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1 - 10 of 10 Comments Last updated Mar 11, 2010

Since: May 09

Ocala, FL

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#1
May 9, 2009
 

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Hello Everyone,

I just wanted to pass along a warning about the prescription medicines we all take. For those of you who don't know, Debbie, my partner, has been diagnosed with a recurrence of breast cancer. On April 28, 2009, she was refilling her daily pillbox when she noticed that the name on the actual pill didn't look right and thought the pharmacist had given her generic in place of the prescribed medication, Arimidex. She got out a magnifying glass and read the name written on the pill, Aricept. She then went on-line and looked up this medication. To her surprise, a website came up that detailed Aricept as a prescription treatment for Alzheimer's. For 21 days, Debbie was not getting the medication needed to help fight her cancer! This was the first time she had been prescribed Arimidex so, she didn't know what the pills should look like. The prescription bottle label clearly said ARIMIDEX 1MG. I would think that the pharmacist who filled this prescription would have noticed the difference in the pills when she was orignally filling the prescription as there must be many people on these two drugs and they look very different. Also, the name of the prescribed medication was clearly written on the pill bottle. We took the bottle back to the Walgreens on SW 200 and Airport Rd. Ocala, FL. The pharmacist who had filled the prescription said of her error: "it wasn't fatal" and "no-one died". Great attitude for a pharmacist! We have heard nothing from Walgreen's management or their corporate offices. I'm not surprised judging by the arrogant and cavalier attitude of the pharmacist. But, I wanted to let you all know about this mistake and how easily it happened to us. Taking the wrong prescription medication can have long-term implications on keeping us healthy and, as in Debbie's case, helping to cure a serious disease.

So, don't just check the prescription bottle label, check the pills. You may also want to think twice before you take your prescriptions to WALGREEN's!

Please pass this advice on to all your family and friends. I do not want this happening to anyone else.

Sue
Carrie-Lee

Hyannis, MA

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#2
May 12, 2009
 

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As Registered and Certified Pharmacy Technician I can tell you that unfortunately we're all human an mistakes happen. I was just speaking with a pharmacist the other day who said that once there was a new doctor in town and several pharmacies had been filling his Prilosec 20mg (for stomach) prescriptions with Prednisone 20mg (steroid) because he dropped off after the first few letters. Everyone has seen what a doctors handwriting looks like. We have to decipher prescriber information literally hundreds of times per day. That is still no excuse. When a prescription is illegible proper protocol is to pick up the phone and simply verify the script with the office. But sometimes even the staff is unsure what the doctor has written. I'm sure you can easily understand how scribble that may have said Arimidex may have been mistaken for Aricept, the first few letters being the same.

Again, no excuse. The pharmacist should have taken a sympathetic tone, apologized for the error and it should have been logged with Walgreens per Continuous Quality Improvement standards that all pharmacies must adhere to.

To everyone reading this, KNOW the name of the drug you are suppose to be taking, how many times per day and ALWAYS request a consultation from the pharmacist when taking an unfamiliar drug. Ask WHY and WHAT the drug is for. Take control of your OWN health care!

It could just save your life.

-CL
RLZ

Ocala, FL

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#3
May 13, 2009
 
It is clearly stated in the post "The prescription bottle label clearly said ARIMIDEX 1MG." It was not the doctors fault the pharmacist who had filled the prescription made an error. Reread the post.
seastar

Buxton, NC

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#4
May 21, 2009
 
I had a terrible experience involving Walgreens last week. I was packing for my trip, putting my medicines in the appropriate daily pill box, I noticed..."I need to get a refill for my Prozac" as I will be running out before I return. So stupidly I call to make automatic refill. Well- just as luck would have it- I somehow managed to put the Prozac into the Xanax bottle-the Xanax in the Prozac bottle-so I typed in my number on the wrong bottle. So in essence, I was told by pharm. tech. "too early" which confused me because I am still thinking I submitted for my Prozac and it was not stated by tech. that I was submitting for Xanax. Well- in short, I was told my insurance would not cover it until the 20th.. I thought "weird" I hung up the phone and proceded with my packing. I called back this AM still under the impression I was submitting for my Prozac, the Pharmacist came on the line and treated me like a Drug Seeker.... He rudely said, "um this has been closed." Confused, I asked why, in which he said "not sure, did you talk to your doctor recently?" No I had not. I asked him if the insurance was the problem, "not sure." Well he got short with me and in essence hung up on me. I was still baffled until I took my so believed Prozac bottle out to recheck the date, and behold I find my error. I had stupidly submitted for wrong prescription. So I called him back and explained my error, still, short with me.. I was so embarrassed about the error... I hung up the phone and ran to get my prescription. I noticed yesterday that I was due for my Xanax prescription, so I call the pharmacy to refill. NOPE- same pharmacist... same tone...I asked what was going on, same answer "not sure, call you back." Walgreens has not called me back... So I am going into the weekend with no medicine. I do not abuse my medicine. I am NOT a seeker. It was prescribed, I take them precisely as I should and now I am treated like a phene??
What should I do???
RLZ

