Walgreens Secret Checklist Reveals Controversial New Policy On Pain Pills


By Bob Segall

An internal document kept secret by the nation's largest drug store chain has finally been obtained. It reveals why Walgreens is now turning away some customers and refusing to fill their prescriptions.

"We were told patients are not supposed to know we're using [this]," said pharmacy technician Marianne Ryan. "But I don't think it should be some big secret. This form had to be filed out by the pharmacist, so I think patients should know what's on it."

Ryan is talking about what Walgreens calls its Good Faith Dispensing Policy checklist.

The controversial checklist – and the policy behind it -- first came to light earlier this year after 13 Investigates reported many Walgreens customers are facing problems when trying to get prescription refills for pain medication.

Walgreens patrons across the nation said their prescriptions were being delayed or denied because of a new pharmacy policy, but Walgreens would not tell them what the policy is. When The Walgreen Company corporate headquarters was contacted for more information, the pharmacy chain declined to provide a copy of its GFD Policy, explaining it is for "internal use only."

But after the investigations quickly spread across the Internet and more patients began speaking out, Ryan decided to leak the checklist to to help educate consumers. A separate source provided us with a copy of the full GFD Policy.

"I don't think [Walgreens] will be happy about it, but when patients are denied prescriptions, they should know why," Ryan said. "And this is why."

Confidential checklist exposed

Walgreens' one-page checklist must be used by its pharmacy staff each time a customer presents a prescription for a powerful narcotic. Oxycodone, Methadone, Hydromorphone (Dilaudid), Morphine, Fentanyl and Opana are included on the list of Walgreens' "target drugs" because they are all highly-addictive controlled substances that government regulators have placed in a high-risk category for prescription drug abuse.

According to the GFD checklist: a pharmacist is required to complete four mandatory steps before filling a prescription for one of the GFD Policy target drugs:

Check Walgreens' national Itercom Plus computer system to confirm the prescription has not been previously denied by another Walgreens pharmacy

Review a customer's personal prescription drug history maintained by a state Prescription Drug Monitoring Program (PDMP). In Indiana, the state tracks all residents' opiod prescriptions using an online PDMP system called INSPECT.

Photocopy a valid government photo ID for the individual(s) dropping off and picking up each prescription

Answer a series of seven questions about the prescription, patient and prescribing doctor to look for "red flags" of possible prescription drug abuse

The additional seven questions include:

Whether the patient has previously received the same medication from Walgreens (new prescription or new patient is a red flag)

Whether the prescription is written for the same medication and from the same doctor as the previous fill (new doctor is possible red flag)

Whether the patient and doctor listed on the prescription are within close geographical proximity to the drug store (far distances that cannot be explained are a red flag)

Whether the prescription is being filled on time (attempt to fill early is a red flag)

Whether the patient is paying for the prescription using insurance (cash is a red flag)

Whether the quantity of pills prescribed is considered excessive (more than 120 pills is a red flag if paying by insurance; more than 60 pills is a red flag if paying cash)

Whether the patient has been taking the same medication and dosage for a long time (more than 6 months is a red flag)

Based on the results of the previous steps and questions, Walgreen's checklist instructs pharmacists to use their "professional judgement" (sic) to determine whether the prescription should be filled or the pharmacy should take the additional step of calling the prescribing doctor to ask more questions.

If a call to the physician is needed to further verify the prescription, the checklist directs Walgreens staff to "verify/confirm any number of the following points" with the doctor:

Prescription is written within prescriber's scope of practice


Therapeutic regimen is within standard of care

Expected length of treatment

Date of last physical and pain assessment

Use of alternative/lesser prescription medications for pain control

Coordination with other clinicians involved in patient care

See the checklist here

The Walgreens checklist is designed to help pharmacists identify prescription fraud and to keep addictive drugs away from those who abuse them. But critics say it's been keeping pain pills away from the people who really need them.

