Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Reasons for Early Refill

Reasons you want to refill your narcotic early:

You lost it

Someone stole it out of your purse/car/medicine cabinet

You're going out of town where they don't have pharmacies

You left it at the motel room

You left it in the cab

You left it on the bus

You left it on the airplane

You left it at the restaurant

You left it at your in-laws' house

Because you're willing to pay cash for it

You're going on a three month cruise and won't have access to a pharmacy

Because [insert Holiday coming up] is next week


Even though we have a pick-up signature captured on our computer, you insist you didn't actually pick them up last month

You just had bad news and you really, really need it

Because "none of the pharmacist's business" is a good enough reason

It was accidentally thrown away

Your kids are stealing them

The count must have been off from the last refill and now you're short this month

Even though it says to take ONE a day, TWO must be better

You can't find your current medication

They fell into the toilet

They fell into the sink

They fell into your bowl of cereal

The last refill "smelled funny"

I have to otherwise you said you'll complain to my manager

Your doctor said it is ok

Your doctor who can't be reached said it is ok and I'm just supposed to take your word for it

Because there is only 28 days in February so you're being screwed out of 3 days

Because you like to "stock up" just in case we don't have the medication next month

You don't really need them -- you just don't want to have to drive all the way down here next week

Dr. Oz said it was ok

Oprah said it was ok

Dr. Oz said it was ok while on Oprah

You ran out because you share it with your spouse

You ran out because your ex-spouse stole them

Because your insurance is expiring at the end of the month and you don't want to have to pay cash for it

You worry about Zombies and/or Robots

The dog ate your last refill

Scotty "beamed" them up

Because you have to come up with some sort of "believable" excuse because you're lying to everyone, including yourself, that you're a damn narc addict and you just can't admit it



33 comments:

bcmigal said...

Brilliant as usual!

3Sweeties said...

I've got one you missed. "That wasn't me who got those narcotics, it was my twin sister. We have the same name."
Yep, true story!!

Anonymous said...

That is for my BACK pain. This is for my fibromyalgia/leg/hernia/etc pain.

Anonymous said...


My favorite reason ever: "My dog ate my Percs, then threw them up all over my Ativans, so I need them both early"

Anonymous said...

Years ago as a pharmacy intern, my Rx Mgr "Mean Gene" gave me a challenge: consult/deal with the addict at the counter successfully and earn my right to consult in his pharmacy. What he didn't remember was that I had worked in Fresno, CA (a.k.a. Methadonia) for a couple of years as a pharm tech. The addict told me his dog ate the #120 oxycodone he picked up three days ago and he had a brand new script from his MD that we needed to fill for him. I asked him if the dog vomited the pills. Addict said no, perhaps assuming I was going to ask him to bring in proof of vomited pills. But no, I said "Ok, bring in your dead dog and I will see about filling your new Rx". He stood there silent for a moment, then turned and walked away. And that's how I earned my consultation badge.

The Domestic Goddess said...

The unfortunate thing is that when you have spent time talking to your doctor (for me this means about $30.00 in gas, an hour drive, a 20 minute ferry ride and approx. 30 min. to an hour wait time in his office), going through everything, he does ok early release, etcetc... to then have the pharmacist and his fellow pharmacist staff, fail to advise you when you submit the prescriptions where it has been clearly written by the doctor himself that he is allowing the early release if I require it... despite asking them to read it, asking them if that is ok - to be told yes, that's helpful thank you, just call if you have any questions or concerns - to then be told 10 days later when you do call because for some strange reason your gut is telling you that there's going to be some issue (and this "feeling" comes from being ignored, spoken to rudely and treated as an addict by the staff ... where prior to this they were everything and more in terms of customer service). Disappointing to find out that indeed there is a problem, which by their tone they are blaming you for .... sorry but my doctor should know the laws around prescription dates, refills and the like. I am trusting him and you as a matter of fact. Clearly neither of you feel it's important to do your jobs. Especially when I ask directly at the time I submit my prescriptions. When you are not the problem, when you are attempting to resolve the issue as best as you can ... to be treated so rudely, unprofessionally and unethically because you've picked up your dirty paintbrush and are trying to paint me with it ... no sir ... that doesn't fly in my world. It's going to be a trying Monday tomorrow for both my doctor and the pharmacist/co-owner because I am not going to tolerate being bullied. I take the time to understand, to learn, to research as best as I can with what I am told, I am polite and considerate. Time for them to pull up their socks and let's get this playing field evened out.

LuckyCPht said...

