I Still Hate Walgreens

I’ve had the pleasure of dealing with the Walgreens Pharmacy for over two years now, on at least a monthly basis, but unfortunately it’s usually more. I have multiple, complex and annoying health problems, which makes me a slave to the rule-reciting minions at the pharmacy counter, who don’t know shit about shit. Don’t worry, I understand there are rules and strict guidelines that have to be followed. Afterall, it’s the idiots who abuse many medicines which have made it exceedingly difficult for the rest of us sickleys to get our DAMN PILLS.

The problem I have with them is the problem people have with the DMV and many other American chain institutions. I don’t like when people treat you as a policy, instead of a person. You’ll ask them a basic question and they respond with a script that someone else wrote, something memorized for the job. And sometimes, that’s what you have to do. But sometimes, it’s good to look people in the eye, listen to what they are saying, and, I dont know, possibly…help them?

Walgreens is genius because they hired a great advertising agency which created a bunch of commercials noting that we don’t live in a perfect world, so for everything else, there’s Walgreens. I threw my shoe at the TV last time I saw that commercial. We don’t live in a perfect world, true, and Walgreens is a first rate offender.

There’s a couple things Walgreens is wonderful for. Like shampoo. And all the shit people try to sell on infomercials that didn’t do well, because, well, they’re shit. There is an entire aisle dedicated to “As Seen On TV Products”, and that’s cool and everything, if you have twenty bucks you’d like to lose and are in desperate need of “pajama jeans.” They also have a great post seasonal aisle, which has a bunch of cheap chocolate and ugly decorations that are half the price, and could save you some dough for next year. But the buck stops there. Most people need Walgreens because they are suffering, and unfortunately, it’s the DMV of medication distribution.

Sadly I don’t see Walgreens going out of business any time soon. For one thing, THEY’RE EVERYWHERE. I’m currently in New York City, and I passed 6 in a 2 block radius yesterday. That could be an exaggeration, but they’re like starbucks, only the people handling your coffee are usually 10 times more intelligent than the people handling your pills. Does this strike anyone else as a problem? I feel like I’m on CRAZY PILLS!! Then again if I were, it’s not like I could get the refill when needed, in which case I’d be having a psychotic break right now. Sometimes I think that’s what’s going on with Charlie Sheen. I know everyone is sort of having a boner for him right now, which is cool and everything, because the guy is pretty funny and such a spectacle to watch. But I can’t help but wonder if he’s just been waiting for his schizophrenia medication to be re-filled this whole time, and Walgreens is to blame. (In that case, thanks Walgreens! love, everyone)

Anyway, I know deep in my soul, this blog isn’t gong to do much. All I am is a sick kid with a computer. I lack the strength, manpower, and money to go after Walgreen’s. You’d know who’d be great to get on my side? Charlie Sheen. I think some tigers blood could really help this issue. Then when the person behind the pharmacy counter tells me they can’t fill my prescription because, I dunno, it’s Wednesday and it’s raining, or something equally irrelevant, Charlie Sheen could just punch them in the face. We’d high five and walk out. WINNING! The problem is there is such little accountability for institutions like this, and such little oversight.  I could complain to the manager, which I have before, but then I’m just that girl that complains to the manager, and everyone flips off when I walk out the door. I know how it works. They probably aren’t paid enough, they probably aren’t trained enough, and most importantly, they are not taught to treat people like people, they’re taught to read rules, and that’s where our system fails. We’ve lost our humanity.

The worst part is, I’m totally at their mercy. I need my pills. And every time I need a refill, I take a deep breath and begin the process. Tears, screams, and six thrown boxes later, I usually get it. But by that time the damage is done. I’ve probably eliminated years from my already sickly life. Being at the mercy of someone unintelligent and more importantly, non compassionate about your situation, is a very, scary thing. It’s terrible. Walgreens is like the douchey cop that threatens to bring you to jail for failure to use a blinker, and you have to turn on the charm, hard. I don’t know how to fix this problem. I don’t even know if it’s possible to fix it. I googled “Walgreens Sucks” and saw a lot of things flying around on the inter-web. I’m know I’m not alone, but I just don’t know if they’ll ever HAVE to change their ways.

