It took three calls from CVS’ automated reminder service for me to realize what was going on: CVS Pharmacy was refilling our prescriptions without our asking for them to be refilled, and then their automated dialer was calling us to notify us that we had a prescription waiting. Nobody in my family requested to have a prescription refilled, yet three times CVS called us to tell us to come and pick up our prescription.
Chris has to take the immunosuppressant drug Prograf because of a kidney transplant, and it costs nearly $300 for a one month supply. Yesterday, he found out that someone at CVS corporate has instructed his local pharmacist to start billing him directly, apparently because his secondary insurer hasn’t been paying for nearly two years.
CVS stores across the nation regularly stock expired medicine, milk, and baby formula, according to a damning union report. This isn’t the first time CVS has been caught stocking dangerous goods. Last year, New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo threatened a suit after his office caught the pharmacy selling goods over a year past their expiration dates. CVS claims that, despite investing over $160 million in a “perpetual inventory management” system, it’s nearly impossible to keep expired items off the shelf because they simply have too much stuff.
Back in April, reader B. e-mailed the Consumerist tipline about a change to his health insurance plan’s prescription drug schedule. It raised a drug that he’s taken for years, the generic version of Prozac, to a different schedule—more than tripling B.’s co-pay, from $8 to $25.
If you get your prescriptions filled electronically, always double-check the dosage. Kimberly’s prescription was recently screwed up somewhere between the physician filling out the order online and Costco’s pharmacist receiving it. Luckily for her, the Costco pharmacist was incredibly helpful and fixed the problem for her, so Kimberly didn’t have to waste her copay or deal with the issue on her own. He also explained, however, that the current state of electronic prescriptions is a big mess.
Whether it’s rational or not, there’s something very satisfying when your pharmacist acknowledges you personally—it makes you feel like this expert you’re placing such trust in takes the job, and you, seriously. In our experience it’s a rare thing to see from pharmacists at chain drugstores, but Mike just had a great encounter with his Walgreens pharmacist when he moved to a new town.
Reader Pattie got the wrong pills from CVS and luckily, she noticed before taking them. She has no idea what they were, but is wondering if this sort of mistake is common.
Nearly all of Houston has no power and most has no water. Even though my upstairs ceiling caved in, my manager at Walgreens said “you’re scheduled to work and are expected to be here.”
His response was “Whatever, somebody needs to come deal with this because I’m about to go off…”
The WSJ Health Blog says that pharmacy benefit managers are marking up the amount they charge your insurance company for generic drugs and keeping the difference. Often the mark-up isn’t too severe, but the WSJ has one example where the difference was over a hundred dollars.
Putting their own beliefs ahead their customers’, the DMC Pharmacy, scheduled to open in Chantilly, VA., is among a growing number of “pro-life” pharmacies that will not sell any form of contraception. According to the Washington Post, the pharmacy, an expansion of Divine Mercy Care, asserts a “right of conscience” which means they won’t provide any services or products that they find objectionable. Details, inside…
Thanks to an anonymous whistle-blower, a Walgreens pill-flipping scheme has been blown wide open, according to CBS. “Pill-flipping” refers the practice of pharmacies that purposefully switch Medicaid patients to more expensive versions of certain drugs for the sole reason of collecting more money from the government. Naturally, when this happens, taxpayers pick up the bill. Athough, Walgreen’s officially denies any wrongdoing they have agreed to pay the government more than $35 million. Details, inside…
So, Florida is apparently plagued by addicted prescription-poppers and not the pot-addled deviants targeted by our government’s so-called “War on Drugs.” A new report shows that prescription drugs killed three-times more Floridians than illegal drugs, and not because old people can’t follow doctor’s orders. Addictive prescriptions like Vicodin, OxyContin, Valium and Xanax killed more users than all illegal drugs combined.
A CVS in Cressona, PA has had chronic air conditioning problems “for over a year and a half now” according to the employee our tipster spoke with. Now Frank wants to know whether or not it’s safe to store so much medicine in such intense heat. It certainly goes against the storage instructions for a lot of meds.
Reader John and his friend Michelle found themselves in a situation where they needed to get “Plan B” birth control, also known as “the morning after pill.” They went to their local CVS in Hawthorne, CA. and met an uncooperative pharmacist who refused them access to the pills because Michelle only had foreign ID to prove she is of legal age. (18+) The pharmacist also refused John’s state issued ID with the reason that it could not be sold to man, however, the FDA’s website clearly says that Plan B can be sold OTC to a man or woman who is 18 or over. Find out what happened to John and Michelle, inside….
Rachael writes in with an update about her complaint with CVS.
With all the customer service horror stories we post, you’d think businesses in the United States have lost the ability to treat their customers with respect—and by and large, you’d be right.
Next Month, the FDA will hold a public meeting to discuss whether or not they should allow certain drugs to be sold “behind-the-counter”—that is, after consultation with a pharmacist, but without the need for a prescription. If they move ahead with the plan, a new BTC category will be created, although what drugs will fall under it have not been determined.