Patient impact

Following the implementation of the checklist, some longtime Walgreens customers report long delays to get prescribed medication they desperately need to treat chronic pain.

"I've gone there for years and it usually took just a few minutes to get my prescriptions, but now they say it could take up to five days," explained a Walgreens customer who suffers from a debilitating combination of multiple sclerosis, fibromyalgia and peripheral neuropathy. The customer said his last prescriptions for Oxycontin and Oxycodone took Walgreens three and a half days to fill, forcing him to run out of medication and resulting in terrible pain.

Walgreens GFD Policy instructs pharmacy staff to "inform the patient that it may take additional time to process the prescription." Ryan says delays of more than 24 hours are unjustified.

"It's ridiculous," said the pharmacy technician, who was required to use the checklist while working at Walgreens. "If you don't have other things going on, it can be done in ten minutes. On a busy day, it might take 45 minutes to an hour – but not three and half days. A lot of times, the pharmacy will say it's going to take a long time because we have to call your doctor, but calling the doctor is not part of the mandatory checklist. Calling the doctor is the optional part."

If a Walgreens pharmacist refuses to fill your prescription for pain medication, that denial must now be entered into your online customer profile that can be seen by pharmacy staff at more than 8300 Walgreens nationwide. According to the GFD Policy, Walgreens pharmacists will also notify the US Drug Enforcement Administration that your prescription has been refused, and the pharmacy must maintain detailed documentation to justify the reason.

But if you want to know why Walgreens denied pain medication prescribed by your doctor, you're out of luck.

An Indianapolis mother, prescribed pain pills because of painful blood clots in her legs, was recently turned away by a Walgreens pharmacist who refused to fill her prescription for Oxycodone. According to the patient, the pharmacist would not provide an explanation, other than to say he was following his company's Good Faith Dispensing Policy.

"He said, 'We suggest you take it to CVS. At this point we're just feeding an addiction.' He was very loud and it was right in the open when he basically called me an addict. At that point, I was just so upset I left," said the customer, who requested anonymity to protect her family's safety. "I've been going to the same Walgreens for eight years. All I wanted was the same medication from the same doctor for the same medical condition, and they refused with no warning. It's very upsetting to be treated this way," she added.

Walgreens fined $80 million

Industry observers say Walgreen's decision to change its policy regarding the distribution of pain pills was borne out of necessity.

The company introduced its Good Faith Dispensing Policy and GFD checklist earlier this year as it was embroiled in a massive investigation by the US Department of Justice and US Drug Enforcement Administration. Federal agents targeted six Walgreens drug stores and a Walgreens distribution center in Florida, where they caught the company repeatedly filling bogus prescriptions for pain pills.

"These retail pharmacies filled the prescriptions for addictive prescription narcotics despite obvious red flags that clearly indicated the prescriptions were illegitimate, and the drugs were likely to be diverted for street use," said U.S. Attorney Wilfredo Ferrer, culminating a year-long investigation by the US Drug Enforcement Agency.

Walgreens agreed to pay an $80 million fine for those violations, and as part of its settlement, the company promised to improve its policies and procedures to help reduce prescription drug abuse involving addictive pain narcotics.

That's when Walgreens rolled out its GFD checklist, and told its employees to implement it – quietly.

"Managers made it clear … we don't want the patients to be made aware this what we're doing," Ryan told 13 Investigates. "They never really explained why. I just figured we had to do it to give Walgreens cover because of what happened in Florida."

Revealing a secret

While the new policy came as a shock to many customers, it did not come as a surprise to Ryan.

"Walgreens had to do something because the problem wasn't just in Florida. In our store, no prescriptions were ever being turned down," she said. "We had a reputation that we were the store that would ‘fill anything,' so we saw suspicious prescriptions all the time. Even when we'd raise flags, our pharmacy manager didn't care. He told us to fill them anyway."

A senior certified lead technician with 15 years of pharmacy experience, Ryan worked for a Walgreens in suburban Philadelphia for 18 months. She left the company this summer to accept a job at another pharmacy, but not before witnessing the GFD Policy in action.

