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Registered: ‎03-09-2010

Re: How Chaos at Chain Pharmacies Is Putting Patients at Risk

@mememeThe main shopping street in my Long Island town has undergone a massive change over the last decade.  I don't really mind the loss of a few jewelry stores or even the closing of some clothing shops, but, oh, my, I was sad when the last locally owned small pharmacy closed its doors.  

 

We do have convenient chain pharmacies and so far I've found the service quite adequate, just not as one-to-one as it used to be.  Yet, seeing the massive numbers of scripts that move through every one of the stores I've tried, I'm no longer surprised everything is so anonymous.  And I'm actually amazed how few errors are made.  I've had none personally and seen only a tiny number of other customers with problems.  Can't even say it's the pharmacy's fault when someone doesn't have their insurance card with them.

 

I've been offered pill paks, auto refills, and free delivery by the pharmacy I already use.  I've rejected all so far. At this point, I can't imagine Amazon will pull me away - I suppose eventually I might save a small dollar amount but I'd lose being able to walk in and speak with a pharmacist face-to-face.  That matters to me.

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Re: How Chaos at Chain Pharmacies Is Putting Patients at Risk

[ Edited ]

@Delilah2 Anything sold in a US pharmacy including Amazon which will need federal and state licensing to sell has been thoroughly vetted by the FDA including suppliers.  No pharmacy sells unapproved or substandard third world drugs legally.

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Re: How Chaos at Chain Pharmacies Is Putting Patients at Risk

Patients must be very diligent these days.

All pharmacies are overloaded

I use a small neighborhood independent pharmacy, behind the counter I can see all the prescriptions to be picked up it's mind boggling.

 

When I get a new prescription I always ask questions or ask for samples.

There are so many meds I can't tolerate, my doctor is aware, so he is happy to provide at least a week's worth of samples.

 

I check my refills before I pay, there have been errors, very few but it happens.

My daughter is a pharm tech so she always checks behind me too.

 

Don't be shy about helping your elderly friends & relatives.

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Registered: ‎05-22-2014

Re: How Chaos at Chain Pharmacies Is Putting Patients at Risk

I do understand the preference for small pharmacies.   But where I live, they are essentially gone.  And one of the advantages of a large chain, dare I say, are the extended and weekend hours their pharmacies are open.  For that reason, I would never want to deal with a typical supermarket pharmacy.  It is always a smart idea to get prescriptions from one source, as well.  There are downsides to every choice.

Never easy.  And as people age, they generally take more prescription drugs.

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Re: How Chaos at Chain Pharmacies Is Putting Patients at Risk

All of our locally owned pharmacies are long gone.  I was a pharma tec in one of the last ones around and they closed years ago.

 

With my DH's insurance, if he is on a maintenance medication, he is required to get a 90 days supply of the medication through Express Scripts.  Therefore, unless it's a script for me due to an illness, I rarely us a pharmacy at all.

 

Anytime I receive meds from Express Scripts, I check inside at the pill. They often switch manufacturers so the pills can be different. They put a label on the bottle that indicates what color the pill should be, what shape and any writing.  I believe all pharmacies do that. 

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Re: How Chaos at Chain Pharmacies Is Putting Patients at Risk

I use the pharmacy at my local Publix (Mt. Dora, FL) and have observed over the years that they are meticulous and extremely cautious and very attentive to each individual customer. I never have to wait more than a few minutes.

 

When I shop at Walmart, I see long pharmacy queues composed of lots of understandably impatient customers, and dispassionate pharmacy employees. I observe this also at my local Walgreens.

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Re: How Chaos at Chain Pharmacies Is Putting Patients at Risk

[ Edited ]

@LipstickDiva 

 

I use CVS. They don't include a photo on the label for each medication. They do describe its shape and color.  The label does include the name of the pharmaceutical company 

I go to Drugs.com for more information. 

 

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Re: How Chaos at Chain Pharmacies Is Putting Patients at Risk


@Laura14 wrote:

@Delilah2 Anything sold in a US pharmacy including Amazon which will need federal and state licensing to sell has been thoroughly vetted by the FDA including suppliers.  No pharmacy sells unapproved or substandard third world drugs legally.


I'm sorry - but my opinion differs. I have family members (drug reps) who know full well that the generics (especially eye drops) are not the same quality as manufactured by the original drug companies. One such study showed UFO's (unidentified floating objects) under magnification - in eye drops made overseas. 

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Re: How Chaos at Chain Pharmacies Is Putting Patients at Risk

[ Edited ]

CVS was always our go-to pharmacy. 

 

We switched to Walgreens.

 

CVS did not have one of my meds-promised it was coming in on Saturday.  Never arrived.

 

I asked to transfer the script to Walgreens and CVS refused.  I had to call my PCP so he could fax a new script to Walgreens.  I always refill days before I run out, too.

 

This wasn't an opioid or some other high tier med; simply thyroid  med.

 

About 25 years ago CVS filled my script incorrectly.  Right med, wrong dosage.  I saw the mistake right away-I check the pills before I leave.

The pharmacist said sometimes they cannot read the Doc's handwriting!!

 

Well duh-you call the Doc and verify-you don't just guess.

 

Now we stay with Walgreens; there was only one person at CVS who was on top of things but I think she was an intern and is now gone.

 

 

""Out beyond the ideas of right-doing and wrong-doing, there is a field. I will meet you there." -Rumi
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Re: How Chaos at Chain Pharmacies Is Putting Patients at Risk

[ Edited ]

@Delilah2   I was only pointing out that any medication sold legally in the US has been deemed safe by the FDA. There are no unregulated drugs in a licensed pharmacy in case anyone was thinking that. 

 

What I think you are referring to is the different formulation that is used with generics which usually include different fillers and/or active drug. 

 

Depending on your DNA which is responsible for most side effects, you can react to these additives very differently either good or bad.  The active ingredient for what you are medicating as well as the fillers and ultimate formulation have all gone through extensive testing and have been deemed safe by the FDA to have the same therapeutic or pharmacologic effect as the original brand name drug.

 

As always, bad batches happen.  GlaxoSmithKline just stopped Excedrin Migraine production because their machines were not measuring correctly during quality control testing. 

 

But counterfeit drugs are very unlikely to end up in a chain pharmacy.  There is just too much on the line personally with licensing and PR and with suppliers who are also liable to the chain to get that stupid.