Most customers do not understand that the pharmacy staff is not passing judgement on them personally. It is just usually by the time they come in with their doctor approved early refill "next time" if patient requests, we have already heard the a~z excuses of wanting early refills. And it is never for blood pressure or cholesterol meds. So don't be so quick to put down your local pharmacist. I have walked with many pharmacists and most of them would do everything they could to help a customer. Believe it or not, it made the pharmacy run smoother. An extra 5-10 minutes spent on one prescription/customer to assure satisfaction could make the rest of the day pass smoother. That being said, I know of no pharmacist that would endanger their license just so someone could have their norco or xanax fix early. Yes, I used the word fix. Usually the ones who wanted an early refill were not taking the RX as directed by the MD. They were taking it recreationally.

Struck by a Turtle said...

@Domestic Goddess A prime example of exactly who CRx is talking about. What excellent timing with your post.

Let me guess, fibromyalgia?

Damn, I'm good.

Tracy said...

@Struck by a turtle

May you never have chronic pain.
May you never have to take 2 pills instead of 1 because you are being UNDER medicated.
May you always be believed when you tell a doctor how much pain you have.
May you never be made to feel like a drug addict.

But if by chance you become disabled by some horrible accident, I hope you remember your words here, and how you once mocked someone for having the courage to speak up.

We aren't all drug addicts

Tracy said...

@Struck by a turtle

May you never have chronic pain.
May you never have to take 2 pills instead of 1 because you are being UNDER medicated.
May you always be believed when you tell a doctor how much pain you have.
May you never be made to feel like a drug addict.

But if by chance you become disabled by some horrible accident, I hope you remember your words here, and how you once mocked someone for having the courage to speak up.

We aren't all drug addicts

Anonymous said...

I hope you work retail for the rest of your life. But that's not even half the pain of someone with actual chronic pain fighting the sea of seekers that go in for the "party". I've heard people literally brag while you can see my thombosis and veins from a clot issue and I've gone to the same pharmacist for two years. You are just some yuppie with mommy/daddy money that got the wrong job just like some of us have the "wrong" meds you have to dole out. BOO HOO.

Anonymous said...

I worked in a retail pharmacy for 13 years so ive seen it all like CRxMan. We know who are addicts for there is a very distinct pattern.
Im 32 and now I have cancer AND fibromyalgia (yes its a real disease) so I have sympathy for those in chronic pain as I also am.

CrazyRxMan.......my favorite excuse that I heard was "My prescription bottle dropped in the hot tub" oh and "They dropped in the lake while I was fishing".

anxious said...

Or your and anxious reck and knocked the bottle in the sink after brushing my teeth. Xanax helps people with panic disorders and is usually looked at like street drug. Thus putting me into possible withdrawal symptoms like seizures.

Anonymous said...

I think people should be allowed at least 2 oops refills a year. THATS IT. Because accidents really do happen and what do you do for those people who really are in serious pain and have an accident and now their out of their only relief? Its not right to just lump everyone into one category. That category being "addict liar". With something as chronic pain and peoples lives and jobs at stake we should have a more sympathetic attitude towards these people other than Kindergarten justice such as where little Timmy wont shut up so the whole class is denied recess....

Anonymous said...

I was diagnosed at 36 with stage IV breast cancer that has spread into my skull, hips, pelvis, shoulders and most of my spine. It's ridiculous how I have been treated because "I don't look sick". It amazes me how many pharmacists are quick to judge and automatically assume I am a junky because I "don't look sick" and am picking up my pain meds.

I frequently cut myself back or go without my meds even though I am in excruciating pain, just so I can make sure I have a backup plan in case an accident does happen. I always have at minimum half a month of extra meds in case of emergencies because I would rather feel the pain of cancer stretching my bones and spreading through my body than to deal with another judgmental pharmacist. It's ridiculous that there are so many people in legitimate chronic pain getting treated so rudely by pharmacy staff because a good portion of the staff chooses to automatically assume the worst.

Anonymous said...

I agree that accidents do happen. Everyone who takes meds are not an addict. I had 13 surgeries in one year due to a docs mistake and every time I had to go pick up my pain meds I felt like I was being judged. I was even asked why the doc was writing this med for me!! This was in front of a whole waiting area of people. I had never felt so embarrassed in my life. I have IC its a bladder diesease and there's no cure for it but I will never fill another prescription for pain meds in my life. That's sad I'd rather live with the pain then be embarrassed like that again. I understand that pharmacys have to be care and make sure they are covering their a$$ but they need to teach a class that helps them treat ppl like a person and have compassion and not like an addict.

