Saturday, July 26, 2014


The more I read,
the angrier I get.

When did a pharmacist get the power to override or even question a doctors choice of medications? 

The ones at Walgreen's do.

All it takes is an 80 million dollar fine for violating the rules on dispensing controlled substances and now a Walgreen's pharmacist can call your doctor and question him/her on your diagnosis and if prescribing a controlled substance is actually what they should be prescribing.

Oh, also, they can question how long you need to be on it.

According to an article in "The National Pain Report,"  there are red flags that can prompt a call to your doctor and, possibly, your prescription being denied. Some of those red flags I can understand. If you're seeking an excessive amount of pills or a multiple doctors prescribing the medication it makes sense that the pharmacist could exercise some caution. When you're on the prescribed medication more than six months, well, that isn't a flag. Chronic pain sufferers are just that. Chronic. What about cancer patients?

Don't even get me started.
Walgreen's calls it their "Good Faith Dispensing Policy" checklist. 
Here are some of the points the pharmacist is to go over with the physician.

  • the diagnosis
  • expected length of treatment
  • use of alternative or lesser medications for pain control
  • the regimen is within the standard of care
  • date of last pain assessment
I understand abuse and addiction. I've seen what it can do to lives. I think pharmacists have a duty to be observant and cautious. Doctor shopping for pills, filling prescriptions early tend to signal there is a problem. Not always but, in most cases, I would agree that using caution is prudent. Having said that I think it's absolutely ridiculous for Walgreen's to have the ability to override a physician. I wouldn't fill a prescription at Walgreen's anymore. I have nothing to hide but when they start questioning chronic pain, I draw the line. When I need my prescriptions filled it isn't for fun. A few days or weeks without them mean I'm in a great deal of pain.  

Pain that a couple of Tylenol won't touch.

Oh, another little tidbit..........

If you go to Walgreen's and your prescription is denied?

That denial is entered into your profile.

It's seen by all of the Walgreen's Pharmacies (more than 8300).

It also notifies the DEA that your prescription has been denied and they must justify the reason.

However, if YOU want to know why????

Good luck.

I can't be sure but click here for the link to a possible copy of the checklist.


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