Ocala, FL

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#5
May 22, 2009
 
Try going to CVS or another pharmacy. Also call Walgreens district manager. And report them to your state licensing agency.
Who

United States

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#6
Jun 9, 2009
 
Walgrens is highway robbery when it comes to pills,my meds are half as much at publics...
ny pharmacist

Dumont, NJ

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#7
Mar 10, 2010
 

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why would anyone go to a chain pharmacy to begin with? go to an independant owner run pharmacy.
know the people behind the counter and let them get to know you. I know ALL my patients and most of what they take. the pennies you save filling presciprtions at those chains you spend in the aisles waiting an hour for your prescription and that is by design. get smart people. chains are a ripoff.

“Follow Me @trotlinedesigns”

Since: Jan 10

Naples, FL

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#8
Mar 11, 2010
 
Pharm D (when it took 6 years) here and I have to say...

These things happen and it is very sad that they do. The problem is as "ny pharmacist" said. Cookie cutter pharmacy is no way to go. They are in no way able to help you because of the high volume of customers.

I have made mistakes as all of us have and it is very sad as I said. The problem is that we need the small town, home town pharmacy back. W.Greens and CVS are stores that sell cigarettes and beer and as seen on tv stuff.. with the meds in the back.

“Follow Me @trotlinedesigns”

Since: Jan 10

Naples, FL

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#9
Mar 11, 2010
 
SBEE wrote:
Hello Everyone,
I just wanted to pass along a warning about the prescription medicines we all take. For those of you who don't know, Debbie, my partner, has been diagnosed with a recurrence of breast cancer. On April 28, 2009, she was refilling her daily pillbox when she noticed that the name on the actual pill didn't look right and thought the pharmacist had given her generic in place of the prescribed medication, Arimidex. She got out a magnifying glass and read the name written on the pill, Aricept. She then went on-line and looked up this medication. To her surprise, a website came up that detailed Aricept as a prescription treatment for Alzheimer's. For 21 days, Debbie was not getting the medication needed to help fight her cancer! This was the first time she had been prescribed Arimidex so, she didn't know what the pills should look like. The prescription bottle label clearly said ARIMIDEX 1MG. I would think that the pharmacist who filled this prescription would have noticed the difference in the pills when she was orignally filling the prescription as there must be many people on these two drugs and they look very different. Also, the name of the prescribed medication was clearly written on the pill bottle. We took the bottle back to the Walgreens on SW 200 and Airport Rd. Ocala, FL. The pharmacist who had filled the prescription said of her error: "it wasn't fatal" and "no-one died". Great attitude for a pharmacist! We have heard nothing from Walgreen's management or their corporate offices. I'm not surprised judging by the arrogant and cavalier attitude of the pharmacist. But, I wanted to let you all know about this mistake and how easily it happened to us. Taking the wrong prescription medication can have long-term implications on keeping us healthy and, as in Debbie's case, helping to cure a serious disease.
So, don't just check the prescription bottle label, check the pills. You may also want to think twice before you take your prescriptions to WALGREEN's!
Please pass this advice on to all your family and friends. I do not want this happening to anyone else.
Sue
I am sorry to hear this Sue.. I pray good health for you and her. I hope you keep us updated on her progress to recovery.

“Follow Me @trotlinedesigns”

Since: Jan 10

Naples, FL

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#10
Mar 11, 2010
 
RLZ wrote:
Try going to CVS or another pharmacy. Also call Walgreens district manager. And report them to your state licensing agency.
::sigh:: I worked for Walgreens for 11 years. I agree.. Sue should call and I think (not sure because it has been some time) but Judy Rome is the contact person. That could have changed and it may be Cindy Cohen now.

I was a WG Pharm in the Ocala Shop. Center about 8 years ago.. not proud of it though.

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