Anonymous said...

You, whoever the hell you are, are a bully! You need a freaking course in compassion and not passing judgment on anyone. I understand that there is a problem with prescription drugs being abused but I also understand that people who are suffering from chronic pain (such as Fibromyalgia) have to go through such crap. I believe that if you contact your doctor and go in for a visit because you had an accident with your meds, you should not be able to judge. This is so disappointing because I watched my grandmother go through years of pain and being judged. God forbid I become ill, I don't know if I would be willing to be judged just because you can't see that they are ill!

Jesse Reneau said...

hi so I'm sure a lot of people are going to think I'm full of shit that's fine. On Friday I went I got up at 6 a.m. I never get up that early but I was getting up to go camping with friends we do RC cars and play on the rocks the last 6 years I've been on meds I have never ever ever lost or ask for meds early except for on a trip and that's usually just a written prescription for a day or two early but I make them last I've never used them recreationally. I I'm not sure if I left it behind my truck or on top of my truck but I lost my backpack on Friday morning rushing to get to my friends house so I wouldn't hold them up so we can get to the other people and going on trip. I didn't realize until a few miles past that I lost my backpack be the way I found out was reaching the back of the truck to get my phone charger and realizing there's no backpack there I asked him to bring me back to my truck when we got there my truck was closed I assumed my backpack was still in the truck. As soon as I realized my bag was gone I freaked out I have kept my meds A secret there's just such a stigma about him I just don't want anyone to know I went to my doctors office instead of calling I know the problem with that drugs so I figured going in in person is better than calling they told me they would give a message to my doctor and to go home and wait and they would call me I told them that I only had a couple left and would not make it past the day I told them that I have never messed up before I don't know what to do and I'm scared of the DTS now on top of all this 2 months ago I asked to be tapered off my meds it was me not the doctor but it was me who asked can I start tapering off so even being honest and doing the right thing I still got treated as a druggie and now it is the next day I'm going through withdrawals and they never called me I feel totally betrayed by a doctor I've seen for 6 years whom I thought I had created a good relationship with whom I actually believed didn't think I was a piece of shit druggie but in all reality as soon as they put you on them your shit and there is no lie about that

Anonymous said...

I'm so sorry that happened to you. I hope you got ur meds and didn't suffer to much.

Anonymous said...

Hi Crazy,

Could you provide any tips for non-addicts for dealing with controlled prescriptions? I understand if you don't want to since I guess the addicts could read it and use it too.

I take adderall and my dog takes tramadol. I'm going on a two week international cruise followed by a 40 hour train ride where I will not have access to a U.S. pharmacy. I will need to fill my prescription and my dog's prescription a week early to have enough to get through the trip.

My doctor has given me a prescription dated so I can do this. My vet has called in her okay to the pharmacist. I will be calling my insurance for approval on mine and there is no insurance for the dog.

The reason I don't have to fill my non-controlled prescriptions early is because I get 90 day supplies of those so I have more than enough to get through a two week trip. The Adderall and Tramadol come 30 at a time.

While adderall is not a life sustaining drug I have really bad ADD and will actually be able to relax and enjoy my vacation if I can stay on my medication. I can't imagine a 40 hour train ride without it. My husband would probably kill me. Also, I'd probably do so many stupid things on the cruise, like lock my key in the room or lose my wallet. I really do need the adderall for my brain to function. I'm on a relatively low dose too.

Anyway, I guess I'm just afraid of looking like an addict by needing an early fill. I already gave the pharmacist a heads up when I got my last order. For the Tramadol they said no problem, for the adderall they basically said "we'll see." (Different pharmacists because dog meds are cheaper at a special pharmacy).

Is there anything I can do to make this less awkward for me and the pharmacist? I'm a white collar professional in a suit but I know addicts come in all forms. My husband is also in law enforcement so I wouldn't be illegally using drugs but the pharmacist doesn't know that and there is no awkward way to mention it that doesn't look like I'm trying to get special treatment.

I guess my question is this, pharmacists and doctors can allow a vacation supply of a controlled substance where they are in agreement, right?

My cruise also stops in Puerto Rico. Do they fill U.S. prescriptions there and accept U.S. insurance? Doesn't help my dog but it would help me.

Crazy RxMan said...

I would imagine that you can get your prescription filled in Puerto Rico without a problem. However, check with a travel agent just to make sure.