She was not impressed.

"Any good pharmacist asks a lot of those questions anyway," Ryan said. "By giving us a checklist, they want to be able to cover themselves by saying ‘We have this policy. We went through it. We did everything we possibly could to make sure this was a good prescription to fill.' But I saw very few things change when this came out, other than people were being inconvenienced… The truth is, a lot of bad prescriptions still get approved because the pharmacy manager's bonus is based on the amount of scripts that get filled."

Ryan said the GFD Policy was applied inconsistently, with prescription approvals and denials based upon the subjective decisions of the particular pharmacy staff on duty.

Why did she make the confidential checklist public?

"I take these kinds of medications so I know what it's like to be in pain," said Ryan, who has chronic back pain caused by a herniated disc.

To deal with that pain, Ryan takes several narcotics prescribed by her doctor. Based on Walgreen's new checklist, she worries her prescriptions for pain pills would raise enough red flags to be denied.

"I've been taking these same pills for years, but they consider that a problem. And I just switched jobs. My insurance at my new company hasn't started yet so I'm paying cash for my prescriptions. With that, I could be turned down and they'd never tell me why. I just don't think that's right."

Not what the doctor ordered

Ryan is not alone. Many doctors also believe Walgreen's checklist is problematic.

Dr. Deborah Peel, founder of the Patient Privacy Rights Foundation, is both disappointed and shocked to learn what Walgreens is doing.

"This is really outrageous," the patient advocate said after looking at the GFD checklist obtained by 13 Investigates. "It's simply wrong for people not to know they are being evaluated in this fashion. If Walgreens wants to really offend its customers and prescribing physicians, this is the way to do it: have a secret policy and force people to comply with it and not tell them what it is."

Peel believes Walgreen's policy discriminates against millions of people, based solely on the type of medication they need.

"Everyone -- everyone -- who has a pain prescription is being treated as a suspected criminal," she explained. "We need programs that target the abusers, that don't treat everyone as an abuser. That's the real problem with this. It's highly offensive."

For pain specialists, frustration is running high.

Over the past several months, pain clinics in the Indianapolis area have observed a dramatic increase in complaints from patients who are having trouble getting their pain medication from Walgreens.

"They feel like they are being treated like an addict and many of them have said 'I'm not going back to Walgreens. I've got to find another pharmacy to go to because they made me feel really bad.' We hear it every day from multiple patients," said Jackie Rowles, a certified registered nurse anesthetist at Meridian Pain Group in Carmel.

Rowles says she supports any legitimate effort to improve patient safety, but she isn't sure Walgreen's new policy accomplishes that goal.

"I think the intention is good, but there's a lot of unintended consequences from this. I think it puts the pharmacist in a very difficult situation," she said, adding that even simple questions on the GFD checklist often have very complicated answers.

The longtime pain specialist offered the following explanation:

"They want to know ‘expected length of treatment?' I have no idea a lot of times how long it's going to take to treat pain. The length of treatment may be forever for some patients.

"Is the therapeutic regimen within standard of care? Many of the medications we prescribe are ‘off label' because no other therapy has worked.

"Use of alternative prescriptions and lower doses? Patients that are on higher doses than normal may actually need those doses because of the way that genetically their body works.

"My concern is: is this a checklist or is this a diagnosis list? Because I don't think many pharmacists are trained or equipped to really understand the diagnosis. Pain is a very difficult entity to treat."

Fighting back

While Rowles had not seen Walgreen's checklist until it was provided to her by 13 Investigates, she is very familiar with the issue.

Rowles is a board member of the American Academy of Pain Management, and her organization has been tracking complaints involving Walgreen's new dispensing policy for several months.

"We have lots of patients and a lot of doctors complaining, and we felt we had to have a way to communicate with the policy makers," she said.

