Tina claims that last December she had her prescription filled at a Dallas Walgreens store, and was surprised to see that the pills had changed. She “thought they must have changed to a generic” and took them anyway—but when she next refilled the prescription, “the pills were back to what I’d taken for years. It ended up taking Walgreens six weeks to get the pill identified.”
We travel full time, so to get our prescription meds we have used Walgreens, because they transfer prescriptions to any of their stores. In Dec of last year I had a prescription filled (for high blood pressure) at a Walgreens store in Dallas…I noticed that the pills looked different, but thought they must have changed to a generic. When I finished that 90 day supply, I got a refill at a Walgreens in Florida. Now the pills were back to what I’d taken for years…an oval green pill. I had 2 left in the old bottle, white round pills…not what that bottle label said they were suppose to be. Acckk! So now I had taken 3 months of the wrong mystery medicine.
I checked the PDR, no matches…I went to the local Walgreens and they couldn’t identify it. Nor could the Poison Control Center. The local Walgreens gave me a phone number for Walgreens Corporate office, which led to another phone number and another, climbing the corporate ladder, finally speaking to the CEOs office (but not the CEO). I couldn’t get anybody to understand that this was serious…that the pills needed to be identified, that it was important to know what I had taken, who else might have gotten the wrong med, how had this happened and more importantly what was being done to assure this wasn’t still happening.
I tried to explain that if this had been a case of product tampering it would have presented like this…a pill not matching the description on the label. That in a case of product tampering people could have died waiting for their corporation to respond.
It ended up taking Walgreens six weeks to get the pill identified. It was a generic allergy pill that was a Wall Mart brand. There was no explanation of how it got in a Walgreens bottle. No explanation about any of this. And no assurances that they have improved any part of their system.
I wanted Walgreens to tell me what had happened… and what they were doing in the future to deal with this sort of mistake. People faced with this situation should immediately be given access to a person or department who will take this seriously. They should not have to wait SIX WEEKS to have a medication identified. And it should not have taken so much persistent effort on my part. Walgreens should have recognized this as an immediate problem, and responded quickly… with concern for my safety and others. They did not and have not done that.