From what you've said, I don't think you would have any trouble getting your prescription filled early at your pharmacy. You don't fit the profile, you're not exhibiting red flags, and clearly you're not abusing your medication. You might have a problem getting your insurance to pay for the medication, but other than that there shouldn't be a problem.

As long as you're upfront about what you're doing and have no prior history of early refill requests, I really doubt you'll have a problem.

Kelly said...

I know this post is very old but I stumbled here looking for a way to redeem myself from what I now realize are some major pharmacy faux pas.
A few months back I was prescribed Adderall XR after being off ADHD medications for nearly twenty years. I've never had anything more than an antibiotic script every other year, so I was completely ignorant to how pharmacies work. When I first dropped of the paper prescription (which I had never done. Everything had always been called in ahead of time for me) the phamiscist asked when I needed it and I shrugged and said "Now?" In retrospect, I realize that was an awful way to start off my relationship with my friendly pharmacist.
Anyway, I'll admit, I'm the definition of the phrase "book smart but not street smart." So, when my doctor gave me two papers I tried to fill them at the same time *and* tried to fill a prescription less than thirty days before the last one.
Honestly, I just didn't know the rules. I'm really new to this and no one told me these things. I just figured, my doctor gave this to me to give to you and that's it. I don't need the medication filled earlier. I just figured I'd save myself a trip. Now I'm getting the side-eye from the techs and because I'm nervous, act like an incompetent idiot.
I told the one exceptionally judgy pharm tech that I was sorry about my flubs and joked that I was ignorant about how it worked because I had "just recently got old." To which she actually smiled but then I screwed up using my new credit card and looked like a moron again.
How do I redeem myself? Or should I just start from scratch at a new pharmacy because my reputation is too tarnished?

Trauma CCRN with a ❤️ said...

And for those of us who are ACTUALLY going to work in remote locations of the world for 3 months (West Aftica) and who are on multiple controlled precriptions...I contacted several customer service reps at my pharmacy at various levels and my doc, and I'm still waiting to hear back over a month later. (Walgreens). My doc already ok'd everything. If I can't get what I need, I won't be able to travel and do my job. That's pretty sad. Walgreens doesn't go to West Africa. There are exceptions to everything as we can plainly see.

Anonymous said...

You are so right. Makes me mad when people think I am abusing my meds but they need to walk in my shoes for 10 minutes. That's all it would take. I agree with you 100%

Nate Johnson said...

Stop whining about your customers and get a different job already. I love how pharmacists are such class acts, saving the world by denying 1 pill at a time! However, they have no problem bashing their clients/business associates all day long.

Whether they like it or not, they do business with these people every single day. I have an idea.. Maybe you should spend time trying to help these "loser scum junkies" of the world. Based on how judgemental you are, you clearly have no vices. You could be a great help. After all, you are the ones feeding them the meds when the scrip. is to your liking. If you aren't going to do that, then maybe you should just give them their drugs a few days early.

You handing the meds over when it is "ok" is doing a lot more harm than denying them a few pills. Take full accountability or get another job. Maybe try and have some compassion, you may not hate your customers as much. Sure, they may be high as a kite, but they wont be arguing with you! After all, you are their dealer and they are your fiends.

Anonymous said...

First off I work in the pharmacy world and I'm on a C-II so I see what is happening on both ends of the counter. Many posters here don't realize they are asking the pharmacist to commit a felony, risk their professional license, risk a fine, livelihood and JAIL TIME. If the controlled substance is dispensed early/replaced/without a prescription then yes those are all outcomes for the pharmacist.

Just so everyone knows, Oxycodone sells for about $1 per mg on the street. When CRx posted about someone going through 150 pills of 30 mg Oxycodone in 20 days did you realize the customer had in her possession $4,500 USD worth of very desirable drugs? That is $54,000 per year of pills (resale value) that this person gets every year. When the customer needed 50 more to get through the end of the month that is $1,500. That is about what the technician will take home in a month. A month's wages!

"Denying someone a few pills" is exactly what the pharmacy should do. If a patient needs 5 -10 pills for whatever reason they need to contact their doctors office, tell the doctor what happened and have the doctor write a new script. They can include a note about this fill replacing an 'opps' moment. The doctors staff will understand.

@Nate Johnson: describing these pills as a vice is EXACTLY the reason there is a problem like this. The pills are used as a vice (recreationally) by some drug seekers. They want to get high. This is not a medical need, legally, and thus pills should not be given to the seeker.