I think the only thing I can do is switch pharmacies, I just don’t foresee it being much better, and frankly I shouldn’t have to. Although my mom recently switched to CVS and said it was a little better. So I’m going to try that. In the meantime, I just needed to put down in words, that Walgreens has failed me, and many others. Over. and over. and over. and over. and over. and over again. When I get better, I’m going to do a parody commercial for Walgreens. It’s going to play that same tinker-bell dingy sweet music in the background, but instead of a general tone of happiness, it will show what REALLY goes on at the pharmacy counter. (You know, cursing, freak-outs, general loss of humanity by genuinely nice people)  Last week I watched a 40 year old man cry, because they would not administer the prescription for his child who was having an allergic reaction. They kept insisting that the childs policy ended on July 9, 2009. He kept saying back, “No, that’s her birthday. I’ve been filling prescriptions here for a year.” “Sorry sir, I just can’t.” And THAT shit, pisses me off. It is clearly a typo. ANYONE WITH A BRAIN, could see that it’s a typo. But there’s NO effort, they see what they see and say no way too easily. He freaked out, I shook my head. How long will this go on? I’m going to do some thinking on how to get things to change. I’m also going to call them again and see if my prescription that was called in 3 days ago, is ready. You can go ahead and guess how THAT conversation is going to go. Anyway, health and happiness.

346 thoughts on “I Still Hate Walgreens

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  2. Pharmacists are a joke? Compared to what exactly? It’s more than counting and bottles. Let me explain something to you, they have to know anatomy (so they know what the drugs are doing to the body), they have to know multiple chemistries (know what the drug is made of and how it reacts with the body), they have to know math (count the drugs correctly and give the correct dosage). Look at them this way, they’re the doctor inside your drug store. You need an over counter medication for something? They have to be able to tell you how much to take, how often, and just what exactly the drug does. You sound like a very ignorant person, if I do say myself. I also might add that you, yourself may want to go back to school to learn some basics before talking shit about people who actually have brains. The schooling isn’t easy, id like to
    See you handle it. I understand it, you should learn it.
    Not even a pharmacist but you deserve to be called out on your idiocy.

    • Your a joke, pharmacists are a joke compared to the real people making real decisions in the medical world, like doctors. A pharmacist isn’t qualified to make these decisions, but they do anyway. If you think pharmacists, or the way medication is controlled or distributed is correct in the USA then you are a joke… You want to blame this mess on anyone it’s the insurance companies and the DEA… A million pharmacists and pharmacy managers have sat across from me and bullshited out there mouth endlessly, and I’ve seen more then a few get permanently removed from their career for such ignorance.

    • NO, most pharmacists are under a very dangerous delusion that it’s OK for them to practice medicine without a license–they think that even when a doctor prescribes Norco, they (the pharmacist) can override that and decide (and these are their favorite words), “it’s too SOON for a pain med refill.” They need to go back to just being pill refill jockeys and shut up and fill the script. With a smile, please, I’m a paying customer.

  3. I really just wonder at the efficacy of a pharmacy that spends an hour taking pills from one bottle and (after ostensibly counting them) slides them into another bottle. Seriously folks, the real problem here is that the morons working for any pharmacy have no reason to require any education at all beyond basic reading and arithmetic, since there are very few pharmacies that actually compound any medication these days. Most is shipped to the pharmacy in a large bottle. This medicine is then counted and added to your prescription bottle with the little label informing you of the dosage rate (from the big bottle) and frequency of dose (again from the big bottle unless your doctor has some other dosage in mind). Pharmacy degrees these days are a joke and an excuse to pay the graduate a six-figure salary to do what any high school graduate with a basic understanding of math could potentially do. Pharmaceutical companies have us in their death grip; they know it, but they refuse to care. That’s just my two cents, and you are welcome to bash me all you want for deriding the pharmaceutical system in this country, but it truly is a joke compared to 93% of the developed world.

  4. I’d love to see any of you continue to talk shit about walgreens if you actually worked there and actually knew what to do. But wait brain fart none of you know anything about retail or a pharmacy for that matter don’t want to wait for your pills then get off of them no one said you had to be on them. Go to walmart where they truly treat you like scum of the earth.

  5. Fuck every single one of you pharmacy assholes. Give a weak person a little power and they will rule with an iron fist. Lick my ass

  6. Your an idiot. Fuckin try not to be so narrow minded dumbass, they work sofuckin hard and have the most stressful job. U don’t know shit. Walgreens is understaffed and needs to get their shit together but don’t call the techs stupid. IDIOT

  7. The attitude is not walgreens fault, it’s the individual person…… Not everyone who works for walgreens automatically has an attitude that makes no sense.