The organization responded by creating an online complaint form for doctors and patients who are experiencing difficulty in getting prescriptions for controlled substances filled at Walgreens.

"The information in these reports will be communicated directly to Walgreens administration so that they may clear up misunderstandings and retrain their employees as needed," American Academy of Pain Management policy director Robert Twillman explained in a recent memo.

The online form allows doctors and patients to submit a complaint without their identity being released to Walgreens.

"Physicians in more than 20 states say that several national pharmacy chains may be inappropriately restricting patients' access to legitimate pain medication. Such roadblocks are creating serious barriers to patient access to needed medications – including those in hospice," wrote Dr. Steven Stack.

Response from pharmacists

The state organization that represents Indiana pharmacists declined to discuss Walgreens' Good Faith Dispensing Policy. "We really don't have anything to say or anyone for you to talk to," said Larry Sage, executive vice president of the Indiana Pharmacists Alliance. "We have no comment at this time."

Individual pharmacists who spoke up, offered a wide variety of reactions to the Walgreens policy. Some said a written checklist that provides clear instructions to curb prescription drug abuse is a positive and long-overdue development for both pharmacists and patients. Others were more skeptical, expressing disdain for a policy that was apparently adopted in reaction to pressure from federal regulators and that puts pharmacists in the cross hairs of angry patients and physicians.

Few pharmacists were surprised that Walgreens implemented a new policy.

"These medicines can be fatal and the government says they must be dispensed properly," said Bruce Clayton, associate dean at Butler University's College of Pharmacy.

He said pharmacists must determine each prescription is medically necessary and appropriate before it is dispensed. Those who fill questionable prescriptions for pain pills without asking questions can face severe consequences.

"If you're doing that, you are not following federal law and state law regarding controlled substances and if prosecuted, one can lose one's license over it. So the pharmacist really has no choice but to collect that info when the prescription is filled," Clayton explained.

Many drug stores, however, do not require their pharmacists to perform patient background checks and to answer a long list of questions before filling a prescription for controlled pain medication.

That may change, according to Clayton.

"I think we'll see some growing pains as pharmacies try to reign in this problem with prescription drug abuse. A pharmacy does have to be really cautious and do its due diligence. I think we'll start seeing a lot more of that," he said.

Walgreens has declined multiple requests for interviews. Asked why the pharmacy chain instructed its pharmacists to keep the GFD checklist confidential, company spokesman Jim Graham wrote "in general we do not make any of our internal policy documents open to the public."

While Walgreens would not provide a copy of its GFD Policy or checklist, it did send the following statement in July:

"With the sharp rise in the abuse of prescription painkillers in recent years, health care professionals in all practices are continuously striving to find better ways of ensuring those medications are used only for legitimate medical purposes. We are working to ensure our patients continue to have access to the medications they need while fulfilling our role in reducing the potential abuse of controlled substances. We have recently taken a number of steps to provide additional guidance and training to our pharmacies on the proper handling of controlled substances. Because of the legal requirements placed on pharmacists to verify that controlled substance prescriptions are issued for a legitimate medical purpose, pharmacists may need to gather additional patient information from their prescribing physician's office. This diligence may take extra time. For example, under our good faith dispensing policy, pharmacists may determine that they first need to check the state's Prescription Drug Monitoring Program database (called INSPECT in Indiana) for anything unusual. They may also decide to contact the prescribing doctor's office to verify the diagnosis and confirm that the patient has had a recent examination. Often, this information can be obtained from a member of the doctor's staff. Our good faith dispensing policy is intended to be used consistently by our pharmacists for each individual prescription to determine whether the doctor's office needs to be contacted. Our policy does not require prescriber contact for every prescription. We firmly believe that addressing prescription drug abuse will require all parties – including leaders in the community, physicians, pharmacies, distributors and regulators – to play a role in finding practical solutions to combating abuse while balancing patient access to critical medication."



