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.

395 thoughts on “I Still Hate Walgreens

  1. let me tell you something about Walgreens that will really freak you out. I was online with their app and I had tried to apply to see my prescriptions online. it then proceeded to ask me 6 personal questions. these questions asked me what streets I used to live on and we’re talking 20 years ago, they asked what car make and model that I used to drive… And then they proceeded to ask me what year is that car was. Once again about 15 years ago since I owned this car and I was just praying I get the answer right! why in the world with Walgreens have personal information about me????? 20 years ago I was pretty young, didn’t have any prescriptions yet they have all of this information on me. also I was there an incident last week. I was trying to get my medication as a usually do and have done for the past 5 years because I have fibromyalgia. Well I was trying to pick up my medicine the Tech starts to ask me ” have we got a diagnosis on you?” choose which I was a bit startled because to me it’s none of their business what my diagnosis is they are the pharmacist not the doctor. however I tell them with hesitancy, and then she proceeded to tell me she couldn’t fill my prescription they had been feeling for years until they got a diagnosis from the doctor. Why did you even ask? I don’t understand why Walgreens …of all the stores…so impersonal so unhelpful such lack of human decency should know anything personal about me.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. I did the same, shortly after finding out how they and CVS were busted for participating in drug diverting. (Street dealers with a store!) As soon as the first “the truck didn’t get here yet, it may never get here again” happened, I knew what was going on, told my doctor and he recommended a locally owned pharmacy, who found numerous tricks they were playing, one being “Your insurance won’t pay for these 10 other pills in the RX, so you must pay cash & it must be 2 separate RX’s! Sounds like some kind of scam. New pharmacist asked me why I had 2rx & told him Walgreens answer, he ran it thru and was covered the whole time! There’s a site called Consumer Affairs. com & it’s awful what’s going on at CVS! Anti-rejection meds for transplant patients being denied, diabetes meds, I saw the gamut of denials for meds that if the person doesn’t take them daily, death! Being denied or wait a week or 2! Why weren’t both these chains shut down when busted for narcotic diversion activities? They should’ve been!

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  3. Just do what I did…find an apothecary owned by an individual proprietor and your life will have one less stressful event to cause fits. It certainly saved my sanity and now they are like my dearest friend that I see once a month where we have a chuckle or two as I’m getting my scripts filled. There has to be one in your area. It’s worth the time to look one up in the yellow pages. Good luck to you!

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  4. I did go to CVS until they took 3 days to fill my iron pills..little red pills….. 30 of them. And I know for a fact they had them in stock because my sister got hers filled and let me have some of hers until I got those stupid little pills!! Now I go to Walmart which normally does very well….there has only been a few times they have really pissed me off to the point that I felt like jumping over the counter and choking them until I got my meds. I have a Walgreen’s nearby, but the place smells funny and the people are very very odd. I’m not scared of odd people,but they pop up out of no freaking where multiple times and ask if I need help and have found everything. I should mess with them one day and ask if they have seen Frank with the brief case. I love doing that kinda stuff…it breaks up the everyday routine

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  5. I concur, walgreens sucks. Every month i ride to walgreens to get my script, always on time i might add, and every month i have an anxiety attack with fears of being judged, embarrassed, and treated like a total junkie…which i am not. I’m college educated with a good job. First they made ride remarks, give judgemental glares, and have horrible attitudes. Beyond that, they claim my prescriptions were never called in…only an hour later to find out they were there the whole time. They consistently make me an hour late for work and refuse to have my scripts ready for pick up. They blatantly lie about state laws and regulations. I just switched to a local mom n pop pharmacy and could.not.be.happier. for anyone that is in this boat…please…support your local pharm. You’ll be treated like a Human being and they’ll be grateful for your business. Trust me, you won’t regret it.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. I cannot believe the comments people leave! OMG get a grip! It’s a well documented fact and has been on the news how bad Walgreens has gotten. I tried using them. They DID act like they were superior to me. They have a “red flag” protocol they go by now that can destroy a customer that needs meds over the silliest notion. That’s why I go to an apothecary pharmacy which may cost a little more but I get a lot of respect from them and always get my medications with a smile. I get a call when it’s ready too. These are places that aren’t franchised all over the world. Every town probably has one, they just aren’t advertised. I will never use Walgreens for anything. I won’t spend my hard earned money there for a pack of gum.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I did the same, shortly after finding out how they and CVS were busted for participating in drug diverting. (Street dealers with a store!) As soon as the first “the truck didn’t get here yet, it may never get here again” happened, I knew what was going on, told my doctor and he recommended a locally owned pharmacy, who found numerous tricks they were playing, one being “Your insurance won’t pay for these 10 other pills in the RX, so you must pay cash & it must be 2 separate RX’s! Sounds like some kind of scam. New pharmacist asked me why I had 2rx & told him Walgreens answer, he ran it thru and was covered the whole time! There’s a site called Consumer Affairs. com & it’s awful what’s going on at CVS! Anti-rejection meds for transplant patients being denied, diabetes meds, I saw the gamut of denials for meds that if the person doesn’t take them daily, death! Being denied or wait a week or 2! Why weren’t both these chains shut down when busted for narcotic diversion activities? They should’ve been!