  8. Funny. My mom felt with some scum bag like you today actually screaming in her face that the INSURANCE wouldn’t cover her meds. That’s not walgreens or any pharmacies fault, that’s the INSURANCE. Learn how the system works and stop being arrogant . Clearly you have no idea how much authority the pharmacists have….. They’re not allowed to fill shit early without the doctor. If anything I’d say the least blame goes to the pharmacists but hey some people just need someone to blame in every situation.
    Never had a problem with my scripts :)

  9. I found that the pharmacists blame the insurance companies and the insurance companies blame the doctor’s offices. The blame game and pointing the finger at someone else…even blaming us and labeling us as junkies because we took 1 or 2 more than dictated a month (so rude!) I always go directly to the pharmacy (CVS) every month right after my dr appt with my written script whether it’s early or not because it’s on my home from the dr office (5 towns away) and I have a history at that pharmacy. It’s NOT because I’m a junky but for the convenience, nor do they fill it unless less than 2 days til the “allowed” to date. I have also had the need and will continue to have the need at times to double up and take 2 pills in 1 day because they don’t work as long as they claim (only 8 hrs not the supposed 12 hrs). When I’m having a 18/hrs day 1 pill isn’t always sufficient not to mention my pills could give a crash & burn affect when wearing off. My dr is aware of this nor do I abuse my meds (5 mg of Adderall), quite the opposite. I’m scared to death of getting physically dependent on them so I take weekend “vacations” from them if I don’t need to be calm or focused and having a chaotic mind won’t affect my life in a negative way…like it had before I was prescribed the Adderall. I could even get a higher dose if I wanted from my dr. but this “junky” doesn’t feel a need to raise it right now. It’s not the dosage amount it’s the length. My full time job is few hours longer in the day (10-11 hrs) than the pill lasts and I have a part time job on top of my f/t job so being focused longer than 8 hrs a day is a necessity for me not a luxury. Sorry I’m not “normal” like the self-righteous people that say I’m a junky just because I’m being prescribed Adderall and may run out of my pills after 27 days opposed to the 30 days. Personally it’s irritating, bothersome and unsettling that the doctors no longer have the power to prescribe what’s needed…the government & insurance companies have all that power now. I trust my doctor but do not trust neither the government nor the insurance companies. They have agendas, my dr does not. It’s not easy getting these scripts to begin with so why people act like getting certain prescriptions are as easy as getting a candy just don’t get it.

    I’ve also had to wait til last in line to have my script filled even though they had my script on file for a few days and the day they’re willing to release it they claim to have others to fill 1st, like those people who just strutted in there 15 mins ago so they get theirs ahead of mine. Maybe I should just strut in there at the last minute too instead of dropping mine off a week advance to keep in their file til the date allowed to be filled. I bet I wouldn’t have to wait last in line anymore then. Whatever happened to 1st in 1st out?

  10. We work our fannies off but there are some of us here who don’t like to fill certain prescriptions and others who think that some people have to many prescriptions so they go to the bottom of the list. It’s not fair but it happens that these people get their prescriptions done last and not on time. Narcotics are tricky too. They can’t be filled early unless there is a new prescription over riding the old one they filled here where I live. So say they got a 30 day supply and came in after 20 days with a script for the same amount for another 30 days we can’t fill it for another 10 days. If they come in with a script for less than was filled 20 days before we can fill it. These are the people who get flagged as possible drug users. They also get flagged if we see they are pharmacy shopping and doctor shopping. Going to different hospitals to get prescriptions for narcotics. Do you know how dumb some of these people are? They go to 3 different hospitals to get scripts for the same thing and try and fill all three at the same pharmacy, some times at the same time.

    • Dumb? I have been to three hospitals in a month because of a serious condition and had to do just this, so I guess that makes me dumb, or at least a “flagged drug user” (who isn’t a drug user that gets scripts from Walgreens?)

      Maybe black and white, hard and fast rules against something so incredibly complex as medication for the human body is a GENERAL BAD IDEA. Maybe if the DEA wasn’t breathing down your neck, you could use some more brain power…

  11. Yeah ignorance is bliss I guess. A lot of a pharmacists work has to do with insurance and unless you’re going to do the day by day work of a pharmacist and experience it I would just stop talking. You sound completely idiotic and you’re probably a tweaker anyways

  12. It obviously has something to do with where you live then? Cause where I love walgreens is perfectly fine with filling everything- sometimes early. And if you go in on time they’re not going to fill it two days later……

  13. Lmao you DO have to be smart to be a pharmacist anywhere. Ignorance is bliss I guess. If you have a proper prescription to fill they won’t have a problem doing it, you’re most likely a druggie who’s pissed cause ya can’t
    Get your oxys. Get over it

