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Florida Pharmacies Under Fire for Refusing to Fill Painkiller Medications

Can pharmacies combat prescription drug abuse by refusing to fill orders?  Some pharmacies in Florida seem to think so.

Some CVS and Walgreen’s locations in Florida are refusing to fill oxycodone prescriptions for patients they believe are abusing the medication.  The pharmacies have stated that oxycodone is often overprescribed by doctors and, while it helps people cope with chronic pain, it is highly addictive.

Florida has an estimated sale of 400 million tablets of oxycodone every year, the highest of any state in the U.S.

Patients have lashed out against the pharmacies, understandably upset by the refusal to fill much-needed pain prescriptions. However, the pharmacies maintain that they are only fulfilling their duty to protect patients from unnecessary medication.

CVS reportedly sent letters to a number of Florida doctors informing them that they will no longer fill any narcotic prescriptions they order. Additionally, Walgreen’s could not provide any specific reason why its Lee County locations are refusing these prescriptions, saying only that they “allow [their] pharmacists to use their professional judgment when dispensing all medications.”

While these measures are geared towards preventing drug abuse, people living with actual pain are no doubt being affected by this. Living with pain severely affects your quality of life and can eliminate the ability to go to work and provide for your family. It is unfortunate that some people suffer because the pharmacy will not dispense their pain medication.

Some people have shared this link to a petition created by the American Pain Foundation (APF) to make your voice heard. Change.org

Category: Pharmacy Malpractice


76 Comments to "Florida Pharmacies Under Fire for Refusing to Fill Painkiller Medications"

First of all, YOU have to lie. Yes, the pharmacists are lying to you...now it's your turn. The last time I was lied to by a pharmacist for rejecting my Oxycodone script, I yelled: "You just call me a drug addict?" He called the police to the store and I was told to leave. Well, I got a hold of the store number and had a police report made out. I paid $72 for a letter signed by a paralegal that I would "not" file suit against the store for rejecting my medication and secondly, discriminating me for what I claim the pharmacist said. The store was terrified that I would bring this to court (No one wants to pay court costs) and to avoid court costs they settled with continuing my scripts----fair enough. I never saw the pharmacist again....probably canned!
That's what you have to do against these idiots. I was diagnosed disabled blah, blah, blah...you heard it all. The medication works above anything else. STOPS pain!
Some people are so fed up that they grow poppy plants in their yards and scrape the pods to smoke or eat to help curb the pain. There are ways around our corrupt nation. You can order the seeds online...not hard to find. And 100% legal to grow in Florida.
Last, is Immodium AD...yes, Loperamide. I found that ingesting 30-40 of those 2mg pills is equivalent to 20 mg of Hydrocodone. Loperamide is an opioid. And it's cheap at Costco or Sams. Plus, it shuts opiate withdrawals off and feels great. Amazingly.
So that's my advice. There are ways around these sick communists taking away our rights in Florida. The only way to win is to fight back!
Posted by Ben Johnson on September 30, 2013 at 07:11 PM
Just stop taking oxy and find a new pain med. Why do you insist on the oxy. There are other pain meds just as effective.the game is over people.
Posted by Darius on September 26, 2013 at 10:09 PM
no insurance mail order not an option
Posted by K on September 17, 2013 at 09:35 AM
Welcome to the new "police state" America. The days of having rights is over!
Posted by Susan on September 14, 2013 at 03:42 AM
I just noticed that Walgreen allows med to be filled by mail order. I was wondering anyone sent in there prescription (not just called and asked if they would filL the medication). Just a note you can fill class 2 meds in the mail. I get my pain meds filled by mail though my insurance- aetna
Posted by Jenifer on August 19, 2013 at 03:20 PM
They wont even fill my HYDROCODONE ANYMORE! and that is a schedule 3 drug! it is sickening. then they say there are LAWS that you have to be on a LONG ACTING DRUG AS WELL as a breakthrough med, if this is a LAW THEN HOW COME OTHER PHARMACIES WILL ONLY FILL THE NORCO AND NOT THE SCHEDULE 2 long acting LOW dose prescription? it doesnt make any sense. if its a law they have to be filled together how can they refuse to fill one?
Posted by k on August 19, 2013 at 11:24 AM
I live in between 2 states, 6 months in 1 and 6 months in other give or take a month. One state has pain doctors that just are not up to par with the times. I have tried to see if i can have 2 doctors for when I am in each state but that wasnt allowed. So I keep one doctor. Now I travel every 2 to 3 months back to that doctor to get my perscriptions and check up which is a pain but I do it. I have been gping to Walgreens for 6 months with no problem u til today. 2 weeks before we are going back to stay for 6 months they refused me. Never have i had an issue or a flagged account or done anything illegal. Never! I been on these meds for 7 years and I am honestly taking them for a medical purpose! I am all out of meds and they refused me. Told me Walgreen policy is the doctor and patient need to be within the area of the pharmacy. I told them i was leaving in 2 weeks and just needed one more refill until 2014 when we return, still refused! I went to another Walgreen location and got same answer. Called 800 number and they said Walgreen stands by all pharmacist decissions no matter what they are. Unreal
Posted by Heather on August 10, 2013 at 11:08 AM
I agree, we MUST fight back and take ACTION, I have gone to walgreens facebook page and I am using my facebook page to raise awareness about what is gong on and what they are doing to people, i wrote to state rep but we cannot just write one letter and stop we must keep on them til they are tired of hearing from us AND recruit more people to help! even healthy people! many do not know about this, they may not need meds now but if they ever do in future it will be too late, i am game, please contact me so we can coordinate an effort ..deb [email protected]

i am getting SOME attn so far on FB but will have to STAY ON TOP OF IT, now they are saying they are concerned and want to write back
plain and simple

Walgreens puts patients health at risk for "new company policies"
or Walgreens chooses new corporate policy over people's health

i am going to contact media to see if they will do a story on what is happening to me
and this is their rebuttal to what DEA has done to them

they have gone too far the other way

no one pharm should have this type of power over someone else' life and health care

what good is it to go to get mris and go do dr if the pharm won't fill the meds you need?

they are trying to practice medcine all but when it comes to abruptly stopping your meds, then they have nothing to do with it, not their problem any more, even when it is dangerous to do so for the person's health and well being
Posted by deb on June 5, 2013 at 11:44 PM
Walgreens has been my pharmacy for 20 years but has arbitrarily decided to not fill my prescriptions, worse, they have done so abruptly without any notice, causing health problems, Walgreens chose their "new" corporate policy over someone's health. This comment will surely be deleted as was my last one, but you can't stop me from letting people know about your inhumane and unethical practices, I am contacting the media to give them the full story. I was recently found disabled by the federal government , had to go to County for health care, when I lost ability to work from my degenerative condition (degenerative means I am getting worse, ) why would I stop taking medication? I am under care of board cert specialist that I was referred by the County. But I am not getting my treatment because Walgreens who has filled my prescriptions since I was diagnosed has refused to fill my prescription, w/o giving me any notice, causing me to abruptly stop medicine, which is jeopardizing my health and my well being. I suffer from Major Depression as well, as Walgreens knows from my other prescriptions for the past 20 years making this a volatile emotional situation and desperate situation for me to endure. a HEALTHY person could not endure this , let alone if you are injuried, w/ illness in chronic pain and suffer major depression, thereby making it life threatening. They should at a MINIMUM not be allowed to abruptly stop medication someone has been on for 2 years, DEGENERATIVE! what is wrong with this company and the people that are working there? I am going to give the story to the media and I am also online and posting on facebook about this, I will make flyers to raise awareness to let people know how Walgreens treats people.

this because I don't have other prescriptions to fill??? what sense does that even make and since when does Walgreens practice medicine to know what medication I need? if they want to practice medicine then why would they abruptly stop my meds after 2 years?
knowing full well, how hard they are to get that I will have to spend a lot of time and energy to try to find them.
they KNOW ALL OF THIS and they
don't care.

I plan to let everyone know about the unethical practices of Walgreens.

The Federal Government has approved me as being DISABLED through my MRI's and Xrays and this is not enough for Walgreens to simply CONTINUE FILLING MY MEDICATION?
I am under government health care???? what sense does this even make???

what criteria could outweigh this factual information

she (the pharm) doesn't "feel" comfortable?
about what? what IS exactly her concern?

nope cannot tell me or anyone else.
Posted by deb on June 5, 2013 at 09:12 PM
To everyone left to suffer in this miserable state, well country USA.
PEASE call the news or do something to make your problems known. From what I have learned today? Oxycodone is not going to be available for much longer. We all know that this medication is a good med for breakthrough pain. In the mornings they help you get out of bed until the main med starts working, that can take up 2 hours depending on what it is.
If people don't start telling the right people how much their life sucks because of what a minority of abusers did. We will lose what life we have left.
It's been a cruel act to allow pain relief for an entire decade and then make the medications unavailable. What the hell is wrong with people? Our government is blame for this. It's your choice. There is no answers. The only choices we have are to get angry and fight for our rights at the federal level now. Sorry but this is it. I have been thinking of leaving this country to retire because there are other places that are not so afraid of medications and this war on drugs is just waste. The USA is not the compassionate country it used to be and people will just not fight back. It's sickening to hear all the complaints but no one will act. I even went the state capitol last Sept but not enough patients came. You have to show your face no matter how pain you have or you will not have a life. I hope patients wake up soon, or all of this will be history once again. It's happening and we can read it right here. Please do something about it. Join a group or create one that will organize to get this damn mess fixed. Go to DC or protest/rally for your rights. Even if your in wheel chair. We have to be heard. Not one media article has been done since 2012. They have forgotten about you and they really don't care! Picket out in front on election day coming soon. Don't vote for the ones that have created this unbalanced approach to rid pill mills. This could have been handled in a better way that didn't harm innocent pain patients. Politicians created the pill epidemic because they couldn't fix the real problems. WE have a pain epidemic that's causing suicides and no one cares.
God Bless.
Posted by Donna Ratliff on June 5, 2013 at 07:06 PM
well here is the latest from me
i was diagnosed a few years ago with degenerative disc disease, further a cerv specialist thought that my neck is broken due to the severity of the degress that they are off by , meanwhile i could no longer work from the crippling pain causing me to be in bed much of the time and unreliable from day to day, so i finaly filed for disability as the condition got worse, i had to seek help through County, the MRI and xrays and they sent me to a board cert. 30 year specialist (neurologist) this is all that can be done because they do not cover surgery, physical therapy or pain mgt.
he is an excellent dr. i have seen the same dr. the entire time, take the same medications.
1/2 the battle is FINDING a store that carries them, i told him could he change me but he has his reasons, because he cannot give me something stronger, I am only 48 i may need it later, for one, for two they are even more addicting, and if oxycodone works for my pain, then why should he jeopardize my health by changing just to satisfy the pharm? he won't he is the doctor, and I agree,
so i have filled meds w/ Walgreens for over 20 years, largely anti depressants and I suffer from major depression. i finally weaned off them, and deal with my depression myself, but the point is walgereens KNOWS THIS, as of recent depakote i have been given, since the onset of this new disease and injuries and chronic debilitating pain, the depression has returned, so I continue combating the depression on my own and adjusting to the things this has done to me, not being able to work, dress myself, etc.
i am being under treated and i just rest a lot and do less activiites as a result, instead of taking more meds, so this is the bare minimum i can do to have any sort of quality of life

well the other day i have to go to diff walgreens every month because they never have it they are out so i must drive to store to store, (if i have meds i can do this), and it is STILL VERY VERY HARD, as i say even with my meds I am still in pain.,

i am under County care, have one 30 year board cert specialist, have filled my script for same meds since i was diagnosed and
last 6 mos they have had to do "research" to determine if they can fill my meds or not each time they fill them and tell me there are no problems, and they are "comfortable" but ea individual pharm must feel comfortable themeslves so youy you have to go through this over and over every single time, plus they seem to keep adding new polciies,
some kind of checklist they said

so this ONE pharm out of 6 total decides not only is she not comfortable but she puts this in the computer,and told me she woudln't fill it won't tell me why, mgr won't tell me and said she dosn't have to tell him or me why,
and then the next store i go to says they cannto fill it now either BECASUE OF WAHT SHE PUT IN COMPUTER, not because they themsel,ves are not comfortabel
the point is they don't even want to look at it and have compassion

now my question for them is this, and I am going back to that one pharm to ask her this question they know how hard it is to find this medication,
i cannot change it to another.
my dr. won't and I am waiting for my medicaid 2 mos probably to get to a surgeon and pain mgt, but WHAT GOOD WILL IT DO ME IF NO ONE CARRIES THE MEDS AND THE FEW THAT DO WILL NOT DISPENSE THEM?
that is what is happening.

