me.

    I was baffled. WHY? I've been on the same dose of Dilaudid for 5 YEARS. The pharmacist informed me that she could NOT fill my scripts till she got a 'progress report' from my pain doc. (This has NEVER happened before in my life). She said 'there's a new law...you've probably heard about it." NEW LAW?? My doctor is NOT in the office on Fridays. I was desperate, helpless, and in terrible pain. I was upset and almost felt like crying. I have LEGAL SCRIPTS but I cannot FILL them???

    The pharm told me IF they filled my C-II scripts WITHOUT getting the 'progress report' from my pain doc that when they get audited they would get shut down by the DEA. IS THIS TRUE???

    Now I have a hellish weekend ahead of me. They will NOT fill my meds till they talk to my pain doc, which won't be till Monday. SO I am forced into extreme pain and potential withdrawal. (I do have a small amount of meds saved for 'emergencies', but not that much). What if my pain doc is on vacation or something? This is HORRIBLE! It's an indignity to make a chronic pain patient suffer by denying them their needed medication.

    I'm hoping and praying that this horrid policy ONLY applies to Walgreen's. Does it?

    Next month, I'm switching all my meds to Lucky pharmacy. I probably should have gone there today, but I've NEVER been outright DENIED my meds before by Walgreen's. I had NO IDEA anything as bad as this was going to happen. I didn't even know this was POSSIBLE. I am so ticked off right now!!! And in so much extra PAIN. This kind of maltreatment SHOULD be illegal.

    Do pharmacists REALLY require a 'progress report' from one's pain doc every 3-4 months BEFORE they can fill a C-II script? HOW can I PREVENT this from ever happening again? I can switch pharmacies, but if there's a new law, then I'll run into the same horrible problem at Lucky's. I NEED my meds ON MY FILL DATE--no exceptions.

    Thanks to Steve or anyone else who can explain what's going on. We shouldn't be made to suffer even MORE PAIN.

    Thanks,
    Eva

  2. #2
    Administrator/SYSOP Mike Weins's Avatar
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    The only new rule I'm aware of is the change of prescriptions with hydrocodone in them becoming a scheduled II drug. From what I understand this means you need a new script every time. This took place October 6th 2014.

    http://www.deadiversion.usdoj.gov/fe...014/fr0822.htm
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  3. #3
    Distinguished Community Member Pharmacist.steve's Avatar
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    Eva... Walgreens has all of these corporate policies about control meds.. and the Pharmacists have been told that if they deviate from these policies... they could be fired. It is illegal under the Americans with Disability Act to discriminate against a patient... if they have presented a legit/on time/medically necessary Rx. These Walgreen's Pharmacist are more concerned about their job that you being in elevated pain and/or withdrawal.. I suggest you read this http://www.pharmaciststeve.com/?p=6142 will tell you how to file complaints on the Pharmacist and Walgreens. This ADA violation is consider a civil rights violation... just like if a Pharmacist turned down a Rx for some because they didn't like the color of their skin, religion, sexual orientation...
    Pharmacist Steve
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    Thanks. I've been doing lots of Google searches, and I really haven't found anything. Any pharmacist can just tell the patient, "It's the law"--how many people know the details of each and every law that's been passed? Nobody does; not even legislators. It's a great way to refuse or delay the filling of a legal script.

    I think it's just Walgreen's stupid 'Good Faith Policy'. My pain doc says he advises his patients to AVOID Walgreen's, because their need for continually updated 'progress reports' on patients is severely cutting into his time as a doctor.

    This month, I'm afraid it's too late to ask for my scripts back and to go to a different pharmacy. Who knows what might happen then? I guess I just have to wait till Monday, when they'll (hopefully) be able to get in touch with my pain doc. If I were to go back tomorrow and ask for my scripts back, then the pharmacist might say something negative about me to my pain doc. (I don't want to get accused of 'pharmacy hopping', even though I'm just trying to fill my meds, on the fill date).

    Let this be a lesson to everyone: AVOID Walgreen's if you are a CP patient. They won't stock your meds, they can't order your meds, you won't get your meds on your fill date, etc. It's horrible what's going on there. The Feds should get after Wags for violating pain patients' rights, but no one seems to care about OUR rights.

    Eva

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    Steve, thanks for the link. Yes, Walgreen's policies absolutely are discriminatory towards chronic pain patients. What happened to me today was discrimination; there was no valid reason to deny me my meds. I may well file a complaint. I'm certainly never going back to Walgreen's. That place is a nightmare for CP patients.

