Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Pharmacy FAIL!!

Remember that saga where I was forced to learn how to use a syringe against my will because the pharmacy screwed up and gave me syringes accidentally? Well, today the pharmacy has totally outdone itself in unprofessional stupidity. 

When I first started using the syringes, I actually thought that they hurt less than the auto-injectors, so once I got started I was pretty happy using them. But then I started having trouble with giving myself the injection. I don't know if I became too nervous or not nervous enough, but the injections really started to hurt. And I was having a hard time pushing the plunger all the way down. And more than once I ended up with big red welts at the injection site. I don't think it helps that I am feeling less enthused about ENBREL in general these days either. In any event, more than 8 weeks ago, I decided it would be best to go back to the auto-injectors. 

So I called the pharmacy to order refills. I specifically told the pharmacist that I wanted to go back to using the auto-injectors. For starters, they had no record of me even having syringes. All of their records (including my actual prescription!) said that they had actually given me the auto-injectors. So they had no idea that they had even given me syringes in the first place, despite the complaint I had submitted by email and the long discussion I had with the pharmacist about their error. I don't know what on earth kind of records system that is!! But I confirmed that I would be given the auto-injectors this time and asked when it would be ready.

I was still in California when it came time to pick up the prescription, so APL went and picked it up on his lunchbreak. It wasn't until he got home and put it in the fridge that he noticed that they had mistakenly given me the syringes AGAIN. APL sent an email complaint and I called the pharmacy to complain. First they said that APL should bring the syringes back and they would switch them, which, if you recall, they were totally unwilling to do the first time they gave me the syringes by accident.  But APL had already used his lunchbreak so I just stuck with the syringes, which I've still been having trouble with. 

I also spent at least half an hour on the phone with the pharmacist, making sure all my records were marked properly and talking about what precautions they could take so that this would never happen again. I mean (a) they essentially gave me the wrong prescription, which is really dangerous, and (b) they had done it more than once, which is really unprofessional and (c) they gave me my medicine in a form I specifically told them I wasn't comfortable with, which is just not cool.

This past Monday, I called again for my ENBREL refill. Again I requested the auto-injectors and again was assured that my prescription called for auto-injectors and that's what they would prepare for me. The pharmacist on the phone even claimed to check to make sure they actually had auto-injectors before she hung up with me. I was feeling pretty optimistic.

Alas, I was seriously mistaken in my optimism. Today I went to pick up the ENBREL and they tried to give me syringes again!! This is the THIRD time they have given me something OTHER than what my prescription calls for and OTHER than what I have specifically requested. Despite two email complaints and multiple conversations with the pharmacist specifically about this issue!! What. The. Hell!! Isn't the pharmacy supposed to be helping me deal with my RA instead of making my life significantly more frustrating??

And the moral of the story is: I'm getting a new pharmacy.


A said...

Woah. Not cool and not ok. I agree-- get thee a new pharmacy and make sure you get the bonus for your transfer (often $25 at CVS, WalMart, etc).

However, if you have the time and energy, I'd call the manager of the store or, better, the store's headquarters and tell them what you said on here: it's the wrong medication, given repeatedly and dangerously, and just plain frustrating. They'll never have your business again.

It may not get you much, but it may save someone else down the line! Trust me, they're paid WAY too much to let stuff like this slide all the time.

Rebecca said...

Wow. That's pretty amazing. I especially appreciated the very lawyerly (a)...(b)...(c) form :)

A's suggestion is a great one, but I bet Wardenburg isn't that responsive to it (they're probably really well-versed in their sexual health/contraceptives department, but maybe not much else). Good for you for being a good self-advocate/syringe-checker!

Miss you!

P.S.: My word verification is ingeobb (in/geh/ah/bb). We should make up a new word for the pharmacy's incompetence. Like "bad," and "wrong," or even better, "ingeobb"!

Skye said...

wow, i got the auto injectors last month on accident and i wanted the syringes. :( i told them on the phone to make SURE i get the correct ones this time. As for the red welts I get these either way with the auto inject AND syringes. :( it sucks it just depends on the week, sometimes ill get lucky.