i will ask Walgreens this one question:

does walgreens put a persons health at risk and jeopardize a person's health for the sake of "new corporate policy"
we are not talking law here folks we are talking their own individual
personal preferences from pharm to pharm
and arbitrary rules they have est as a corporation for their pharm to follow

if they decided not to fill for me anymore, all of a sudden there is a problem,
well i do not know how the federal govt saw my mris and decided it was so severe to cause me to be disabled,
and i am awaiting poss surgery for a broken neck and degenerative disc disese my entire neck is gone
c2-c7 gone, damaged and no discs or protruding or herniating

combined with Major depression

and they know how hard it is to find this medicine, it means i must drive aimllessly from store to store in the heat in search of a store that might carry it.

she knwos this,
so why wouldn't htey fillt he script and say we can't fill it next month to not endanger my health?
and my very life since I also have major depression.???

not to mention i could go homeless as since i could no longer work i put myself in school and use my school loans to pay the small bills i have, for instance taxes so that i can keep a home.

all of this stps because my medication abruptly stops

i will ask her does walgreens put their new corporate polcies ahad of peoples' health , the answer so far is yes they do

they culd have if they have this "new" polciy filled it and said they can't due to their new policies fill it agai and not put my health at risk this way but instead they abruptly stop my medications.

and there is no valid legal reason for this it is merely one persons' personal discretion what SHE personally feel "Comfortabel" doing.

this is destroying people's lives, i want to start a class action suit and a boycott against walgreens

i am going to use the social media to spread the word of this unethical and inhumane treatment people are receiving from them.

for filing my meds all this time and abruptly stopping

while they continue to have posters in thier lobby "dot' miss a dose" ask pharm what to do if you miss dose"

it is flat out dangerous to abruptly stop medication, and THEY ARE THE cause of it!

do people have to commit suicide for them to change this and make it illegal for a pharm to do this to a person?

i plan to return to this walgreens and ask her if she would fill this one w/ agreement she cannot fill it again to not endanger my health and either she will or she won't and if she doesn't i am going to contact the news and share my story what has happ to me

and that i have been mistreated by walgreens

Posted by deb on June 5, 2013 at 04:53 PM
Hello everyone
i was reading all the reply to all this painkillers and no one wanting to fiil them .. while now i have to put my 2 cents in .. first off i have been taking pain meds starting in 2003 and i am still taking pain killers but they are deffernt from the first one .. what iam getting at is this .. i got hurt at work in 2000 and i have been filling all my meds at wallgreen in spring hill fl and they never once told me i could not get this filled ..now in the mean time the insurance company told me i had to use this other place to fill my meds .. now i have settled my case and now no one in spring hill want to fill first they told me they did not have any now they are telling me i live to far from my dr which is in orland so they can not fill it .. now when i told this person at walgreens that they have been filling my meds for years now .. he looks and tell me the last time has been a while i then tell him that it is a workman com and they want me to use some other place but now i can use who i want to fill them .. he went on to tell me i lived to far away .. i just dont get it how can someone fill this for years and that i do not abouse the pills and they know the dr is a good one but yet he tells me He can not fill the meds he showed me a pice of paper and yes it did say something about living to far but it all so side if they fill ok with it they can .. it is a shame they want me to change my dr who has been doing a great job on me for the most part and now all the pharmacies do not want to fill it .. like i said it is not like i just got this meds and wanted them to fill it .. but i have been useing pain killers for a long time .. and it some what helps with my pain ... but it does not get me high or give me buzzs it just helps with the pain that i have to live with everyday .. sometime the pain is so bad i cant walk and walgreen just truns there nose up like they are God .. something really needs to be done.. there has to be a way that the ones who need it and have a dr that is for really can get what they need and not have to drive from place to place each month and hope they get there meds before they run out ...so i feel for all of you who replyed to this ... i dont know what else to do ...
ps for all the misspelled words ...
Posted by cindy on June 5, 2013 at 02:13 AM
To deb from deb-I don' think anyone who is free from chronic relentless pain can relate completely to someone who does. I think I come close as I attempt to comfort my mother every day, and alternately pray that I won't find her passed away in the morning, and then that God will release her from her suffering. We have been lucky the past several months in getting her meds, but I spend several sleepless nights and anxiety filled days on a monthly basis in absolute terror that we will not find them, and they don't even fully control her pain anymore. As I said in a previous blog I will continue to advocate for relief from these unfair regulations that are only serving to hurt those who are the most vulnerable, even after my loved one has gone to a much better place...good luck, and God Bless.
Posted by deb on May 29, 2013 at 09:15 PM
This site was shared, and now I am sharing it with this audience (if I could copy and paste the text, would, but will not allow me). Very interesting information for both patients and the pharmscists that are suddenly so concerned with abuse and diversion as Deb explained..
Posted by E11 on May 29, 2013 at 06:15 PM
My husband has terminal cancer and can not be treated with chemo or radiation, he also suffered from chronic pain, Every month Walgreens would fill his diabetic meds, cholesterol, high blood pressure, etc. But when at corner Walgreens and the one a mile down the road were out of the medication he was sent to Conerton in land o lakes, Fl ,a Walgreen that is 5 miles farther from our home, however, she told my husband he didn't meet the criteria? However she would not express what that was! He then went to his urologist and got his medical documention of his cancer, and other doctor for his chronic pain records and brought them back to ask how he doesn't meet the criteria? Basically she profiled him and flagged his account so no Walgreens would fill his rx, and after they got paid for filling all the other non narcotic med, no other pharmacy would fill it without all his scripts, so he ended up having to go to a mom and pop place and pay out of pocket money we don't have! I filled a grievance, and phones Walgreens corporate who could care less!!! I wanted to know why we never had a problem except at that one Walgreens who then flagged his account so no other Walgreens will fill his rx any longer!! How is this fair? what can we do to fight back? Also stoping this medication cold is also a danger and is not good, people are getting sick and cant even ease their pain before their time is ended!!
Posted by Kelli on May 29, 2013 at 05:37 PM

well you should be grateful if you have been able to live in pain and go without pain medication, hats off!

I have a very high pain threshold, can you not understand there are different types of pain?and some so bad that it is intolerable to having any type of life?

Where were the pharmacists when the pill mill doctors were handing out hundreds of different drugs to one person, that no dr. in their right mind would give to anyone? they FILLED THEM. why not scrutinize those prescriptions? maybe if they would have we would not be having this problem now.

As far as being a pharm, where is your own mind your own COMMON SENSE and your own moral compass? do you have to be threatened your job and then you act out of pure fear? and over scrutinize because you are afraid of getting into trouble? for what? for filling a perfectly legit and legal prescription from a legit dr.?
God forbid you fill someone's legit prescription.
Come on, I am a lay person, but it wouldn't be that hard for me to figure out, a twenty something with apparently nothing wrong with them was filling 500 oxycdones, somas, xanax, etc. as the pill mills did. but where was all this scrutinizing then? are you helpless on your own?
DEA must threaten you ? sorry but pharms are part of this problem have been from the beg. we know what was wrong w/ the pill mills we know why people went there, they were abusing drugs, but what I for one wonder is what was wrong w/ the pharms that filled these obviously suspect prescriptions back then?
wasn't your business ?
so dont try to claim you are trying to help anyone, if that were the case the bogus scripts that were obviously being over prescribed would never have been filled in first place and instead you could have called them out on those ileg practices yourselves.
but since you didnt now everyone must pay for it and the pharms all they care about is their job security, when their "job" should be to help patients.
i am amazed that you are willing to continue to try to defend this position, it has gone too far.
yes the pill mills should be shut down
no a pharm should not fill obvioiusly bogus prescriptions
but this is ridiculous where there are not enough meds for the people who need them and pharms playing God and attempting to practice medicine.

i was told the other day because i did not have another drug to go with the ones I have, that they would not fill for me, who the hell is the pharm ASST. of even the pharm to practice medicine
and you are defending this Pharma?

plus that comment that you have had pain, well apparently not enough to disable you from working or functioning. and apparently not chronic w/ dr's telling you that there is nothing they can do for you.
have some compassion on those suffering instead of trying to
stick up for a practice that is immoral and inhumane.
if you are going to treat people that way why are you even getting into this?
what is your goal isnt it to help people?
i just don't understand how anyone can justify this.

we just FINALLY had an article in the paper about oxycodone and the one dr. they interviewed said exactly this that now the DEA has gone too far because those people that need their medicine are not getting them.

Making rules for people abuse drugs over prescription meds is not fair to those that need them.

at the same time, the last two months have been a bit easier, but I still after 2 years have not found one pharmacy that I can return to, each month I must go to several stores to fill my prescription. even though I am UNDER treated and I get the same medication with no sign of any changes. It would be nice if one pharm would say here let me order this every month so that we can fill your prescription for you on time. But that would be asking for something that is not possible, so I must go from store to store every month and hope and pray that I find it.

That is just ridiculous to ask ANYONE to go through , least of all someone who is in chronic pain.

Society is "supposed to" look out for the least advantaged, being children, the elderly and the disabled, and we are the ones that are being hurt here.

those of you that are healthy are standing by like who the hell cares?

Happy for you (genuinely) Pharm that you do not have to live in intolerable pain, but I am not as fortunate.
Please don't try to take the position that you are somehow stronger than someone else that needs pain medication, that gets really old.
Please remember it is not just the intensity of the pain but also the relentlessness of it, ongoing every single day, every single moment.

If you lived with that type of intolerable pain, so bad that you had to lay down and would literally be crying from how bad it hurts, I would think that you too would then need pain medication, believe me I wish I did not , who the hell would go through this hell every month if they did not have to. It is not a choice, that is part of the problem you and others act like oh well I have pain but I CHOOSE to not use pain meds. Really? well if you can choose than you don't need them is how I feel about it, because that is how I feel myself. I wish it were tolerable then I would not be in this position would I?
come on, give other people a break , or consider another profession, there ought to be some compassion for people if you choose this for a career.

I don't know how you can say what you do and lack compassion for people that are ill and suffering.

Posted by deb on May 29, 2013 at 04:45 PM
To those who have criticized others for whining or just complaining on this and other sites, please know that on behalf of my 88 year old mother who suffers immeasurably from degenerative spine disease, I have indeed written to many officials, federal and those in the state of Florida regarding the legislation and regulations that have made it so difficult for chronic pain sufferers to get the medications they desperately need to realize even moderate relief and some quality of life. I have written to the Attorney General of Florida who touts the drug diversion program as one of her great accomplishments. Her office claimed no responsibility, blaming it all on physicians and pharmicists, even hinted that they were making it better for those with legitimate needs. I wrote to Congressman Bill Nelson, who sent a similar response. I have written to the Federal Drug Enforcement Agency who even called, I had a long conversation with someone undoubtedly in the lower rungs of the organization, who said they are aware of the regulations, and are sorry that anyone is suffering, but could do nothing about it. I have e-mailed every major television station regarding this issue, with no responses. I have even written the President. The response to that was a call from our local crisis center, as I spoke in the letter of my mother speaking of suicide if she some day could not get her meds, even after we have driven from drug store to drug store to drug store in attempts to get the script filled. I will of course keep writing, but for those with critical words, please understand it is therapeutic just to be able to talk about the anxiety and fear that this causes, to read about others suggestions, and to know that we are not alone.
Posted by Deb on May 28, 2013 at 02:06 PM
Chronic pain is a debilitating condition, no matter what the cause. The vast majority of patients go thru months and even years of treatments that simply do not work. We all have tried so many different medications, OTHER than opoiods to relieve the pain we are in every day. We do NOT want to have to take these powerful narcotics, but alas, the medical research has not kept up with what we are going thru. Personally, i have tried over 8 different medications over the course of 15 months in an attempt to find ANYTHING that might ease my pain and allow me to function on some level of normalcy. For me, they simply do not work. I have also tried a "synthetic" narcotic pain medicine and i may as well have been taking a baby aspirin for all the relief it brought, which was NONE.

