Wednesday, April 16, 2014

GRRRRRR........Rant in Progress Here...Redux

Update below!
For a long time, I used K-Mart Pharmacy; it was convenient, and I could pick up toothpaste, shampoo and greeting cards at the same time as a script.  But a few months ago, I received a letter from my insurance company stating that K-Mart was no longer on their preferred provider list. Whatever.....I thought, since K-Mart was always causing me problems or extra trips to the store.  Since we had moved five miles south of that pharmacy last July, I chose to switch to CVS, which is only 3 miles away. Rite-Aid and Walgreens are closer than that, but I'd had problems before with Rite-Aid and Walgreens is not on the insurance list. 

So I transferred all our prescriptions  (not a small number of them) and began using that pharmacy. At first, all was well, and they welcomed me, of course, as anyone would when that Medicare money is at stake. Then the trouble began. 

I abhor with passion those automatic robocalls telling me that I have a script ready to be picked up. I may be old, but I am not so nuts as to forget an RX in the shop, once I have ordered it. And they managed to get me mixed up, since some of those calls come after I have already picked up the RX, and I make a second trip to the store without knowing it is for naught.  About a month ago, late in the week, I got a call from CVS with an actual person on the line. She advised me that my husband had a script that needed refilling, and asked if I wanted it. I knew he was not running out of it yet, but I said yes, and she told me I could pick it up the next day. Three days later, I went to the pharmacy to get it. 

It was not ready, they had no record of that call and asked me repeatedly who had called me. I had no idea, of course, just a pharmacy tech - as far as I knew. They made me wait 20 minutes, just to slap a label on a bottle. I was not happy. That has happened twice. 

So this morning, knowing that my husband needed a new bottle of his special shampoo  -  for which I had no label because it had been attached to a plastic bag that the RX came in and it was thrown out.  I attempted to call CVS to speak to a tech or pharmacist, so I could ask them for a refill. 

It was impossible to speak to a live person. The robo-voice mail system was not set up  to allow access to a real person. At K-Mart, if I needed a person, I simply pressed 0 during the announcement and I would be connected to the pharmacist. Not so with CVS. There were no options available in the voice mail menu to get a person instead of a recording

I called the main number for the store, which is also a voice mail hell, and eventually I did get a person. I asked her for the direct numbe to the pharmacy, so I could order a script and she gave me a number. When I called it, I heard the old familiar "This line is no longer in service or has been disconnected." To be fair, the woman who gave me the number did not have English as her first language. She speaks with quite an accent, which is nearly impossible for me to understand. I was so frustrated!

So, I went to the store and explained my plight to the tech behind the counter. I asked her specifically for the direct phone line to the pharmacy and she said "it will be on the back of the bottle when you get it filled." I said "if the bag it comes in gets thrown away again, it won't help me any." She looked right at me and said not. a. thing.  Nothing/squat/diddly/crap.  She declined to give me the number. Then she said..."Do you want us to fill it?"  I answered "How long will it take?" and she replied "25-30 minutes."  

Why does it take 25 minutes to generate a label and slap it on a bottle of shampoo? It isn't as if they have to formulate it. I opted to pick it up later, so, tomorrow I will have to go 6 miles out of my way to get the darn shampoo. What do you want to bet it won't be ready when I get there? 

Note:  there are always at least 6-7 people behind the pharmacy counter when I go there. It seems to me they could be a bit faster about getting RX's ready. What am I missing?

Update:  I went back there today to get the shampoo. I spoke with the manager, to whom I explained the problems when I was there last week. He agreed that I should have been told how to access the pharmacy directly (and said they had recently changed their voice mail process, so that might have been part of the problem). He also said I should not have to wait 25 minutes for an RX shampoo and that if I ever have any more problems I should call the store and ask for him. You bet I will!!


kerry said...

Pharmacies are crazytown madness with lots of stuff to fill and LOTS of regulations and records on how to do/record what you're doing. I wouldn't want to work at one - so much to keep up with.

Hope you get your issues straight soon and that no further problems creep up!

Betty said...

Report your problems to your insurance company. It should be easier than that. Or, perhaps they could explain why the allow so few pharmacies. I wouldn't be surprised if we discover some kickbacks from pharmacies. But, there I go again, with the conspiracy theories. lol

Anonymous said...

My more expensive prescriptions I order from the mail order pharm for my plan, but I use CVS for my ongoing cheapies. I've rarely had problems with them but I use one a little further from home because I like the regulars in there. They definitely do a lot of robo reminders but so does my mail order pharmacy. I hope you follow through with the pharmacy manager. What is weird to me is that there are like five pharmacies now within a few blocks of my house.

LL Cool Joe said...

I've been collecting my parents prescriptions for them recently, and I can take them to any chemist I want and normally wait about 10 minutes max for all the medication to be sorted. In the UK we still have the small corner shop style chemists, but the Walgreens near our house here in the US always seems empty to me!


I have had NOTHING but trouble with CVS. When my husband had a total knee replacement and I had to stop there to get a script filled for oxy they made me feel like I was a criminal. They wouldn't fill it because they said the prescription from the DR did not have a printed address on the script. I was like what? I took it to PUBLIX and they filled it with no problem. So all of my prescriptions are now filled at PUBLIX with no problem being able to speak by phone or in person to a real live body! I will never use CVS again.

robin andrea said...

Roger uses CVS for his one prescription. He orders that Rx online and they robocall us when it's ready. The staff at our local pharmacy often seem harried and overworked. I think there was a time when drug stores were part of the whole concept of healing, now they're a box-store health care insurance money nightmare.

Granny Annie said...

Pharmacy chains suck. It is as easy as that. Is there any way you can go to a small, locally owned pharmacy and avoid the big conglomerates? If you have insurance, your prescriptions are going to cost the same from one place to the other. I get the majority of my prescriptions by mail and 90 days at a time but for new 30 day scripts I go to our little guy in town who so appreciates the business, it is a fun trip.

kenju said...

There are several independent and local pharmacies I could use, but they are not convenient to our home and I am trying to minimize the number of miles I have to travel for errands. I can't stay away from home for very long at a time and I need to be able to get out and back quickly.

Gilly said...

Oh my gosh! You do have problems in the US!! I won't tell you how easy it is for me to get my prescriptions from our local pharmacy.........