    • No I don’t have a prescription for Oxycodone. I just want to get one of the 15 medications I take for chronic conditions without a hassle. I am having the same problem with CVS now. The people there don’t want to take the time to put the prescription in the computer right so it keeps getting kicked back. NONE of them are narcotic or addicting but Walgreens and CVS don’t care. In my state I can get them filled 2 days before they are due but Walgreens and CVS don’t want to do them till 2 days later. I had to keep on them to get them filled which didn’t endear me to the techs or pharmacists there. They are lazy and incompetent. If it isn’t easy to do they don’t want to do it. I now go to Rite Aid and still had a problem when I was transferring my scripts from CVS because CVS kept hanging up on them. Now that I only have two scripts left that need to be transferred I don’t think I’ll ever be going back to CVS. I don’t like them and don’t want to deal with the attitude anymore and I don’t have to.

      • Hmmm Walgreens gives you issues, CVS gives you issues. Sounds like it’s a problem with you, not them. 2 competitors do the same, yet you think they are the problem. Ignorance is definitely bliss with you.

        • I never had a problem with CVS till all the personal in the pharmacy departed at the same time. I don’t know why. The people who took over have no concept of how hard it is to keep tract of the medications I take, None of them are narcotics so it’s not that I’m waiting to get high or something. Rite Aid now has all my scripts turned over to them and I have found that the person who works on Sunday’s doesn’t like to do their job to fax over requests for new prescriptions so I wait till Mondays to call now. I set up my med minders for a week at a time on Sundays and that’s when I find out what I need to fill. There will always be someone who wants the easy way out when you have complex medications no matter where you go. I can deal with that. It’s the attitude that I can’t, won’t and don’t deal with. That’s the problem with Walgreens and CVS.

          • Maybe all the cvs staff left cause they’re tired of dealing with the likes of you and your entitlement attitude of give me anything I want whenever I want no matter what else you got going on because I’m such a great person doing everything I can for humanity that I deserve a lollipop. How bout you shove that suppository up your ass

  14. Just because the pharmacist is educated, doesn’t mean that he/she is smart! Case in point, he/she is working at Walgreens. You have to be desperate or stupid to work there. I know many docs who complain about Walgreens. I agree that Walgreens sucks. They make the whole process of getting chronic medications a pain in the ass. I don’t ever see them go out of their way to help people. They don’t care. It’s all about just making money. If you bring a coupon in to them, given by the doctor, they ALWAYS have problems with it. “The coupon won’t work” “Blah, blah, blah” “Your cost will be $150″ Really? If you have the patience to go back and speak with someone who really knows what they are doing, and that usually takes many tries, guess what, eventually the coupon DOES work. Hmmm, how did that happen? Now “your cost is only $25″. Give me a break! It seems to be the norm nowadays, that no one gives a damn about customer service. It’s always just about draining the customers’ pocket books , and don’t complain about the lack of service, as they kick your ass out the door.

  15. Let me guess, you take Adderall ,oxycodone and/or alprazolam. You wanted an early refill and they refused.
    I’m sure the pharmacist is more educated than you and you’re a condescending baby.

    • Hey most of here have chronic conditions and deal with jerk pharmacists every month. I’m willing to bet most of us don’t try to get narcotics early. In my state I need to take a written prescription into the pharmacy to fill Oxycodone and Adderall to get them filled. The pharmacies that we a bitching about are all over the country and we have found that in all of them incompetence is the norm. Lazy workers who don’t want to get prescriptions pushed through the insurance or just don’t care about the patients.

      • Here is the thing, work for 1 day in a pharmacy, then come back to me and see if you would ever call anybody who works in a pharmacy lazy ever again.

        • Said the words right out of my mouth. If you never work in a pharmacy then you don’t have a say so about what happen in the pharmacy. Because you don’t know the stress they go through because of people like YOU the keep bitching about stupid stuff.

      • Apparently you’re ignorant about how much work pharmacy employees do on a day to day basis. If you’re having issues at multiple chains maybe you should realize that they aren’t the problem, you are. Most people don’t try to get narcotics early? It happens on a regular basis. If a prescription won’t go through the insurance we call, spend 15 minutes (if not more, I’ve spent 40 minutes on the phone with Blue Cross) dealing with the insurance people who have no idea what’s going on , and usually still can’t get anything accomplished due to the INSURANCE company. Not always our faults, but of course we get blamed by people like you.

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