Law makers are so focused on the "abusers" of these medicines and what they need to do to stop them, that they have totally lost sight of who these drugs were designed to help. We are NOT looking for the next high. We do NOT get a buzz from taking these meds. We do NOT even get adequate relief in many cases from taking these drugs. Too many of us suffer every day because of the laws that have been passed in the last few years. Our doctors and pharmacists are afraid to prescribe and fill our medicines and we are the ones that suffer. Yes, accidents happen, but that is not confined to this particular class of drugs. You can OD on just about anything, even OTC medicines.

Before you can pass judgement on anyone surrounding this issue, ask yourself this.... if your mother, father, sister, child were in extreme pain every day but they are not "allowed" to obtain a medication that would allow them to function outside of the bed they are lying in, wouldn't you insist that this medication be made available to them? That's what it's like...every day. Without these meds, patients become bound to bed rest and are suffering horrendously every day. I feel that there are more suicides from being unable to endure the pain any longer than there are lives saved by restricting addicts from getting them!
Posted by Karin Aubrey on May 27, 2013 at 11:33 AM
I am in Dunedin. I had been getting pain meds for over 27 years from walgreens. I have documented reasons i need this med from the most respected Dr.'s
It has been 13 days since my last med.
Since that time I have had 4 sandwiches and now living is squaller. I can not make it to walmart for food. I have been laying on a couch, bed, air matress, in the same clothes for 9 days now.
I am all alone here, nobody but me.
I have never been or felt more hopeless. I'm not calling an ambulance because I know when taken to the hospital they will think i am "junkie"
Pray for me, my prayers are with y'all
Posted by Edward on March 17, 2013 at 07:49 PM
Posted by WILBUR GRIFFITH on February 12, 2013 at 05:12 PM
I'm in school to become a Doctor, anything for pain I've taken is OTC, fortunately I don't need these drugs. Until recently I didn't think what was going on was a bad idea. This changed recently when a relative was diagnosed with cancer. I don't want to be specific to protect the identity of this person. Thankfully after chemo this person is getting better, but still in massive pain. This person is not an addict, what moved me about this is this person is one of the most responsible people I know, but is still in alot of pain, his cancer is considered one of the most painful among Doctors. I grew up and live in S. FL when I'm not in School. I was then much more interested in "Painkiller Abuse" and the tactics used. I am NOT a doctor, but I know alot of Doctors, leaders in their field, Ivy league. (teaching doctors). What I learned is very disturbing the way the FDA is pursuing this has led most Doctors to not prescribe Schedule II or III painkillers just so they will not come under investigation. This opens up those that run pill mills, I've seen many in severe pain, Thankfully in the hospital nobody with cancer or severe pain is denied. The problem occurs when they are discharged (if they live). Just like a hurt animal, a person in severe pain is desperate, and if it's severe enough and they can't get their meds filled legally, they will do whatever is necessary to obtain them, so this is actually creating crime. While this is illegal, with all the pain I've seen (This is kind of unrelated, but,if there is any dissent to my comment you can volunteer at some pediatric cancer wards, you will see pain). Abuse is a major concern but the current tactics are nothing short of cruel. I went from fully supporting the current tactics to doing everything I can possibly do to stop this. The only way it will stop is to write your representatives. Once again if you disagree, don't just listen to the media because I've found they are not reliable. I trust the doctors and healthcare professionals I've spoken to. I also advise anyone who is discriminated against to file lawsuits, not just drugstores but the FDA. On the Whitehouse website there is a petition, once it reaches 25000 it reaches the president, I encourage you to do that. Nothing may come of it but to even have a chance to stop this injustice everyone must act, Once again, yes there is abuse, and it's going down, but at what cost.
Posted by John X on January 21, 2013 at 09:06 AM
Linda-I find your post to be without compassion for those who are suffering from chronic pain or love someone who is and is being denied the only form of relief they can get. I have sent letters to authotities incuding Pam Bondi, Florida's Attorney Genreral, who touts ridding Florida of prescription drug abuse as her great success. I can do this because I am not suffering, but watch my mother slip away every day and hear her pray for death to release her from relentless suffering. My message to you is that these people dealing with chronic pain many days are using all of their energy and strength just to bear the pain and get through. Many of them including the elderly don't have anyone to advocate for them. Sometimes, blogs such as this one helps just by confirming one is not alone. I will continue to write letters, e mails, etc. as you state.

Posted by deb on January 21, 2013 at 06:09 AM
TO BEN AND VINCE. If you insist on your ignorance then I must edjucate you. First if you don't feel like you have been treated with all fairness then please report this pharmacy and pharmacist to the state board of pharmacy. Once they stop lauging at you and tell you that you have no claim that the pharmacist is a licensed individual that is required to make judgements based on their license you will feel as ill-informed as you act on here. The pharmacist is required to walk a thin line between providing patient care and preventing drug diversion. There is no way, in most cases, to tell if an out of town doctor is a pill mill or a true pain manager. Check out these links that OUR GOVERNMENT has that are guidelines to pharmacist. http://www.deadiversion.usdoj.gov/pubs/brochures/pharmguide.htm#resp

You can keep complaining or you can do something such as demand that the state government do something about pill mill doctors making it easier for the patients of legitimate pain management doctors to get the help they need. Take some time to look at the reputation of the state of FL as a oxycontin state. Over 70% of the countries oxy is prescribed and filled there. This does not add up compared to the population of the country versus FL. And DEB no just cause there are more retired people there still will not justify the difference in prescribing practice.

TO DEB, first you do not know me enough to say I have never experienced that kind of pain, I have 2 herniated discs in my lower back, my left knee has been put back together after a car accident, and I have Crohn's disease. All of which gives me days were the pain makes it difficult to get out of bed. I understand pain, I have pain, but I am a medical professional. I do not wish anyone to suffer but I do not at any time wish to be a part of the narcotic diversion system. There are different kinds of pain, what about the members of families torn apart by narcotic abuse? I gues you don't understand that type of pain. I have seen it first hand and it is not pretty. Do not judge me, I do not judge you.

What I want all of you here who have come to whine about a pharmacist who refuses to fill your pain medication to do is to stop the whining and do something.

Talk to your city, state, and county gonvernment about this. Ask what is being done to control the MDs who wight narcotics to whom ever walks in their clinic with money, not a true need. If you feel you are being treated unfairly by a pharmacist then ask them why they will not fill that MD's rx. Is it because he/she has scetchy wrighting practices. If the pharmacist does not keep your prescription there has been no legal nor ethical violation.

As the old saying goes either you are part of the solution or part of the problem. WHICH ARE YOU?
Posted by Pharmer97 on January 20, 2013 at 01:51 PM
I think it's time to put restrictions on pharmacists: Design those hot rod cars to not go over 55 mph, place Niacin in ALL alcoholic beverages to block the blood brain barrier so they do not get buzzed anymore. Take all taste out of food so no one over eats. Make cigarettes a perscription drug. An extra 4 years of college to refresh before re-licensing. A mandatory class once a month on perscription discrimination.
Posted by Ben on January 19, 2013 at 02:05 PM
I think any pharmacist or pharmacy that refuses to fill a valid doctors script be it for painkillers or any other script; the pharmacist should have his license suspended for at least 180 days, and the store / pharmacy manager should be fined $5,000 for each violation.

The pharmacy is not there to decide what meds a patient may or may not need but to provide an additional link a patients health care.

And for the states that allow the pharmacist to pick and choose which scripts they want to fill, they are not looking out for their citizens.
Posted by Vince on January 2, 2013 at 03:17 PM
I think part of the problem is this attitude that for people that are taking pain meds it is some type of a luxury or convenience?

That is not the case.

If that were the case I would not need them .

but that is what I hear in these excuses and justifications and rationalizations being made.

Oh all of you that need pain meds must understand that so many people are abusing or overdosing?

That is sad and that is a problem unto itself but people that need pain medications it is NOT a luxury nor a convenience, nor something that one has a CHOICE over.

If you are expereincing intolerable pain and are told by board certified physician there is no other treatment for you, if you have tried everything to no avail do you think MAYBE this is the PURPOSE OF prescription pain relievers in the FIRST PLACE?


so why should people not have access to what they need to have a quality life.

I have to tell you even with them I still have pain but it is tolerable and my life is still hard but it is a life, w/o them I have nothing, I am on couch crying.

This is not fair and peole please think about what you are saying here, we don't have the choice to be w/o the pain or the condition.

Also, how can you control how many people that have painful conditions live in certain areas? or states?

are you saying that only so many people who suffer from conditions should be allowed to live in a state?

everyone knows thee are a lot of older people in Fl , so it would figure that there would also be those that have pain meds.

Please try to put yourself in someone else's shoes to see that we are not being inconvenienced. it is a matter of having a life or not

if you needed medical treatment you would want to be able to receive it w/o being told because other people abuse the medication that you need you cannot have it.
wouldn't you?

if anyone has an argument for this I am all ears, but THERE IS NONE. WRONG IS WRONG.

and we need to get help. this is a crime being committed against the tax paying law abiding citizens, I am sorry to post and post but it just is intolerable to met his attitude and I belive that is part of the problem this attitude like we are asking for something special..

or something that we can go without, and we are either supposed to feel badly about it as if it some type of character flaw that we have painful conditions or that we are supposed to go withouth what we NEED because of other people's bad behavior. That attitude is part of the problem.

I dont' have a choice believe me I wish I did, it has been nothing but a total nightmare to lose my life to chronic pain. I am thankful for medication that helps me, but now I don't even have that...have to FIGHT to try to get a prescription filled every month and stay on the couch day after day hoping that i can have enough medicine to EVEN GO TRY TO FILL MY PRESCRIPTION. what will happen when I cannot go out to fill it? then what? the Emergency room does not help you either.

I have a broken neck and herniated and bulging discs 4 in my neck alone and all through my back and deg. disc disease.

What am I supposed to do? is what I want to hear from Pharma and Bob the Pharm now..

what do you suggest we do?
I apologize for posting so much.
but this is something that feels so very helpless and thank you as Donna said to the law firm for giving us a place to discuss this.