  • Sandra Hoppes

    August 30, 2023 16:02 25

    Walgreens is playing GOD. Every month it’s always an issue getting my prescriptions. They are very rude to me. They said they have to have a treatment plan from doctor. They are pharmacist not a medical doctor. I am in so much pain right now. I told pharmacist they need to provide HIPPA forms if they want medical records. I further found that while the pharmacist has the option to call doctor there’s paragraph K of rule 4729-5-30 does permit processing the prescription without a diagnosis code.

  • Norma Talarico

    July 19, 2023 17:38 09

    I've been on fentanyl patch for many years for a degenerative spine and now for bone pain for stage iv cancer. The problems with Walgreens keep getting worse. Sometimes I have to wait a week or more for my patches. They tell me they can only dispense a certain amount per month. And when they're out I have to wait. This is the absolute worse patient care.

  • It's a sad state that legitimate pain management patients are being used as pawns by the feds and politicians so they can pretend to be solving the real issue of fentanyl. With any luck they'll all suffer a long painful life at some point with no relief. It doesn't help any though that pathetic state attorney generals are suing the drug stores so they replenish the coffers that they extorted from tobacco companies

  • Rebecca K Smith

    May 26, 2023 04:26 53

    So for the last 3 months I have been taking tramadol for pain. I had an appointment with my doctor on May 24th 2023. She wrote a script and sent it to Walgreens in Washington state, just up the road from me. The script changed from tramadol to Percocet 5/325 at 2 per day, for a total of 60 pills. I was told at first by the pharmacist that the diagnosis codes were not with the script so they reached out to the doctor. Okay. So I called back a few hours later to see where they were at in the process and I was then told that there was a prior authorization that was needed. So I asked if anyone had reached out to my doctor yet and I was told that yes, indeed that the doctor had been contacted. So, May 25th 2023 I reached out again to the pharmacy and they said that they were still waiting on the prior authorization. Odd. So I reached out to my insurance company and spoke with Chaz, who had all sorts of information for me. So insurance wouldn't cover the cost of the 60 pills for the prescription, but would cover 42 so the pharmacy should have filled it for that amount, but they are trying to push for the 60. Odd, normally they would fill other scripts for the amount that the insurance okayed and then wait for the prior authorization stuff to go through. So I called my doctor's office and explained what I found out and asked them to rescind the prescription for 60 pills and rewrite it for the 42 pills and we could figure it out after the holidays (Memorial Day Weekend). So I kept waiting to get the text saying that my prescription was ready, nothing. So I opened up my online platform for Walgreens and there's no prescription for the Percocet at all. It's gone. So I waited a bit to see if the new script would be loaded up onto my profile. I finally called Walgreens and asked where the prescription went and what was going on. The rude guy told me that yesterday, a new prescription was written for the 42 pills but it was dated for July 20 2023 and it couldn't be filled until then. I asked, why would my doctor date it for July 20th 2023? Are you sure, because I have gotten 3 different stories from you guys in the last 24 hours. This is when he got really rude and told me that is what is on the prescription and that THIS TIME it's the doctors fault.... I kid you not, I cannot make this insanity up. I have been with Walgreens for 8 years, this particular one for a year. I have never been on narcos for pain before, besides the tramadol for 3 months. I have a disk in my cervical spine that is compressing the spinal cord, with stenosis and severe slippage. I also have this in my lumbar. I have been trying to get surgery for 3 years now and I am now unable to walk further than 20 feet, I can't stand longer than 5 minutes without extreme pain. I also have fibromyalgia, gastroparesis, GERD, diverticulosis, reactive hypoglycemia, Vitamin Deficiencies, chronic dehydration, migraines. 3 years ago I was walking 5 miles a day 5 days a week. I have worked as a certified Nursing assistant for 40 years. I have always been on the move. I have dead lifted men weighing 300 pounds to move them out of harms way. I worked 16 hour shifts. I don't want to be confined to a wheelchair, but that's where we are at currently. I have to get a motorized mobility device because I can't self propelle myself because of my cervical spine....

