larilee (larilee) wrote in bad_service,

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aspencreek's post about her pharmacy troubles reminds me why it's important to talk to management. This is my first post here and it happened roughly 8 weeks ago.

My mother has shopped at CVS for decades and usually having such a close rapport is really good. But a few months ago, they hired a pharmacy technician who really brought my good feelings about the store down.

Because my mother is 82, I run a lot of her errands for her. I went to CVS to pick up three prescriptions, one of which was her Insulin. The New Technician began talking to the woman behind me about how hard her day had been. In doing so, she ignored me. This went on for a bit, perhaps three or four minutes. In my best I'm-pissed-but-I'm-going-to-sound-polite voice, I asked if they needed me to stand aside to make their conversation easier. The New Tech assured me that wasn't necessary, she was just talking to her mother because her baby was sick and she had to come into work today anyway (this last was said with a lot of eye rolling and head jerks towards the manager who was waiting on a customer at the drop-off window.

I told her my mother's name again and that there were three prescriptions including her Insulin. After repeatedly telling her mother she'ld be right with her, she disappeared. Five minutes passed and the line was getting longer and even her mother started wondering aloud what was taking her so long, and asking me if I had a complicated prescription to pick up. As all three of them had been called in the day before and there were refills available, I couldn't see why it would be complex. Finally, she returned and repeated the last name and began ringing up the purchase. I paid and left, though I was very tempted to stop and speak with the manager then to ask if there had been some sort of problem with the pharmacy. But I was extremely tired and just wanted to get home.

Once home, my mother looked over the prescriptions and asked me who Mary was. Instead of her Insulin (which is kept in a refrigerated unit and that's one reason why I always mention that separately) she was given a prescription for Mary Same-Last-Name. 60 Vicodin tablets. In Kentucky, pharmacies are required to ask for photo ID when you're picking up that prescription or most other pain relief pills depending on the schedule. There is nothing to suggest Angela sounds like Mary.

I called the pharmacy and got ahold of New Tech who told me I needed to bring them back immediately! She tried to imply that I could be in trouble for having them. I replied that she would be in far worse trouble for having given on to someone they were not prescribed to and did not request a photo ID before handing them over, but I said I would be on my way back and I would appreciate it if she could get my mothers Insulin out of the refrigerator when I returned. She snapped back at me that I should've told her it was Insulin the first time. I decided not to fight over the telephone to go into the store.

Once there, I walked to the pharmacy drop-off counter. She was actually standing by the cash register, still talking to her mother (making me wonder who was actually taking care of her sick baby). They both kept looking up the main aisle, but I was semi-hidden by a display. The head pharmacist came over and I gave the prescription to him, with an explanation of what had happened so far. His face turned red, and then purple when I asked why a narcotic was being given out without a photo ID or even verifying if that's the correct patient. He apologized profusely, refunded the money for the first prescription and got me my mother's Insulin. Then he asked if I would mind repeating the story to the manager.

Of course I didn't mind in the slightest. :-) The manager took a few notes, thanked me profusely and gave me a $10 gift card for my trouble. From what I understand, she was fired that night. And no, I don't feel guilty. If a person had not double checked and just trusted the pharmacy, there could've been a world problems. Not only would poor Mary be without her pain medication, those drugs could have been given to someone else who wouldn't return them. A drug addict, perhaps. Or someone who didn't bother to read the bottle and just took them. An allergic reaction to Vicodin can be deadly. Okay, I do feel a bit guilty because I hate for anyone to get fired, especially for my complaint, but someone could've died.

So the moral to my story is to always check each and every prescription and count the pills. And when someone screws up badly enough, talk to a manager. Their next mistake could conceivably cause a lot of injury, and in a pharmacy, that could mean someone's death.
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