Posted by deb on December 21, 2012 at 08:53 PM
@ Pharma, Thank you for telling us what we already know. and as you put it you may understand FRUSTRATION but you Don't Understand what it feels like to live with chronic pain and not be able to get up and walk, dress yourself or have a life due to horrible pain. That is the part you don't get and others like you, that is not helping. You won't understand unless it happened to you be grateful you don't have this problem. Being frustrated is only one small dimension of this hell. No empathy for people that need their medications to have a LIFE, the SAME TYPE OF LIFE YOU HAVE PHARMA, pain free. Yet pharm after pharm is doing NOTHING about this other than coming up with EXCUSES. There are none. Read these stories, as Tracey has said everyone has a breaking point there is only so much pain for SO LONG A DURATION someone can endure, esp i fthey know the cause as do the DOCTORS THEY SEE, and the PHARM WON'T OR CANNOT FILL THE PRESCRIPTION, at that point the PHARM needs to be communicating this ILL EFFECT to the DEA whom instead they are blaming. Sorry to those pharms that are compassionate enough to actually try to help. but I have been having nothing but trouble finding any, it is just as Tracey says, they care about their job more than they do to help someone suffering.
Prayers for everyone suffering, and prayers for strength, why is it I wonder that the SICK PEOPLE have to be the STRONG ONES? while those healthy who SHOULD be strong sit by making excuses and pointing fingers. As Tracey noted, everyone has a breaking point, there is only so much a person can endure, and living with horrible pain is one of them, for how long can you handle it? Maybe , just maybe that is why we have been given the prescriptions in the FIRST PLACE! so what is going to be done about this? and the answer a resounding nothing...or excuses...telling us things we ALREADY KNOW...none of which has anything to do with us. Why cannot those of you who offer up excuses see that what if this were YOU or your loved one? then what? I guarantee you it would change everything and you would want to know why no one is responding to your legitimate need to receive your medical treatment , you know like the addicts are able to get their medical treatment and prescriptions IF they choose to get well that is..and like everyone else with a condition can. The VERY worst ailment you can remove from a person is for Pain....this should not be rocket science or so hard to fathom, and I am tired of this attitude is like we have a CHOICE, like we have the choice of going without them??? Believe me if that were a choice I would not be taking them in the first place...nor coming online looking for help or answers...I am tired of the attitude from people who don't understand what this is like to judge and act like it is no big deal, or that we should just understand because of the problems in Fl, sorry but that is BS, doesnt' make a bit of diff to a person that cannot dress themselves , go outside l, take care of themselves due to horrible pain.
Sorry, please stop with the excuses.
in addition by making them you are making it sound like it is Okay, or that WE should understand, agian if I did not NEED THEM I WOULD..and I believe that is where the attitude comes from.
Posted by deb on December 21, 2012 at 07:23 PM
Tracey, I feel your pain and my pain as well. I feel as though near suicide from this entire situation. It is bad enough to live in terrible pain day in and day out, it is another thing altogether to have PRESCRIPTIONS for a much needed medicine to provide any semblance of a quality of life (and that uphill), and NOT BE GIVEN THEM and just to be turned away with a "good luck" as i was just done an hour ago. I am damn near afraid to even go TRY, because I am about to have nervous breakdown from this.
She says "good luck" with what? what do you wish me good luck with..I told her I do not have it in me to drive to store to store and that my Dr. JUST CHANGED MY MEDS for the SOLE PURPOSE that it might be easier to fill them. and now you are telling me you cannot fill this either....?? I asked her if I could please have a conversation with her and my dr. a dialogue so that I don't have to KEEP GOING THROUGH THIS EVERY MONTH, that I have done so for the past 9 mos and I do not have it in me to continue. I cannot drive and drive and I cannot go thru this. I tis the most humiliating experience I have ever had.
What gets me is what are we supposed to do now? What can we do? Why is there no emergency ph # set up for people with as all of us here have SERIOUS HEALTH CONDITIONS and a prescription that we cannot fill?

My black pit bull lab when got home, tears streaming down my cheeks. and he got in my lap looking at me and I felt like having my dog open up a Pharmacy, called Eric's Pharmacy, the slogan: "Where we help people" and show him chewing through the red tape!!!

is only thing that cheered me but I live in constant fear and dread and cannot make appointments, why? because i don't know if I will be able to fill my meds or not, EVERY SINGLE MONTH, then I go and switch them to be able to and am told SAME THING AGAIN.

Then I simply asked what can I do? can't you tell me what you CAN fill so I can let my Dr. Know because I cannot drive around like this....I can't do it..

and she just said no, there isn't anything I can suggest, and it is that way no matter what prescriptions they have , she said all "cts"

i don't even know what a C.T. is..
I did not even ask,all Iknow is that they SHOULD be able to tell by my other meds they fill that I am already suffering from depression

and this is NOT helping, and that answer made me feel HOPELESS as does this entire situation.

the dr. sends me to phar and the pharm sends me to dr. and yet no one will actually HELP

and for the one called Pharma and Bob here , SORRY BUT WE KNOW THAT ALREADY, we know full well why it is happening , and you can tell me how many people have o.d. til cows come home does not change the fact that it is IMMORAL AND WRONG AND SHOULD BE ILLEGAL TO NOT FILL PEOPLES PRESCRIPTIONS,

believe me i wish i did noit have a condition that needs them
and what you do NOT do is HURT the disabled , sick and elderly and that is what is happening
so please do not tell us why this is happening or try to justify this

there is no justifying it and anyone who comes up making these comments all you are showing all of us is that you lack empathy and that you yourself have not had to live with pain,

when you have to live with chronic debilitating pain day in and out of your life, THEN you tell me about it. and I hope for your sake that if that should happen you can get your much needed pain medicines.

I am still losing 2 weeks of my life every month due to this problem and now the other 2 weeks that i do have medicine are being ruined because I cannot rely on anything. make plans or even know what will happen to me next month.

It is beyond depressing...there should be a toll free ph # for people to call that NEED HELP, because quite honestly what are we supposed to do

I pray that no one kills themselves from this as that is what it does to you..that is what it is doing to me..because they make you feel hopeless
and then i have to wonder if it would leven find it's way into the news

I am so sorry to hear this Tracey..I am also in Fl, in St. Pete, and I am going through the same hell here.
my email is [email protected] if you would like to write.

thank you for the prayers, let's try to stay strong... I don't know hat to do, i feel i have tried everything and do not know what to do.

tomorrow i will have one more shot before i am not able to even drive again that i have to drive to store to store and hope, and i am afraid to even do it anymore becuase i get so very upset.
Posted by deb on December 20, 2012 at 09:34 PM
I understand everyone's frustration, but look at the facts, Fl and now GA are becoming the top Oxycontin states. The refusal of the pharmacy may be tied to the two CVS pharmacies losing their ability to dispense pain medications. The pharmacy walks a thin line between the customer and the DEA. This is the article, read it and see why you are having a hard time. http://content.usatoday.com/communities/ondeadline/post/2012/09/11/cvs-florida-prescription-drug-abuse-licenses/70000145/1#.UNJRpG-5On8
Posted by Pharmer on December 19, 2012 at 06:49 PM
Tracy: Know how you feel, struggling with the same issues with my mother, we live in fear of not being able to get her medication every month, I have written letters and sent e-mails to everyone I can think of to bring attention to this issue, but with no response to date. Just a tip, lately we have had luck filling her script at CVS, especially if you can time it for mid month, hope you have the support of a family member or close friend to help you through this, and hope it will get better for you.
Posted by Deb on December 19, 2012 at 06:04 AM

**My name is Tracy. I am a resident of Spring Hill, FL last 11 years. I lived in St. Pete for 40 years. I have been on disability since 1998 and after 3denials a federal law judge dated my disability back to 1993. 6 or 7 years ago my chronic pain in my lower back and the constant aches like the flu I could never get rid of finally took its toll and I had to resort to pain meds. I was diagnosed with diabetes at the age of 36. In 2007 I was diagnosed with a unknown skin disease which most MD s would say you are delusional. I am college educated and far far from delusional. There is no cure. It in itself is painful. December 7th I dropped off my script as usual at walgreens been a patient there for years in Spring Hill and St. Pete. Pharmacist said new rules got to call doctor verify and I am like yeah what else is new. This was at night been going there nonstop every month for 7 years or better. So Friday rolls around and at 300 PM I get a voice mail asking to call back. I just went down there thinking it was not anything serious. I get there and he tells me the doctor said no. I am like ok no to what they wouldn't say. So at that point there is no more I can do it is Friday and doctors office is closed. So a weekend in hell and Monday rolls around I call doctors office at 900 AM they say they got no call or fax from walgreens. She said have them call I am standing right here. I call walgreens ask them to call doctor please they did not receive fax on Friday. Thats when the pharmacist tells me that he and the doctors office had a altercation as the pharmacist put it they were snotty rude and slow about getting information to pharmacy. They were not conforming to DEA s rules. So walgreens locked me out of system I cant fill at any walgreens in the US. So I go back to Tampa tell doctor what went on. He is like why are they penalizing you for our mistake. My answer I don't know. I was grandfathered in at walgreens never made waves just filled scripts when they didn't have it I would wait would not do any good to pharmacy hop no one has it or they met quota or we ordered it but it hasn't come in in 2 weeks or 2 months. I talked to store manager who said you were just unlucky enough to fall through the cracks go across the street. Called corporate they said they logged complaint but I wont know if it ever got to who it was supposed to get to and she also said I would not receive call back. I am pissed by this point after driving 200 miles 40 different stores and the meds I need they have but wont give them because he and doctors office got into what I don't know and I am in pain can hardly walk getting in and out of truck so many times walking standing in line only to get no where I told her what good is this you cant talk to anyone they don't talk back so you are screwed sorry have a nice day. The doctors office cant get in touch with this guy all of the sudden he is sick. I was supposed to hear from doctors office Friday monday tuesday. This whole thing started december 7th it is now december 18th. I am no where back to square one. Sick hurting depressed which none of them give a dam. These rule making idiots that think they are doing the world a favor by getting addicts and drugs off the street by making it impossible for the the law abiding citizens to get what has always been legal in the past and necessary for some to even be able to go to the bathroom by themselves. Want to do something that makes sense ban alcohol cigarettes. The state of Fl isn't making any money off scripts. They aren't making millions and millions in taxes. They don't care they are not losing anything. Like gun laws guns don't kill people. People kill people. Take away guns from law abiding citizens and only outlaws have guns. They took medicine away from everyone but the drug users. All the laws and BS longer prison terms blah blah blah didn't hurt the users they are in and out of jail like yo-yos. At the rate things are going we are all going to suffer because of something that has been going on for years. The war on drugs. The Question of the day? How long can or will you be able to put up with the pain. How many will try and end it the permanent way. They have no clue as to what they are actually doing to people. I don't care who you are everyone has a breaking point. My prayers to all who have found themselves tied up in this mess. May the pharmacist not sleep well at night knowing their 50/60 thousand dollar a year job is the most important thing not the ones going to them for their help. **
Posted by Tracy on December 18, 2012 at 04:22 AM
So sad Deb, so unconscienable , so
Unnecessary. I am only 46 years old, and I am in same position, I feel so helpless, but I cannot imagine being 88 years old and being treated this way, we should be taking extra measures to make sure that our elders are cared for properly. This situation makes me so angry for all of us and when you ask for help you get nothing.

They are treating EVERYONE like they are drug addicts , so remove all the drugs from everyone.

Prescription pain meds are for people who need them. To take action that applies to those that abuse them (a very small % of those who receive them from DOCTORS), IS taking action that is equivalent to the only reason they exist is for drug addicts and all doctors are prescribing to addicts. This is just wrong,wrong,wrong.

I don't know what this country is coming to , when our own government who is supposed to be "for the people, by the people" is anything but , when the gov't is interfering with disabled and elder rights to receive medical treatment.

The pharmacists need to have compassion for the people they are serving, instead they don't seem to care at all and are more concerned with or acting on fear of "getting into trouble"??? why would you get into trouble for filling perfectly legit prescriptions.

All of this nonsense from the pharmacists, understand all of your points but all you are doing is defending why people that need medication cannot get them. and that behavior does not deserve any defense, we all know the cause, what we don't understand is why we are being punished for the bad doctors, and people that have abused prescription medication. Not until you yourself or someone you love has a condition that causes chronic pain and destroys your life, will you comprehend how terrible this is and to have health care professionals just blame others doesn't help. It's not helping what we need are solutions and for the pharmacists to let the DEA know that people are being hurt by these guidelines, that's what any pharmacist should be doing instead of just turning people away and giving excuses why it is OK. It isn't ok and if the pharmacists don't speak up, then the DEA is not going to understand that they are making it impossible to do their jobs. If that is the case then the pharmacist industry needs to listen to all the people whose lives are being ruined. How terrible to hurt the older people and those that are disabled, who have paid taxes their whole lives, they are the weakest of all the people and these medications are needed for us to have a quality of life. Why are our lives not important? to hurt the elderly and the disabled is just wrong. To not give medication to the people that need it because some people abused it is wrong. They are acting as if everyone who takes pain meds is a criminal , or a drug addict..and now the pharmacists are doing the same thing. This should be illegal, no one should interfere w/ the care they need to receive and are receiving from their doctor, LEAST of all those that claim to be health care professionals themselves.
Posted by deb on December 16, 2012 at 12:34 AM
I posted regarding my 88 year old mom who suffers so from degenerative spine disease. Fortunately, she does have a compassionate pain mgmt. specialist who is doing everything within his power to help. She does best on oxycodone, it controls the pain the best with the least amount of side effects . However, we can't get it, even in the middle of the month. Her doctor told us that they have been changing scripts multiple times during the month for almost every patient they have. She was prescribed Norco ( a combo of hydrocodone and Tylenol), we were able to get it, but she is having horrible side effects including constant and severe flushing, loss of appetite, tingling, body aches, and severe depression. I wish I could just take of her pain on myself so that she doesn't suffer so much. She stated she has asked God to take her soon if things don't improve. The only way I can help her other than continue on my letter writing campaign is to let her know that I will always be here for her, will never abandon her, and will keep fighting to bring attention to this situation. Why does a 88 year old woman (or anyone for that matter) who has never even drank alcohol, and has been a productive law abiding citizen all of her life have to suffer so due to ill thought out legislation passed by politicians who are just looking to put a feather in their political cap by claiming that they have solved a problem.?
Posted by deb on December 15, 2012 at 07:27 AM
Hello everyone, I am deb and I am in st pete, fl and I am awaiting disability. I have deg disc disease, a broken cerv vert, herniated and bulging , 5 in my neck alone, more in my lower back and middle back.