Controlled Substances are controlled because of a risk of abuse and addiction. If you see a doc for fibromyalgia my heart and sympathies go out to you. Do understand that this disorder is a common one 'assigned' to a stoner who goes to a pill mill doctor to get pain pills. I know you all go to reputable doctors, so why don't you change pharmacies and go to one locally owned pharmacy for your controls. Introduce yourself and start a relationship. They can put notes in your profile if they want so other staff can know you come in on the "1st or 2nd of every month for your fills".

Anonymous said...

Idiots ive had 2 back surgeries and in oklahoma they are only allowed to write a 25 day script which leave 6 days unaccounted for in most months if you are not here trying to get help then why even comment if you dont have this problem then keep to your own and good for you some people need them just like you need water

Miss.Megan23 said...

Iv been on meds and patches for years &I'm 27! I never asked for early refills when they were stollen by parents, siblings friends etc.. because that was my fault if you are gonna be in pain meds be smart and stop ruining it for everyone!! I actually just had a situation where( and I never carry the whole bottle ( or even half but I did carry half in my purse for an idiotic reason and it opened a pop got punccered in there and ruined 98% of them so I'm fucked but guess what i Fucked my self!! My doctor is risking his medical license for me to be responsible and I must be!!! I am gonna hurt like hell and this won't be fun do to pain not withdrawal cause I have put some aside every month just in case my Insurace wanted to be dicks and not fill it or etc.. it I still do not even have 1/10 of what I need and it my dumbass fault. Take ownership and suck it up. I know it sucks. It if your really in chronic pain like I am then you save them so u don't run out, only take them when you need them need them like I'm gonna die pain and enough bs people!! This is why it's so hard to get your meds now cause if you dumb ass's suck it up like me!! Cause you have no one to blame but you!!!

Anonymous said...

You should all be ashamed of yourselves. Because you work in a pharmacy, you're not God. You don't KNOW what everyone's situation is. Until you walk in that person's shoes, shut.... UP! You're probably the same people who yell at me, an airline employee, because your plane is delayed, and then talk crap about me! This is PROOF of what I have always thought about the pharmacy "crew". Passing judgement before even speaking to someone. You don't know what someone's doctor has told them. I've had them say "call me if there are issues or you feel you need a change or increase in meds". So getting my "fix" if that's what you want to call it is your job. I don't want to hear you speak. I tell you my name, you get my rx. You ask me I'd I have questions. If my rx is legit, you say nothing. It is your job. This is shameful.

Catch me on the Flip Side said...

To the anonymous post from Dec 13th...

Just wanted to point a few things out here. You write, and I quote, " You're probably the same people who yell at me, an airline employee, because your plane is delayed, and then talk crap about me!"... and then follow this up with "Passing judgement before even speaking to someone" and "I don't want to hear you speak. I tell you my name, you get my rx. You ask me I'd (lol) I have questions. If my Rx is legit, you say nothing."

In a matter of possibly less than 5 minute of you writing above mentioned post, because I seriously see a lack of thought or reflection thereof, you've managed to severely contradict yourself. You sound extremely judgemental yourself of the pharmacy profession and as such sound like the same kind of person that would "yell at an airline employee" or a fast-food burger chain employee because they forgot to add extra mayo packets for your fries or something.

Honestly, this kind of post pisses me off for the reason that if you're at least going to call a group of people out (ie. the whole "pharmacy crew/ pharmacy profession"), have the decency to realize you might just be the slightest bit hypocritical yourself and in fact you're being the type of individual you're calling out.

THAT, my dear, is shameful.

Unknown said...

Thank you for stating that clearly. UNDERmedicated. When one has such intense pain, 1 pill ain't gonna cut it. What is the rule of pain management? Easier to control pain when it is light to moderate than moderate to severe. And the fact we need this medication to move, there is NO BUZZ anymore, just relief. When it's not there, it is 10x worse. Yes, we obviously do become addicted to an addictive medication, like an antidepressant, we do still need them. Addicts? Sounds like it was our choice. Dependant on medication for quality of life, yes.

Unknown said...

Thank you for stating that clearly. UNDERmedicated. When one has such intense pain, 1 pill ain't gonna cut it. What is the rule of pain management? Easier to control pain when it is light to moderate than moderate to severe. And the fact we need this medication to move, there is NO BUZZ anymore, just relief. When it's not there, it is 10x worse. Yes, we obviously do become addicted to an addictive medication, like an antidepressant, we do still need them. Addicts? Sounds like it was our choice. Dependant on medication for quality of life, yes.

Anonymous said...

Wow pharmacist seem pretty mean and judgmental. .