ash (wolfbane) wrote in bad_service,

Pharmacy Woes

I go to a pharmacy inside of my local grocery store when I need to pick up any medications. I have been going there for years, and have never had any problems with them before.

I went to the doctor recently for my exam and she gave me the slip to renew my birth control for the next year. The other day I was grocery shopping and dropped off the slip so the prescription could be filled while I shopped. When I was done I went to pick up the pills. I always pick up one month at a time which comes to around $50. As I went to pay for the pills, the lady working at the pharmacy told me my total was $156 and some amount of change. I asked her why it was so expensive, and she told me that she had three months of pills in the bag. I said that I didn't need that many pills, and asked if it would be alright to pick up only one month's supply instead. She said that this was against the policy and due to "new laws" I would need to pick up my pills in three-month increments.

I had the money and decided to go ahead and do it because I would need to take the pills soon. My first mistake was not looking inside the bag when I paid. I put the bag in with my shopping and left.

Two days later, I was due to start taking the pills. I opened the bag and was completely confused. There were three months worth of pills in the bag, but they were a completely different brand than the pills I take. Of course, you shouldn't just switch to a different brand of pills without a doctor's opinion, and besides, my doctor and I had decided that my current brand of pills was fine. I have been taking them for 3 years and haven't had any trouble. I went down to the pharmacy, making sure to bring my receipt and the bag of pills.

A different lady was working at the counter when I arrived. I explained to her that I had been there on Friday (two days before) and had purchased the pills. I explained that I didn't open the bag until today, because that was when I needed to start taking the pills. (And as I have been going to this pharmacy for years and have never had a problem, it didn't cross my mind that I would NEED to check.)

The lady looked at me blankly and told me that she was going to consult the records. She pulled out the script from the doctor and the information they had regarding the purchase I made. The doctor had indeed written the prescription for my normal brand. The lady was confused and then said "Oh, she made a note that we were out of your normal brand on Friday. She gave you this one, it's not too different."


"Why didn't she mention that?" I asked. "If she was going to give me a different brand, she should have asked me if that was okay."

The lady said she didn't know, and she didn't seem to think this was a problem. (By the way, I looked up the brand online and it isn't at all the same as the one I take - at first I thought it might have been a generic, but it's not.)

I asked her if I could return the pills and pick up my regular ones. I told her that if they were still out of my brand, she could credit my card and I would go to a different pharmacy.

She then said, "Well, why don't you just try these? We don't do returns."

I don't want to switch! What kind of a pharmacist are you? And why wouldn't they do a return, when they were the ones that screwed up?

I explained this in as nice a way as possible: "This is not the brand I usually take, and it's not the brand my doctor prescribed to me. Do you have my normal brand in stock?"

She checked and yes, they had gotten some in. "I understand mistakes happen," I said, "but someone should have asked me before I paid if I was okay with this. I would have said no."

"Well, we don't do returns," the lady repeated. "It's a health hazard."

Seriously, you'd think I was asking her to take the pills I had and give them to someone. Obviously not, just correct the mistake!

I talked to both her and the other lady on duty and they both said the same thing. I needed to take my pills so I relented and said I would just go ahead and buy my normal brand.

"Do you want one month's supply?" the lady asked.

"I thought I needed to get three months at a time?" I asked.

"Uh, no, you can get as many as you need."

WOW. So I bought one month, and now am stuck with a bunch of random pills that I don't even need. I wonder if they're going to subtract those from my yearly supply so I'll need to go and see the doctor earlier.

What can I do at this point?
Tags: *medical/pharmacy

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