Unfortunately I have been going through the same hell, every month with the pharmacy not being able to fill my meds, it takes anywhere from 3-16 days to do so. if i could wait that long i would not need them.

if i could drive to store to store like they suggest, again i would not need them

i have had to lose about 2 weeks of ea month on the couch because i can only take such a small amount to make up for this time frame

i explained to my dr. who is a board certified neurologist for 30 years. i have had same dr. , same phar, same prescription since i was diagnosed for the past 2 years now.

the pharm all give different reasons , i finally found a compassionate pharm who told me many will not fill for you unless they know you , which is absurd.

how can they possibly know you? and how will they know you?

i showed my doctors card and my health county card as the county is my primary physician, how much more do they want?

now that i found a compassoinate pharm which is what it boils down to is you have to find a pharm to have a RELATIONSHIP with in order to get through this

unfortunately my condition is not one that there is any other treatment for.

i need my pain meds to have any thing even close to a quality of life.

now my dr. has changed my meds and going to the pharm only to learn they cannot fill this one either.
so now i must go back to the dr. but first i have to go to the pharm to find out what they can fill , then back to dr. and HOPE AND PRAY he will change it to something they can actually fill.

i think that right now it is especially difficult because it is the end of the year , it may stay this way until january.

i am just not sure, of anything other than we need our pain medication and it is immoral that we cannot get it.
it is destroying people's lives.

i am going to the pharm i found to explain to her that i will only be using her from now on and that due to the situation i need to have a communication between dr. and pharm in order to continue as the prescriptions i need do not do me any good if i cannot fill them.

Michael , i understand completely your feelings and that is exactly how I have felt, that no one cares. they just send you away without any concern. I am also , what am I supposed to do?

I will post updates if I can get a clear line of communicaton between one particular pharm and my dr. and i am returning to both to let them know that this MUST be done in order for me to receive the care I need. if not I honestly do not know what I will do , as i am at my wit's end with this whole situation. it has been going on for about 9 mos now, each month pure hell, and soon as I thought i had a way to fill it and save the meds to make up for the missing time, then that did not work either. and i am back to not being able to get my meds no matter what i do to adapt myself to this and all the while i have had to ADAPT to not getting the care i need and lose 2 weeks of my life every month on the couch incapacitated. this is just wrong..
Posted by deb on December 13, 2012 at 09:35 PM
I am a cronic pain patient on Disability and i have been treated by the same doctor for over 15 years, i have been using the same pharmacy for over 2 years,now after all these years they can't or won't fill my medication,my doctor has even changed my medication and now they can't get that medication, i i have had no other choice but to just leave my prescription at the pharmacy,anyone that has been on narcotic medication for a long period should not just stop taking them medication then start again over and over,before i used to live a pretty normal life,now i can't get myself out of the house, i can't explain how horrible i feel,and it really bothers me no one cares,what can i do?,it seems like the drug company or the pharacy that's been filling my prescription for all these years shoud be more helpfull,if you read the instructions,it says your not supposed to stop taking this medication without consulting your doctor,But i guess that dose'nt apply,it's dangerous ,but they don';t even care,should'nt someone be held accountable,I have allways taken my medication like it's supposed to be taken, i've done nothing wrong,and i'm, paying for it,WHAT CAN I DO?,CAN ANYONE HELP?,Thanks,Michael Kelly Ph.239-691-0712,email [email protected]
Posted by Michael Kelly on December 13, 2012 at 02:52 PM
Hello Everyone,

I am yet another person in Tampa Bay area of Florida who is suffering from a chronic pain condition(s) that require that I take oxycodone, and am being under treated, as my condition is "not covered" by the health dept. which I was forced to swallow my pride and finally go when I could not gather the funds to get an MRI and xrays done after the Great Recession destroyed my business. I put it off longer hoping I could pay for myself as a business owner for 16 years and working my whole life since I was 14 years old and I am now 46. I have a broken neck, and 4 other discs and verts damaged in my neck and herniated and bulging discs in my lower and I suspect my middle back.

Without the aid of my fiance I would have been homeless long ago, as independent, strong as I am, the pain was relentless and intolerable, physically and mentally.

I am currently and have been waiting almost 3 years now for disability so the County sent me to neurologist to over see me until I receive the medicaid to enable me to get the full treatment and further diagnosis.

I may have other conditions as my knees hands and feet are always sore and hips (joints) but it doesn't do any good to be diagnosed for something that they are not going to cover treatment for and is more depressing than not knowing about what might be wrong.

Meanwhile I have had same Walgreens for over 18 years and I have had the same dr. referred to by County for about 2 years now or so,
and took same medication he only increased me once because they were low dosages to be honest, I have had to need more of them for a long time, but too afraid to say anything.

I suffer from terrible depression even before this and now due to not working did a whammy on me with my depression and then I came to terms with that, all the while being under treated and fighting for the little care I did receive.

the County takes months to get things done.

Walgreens had me going from store to store and I could not do it any longer, it was psychologically and physically draining beyond what I was capable of continuing to do.

Humiliating as some pharmacists are very rude. I have heard all types of things and not sure what is true any more.

I told my Dr. and he was at the time unaware until they started making requirements on him too and then he was concerned, but he still does not seem to understand how much trouble it is to fill the medication.

He did not want to switch me to another medicine as the pharmacists suggested and resented them telling him how to do his job, I agree but at the same time I am stuck in the middle and none of this is helping me.

I have a perfectly legal and valid prescription yet month after month I have to worry if I can fill it.

I currently lose about 2 weeks of each month in bed taking less medicine than I actually need to take because I have to save it to spend 3-7 days or more to get my medicine as we began just going to my same Walgreens 2 X per day until they got it when they told us that we had to do that .

They told me that it was gone in two hours after they got it as they are doing first come first serve,
some do not scutinize at all and some over scrutinize and will not fill it ,
many as I just found out for one compassionate pharm told me that
many of them will not fill it UNLESS THEY KNOW YOU

how absurd is this? and how will any pharm EVER know me? that is the equivalent to saying that I cannot get my medicine filled at all

One point I would like to address is this:

all of this because of bogus pain clinics which any laymen could easily identify . so that should be addressed and dealt with and I see no reason why you would have to interfere w/ other doctors nor the pharm for things that BAD DRS WHO SHOULD LOSE THEIR LICENSE FOR DOING HAVE DONE.

whether they use corp names doesn't matter the police should be able to shut them down or feds either or and leave it at that.

Further more, addiction has not decreased, they try to say o.d. of oxy is less maybe so but what I heard was that simultaneously o.d. from heroin is increased,

Addicts will just abuse another substance and eventually die or go to jail since that is the destiny of abuse, whether it is from alcohol poisening such as "hazing"
so why are they not going
after Budweiser?
no they encourage that and show you commercials to drink drink drink everywhere right?

the other point I would like to make is that no one can stop an addict but an addict the person has to want help and typically the person is using due to another problem so the way to fix that is to fix the underlying problem which is causing the individual to either self medicate or be self destructive or abuse ANY substance.
This promotes irresponsibility to PARENTS and anyone that is taking drugs that should have the common sense to be careful with their medication.

There is a problem with addiction in America and many are hiding it.

But these tactics are not reducing the number of addicts, so it is not helping nor stopping anyone from eventually self destructing if that is the path they are on
but what it is doing has done and continues to do is to
create a secondary epidemic of people that are in pain that cannot get required medical attention and treatment that is otherwise available, is it not sad enough that there are diseases we cannot treat and people have to be sick only because we do not have the cure for?

if there is a treatment for a condition to hold it up and on the premise that there are those within a society that will abuse and that there are poor doctors? is a risk and danger to everyone

not having pain meds for people who need them DESTROYS LIVES
so they are effectively destroying people's lives who have NO CHOICE TO TAKE THE MEDICINE
IF YOU ARE LIKE ME there are no other remedies otherwise you would be employing them
and you need medicine to have anything even close to a quality of life.
That is what they are FOR, and to regulate them based on what addicts might do with them is immoral and should also be illegal.

The other point I want to make here is that ANY ADDICT that WANTS HELP can right this very second get help from a number of places, even if he is destitute from what I can see, the help for addiction is prevalent and you know what else?
if you were an addict you can not only get the health care you need to combat your "disease", AND I bet you a bottom dollar they HAVE NO PROBLEM GETTING THEIR MEDICATION IF THEY ARE PRESCRIBED ANY FOR WITHDRAWALS!

FOR A "disease" that is one by choice, don't get me wrong I understand and empathize w/ the sufferers of addiction as well as their family as we SHOULD ALL EMPATHIZE WITH ONE ANOTHER FOR THE HEALTH DISEASES WE HAVE, so why are they enjoying their freedom to get treatment for disease of addiction AND their medication if any and why are people that have other diseases that they have NO CHOICE over having or not having not able to get their medication.

I wrote to a lady who is running a band wagon type of site called Oxy Watch and it is the entire web site is FULL of all the bad things about this drug, NOTHING about how many people are being helped by it, from what I have ascertained this drug has been a miracle drug for over 13 years and used successfully for pain. Maybe that is the reason my board certified 30 year neurologist is prescribing it! because it works and because there are less ill effects and chances of addiction and problems than are the dilaudid or the morphine which would be the other comparable ones to it.

My Dr. this time changed me to Percocet in hopes that it would be easier to fill and I just went to Walgreens to be told AGAIN that "the manufactuer has it on back order"

another store said they would not have it for three weeks,

well if i could wait for 3 weeks I WOULD NOT NEED IT
and the other thing is that if i were able to drive from store to store looking for my prescription I would not need it

I have to have medicine in order to do this.

It has been so bad that my fiance takes time away from work to go to try to fill it.

and Walgreens 2 mos ago, we did this 2X a day bit as the alternative to driving everywhere, when my Dr would not change it and
on the 7th day , after having checked at 8pm the night before, and running very very close to out (this after saving them and laying on the couch for 2 weeks to preseve my medicine ) so that this would not happen, so that i could actually go out to get them, and on the 7th day they told me that I was "an hour too late" and they proceeded to take 16 days to fill my prescription.

This is absurd, now I am faced with the same problems again.

Now I have to go to the pharmacist that I spent hours and hours driving and speaking to stores to find, that finally was compassionate and Donna here helped me giving me ideas and support through email conversation and I was able to find a pharmacist to have a RELATIONSHIP WITH.

I have spoken to Walgreens Corporate and believe me they don't want anything to do with it.

The DEA and the War on Drugs is a war against legitimate doctors and their patients now.

Donna is right we all need to band together.

