CVS Pharmacy Tech Makes Up Laws, Demands Photo ID For Prescription Dropoff

Jeff takes the generic form of Adderall, a mild stimulant prescribed for Attention Deficit Disorder. His health insurance uses prescription benefit company Caremark, which CVS owns, so he can pick up the 90-day refills that normally would go through mail order at a retail CVS pharmacy. Yay, how convenient! Only he ran into a problem the last time he needed to get more pills. The pharmacy technician demanded photo ID in order to drop off his prescription. To pick up the bottle of 90 pills, sure: it’s a controlled substance. But to drop off the prescription?

He checked around, and found a store that typically has enough stock to fill a 90-day prescription. The store “is situated in an area where there might not be as many A.D.D. patients and therefore usually has enough stock to fill my 90-day supply,” he explains. He wasn’t a new customer at CVS or at this store, and had filled prescriptions there before. Jeff didn’t want to get out his ID when he knew he didn’t have to. He explains:

So I challenged the clerk regarding policy requiring photo ID to drop of a prescription to fill. I told her I understood and concede that you may ask for photo ID when I attempt to pick up and pay for the prescription but to show one to drop off seems curious. I asked for a copy of the store policy in print or if she could direct me to signage or something to prove this. She could not and told me it was not available at this time.

I asked for a manager or someone else to speak to and she told me that she was the only one available to deal with this and they would not fill my medication without showing photo ID. To add insult I was asked typical blame shifting question “is there a reason you don’t have your ID on you?”. This insinuated that I was irresponsible, in violation of something or that I was just a junkie trying to pull a fast one.

I don’t hand over my ID just because I’m told to. When picking up this medicine in the past, some pharmacy techs have asked to see ID and some have not. Some have even let me leave without signing the log book, etc. So even Federal policy isn’t followed so I’m not inclined to believe there’s a store policy in place mandating ID on prescription dropoff.

It’s certainly a principle issue and my principle is I’m not flashing my photo ID unless someone has the authority to require it. I’m in the computer at this CVS..I can verify all the data they have. I told her to immediately stop entering the other prescriptions (that don’t require photo ID to drop off according to her) and ask her to call the other CVS pharmacy to verify stock as they have never treated me this way and I’d rather take my business there.

She then informed me she could not call and just verify stock over the phone as it was against the law. At this point I’m livid and let her know that this is done all the time between CVS pharmacies and even competing pharmacies for customer service and that I can call any pharmacy and request that info and get it.

So what did Jeff do? He pulled out his phone and called the other CVS store himself. The pharmacist on duty checked the inventory and let him know they didn’t have a 90-day supply. Yes, imagine that: they verified stock over the phone. The other store’s pharmacist had never heard of a policy requiring customers to show their ID when dropping off a prescription.

After this call, and after Jeff quickly looked up the details of the Controlled Substances Act, the technician accepted Jeff’s prescription. He summed things up:

In this case either she broke store/company policy or federal law (according to her original insistence). If it were me and I knew these policies to be fact..I would not have conceded to my demands. So either she lied or broke policies.

Was Jeff’s stand overkill? Maybe. If Jeff had happened to forget his ID, though, why should CVS prevent him from dropping off his prescription for later pickup when the law and store policy didn’t prohibit it?