  • Lynn D Forbes

    May 20, 2023 20:40 15

    I have been on pain medication, either hydrcodone 10 mg or oxycodone 10 mg, since December 2007. This is due to a tractor trailer aka 18 wheeler running me over off ramp of I 77 causing ruptured disk in neck and more. I also suffer from serious arthritis in knees and have to have fluid removed from right knee occasionally. I also suffer from diabetic neuropathy and more. EVEN in keeping my A1C in check. Unfortunately, the older I get, will be 63 this year, I get more chronic pain issues. I was getting my meds at cvs, until they started treating me poorly and would NOT have my pain meds in stock for 5 to 10 days way after fill due. It was horrible, hurtful and painful, extremely painful. And sooo embarrassing. Cvs made me feel like a drug addict. Sooo, I switched all meds to Walgreens and Walgreens are horrible. Way worse than CVS. they too say they do NOT have in stock. Due to the stigma attached to pain meds. I had my pain professional doctor to put me on suboxone, to maybe once again stop the oxycodone. Well, the suboxone did not help me at all and because of no pain relief I had no problems with doctor putting me back on my oxycodone. Walgreens should have had no problem filling my prescription for oxycodone on May 4th, this month. However, Walgreens informed me that I could Not pick up my prescription for my oxycodone today, the 20th of May. And I called this morning to add script for my pin needles for my insulin pens. And was told okay, my insulin pin needles and my oxycodone would be ready at noon today the 20th. Guess what, I went after 1pm to be told, they could not fill my oxycodone until Monday because they only had less than a fourth of what my script was for my pain meds. I broke down crying in so much pain. They told me they could give me the 46 qty. They had in stock, but I would have to forfeit 104 qty. I am NOT a drug addiction. Far from it. Why can't someone help those of us who rely on pain medication for our quality of life start class action against Walgreens? For the first time in over 4 years my A1C is above 7, due to NOT having my oxycodone. This is not right for those of us having to go to early grave due to NOT having quality of life due to pharmacist playing GOD. I was in such severe pain. I just took what they had. Only to come home and read that the pharmacy can give me my remaining pain meds within 72 hours. Which Monday will be 48 hours. Someone somewhere, needs to help us!

  • Anthony Austin

    May 6, 2023 11:37 43

    I have been using Walgreens for over 10 yrs getting all my medications at the same one here in NC.This last time I have been without my pain meds now for almost 2weeks and I have spinal stenosis,3 buldging disc,chronic pain my ankles where I have dislocated them and Walgreens keep saying they’re out of my meds..This right here is what’s leading to people dieing from fentanyl overdose..What gives them the right to not fill my prescriptions if my doctor sends them..I guess I’m just going to find another pharmacy it’s a absolute shame that now they can dictate when or if I get my meds

  • For over 5 years I've been getting exactly the same medication from the same Dr without any problems. I went in to get it filled and was told my Dr was more than 50 miles away (he's 75 miles away) and that I needed to go there to get my rx filled. When I take the day to drive there that Walgreens tells me I have to get it filled where I live. My county has no pharmacy. I begged and pleaded for the Walgreens to fill it just that month until I could figure out what to do but they wouldn't help me. I don't know how I'm supposed to go about getting medication that I need. I found small pharmacy in the next county over but bc my Dr is in one county and I live in another they basically told me they didn't want any problems bc I get a schedule 2 narcotic. It's been a absolute nightmare that I've been going through since January and I still don't know where to go. I look like I'm pharmacy shopping or something. It's crazy I can't get medication filled my Dr prescribed to me bc of this. I'm not a drug addict and I'm tired of being treated like one.

  • I have been getting my morphine script for rheumatoid arthritis for 6 years from Walgreens. I first started out on 5 60 mgs a day then Walgreen cut me back to 3 60 mgs a week. I had alot of pain at the time but got used to it finally. Now the pharmacist says she can no longer fill my script! I need help! Thank you.