I understand how hard it can be to keep a non profit up and running , we need to all band together and yes we also need our privacy because there is an awful stigma tied to the MUCH NEEDED AND LEGITIMATE USE OF PAIN MEDS now you are treated like some type of an outcast, and while I am at it, that is another thing with the American pride, it is a stigma one carries with them about themselves when they cannot work normally , it creates or adds to depression as do the ailments themselves and the loss of purpose, independence and identity and vocation (your calling) your ability to contribute to your own household your own self, your loved ones and your community. I want to be an active and productive member of my community and I should not have to feel badly about myself because I have conditions that firstly I am most thankful that I am not paralyzed and secondly I am most thankful to be alive and have food, water , and shelter (still) and thirdly to be able to be on the internet and to meet all of you here, but I am also thankful for the pain medication that God gave to man through plants for us to use medicinally to HELP US AND TO ALLEVIATE SUFFERING. no matter your religious persuesion it is my belief that universally as human beings we ea deserve dignity and to be free of pain and this is a strike to both of those human rights not to mention our ability to be "free to pursuit happiness" purpose and fulfillment, all of this is compromised due to not being able to get our medication and then being made to feel as though we are bad people or something is wrong with US because we do.

That mindset has to change, and it has gotten so bad that I think we are all hiding in the closet because of the shame and stigma , heck it is hard enough to get by as it is you don't want to let people know that you are sick if not necessary, you don't want to be unreliable if not necessary. but all of this happens simply because we cannot get our pain medication. It is wrong and we need to fight for what is right, if we do not who will?
I am ready to fight . and do what we can to stop this . I wrote to Rep Kathy Castor who is a member of congress that is in Tampa Bay and I also wrote to Bill Nelson.

I have not heard yet back from them.

I also wrote to the lady who started and runs Oxy Watch to let her know that while I am sorry for her brother's death that prompted her to do what she is doing by demonizing the medicine is hurting people that need their medication and that i am sure was not her intent but an unforseen effect of all the stammering and yet she continues to demonize the drug on her page and it is all negative, #'s of how many died from it, etc, etc,
instead of showing unbiasedly the FACTS the true numbers of how many people this drug HELPS!

that is what we need to clarify.
for they are acting just the opposite that everyone who takes it is a drug addict.

What can be done?

Well I think a bit of civil disobedience and an education to the public and some media attention, I also want to know why this is not on the media ever?

along w/ why do Americans have to wait 3 years to see a dr. when they are so sick they cannot work any longer? throwing a person into poverty and homelessness,
not sure if they can ever escape or return

Well i have overspoken my piece and apologize for the length of my post, I am aching in pain now and must sign off

I had trouble filling the oxycodone 15 mg and now cannot even fill a percocet either

they take one look at it and send me away is the normal response.

i have not had it in me to do the drive aimless so i found a pharm to have a relationship with and w/ advise from Donna it worked but the problem now is if she does not have the medicine and cannot get it then i must find out what she can fill and then go back to my dr. to let him know and hope and pray he will write something different as he has been very reluctant to do so far,

and i 'm not sure why but i think it is simply because he is not a pain mgt dr. and he has had good success w/ the oxycodone.

i will update this page but listen also for updates as to where should we all go online to meet so we can keep one another abreast and possibly take some more action, Donna?
Another petition perhaps
or a meeting?

maybe letters to our state of Fl representative as well as other states for everyone who joins us?

thank you again everyone, i am saying prayers everyone gets their needs met.

Posted by debbe on December 12, 2012 at 10:05 PM
My 88 year old mother suffers from degenerative spine disease, is in pain most of the time, has tried all alternative methods of pain management such as injections, nerve interference, the only pain mgmt. left for her is narcotic pain meds which we live in fear of not getting for her. I spend several solid days per month going from pharmacy to pharmacy trying to get her script filled, they claim they can't give info over the phone. This is while she is suffering at home. I have written all local news media, letters to Pam Bondi, Florida's Atty General, President Obama, anyone I can think of to bring notice to what Florida is doing to its law abiding citizens who are elderly, and/or disabled, injured, etc, and truly need these medications to maintain any quality of life. Anyone have any suggestions of how to call more attention to this issue?
Posted by Deb on December 11, 2012 at 08:47 PM
Hi Bob,

Thanks for your reply.

However, I have been going to this pharmacy (part of a grocery store) for more than 15 years. And that is what I do not understand.

They have my entire history, and we always try to fill it there first. Only when there is a chance I may wind up with another withdrawal and seizures do we start shopping other pharmacies,

I would like to know what other procedures that pharmacies institute that drives away their regular long-term customers. I fill my BP meds there, and others, and I have Medicare Part D. My doctor practice is less than a mile from the store, and they provide printed scripts which she signs.

My real concern is — is there a real shortage, or are the pharmacies getting to scared to fill them? Our state has a pharmacy database, and that has cut doctor shopping down by 30 percent in the first 3 months it was instituted.

I am very polite with my pharmacist, but the store's employees do not seem to have empathy for their long time customers.

I do all the things in your post that I am supposed to do, but I feel I am being treated indifferently. And I am not the only one.

Posted by GMcGinn on December 10, 2012 at 12:35 AM
I work at a pharmacy as a pharmacy technician, so I understand both sides of the issue here. Unfortunately a few bad apples have spoiled the bunch. Yes, there are people that have actual pain, but the drug seekers have made it hard to differentiate between the two. I've seen people pull out all the stops to get their narcotics, crutches, fake wounds, tears, etc. and then it turns out their RX was fake, or they just got the same exact prescription 5 days ago from a different pharmacy. And then there's the crooked doctors that are bought and sold like it's nothing. Or the ones that just give narcotics out like it's candy. So taking all of those things into account, that's part of the reason it's so much more harder to get your narcotics filled.

On top of all that, the DEA is cracking down on Pharmacies, just like the article has stated. I just came into work on Wednesday & we had all new guidelines in place regarding not just narcotics, but all controlled medications,per our district pharmacy manager, due to pressure from the DEA.

Also, pharmacies don't HAVE TO fill a prescription, it's up to the discretion of the pharmacist. They're also protected under the law with something called "Good Faith Dispensing". You can Google it and it sometimes slightly varies by state.

And here are some tips to help get your prescription filled. ALWAYS make sure the doctor has their DEA number on the prescription. It is REQUIRED for it to be on the prescription. Make sure it is written legibly with proper dosage, directions, quantity, the correct date and make sure the doctor has signed their name in ink. Before you leave the office, make sure all of those things are there, because pharmacies can't change it, or call & verify it with the doctor. Unfortunately drug seekers will travel all over God's green Earth to get a prescription, so if you go to a pharmacy with a prescription from a doctor that's over an hour away from that pharmacy, they'll more than likely be more hesitant, or won't fill it at all. You may have to go to a doctor that far away, so try and fill it closer to the doctor's office.
Don't go to the pharmacy and before you even present your prescription say, "I've been to 10 different pharmacies and no one has this." That just makes it seem suspect.
Some facilities require a government issued ID, such as driver's license, photo ID, or passport, so have that handy.
Act calmly & friendly. Don't come up to the counter huffing & puffing, being rude, etc. The old saying of you catch more flies with honey is definitely true.
Don't pace back and forth in front of the counter or act really pushy, it makes you seem like a fiend.

And you can also write letters to the DEA & your congress people. Plead your case and let them know your story. Like I said, a few bad people have ruined it for everyone. It sucks, but it is what it is.
Posted by Bob on December 7, 2012 at 11:39 PM
I've read many comments here, and my wife and I have had the same, and even different exierences, all with the same results — The drug store we have been going to since they built the store 10 years ago, will not fill any of our pain meds.

Donna Ratliff: without having to write a novel, I had 3 back surgeries (2000 and two in Mar 2008); I was rear-ended at high speed. The metal work put in on 3rd surgery was infected with MRSA, and besides all the bulging discs that was not fixed, sciatica, fawcett joints, and failed back surgery syndrome (2 of the fusion spots failed - 80 percent) and I have two current screw that are loose.

If I could travel, I would have been there. The problem is that I can't spend more than 20 minutes sitting, let alone 8 hours to get to Tallahassee. I guess it is the same with many patients who are in pain.

There were issues even last year in pharmacies filling controlled substances. I had a pharmacy that kept telling me that they had none, I wound up in the hospital after my wife said I was out for at least 10 minutes suffering Grand Mal seizures - due to severe withdrawals.

I would be willing to help start a class action lawsuit against the state of Florida, DOH, DEA, the chain pharmacies, to compel them to fill legitimate scripts and to pay a fine to us.

My wife had to go to a pharmacy that takes no insurance, and they were glad to fill her script. But she had to pay twice the retail rate and they did not take insurance.

I worry about the fact that large pharmacies say they do not have enough to fill our scripts, but small pharmacies not only seem to have plenty to fill them, but at twice the retail rate for the area. And they do not take insurance.

What is going to happen soon is we will have to pay full retail at the small places, where most of the counterfeit pills likely come from. You know, those "Canadian" pharmacies that are popping up all over the place.

Our heath is at risk because of a law enforcement hysteria about small number of dealers and pill mills. If the police just did their jobs this would not be an issue.

Posted by GMcGinn on December 4, 2012 at 06:33 PM
I am a patient that is disabled and walgreens is refusing to fill pain medication
Posted by Brenda Moore on December 4, 2012 at 02:14 PM
A CVS in Michigan refused to fill a prescription of Vicodins 750mg. 100 ct. because they told me that the Doctor's DEA number was not working properly and it was red flagged. I called the DEA and they said the DEA number for the doctor is fine. So I called back the CVS and they said someone in the CVS system made a report against the doctor prescribing to the same patient on a regular basis. So some Pharmacist made this judgement. I asked which pharmacists and he said it is in the system and he does not know.

Does anyone know if I have the right to know which Pharmacists made this judgment?

Wanna here something funny? I called another CVS down the street from the original CVS and they filled the prescription without any hesitation. What kind of BS is that?

Thank you! Viva 420!
Posted by Armin on November 8, 2012 at 02:38 PM
, Hello if anyone is reading this or cares I AM Alan The Latest victim of CVS Not filling my scripts, Hydrocodone 30mg qty 90, and my Opana 40mg qty 90, I have Plantar fasciitis in Both of m feet, Degenerative joint disease, Osteoarthritis, I have had 2 Dbl Reconstructive Surgery on my left ankle twice, scooped 3 times, and Osteoarthritis on my right ankle once, My lower back is always hurting, and I am in pain most all day, worst at night, and now I have to deal with this with no pain Medication, I don't know how long I can take it, But I do know One solution that will take care of all of it, If worst comes to worst, "I klnow 1 thing your pain is your own, and NO ONE knows your Pain like you do, They can take Our Medication from us, so why can't they take our Pain for a day! and maybe then they will give us Our highly needed pain medication~"
Posted by Alan S. on October 28, 2012 at 01:22 PM
I am on disability for severe arthritis in my back, neck, hips and hands. I could not get my pain medication (Hydrocodone) from my Primary Care Physician, whom I have been going to for years, because of the new Florida Law that states you must get a prescription from a 'pain management' professional. He referred to me a pain management doctor. It took two months to get in, so I was out of the medication for that time. The doctor per scribed Hydrocodone once again. But then, to my surprise, WALGEENS, (whom I had been a loyal customer of for many years), refused to fill the prescription!! When I asked 'Why", the pharmacist said "By law, I only have to tell you that I don't feel right about filling this prescription". Walmart filled the prescription. I think this is appalling! I did exactly what my doctors said, and tried other means of pain relief, (chiropractic care, message therapy, hot/cold therapy, without avail. Earlier in this blog, someone had written (Rebecca) "they complain because they have to come in for an office visit to get their medications:..."they complain even after signing a pain contract..." Boy are YOU WRONG! I gladly go to see my doctor, and I gladly signed my pain contract, and I gladly pay for x-rays and MRI's. And I am sure that every other patient with real pain would agree. Only people who are addicts, or only get pain medication to get high would complain. I agree with the laws to a certain extent. They do filter out the real drug abusers. But why are legislators condemning people with valid pain, and treat us like We are the low-lifes. From here, I am going to Donna Ratliff website, to see how I can join to help in the fight to has my right preserved, and I encourage everyone else to, too.
Posted by Lucy on October 25, 2012 at 08:43 AM
i am from ga and the problem is just as bad here. you can get your medication but the dea has told all the pharmacies not to fill it and they make you feel like you have done something wrong when asking about the medication. this is just ridiculous. any one have any suggestions or know a pharmacy in ga that will fill meds please let me know
Posted by ga girl on October 24, 2012 at 12:52 AM
i agree people with real pain are not being treated fairly. we have no rights anymore when your medicare mail order pharmacy tell you over the phone you don't need this medicstion and make a decision not to fill much needed pain medication without even seeing an mri or any medical records. how can you diagnos if someone needs pain medication over the phone this country is not the same its going down the tubes people and i am well over 55-years old are treated without respect and given no rights in this situation. we give too much power to the pharmacy there should be laws to protect patients in need
Posted by randi on October 20, 2012 at 02:14 PM
Florida does not care about it's citizen's. I just moved here from Washington state and I was in total shock when I tried to fill a prescription that I have been on for 15 years due to a chronic back problem. I was told by the pharmacy that we won't filled that period. I asked why and was told again sorry we won't fill this medication. So I then went to several other pharmacy's and was told the same thing. What is going on does anyone know where or how it get there pain meds filled. I told one pharamcy that I will not be able to work without my meds and she told me sorry. I could not beleive it. What is going on? My back is killing me and now I am sick because I am totally out of my meds. I have never abused my meds or sold them. I use them as presrcibed. Why am I being punished for bad doctors and junkies. In Washington State it works like this. First before you get any pain meds you meet with your doctor and sign a pain contract. You then pick a Pharamcy and a copy is sent to the pharamcy you picked. You can only get pain meds from your doctor and can only get your pain meds filled at the pharamcy you picked. You as a patient are guarenteed your meds as long as you follow the pain contract. It protects you the doctor and the pharamcy. And yes the pharamcy knows when you will be in for your meds and they have them as per the pain agreement... Hey I can understand trying to fight a drug war but why hurt the people who need there meds. I really believe Florida law makers the DEA does not care about us!
Posted by Mike on October 6, 2012 at 12:15 PM
Im in Texas and my uncle is going thru the same problem he got hit by f250 while walking across the street and a vet has titaium and had broken his neck and they wont fill his scripts either WE need to stand up against this B,S where is are freedom of being Free of pain !!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Time to make a stand
Posted by maya on September 28, 2012 at 10:52 PM
I live in Volusia County, FL and have been going to the same pain management physician who is located in Seminole County, FL. I had had no problem filling my prescriptions for my morphine and hydrocodone at my local Publix that is about a quarter mile from my house. After my monthly visit to the pain management doctor I took my prescriptions in to be filled on my way home. I brought those prescriptions in to be filled and the pharmacist refused to fill them because the doctor was located in another county! Again, they had been filling my prescriptions from this same doctor for over a year!