    Thanks,
    Eva

  6. #6
    Distinguished Community Member Pharmacist.steve's Avatar
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    Eva...

    Anytime .. ANYONE... tells you "that's the law"... ask them for the copy of the law and/or the statue number.. so that you can look it up... if they can't provide either... IT DOESN'T EXIST.. they have pulled it out of their lower posterior orifice. Generally, the independent pharmacies are much easier to get along with than the chains.. the chain Pharmacists get paid... whether they fill your Rx or not.. the independent has to fill Rxs to put bread/butter on their table.. Also.. normally you are dealing with the owner of the store. He/she has a incentive to keep you happy. Medicine Shoppe & Health Marts are franchisees that are independently owned as well.. See if the independent will "sync up" all your meds so that you only have to make one trip a month.. even if you have to travel farther... could actually save you money in the long run..
    Pharmacist Steve
    www.pharmaciststeve.com

  7. #7
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    Walgreen's is not only making me wait till Monday to fill my C-II's. It's even worse than that.

    I have a C-III medication. Even though I renewed it over the phone, they messed up.

    They don't have the full quantity of my C-III med. I'm being told that they can only give me a 5-day supply? And that they have no idea WHEN the order will arrive. I DO have other things to do with my life, and I cannot be on pins and needles waiting for Walgreen's to try to get my C-III med. (I was told it won't be in till at least Tuesday or Wednesday---IF they're lucky).

    They said they have 174 out of my 180 script. They gave me a 'partial fill' on Friday for 35. That's barely enough for 5 days, and they don't know when they'll get the med.

    I just called Walgreen's and the pharmacist told me it was 'illegal' to give me the rest of my meds. I pointed out that this is NOT a C-II med. (In the past, they gave me whatever quantity they had, then I could pick up the remainder whenever.)

    I was on hold for half an hour. The pharmacist told me she'd double-check if they could give me the remainder because she's new, and then I got hung up on. I have seriously HAD IT with that place!

    I cannot get through on the phone. I think I'll just go there in person and politely inform the pharmacist that this is a C-III med, NOT a C-II med. How can they put someone through so much agony over a C-III med? (I thought the paranoia was pretty much reserved for C-II meds?).

    I literally do not know what to do. I'm in so much pain I can barely think straight. I AM pretty sure that what Walgreen's is doing is ILLEGAL, and I wish I had the guts to politely inform them that I may file a complaint. (I think they count on people being ignorant of the laws. For those of us who know the law, then they count on us being in too much PAIN to do anything about it!).

    Not sure what to tell them when I go there, but only giving me a '5 day supply' of a C-III med is the most ridiculous thing I've ever heard in my life. I have many things to do during the week and I cannot function without my meds. I really need the C-III med, as I don't have any 'extra' of that one.

    Eva

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    1:30 on a Saturday and NOW the pharmacy is closed? Today is NOT a holiday.

    I spoke to the pharmacist about an hour ago and got cut off. I figured I'd call before I went over there, and I guess it's a good thing I did. They are ALWAYS open on Saturdays and Sundays--I can't figure out what's going on. They are not just closed for lunch, either.

    I never want to walk into another Walgreen's for as long as I live! They leave CP patients in PAIN and potentially in withdrawal. I'm not in withdrawal, but my pain levels are spiking due to all of the anxiety.

    I hope everyone else here has a better pharmacy than Walgreen's! Hands down, they have GOT to be the WORST.

    Eva

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    Eva, you are going through a terrible situation and the pharmacy sure isn't doing the right thing. I hope you have another pharmacy to go to and they do a much better job.
    1979 spinal issues, 1993 lumbar microdisectomy L3-4, 1996 360 3 level lumbar fusion L2-5, 1999 open thoractomy fusion T8-9,
    2002 C3-7 herniations and T4-7 herniations, 2004 total disability, a new limited life

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    Ran into the same thing and switched to CVS who are more than happy to order them for more me. It takes two days and I can take it there three days before its due. Walgreens got into trouble over their record keeping or something like that so they are super paranoid.
    If no pain, no gain is true, where is everything I should have gained?
    DDD, Fibro, CFS, pain for 20 years
    4-12-09 Trip to Laser Spine in Florida. Nerve pain 90% gone.
    Off opiate, using Marijuana tincture, working well.

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