  • Here is an e mail I received from Walgreen's March 21, 2023, in Metairie, LA: Dear adele, There was an Issue with Your Insurance. Your order is delayed due to an insurance issue that we're working to resolve. If your insurance has recently changed, please call the pharmacy at 504-833-6764 to provide updated insurance information. Otherwise, the pharmacy may reach out if we need anything else and we'll notify you once the prescription is ready. There is no issue with my insurance. From the checklist, the only two sections I fall under is: I am not geographically near the Walgreen's because I am traveling out of state and I've used Oxycodone over 6 months. My script is usually for TEN 5-325mg pills. I obviously don't fit their paranoid checklist, In addition, the Pharmacist has never heard of this although the article above states: "Walgreen's checklist instructs pharmacists to use their "professional judgement" (sic) to determine whether the prescription should be filled". I believe this is in violation of state and federal law. My next action is calling Walgreen's corporate. My pain is sometimes terrible but probably not as bad as other folks. I'm sending out prayers to all who are in pain but can't get their meds due to this pernicious policy. So sad, I've been going to Walgreens for 65 years and have always thought highly of the corporation. Not anymore.

  • Totally frustrated. Retired military and I get all my Rx (except for antibiotics and narcotics) for free at the base which is 45 minutes away from where I live. I feel the narcotics and antibiotics locally because the base pharmacy is not open on weekends or stay open past five o'clock. I have used either CVS or Walgreens for years. I am under chronic pain management and in good standing. When I went to Walgreens this time, they told me they would not fill my narcotics UNLESS I moved all my prescriptions to them. So, had to go without pain meds for three days because it was the weekend and the base takes a day to fill. Not only was pain now exacerbated because of no meds, I started going through withdrawal with anxiety, sweats and shakes. It was awful. It does not make sense to move my FREE medication scripts from the base to Walgreens to receive narcotics. What is a patient to do when the base pharmacy is not available for weekends or after five o'clock? And with narcotics, you cannot fill early to cover if you will run out on the weekend. Now, I am stuck in a pain exacerbation crisis and will probably need Toradol injection to get it under control. Very disappointed with Walgreens and CVS. I feel I have been red flagged after all these years on maintenance pain meds and not sure how to resolve the issue. One feels like a second class citizen.

  • Richard White, PA-C Santyl so this is going to the general medicine because there is a lot of flap that people are are saying about Walgreens so to it it is taking an additional amount of time to arrange and justify to a nonprescribing medical professiona

    March 16, 2023 23:17 07

    It is taking an additional amount of time to arrange and to justify to a non-prescribing medical professional (pharmacist), that a prescribing medical professional's prescription is justified. This additional time, which may take several days, often puts patients at risk for withdraw symptoms and seizures. Walgreens has not taken into account the duration of the patient's stable medication regimen, nor to any degree to the amount of medications in each class the patient is taking. If prescribers are going to need to justify the medications they prescribe, they should be speaking with another prescriber such as an MD or DO, not a pharmacist.

  • So how do legitimate pain patients combat this? Walgreens causing patients to have withdrawal monthly on legitimate long term pains or in some cases not filling at all

  • I have been taking a certain Schedule II pain medication for a long while. The last time my doctor sent in my prescription, the pharmacy did not have the whole quantity prescribed. I was told I could accept the lesser quantity or wait until another supply came in. I was out of medication and could not wait the two days they said it would take to get more stock so I accepted the lesser quantity. I was told if I wanted the remaining quantity I would need to have another prescription sent in. My doctor refused to do this because of the short time frame. Under law, it states that the remaining quantity can be given within 72 hours. However, Walgreens refused to follow this law. Now my whole schedule is off and I have to make do with a lesser quantity which causes me major pain. Outrageous!!!