I have a 50 degree curve in my spine, degenerative disk disease, arthritis,sciatica, and some spinal stenosis. I can barely walk when I do take my meds without them being mobile is almost impossible. I went to my local CVS, Walgreens, Winn Dixie, and Walmart and got the same story at each one about not filling narcotic prescriptions from doctors located in a different county. My son then had to drive me an hour back to Seminole County and we finally found a CVS (the Publix Pharmacy over there said that they were out!) that would fill my prescriptions.

This is ridiculous! I always thought it was a good thing to only use one pharmacy where the pharmacists get to know you and the meds you are on. My PCP could also go online and pull up all the prescriptions I had filled from other physicians to make sure what was current and what wasn't.

Florida is making it so that people who have a valid need for narcotic pain meds can't get what they need! Why do we have to pay for the sins of the doctors who wrote prescriptions for people that weren't needed?

I had to sign a "contract" saying that my pain management doctor was the only doctor who was allowed to write me scrips for my pain meds and that I had to submit to random drug tests and that if my meds were lost or stolen new prescriptions would not be written for me until I was scheduled for my next monthly visit.


Posted by Pamela on September 26, 2012 at 09:25 PM
I have been on the same dose of MS Contin for the past 10 years. The past 2 days I have gone to 15 pharmacies and none of them are no longer getting the medication. The excuses I heard from them if we continue to fill schedule II pain med we may lose a license to we cannot get the medication shipped to me. I am pissed that this is happening at loss on where I can get my meds filled. I live in Palm Beach co.
Posted by Jenifer on September 23, 2012 at 03:51 AM
I am 54 years old and was ran over by a drunk driver at age 15 and hit by a dump truck at age 43...My spine has disc bluging in it all over. I was put on disability at age 23 and today I just spent ALL DAY going to drug stores to get 90 dilaudid and I came home empty handed...If I would pay $900 for them I could get them filled but I have insurance since I'm on medicare and cannot get it filled...I DO NOT KNOW WHAT TO DO? Could Anyone Tell me where to start?? I'm gonna contact my insurance company on Monday and see what they say..If anyone can help me email me a [email protected]
Posted by Debra Cook on September 21, 2012 at 05:43 PM
I can't believe that all the complaining that has done on many blogs, many websites, that only a dozen people actually showed up to support this cause at the capitol. This was so sad. I will say this and then that's all.
If all legitimate pain patients don't start standing up to the DEA and the US government, and start being seen by protesting until the new senators get into office. We could very well be out of medicines for pain by spring time. We all need to get together here and really start fighting back!! My self and a hand full of people are not going to be able to advocate for everyone!! Your faces and warm bodies need to be there. God help us all if our pain meds don't come back, we are screwed. It's easier to stop this and get it back now?? Before they are all gone and then you can forget it. You will not see them anymore. Sorry..
Posted by Donna Ratliff on September 20, 2012 at 06:04 PM
Im 29 years old and a mother of four boys. Tomorrow will be the 2year anniversary of the car accident that left me paralyzed from the bottom ribs down. I have had a stage 4 pressure ulser for 2 years, sever neuropathy through out my body and muscle spasm that that shake my whole body. I have been out of my oxy 30s for a week. I have my script and go in so the pharmacist can see me sit in my wheelchair having a spasm so bad it puts me n tears. After that he says to me I have them but I don't like that doctor so I'm not filling your script. But a junkie looking person walks in and offers to pay a little more if they would fill it and he gets them. I think it should be arranged with the company to send in the mail to those that are fully documented with medical conditions that seriously require this medication. If any pharmacy denies you for having a cash pay doctor, your doctor. Is across bordering county lines or wants to see your MRIs you call the state surgeon generals office. Report the name of the person you dealt with the pharmacy and pharmacist address etc. be polite when they tell y no and call that number.
Posted by Karli on September 12, 2012 at 12:14 AM
I am one of those chronic pain patient's that couldn't get her prescription refilled, and I was floored when this happened! I went to CVS, Walgreen's, Publix pharmacy, Winn-Dixie pharmacy and 3 other independent pharmacies and no one wanted to fill my scripts, and these are medications that I've been taking for 9 years, and I had no problems filling in central Fla., but once I moved to Miami, the "pharmacy crawl" started. I am boycotting ALL of the above mention stores, because if they can not filled my medications, they don't need my business!
Posted by Millie on September 10, 2012 at 11:35 PM
This is Outrageous for CVS and Walgreens to do this !!!! I suffer from Chronic Pain due to MANY medical conditions and I Urge EVERYONE WHO READ THIS NOW OR HAS COME BACK TO IT PLEASE PLEASE CONTACT DONNA RATLIFF. HER EMAIL IS [email protected]
PLEASE READ HER COMMENTS ON HERE SHE IS BUSTING HER BUT TO HELP ALL OF US.....read about the Rally Sept 12 help her to help you !!
Posted by shelia on September 10, 2012 at 11:14 PM
and attending doctor. He has suffered outrageous pain for the past month. he didn't have the ability to chase around looking for another pharmacy since he confined to a bed during this period. if druggists are so concerned thhey should also consider the effects of being shut off from an apiate pain protocol without being weaned off.
Posted by Bob on September 8, 2012 at 05:25 PM

Posted by DEAN on August 29, 2012 at 07:06 PM
I work in the healthcare field. I am also the JAHCO and compliance officer for my practice. I have read all the stories above and hate to say what I see here is not some of my patients at all. They complaine because they have to come in for an office visit to get their medications. The complain even after signing a pain contract with our office. I have to protect our patients and our doctors. I explain to the I am sorry for the trouble but I have no choice. They complain to the providers the we treat them like criminals. I am lost as to what to say any more. I have patients that don't care they come in they make their appointments they seem to understand I treat all the patients the same. Can someone let me know if there is some way to approach this different. I have family myers that are dependent on their pain med to function daily so I am not judging anyone it is not my place to. That is what we have doctors for.
Posted by Rebecca on August 3, 2012 at 10:13 PM
enough is enough its time to stop these a holes from trying to run our life.only the great usa could deny vets who fought for this country the right to get their meds
Posted by David Yost on August 2, 2012 at 11:00 PM



Posted by Donna Ratliff on July 29, 2012 at 05:05 AM
I'm almost 48 yrs. old. I have degenerative disk disease whiich is a combination of osteo and rheumidtoid arthritis. My immune syster is destroying me. My tendons are all shot. Ever morning I think about suicide. I have two children, one is autistic. I have a prescription from a legitamate rheumatologist. I've been taking this medication without issue for years. All of the sudden, the last couple months. No one will fill. They all say they don't have it and are of no help calling other stores to help me. I only see one way out of this, and it's not going to be living in pain. I just can't do that anymore. I have a prescription riight now, but can't fill it. I will be very sick soon.
Posted by Michele on July 25, 2012 at 02:10 PM
I have been getting my pain meds at Walgreens for over 1 year now and only use the one Walgreens. This week they told me they dont feel comfortable filling my rx. What do I have to do go into hospice and die with dignity? I cant take the pain. I have had a spinal cord stimulator surgically implanted in my spine but it doesnt help my lower back pain. I guess If I die or commit suicide my wife can sue Walgreens for the cause of my death.
Posted by Todd on July 19, 2012 at 10:25 PM
I would thank the law firm for putting this blog on here and making this possible for people to search. This is very nice of you.. I honestly really appreciate it. This is noce so that many people can fight for rights in and have a freedom of speech. I can only pray that many of the posters here find me so that I can help them.

Donna Ratliff,
even if you google my name. you can find me.God bless all of you. Please join me in this FIGHT!!
Posted by Donna Ratliff on July 17, 2012 at 11:30 PM
Randy Dyer. Please find me!! I am Donna Ratliff. My email address is [email protected]

The American Pain Foundation Is NO longer. It closed down in May. I have taken over all the advocacy with fighting for RIGHTS to pain Care!! The petition was my idea. It is my petition, my friend Bob Twillman helped me write it, but he is not with APF either anymore. I have no way to get in touch with of those signers. So I have LOTS of updates for you. Please contact me soon as possible!! My email is listed above. Plus my facebook page. I also have a private group on facebook as well. I hope to hear from everyone soon. God Bless.
Posted by Donna ratliff on July 17, 2012 at 11:26 PM
To all posters in trouble with and need of your medicines. Please come find me on facebook at Donna Ratliff,
in Lithia Florida.
Come to my page below;
"Fight For Pain Care Action Network"
I am fighting these problems in Florida!! I am planning a PROTEST!! I need your support!! If you seek me out. You will find me and together we will fight this. WE have RIGHTS to pain care!! I hope to see you soon.. I need your support to make this possible. Hurry though.. The protest is not very far away..I have hundreds of people that sick of this CRAP!! Come join us!!
Posted by Donna Ratliff on July 17, 2012 at 11:18 PM
I am trying to figure out how to fight the prejudice regarding pharmacies such as CVS and Walgreens refusing to fill my medications including Oxycodone. My Oncologist referred me to a pain management doctor, an MD as she does not deal with ongoing pain management. I have been having so much difficulty filling them to the point where one pharmacist says they don't have the medication, the one pharmacist on another shift has it then fills it cause he helps those of us who have cancer. What is happening is that the DEA has made the pharmacists so scared of loosing their licenses, with the large corporations, the DEA is actually making the problem worse as the mom and pop shops WILL fill the scrips but at a usery rate. A script I get filled for $85 or $1.00 per pill, will charge me 5 times that amount and they are the ones who sell to the drug addicts and drug dealers and drug runners. They get closed down and they just open under another name and just cover their tracks. Why doesn't the DEA hire some actual pain sufferers, actual people who know what to look for in a "pill mill" and who would be legit! The pharmacies get upset cause so many scrips come from a specific physicians. Don't they realize there are only a few qualified and authorized pain management clinics in any one area an many areas don't have them at all!

