Tuesday, December 17, 2013

How To Annoy People

     Extensive background checks?  Check.
     Delays?  Check.
     Verifying permission-to-purchase has been duly authorized?  Check
     Assuming buyers only want to make the purchase for bad reasons?  Check.
     Refusing to sell if they're out of their "normal" neighborhood?  Check.
     Finding cash transactions "suspicious?"  Check.
     Creating a blacklist of anyone refused and sharing it with all locations?  Check.
     Report any transaction you're even the least suspicious about to police?  Check.

     What is it?  Firearms sales in MA or CA?  Federal rules for sales of deadly chemicals?  BATFE explosives-sales rules?

     Nope: internal policy at Walgreen's for selling prescription pain medicine.

     As a sufferer of chronic -- and, lucky me, usually low-level -- pain, I know about the suspicion, dismissive treatment and general difficulty of getting strong pain meds.  Even a lot of the doctors treat you as just another drug-seeking opportunist instead of someone who wants to get the pain down to a dull roar so they can get on with life.  (Side effects of the meds can be no darned picnic, either.)  

     CVS lost my prescription business over a decade ago, when the store was frequently out of a non-narcotic, non-pain-treating and relatively common medication that I take.  Walgreen's always has my prescription drugs in stock and they even have a convenient drive-up window; but their latest antics have me wondering if perhaps I should go elsewhere.


Mark Alger said...

I can say good things about Meijer, for what it's worth.


John A said...

This is probably somewhere (Cali? NY?) and corporate HQ just made it policy nationally.

Isn't Meijer in the news for a policy that forced the firing of an employee for going outside to put out a car fire? I've encountered policies that are similar, but usually could be overridden by the [local] store management. And such can work the other way - when I worked at a chain department store a customer wanted to return a sweater bought fifteen years earlier! With the original sales slip and apparently never out of the wrapping (stuffed in a closet at Xmas and forgotten) it was allowed - silly or not.

John A said...


This is probably law somewhere

Charles Pergiel said...

I blame the drug cartels, they are the only ones who stand to profit from such behavior. The illegal-drug cartels, that is. Not the illegal drug-cartels.

Fuzzy Curmudgeon said...

The people you want to blame for this are the Feds. Well, and the pain med addicts who go doctor-shopping to get themselves multiple narcotics prescriptions.

This started in Florida and appears to be going nationwide as the major drugstore chains attempt to protect themselves from federal litigation.

Rob K said...

The government is ultimately to blame. Walgreens and their ilk are just covering their own butts.

LCB said...

What Fuzzy Curmudgeon said!

My family doc is the center of my pain control world: migraines, bad back and creeping arthritis occasionally make me need some harder stuff than Advil or Excedrin.

She told me that this is all due to the Feds. Walgreens (my pharmacy too) has even posted depressing signs saying "We may be forced to deny you certain medications..." or "We can only access certain medications at certian times of the day due to our medication safe only opening at certain times."

Sometimes...bourbon works better than putting up with the aggravation... :-)

jed said...

@John A. Yes, it was a Meijer store. Problem is, these days, if you try to get picky about where you shop, it ain't too long before you're shopping nowhere.

I have a couple of friends who get their recurring scrips by some mail service. Anthem sends me some marketing crap from time to time about doing it that way, which I throw in the trash, because it makes no sense for me. But lately what I'm hearing is that they're turning up the financial penalty for filling your scrips at the B&M pharmacy. Not sure if that makes sense for you, Roberta. Actually, it isn't just that it doesn't make sense for me; I really dislike the whole notion.

BTW, long as I'm writing, I'll mention I got my Technician ticket. Woooo.

Anonymous said...

>The people you want to blame for this are the Feds

Yup. Heroin is now cheaper than diverted Rx painkillers and all of a sudden the abusers are dropping like flies from accidental ODs.

How do you like your war on some drugs now?

Divemedic said...

From the perspective of a medical provider, and a person with a very good friend who is a PharmD:
People obtain pain killing medications for three reasons:
1 They want to get high
2 They want to sell prescription painkillers to others who can't otherwise obtain them.
3 People who legitimately need pain killers.
Here in Florida, the addicts have figured out two things:
1 They will go to jail if caught with narcotics
2 but not if they have a prescription

With the crackdown here in Florida on doctors known as "the candy man" who are making money writing prescriptions for and selling pain killers, there are many people who have resorted to doctor shopping. They will go to the emergency room, to doctors, and to anywhere else where they think that they can get what they want.
There are people who will tell you that they have Fibromyalgia, and are allergic to every pain killer except Dilaudid. This is why many in the health profession, myself and Ambulance Driver included, feel that most patients demanding pain killers (especially for Fibromyalgia) are full of it.

Medicaid, in many cases, pays for the drugs, and they are sold at a steep profit on the street.
The government, in an attempt to stop this, has started yanking the DEA licenses of pharmacy doctors who do not take steps to curb this practice.
That is why Walgreen's is doing it.
That is very unfortunate for people like yourself who have a legitimate need.

markm said...

anonymous December 17, 2013 at 10:19 PM: Nothing new there. Drug warriors have always been happy to "protect" you by killing you. During Prohibition, the government required industrial alcohol producers to add deadlier and harder to separate poisons, resulting in many deaths. Marijuana fields have often been sprayed with poison. AIDS was spread faster and wider by shared needles, due largely to restrictions on obtaining and possessing needles. And the FDA long fought to ban e-cigarettes, because they would allow nicotine addicts their fix without the accompanying carbon monoxide, formaldehyde, and carcinogens.