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  7. It’s okay to be irritated at certain people at a certain Walgreens pharmacy, but to group EVERY pharmacist/pharmacy technician into the same group and saying that they’re all unintelligent robots with no compassion? That makes YOU the idiot. I deal with Walgreens just as much as you, and they have always treated me fairly and always done what I needed them to do. So take your sour grapes and direct them at the source of YOUR problem, not at the entire company. How ignorant can you possibly be?

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    • Yeah, maybe if you are getting your blood pressure pills or antibiotics. If you have dental surgery or brake a bone, don’t go there for any of the controlled meds you are prescribed for pain or whatever.

      Liked by 2 people

  8. I don’t live in America and our health system is quite different in Australia. However, in addition to whatever service issues you might have with a pharmacy, there is the other issue that all this medication we’re taking is a grudge spend in the first place. Money is tight for us and I recently had to spend $400.00 in one hit on only one of my medications. I felt sick to the pit of my stomach. I could go for a reasonable holiday for that!! Our government is looking at introducing a $7.00 GP co-payment. This made my blood absolutely boil. It was only $7.00 but it was the match which lit the fuse. Boom! When you are fighting rare debilitating illness especially when you’re young and I still consider myself young at 45 even if i’m not quite as young as I might think. I seemed to cope ok with the chemo and big stuff and then something comes along that might look small to other people and I’m devastated. Take care & best wishes,
    Rowena

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  9. I understand all the legal bs that is put on pharmacies and doctors. That has nothing to do with the way you are treated at Walgreens. I quit doing business with Walgreens because of the way I was treated by the staff. They also act as if they are better than the doctor, know more than the doctor and make judgement calls rather than get the reasons why a doctor prescribes a certain medicine. Walgreens has not gotten a dime of my money or my insurances money from me in 3 years and never will again. I will not even go in to a Walgreens.

    Liked by 1 person

    • “They also act as if they are better than the doctor, know more than the doctor and make judgement calls rather than get the reasons why a doctor prescribes a certain medicine.”

      Bitch, please. Responses like yours make me lament the fact that most people are complete idiots. Like you. Yes, you are a moron. You should jump off the nearest balcony. Your pharmacist has a DOCTORATE in pharmacy. Meaning they take 8 semesters of pharmacology while your MD takes one, maybe two.

      You do not work in pharmacy – which you couldn’t, even as a tech, because your math and science skills are probably below that of a fifth grader – so you do not know enough about state and federal laws revolving around filling RXs to even pretend to know what the hell goes on behind the counter. Doctors “accidentally” try to kill patient’s at least twice a day. Everyday. Per busy pharmacy. Another 10 or so near-misses are attributed to doctors or nurses that put an incorrect dose, direction or drug on an RX. Your pharmacist stops that shit from leaving the store. So yeah, you’re fucking welcome.

      Yes, your pharmacist is a fuck ton more medicine-literate than your MD. Your MD will kill you. Your pharmacist prevents that from happening.

      Unless, of course, some idiot likes you ( you have, what, MAYBE a bachelors in what, some pseudo-social science?) ignores the PharmD’s advice and do whatever the fuck you want.

      In closing, please go jump off the nearest tall structure and refrain from posting nonsensical bullshit. If you don’t have training or insight into an area that requires doctorate-level literacy, please shut your fucking mouth before badmouthing them.

      Also, fuck you, John. Please do not reproduce. The world suffers from enough idiocy as it is.

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  10. Scripts are legal documents. Staff members cannot guess at what your doctor means when he/she makes a mistake. Yes, it seems pedantic to you but guess what? We live in a litigious society. They also cannot MAKE the insurance pay for anything. This may come a shock to you but they have to follow certain guidelines in order to get your stuff paid for if insurance denies it. They cannot simply say “oh lol, he/she needs this!” This is a freaking pharmacy. Everyone is sick. Everyone’s doctor is a moron and every insurance sucks so yes, you might * gasp* have to wait your turn and go through due process. FFS, couldn’t you have gone somewhere else SOONER for your RXs if you are so upset? Are you a chronic moron? Please get a job, one with the public in which your personal decisions can mean life or death to someone, and THEN judge your opinions of people who have to deal with you shit wads all day, every day. Again, since you’ve probably worked maybe a year out of your life you don’t know what it’s like to have ignorant morons such as yourself to realize that there are laws, policies and procedures to follow in order to make sure your dumb ass doesn’t kill yourself by using these potentially lethal substances incorrectly.

    Who you need to blame are – in order of priority – as follows: state and federal legislators who make these ridiculous rules pharmacies have to follow; corporate Walgreens, who makes so many policies and rules against employees that if lowly staff members so much as sneeze in the wrong direction they get fired; STORE managers – who impose impossible standards on pharmacy staff; pharmacy managers – who are more likely than not absolute tools. The very last person you should bitch to is your pharmacy staff WHO YOU DEAL WITH DIRECTLY. They are trying to help you. But they can’t – because the store manager, pharmacy manager and corporate have told them that profits come first.

    The staff you deal with on a daily basis have to have scripted encounters OR THEY WILL GET FIRED. Point your uneducated personal bias toward someone that deserves it. The lackeys in the trenches certainly don’t.

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