  • I was just told by my Walgreens that they were out of stock on my Oxycodone until the end of March or early April - its only early February right now! I have always been treated like a criminal by them (even though I get my Rx from the same doctor and use the same pharmacy for the past seven years because of a crushed femur and failing liver where I have complications making me ineligible for a transplant... so I'm terminal). Now, I have to get a printed Rx and see who can fill it. It is unbelievable that a company like Walgreens is out of stock on something so critical to a dying man for months! I do not know if I should believe them or not... they lye every month anyway. They tell me my Rx will be ready, they have it a good week before I need them, and they do not even start filling it until I am standing at their counter waiting for it. I even try to go shopping next door for the hour or two they say they need - and it seems to get put on hold till I come back and wait! I grew up in pharmacies, my father was a pharmacist and owned the old "mom and pop" store. But, Walgreens just has no concern for their patient's care!

  • DeLinda VanArkel

    November 1, 2022 23:44 50

    I have had several different types of headaches since of the age of 10 years old after being ran off causing different types of brain injuries, not knot knowing exactly what they all were until my 40s, I have an allergy, tension, migraine, congestive sinusitis, cluster, and aneurysms, I am allergic to all but one, which all of a sudden Walgreens seemed to be unable to get when it was a refill, if they did have the prescription it would on be half, we would pay the full price for 90 days, but we would have to wait for the other half because according to the pharmacist, our insurance was saying it was too soon, which when we contacted Mary at our insurance that was not the case, I kept telling the pharmacist who was not right, then when the second half of my prescription would come in we have to pay another 90 days payment, which is robbery, this particular Walgreens has a 2-page letter explaining my situation, me being allergic to all the other physicians had tried giving me not one Doctor, not one hospital, I even had to go to the Brain University in Indianapolis, Indiana, who informed us of the same thing, I even informed them I only had 2-people who could bring me to pick up my medicine which is my Husband who has been fighting with no pancreas it is a miracle he is alive, he then he was told he might become a diabetic because of his pancreas not working properly, he then became a diabetic 2 years and 9 months after his pancreas rupturing, then in January he was diagnosed after seeing 6 different Doctors with Mantel Cell Lymphoma, the other is a friend of mine who has to travel 88-miles round trip from her house to my house then another 33 miles from my home to Walgreens, I have begun trying to find out what was going on behind his problem, the only response I did get that made sense to me was because the type of medication I had to have Walgreens profit would not be as great, again I found out by another pharmacist at another pharmacy was not true, also that Walgreens was to have the partial filled by three days after you picked the 1st half up, What can we do as consumers? Is there a place we can put a complaint into? My next email and letter is to the manufactures of the medicines I need to have a half way healthy day, the last time I was pain free was September 2000, at the end of the day when I realized I had not been in pain I began to weep I was so happy. I want to thank you for allowing. Me to vent. DeLinda

  • Recently we have had hurricane Ian devastate Florida. I guess a new statue prohibits filling a schedule 2 from being filled early, in my case two days. Since the storm passed I found out my Walgreen's has no power. I am not allowed to fill at another one without my doctor calling/ e-scripting a new one, regardless of having my profile! My Dr also has no power! So I m in so much pain I may go to the ER. Who is changing these laws?

  • Michele Blankenship

    March 13, 2022 03:31 29

    I am going through this EXACT problem right now. I am diagnosed with scoliosis, spinal stenosis, Herniated/degenerative discs L4&L5. Some days I cant even walk. I have no insurance and no income so I have to pay in cash. I go to the SAME store EVERY month, I cant get my LEGITIMATE PRESCRIPTION FROM MY DOCTOR filled. Pharmacy staff is rude and treat you like you're a criminal. What do we do as LEGITIMATE patients to not just get our medications, but to be treated like human beings not criminals????

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    • Editor-in Chief:
    • Theodore Massey
    • Editor:
    • Robert Sokonow
    • Editorial Staff:
    • Musaba Dekau
      Lin Takahashi
      Thomas Levine
      Cynthia Casteneda Avina
      Ronald Harvinger
      Lisa Andonis

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