We are made to feel like we are criminals when WE are NOT the ones dealing, WE are NOT the ones selling our meds, WE are not the ones running meds to other states, WE are NOT the ones abusing the meds, trying to get high. We are simply trying to survive with a horribly dibilitating situation.

I am sooooo tired of people blaming the drug companies and the drug for their loved ones suicide or overdose from getting high etc. Why don't they try to find a reason why their child or loved one even needs that escape to get high?

When I worked in the hospital, people overdosed on Tylenol, Aspirin and all kinds of meds they found around. Why are they still on the OTC shelves? They are as dangerous! We need to focus on the REAL problem and find a REAL solution. My pain management doctor can call on my parents or loved ones to do a pill count at any time to make sure I have the correct number of pills. What about regular urine tests? Every month we see the doctor. Require a urine test every month but I know that would be too expensive right? It's much cheaper to spend millions to fight a problem that is not going away.

Has taking the allergy medication Drixoral off the market even made a dent in the number of meth labs around the country and the number of lives ruined by this YET, I can't get the allergy medication that worked well for me since high school!

It's time people stop blaming others for their loved ones problems and start addressing them.


I am tired of suffering because of laziness, stupidity and pure ignorance.

Posted by Randy Dyer on July 13, 2012 at 06:03 PM
I am a 33 year old mother, wife, and full time medical professional. I have a disease that caused my body to destroy my discs, it's very painful. I've had multiple spinal fusions and surgeries and have recently had a spinal cord stimulator implanted. I was doing really great for the first time in years. The compilation of 5mg oxy 3x a day with my spinal cord stimulator I was living almost pain free it was wonderful. But then the Wakgreens I'd been going to for tears refused to fill my script and humiliated me in front of other customers I felt so ashamed. Now I have panic attacks every month when I try to fill my scripts. This isn't right. The DEA needs to be stopped. Good luck and lots if prayers to all of you going through the same.
Posted by Tamara on June 27, 2012 at 10:00 PM
I'm a chronic pain patient with a prescription from a pain mgt Dr. I'm no in w/d because I can't fill my roxycodone. I went back to Dr amd they said keep trying. I can't. I'm. 51 yrs old and don't know what to do. I've never run out of med, and now I'm already feeling sick. I'm so upset, Ive never been treated the way these pharmacists throw the prescription back at
Posted by E on June 6, 2012 at 05:25 PM
While I have pain everyday,it's a very small drop in the bucket, compared to what several people( that I know of personally) go trough every day, & ( not to mention the thousands of Americans go through every single second of every day of their life). I am apalled at these licensed pharacist's who, take it upon themselves to play ( DOCTOR ), by deciding who gets the drugs or not. They do (NOT ) have a license or the qulifications to Judge a person as to whether they need the drug or not. "THAT IS WHAT A REAL LICENSED DOCTOR IS FOR", so I personally feel if a pharmacist's dosen't want to fill a prescription, & he/she dose'nt have a "LEGAL" reason, his/her licensed should be suspended a month or ? A Doctor examines a patient, prescribes strong meds, so that person can function normally, for work,family,etc, a pharmacist's should not have the power to undermine a " LICENSED DOCTORS", Judgement, & the person who suffers the most is the patient! Pharmacists should be held responsible & liable for a patients pain & suffering. Do ( YOUR ) job, not someone else's. I am a caregiver 24/7 to my wife, who has chronic pain 24/7 & more problems than alot of people put together, but she gives a 110% everyday, but when the time comes for her to get her meds filled( everymonth ) we worry if the pharmcy will fill her prescriptions or not, & if not she'll be sick for several days untill they fill them. This is very inhumane, & very sad in this day & age. I do completely understand the DEA stance on illegal drug use, if your just doing your job, you should'nt be held liable for a Licensed Doctors BAD judgement. Thank you & GOD BLESS!
Posted by charles on May 31, 2012 at 08:02 AM
To Kyle,
Why don't pharmacies start joining chronic pain patients in this task and try to help? If healthcare professionals would ban together with patients that are legitimate we can possibly help each and protect one another. Why does this have to be a battle? There are people out here, especially in Florida that have prescriptions written by Board Certified doctors that aren't being taken care of at the pharmacy. If the government is pressuring you. Then believe me plenty of patients are willing to help. They are the ones suffering here the most. How can the healthcare system pretend that these people don't exist? I know a woman right now. That couldn't get her medications filled and she is very ill and in severe dibilitaing pain. She went to the hospital because she was in such pain and they didn't help her either. Where is the compassion for human beings here? This woman has a spine infection that has been there for many years from 2 failed back surgeries and the last punctured spinal column, RSD, Fibromyalgia, myfacial pain syndrome. COPD, heart problems. Does anyone think that she should be left to suffer like this? She went to numerous pharmacies and no one would fill prescriptions. She lives in North Florida and lives in the country so she has to travel hours to the doctor and the pharmacy. The excuse from one place is that she didn't live within a 10 mile radius of pharmacy. Many people don't or can't find a board certified pain specialist right down the street from their homes. People take vacations and visit family and leave the state. Those people aren't having these filling problems and don't even live in that state. I just really feel that these people are being neglected. This is America and everyone should have a human right to be out pain. So, I just wanted to let everyone know that people are dying here because they are not able to get their medications filled. They committing suicide because of this, the pain is that BAD. Please checkout Americannewsreport.com Read the chronic pain column. There is a series of stories being written on what is happening here in Florida. Yes, everyone wanted the pill mills gone. but this has become very unbalanced and many are suffering because of this. Otherwise there wouldn't be nearly 1000 signatures on petitions going around the state from people suffering.I can't believe that pharmacy would even consider not having any pain medications because people are complaining. That is very cruel. Any pharmacist that says that, shouldn't be working with people. I can't even believe someone would say such a thing. One day those who want to mock patients or be judge them..
They will have their day. God forbid an accident happens to them and leaves them in pain.It's too bad that everyone in the healthcare won't stand up and help these people. It is very sad.. I thought they took an Oath to help people?? All this unreal.
Posted by Patient advocate on May 30, 2012 at 09:49 PM
Thank you Donna. I am 70 years old and had been on pain meds for 10 years. Have been to scores of doctors for MRIs and tests, etc... I have three damaged discs, athritis, fibromyalgia and body pain from a stroke in 2002. After being made to feel like a criminal I stopped taking oxycodone for fear the overzealous state and federal police would somehow label me a criminal. My doctor has been trying to find some alternative pain meds that aren't being labeled bad by the government. One of my specialists told me he doesn't prescribe pain meds anymore as does a GP doctor, because they are afraid of damage to their reputatioms. I have met many people in chronic pain who are afraid to take any of the pain meds on the gung-ho law enforcement's list of "bad drugs". One sheriff in a county here in Florida said his goal is to "eradicate pain pills from his county"/ Not illegal meds just all pain meds. This is insanity. Its all political. Keep up your good work. I am too old and sick to help in the cause.
Posted by Linda on May 30, 2012 at 08:42 AM
A pharmacist refusing to fill a prescription (ANY prescription) is not malpractice. It's no different than a doctor refusing to write a prescription. They are independently licensed practitioners who can use their professional judgement on how they want to use their license. Start suing them and the pharmacies will stop carrying these meds all together. This is cutting off your nose to spite your face if I've ever seen it. Talk about ambulance chasing and blaming the wrong people...
Posted by Kyle on May 12, 2012 at 02:15 PM
Patient rights are being ignored, discriminated against, and of course profiled. Because of the actions of DEA/Politicians etc, they have made it practically like lottery for patients to fill their LEGAL prescriptions. Pharmacies are price gouging (only have certain medications in stock when paying cash, pretty sure that is really legalized drug dealers), the rest just take a quick look (not using the PMDP or any other resource) and just decide one is not worthy of their precious medications.
I belong with American Pain Foundation Florida, and we are tired of being treated like criminals and being denied our basic healthcare. How do we end up on disability, but unable to obtain the medications to help with those disabilities. This has gone too far. Donna Ratliff, the FL APF leader is doing a great job, but it is an uphill battle against the media stigma, STOPP (mothers in denial), and politicians patting themselves on the back thinking they actually are doing something good. We, actual patients, need our voices heard! NOW. Our civil liberties are being denied.
Posted by E11 on April 16, 2012 at 03:36 PM
THIS IS HAPPENING EVERYWHERE. I am one of the lucky ones... I had moved 1-1/2 yrs. ago., but still must travel EVERY MONTH a 6 hr. run, to go to my Dr. and then to fill my prescriptions ( At my regular Pharmacist I used @ old address ) because NO PHARMACIES will fill them here in Lee County where I live now. I am afraid to get a new Doctor, as I will be labeled a Dr. Shopper and then have RX's in hand & be unable to fill them ... so I continue to do this every month.... UNTIL .. I hope the gvrnmt. / DEA sees how many innocent people ( frankly this scares me, as I don't think they care ) they have sacrificed in their war against presrciption pill mills/abuse,etc) .. WE are the collaterol damage and they seem to not listen or care ... ALSO THE PHARMACISTS now are forgoing the insurance paying customers for the cash paying customers charging astronomical amounts of $$ that no one can afford. Sometimes just one prescription costs up to $ 1,500.00 and more for one month .... They have become the new criminals ( in my eyes ) that are making huge profits along, of course with the Dealers who are doing business as usual .. NOT ... Better business than before making even more $$ as the street value is up to $ 30-35.00 per pill ( Roxicodone ) ... NEED I SAY MORE ?????
Posted by Elinor on April 16, 2012 at 02:38 PM
Walgreens Pharmacists told my husband I have the meds But I refuse to fill them!! Dan has had 2 back surgeries and works, been w/Walgreens for over 10 yrs and HAD to go to different Walgreens just to get his meds filled.. ridiculous..
there are a number of really pissed off people on a forum called Prescription Drug-Info.com Type in won't fill scripts or cant fill oxys etc.. and you will find young & old and of course some just searching.

Also AMF leader in FL Donna Ratliff has a group on FB that is trying to get help for us.. She has been a great advocate, by writing to leaders and Gov Scott w/ reply
People need help and we understand why RX's are scared but majority having a hard time are Legit patients..
Look up Donna Ratliff on (APF) American Pain Foundation in Fl
thank you donna kopenahver
Posted by Donna Kopenhaver on April 16, 2012 at 09:13 AM
I am the FL leader of the American Pain Foundation. I get tons of emails with many legitimate pain patients having severe problems in getting their vital and legal prescriptions filled everyday. This is state health crisis. many people are having problems staying employed while trying to stay out pain trying to find their a pharamcy to fill their pain medications. It's not just oxycodone, but that prticular medicine is a very effective for rescue and breakthrough mediciation. There is currently 100million adults in chronic pain on a daily basis not including veterans, apllative care and people under the age of 18. We are the majority!! We can not let addicts ruin the lives of pain patients. The state is catering to addicts, while letting legitimate pain patients suffer. This very inhumane and our doctors should be helping to support the patients they treat everyday. However they are probably in fear for their jobs. The state has caused an unbalanced situation. The pendulmn has swung to far and now these patients are suffering. Many don't know how they will be able to survive if left to deal with pain that should be controlled at home. Safety is locking up your meds. We all know that know that now. The conversation about pain needs to change now! The old stats and old media news is over 2 years old. This needs to stop and we need to support the RIGHTS of people in pain! This their constitutional
Right to have their pain treated in a timely and effective manner. Enough about the mothers involved STOPP. They should have taught and watched their family and kids better. The signs of addiction were there. They chose to look the other way. They should have put them in Rehab but for pain patients that take their medications as prescribed, they don't have any issues and they can function with a somewhat normal life with these medicines, better than the alternative. We can't let pain go untreated when we have good medications to treat pain. The addicts are the minority here. We have to support pain patients. This is America. We do have RIGHTS!!
Posted by Donna Ratliff on April 16, 2012 at 12:27 AM
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