Monday, June 27, 2016


Dear Narc Patient,

Today you've come to the pharmacy with a prescription from your "pain management clinic."

It clearly states on the prescription the following:

"Do not fill until [Future Date]"

[Future Date] is not today. No, there is no confusion there. No, the physician didn't make a mistake. No, I'm not going to call them and ask them to change it. No, I don't care what they told you at the office... this is a legal document and my license is on the line for what is written there, regardless of what you think the physician "meant." No, I don't care if the "other guy" would do it for you. He's not me.

You're free to take the prescription and go back to the clinic and get a new prescription that doesn't have that printed on it. But calling the clinic at the window won't accomplish anything except get the people in line behind you upset because you're in their way.

I'm sorry that you're in pain. I'm sorry that you didn't take your last prescription for Oxycodone the way it was prescribed and that now you're completely out of your medication. I believe you when you say your physician said you could take more of the medication if you needed to. But that still doesn't change the fact that he/she wrote "Do not fill until [Future Date]" on THIS prescription. And no, I won't give you some tablets to get you to [Future Date]. No, I don't care if your insurance will pay for it today, and no I don't care if you want to pay cash.

Of course you're free to take your prescription somewhere else. If by chance the other pharmacist misses this or doesn't obey the delimiter, that doesn't mean you can come back here next month and tell me the "other pharmacy" let you fill it before [Future Date] and tell me it's ok for me to do it.

No, I'm not trying to cause you pain. I'm not trying to kill you. I am not trying to be mean, or insensitive, or brutish. And calling me all these names and whatever else you can think of doesn't change the situation either.

Talking to the store manager isn't going to help. They don't have final jurisdiction in this matter and we've been down that road already.

So, actually, the best course of action is to leave the prescription with me and come back on [Future Date]. Just one thing... though... that doesn't mean it will be ready when I open the door on [Future Date]. I'll actually need time to fill it on that date.

Thank you,

Every Pharmacist, Everywhere 


Anonymous said...

Future date means 12:01 am to some folks at 24 hour store. To me, future date is business hours of doctor's office

Anonymous said...

I want to know where these magical pharmacies are. I want to see just how they manage to get all Rx's filled so quickly and without any complaints.

How do they do it? Specially trained gnomes and fairies that work while the gates are down? The nicest Rphs and techs in the whole wide world? Every last brand and formulation of controlled substance kept in stock in gloriously large amounts?

God people are so stupid.

Daisy said...

I've had the same type of arguments, albeit a bit less fueled by pain, regarding HIPAA and requests for information about a patient/ family member.

Anonymous said...

Had that very "talk" this morning, because it was _______ date, and, well, it's 8:30 already!

jayisnotsmart said...

as a consumer that takes Adderall i can say for myself you just have to follow the rules. it saddens me to see drug seekers trying to scam controlled substances. personally, i have a good relationship with my pharmacy, i know all the pharmacists/techs names; i don't hop around docs or pharms. but stories like this always make me giggle a bit, and then feel bad for the men/women on the front lines of dealing with this.

Anonymous said...

Good for you for your integrity, Crazy. Whatever comes of this, that patient needs to have long talk with his/her prescriber.

2tall said...

Manly in small town grundy center,IA is where there at. No they won't break the law for you but they are friendly and fill multiple scripts in 5min while treating you like family. No its not because they have no customers. It's because they take pride in their work employ enough people all of whom have been there years. Plus they're the cheapest you'll find. They believe in repeat business and aren't stuck up judgmental bean counters