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I am not sure where within "TuDiabetes" to put this so I can reach the most people. Perhaps there ought to be a group for consumer affairs. After all, we're not just patients, we are also consumers of hundreds of products that impact our health everyday (though this is another issue for another day).....

Yesterday, I decided the time had come to transfer my diabetes-related prescriptions to Target Pharmacy from CVS. ATM, I needed to pick up some more Humalog and another box of BD syringes (3/10cc, 31g, 8mm needle, 1/2 unit markings). I left the box top with the prescription information on it with the pharmacists and wandered around the store for about 90 minutes (twice as long as they told me they'd need). I paid for the scripts, was handed the pag, and proceeded to check the contents: Plain old Humalog? Check. BD 3/10cc, 31g, 8mm needle, 1/2 unit marking syringes? NOT. The pharmacist have me the whole unit syringes instead.

I told the girl that the syringes were the wrong syringes. She brought the pharmacist over, who proceeded to tell me that they were exactly the same syringes I had been using. Having been through this situation before, I brought out the meter case, in which I had a syringe tucked away, and showed her my syringe. I showed her the syringe, asked her if they looked the same -- to which she answered "Of course! They are the same!!" I couldn't make her understand, even with my syringe in front of her, that just because they are both 3/10cc syringes, they are NOT the same syringe. That's when things got weird.

The pharmacist then plunged her hand into the box, pulled out a bag, opened it, and withdrew a syringe. Then, she pulled off the orange shield and the white plunger cap and started playing with the syringe, wagging it in front of my face! All while she continued to yell at me that the syringes were exactly the same.

That was bad enough. What made it worse was, when she realized she wasn't going to bully me into accepting her twisted logic that half-unit syringes are the same as whole unit syringes, she RECAPPED THE SYRINGE, PUT IT BACK IN THE BAG, PUT THE BAG BACK IN THE BOX, AND THE BOX BACK ON THE SHELF. FOR SALE. EXCUSE ME?? Not right. Not at all. However, at that point, she did find a box of the half unit syringes, started apologizing, and let me go on my way. I, however, was still upset. I went to guest services to speak with the general manager (Target calls them LODs) to tell them what happened.

I went home to call Target's corporate office to tell them what happened, but when I got home and opened up my new box of syringes, I had a big surprise. THAT BOX HAD AN OPEN BAG OF SYRINGES IN IT! WTF? I called BD to tell them what had happened, and they offered to take the box back and offered me a coupon for a replacement box (Thank You Susan!). Target Corp, OTOH, has thrown up a curtain around themselves. They've offered to "investigate" the situation, but are refusing to do anything to make up for the humiliation and frustration I endured at the hands of their employee (who is, as I discovered, a registered pharmacist and not just a pharmacy tech, like at one point I thought she was).

I am encouraging all diabetics who use Target pharmacy to be more aware of their prescriptions, especially syringes. Don't tolerate abusive behaviors from pharmacists (just like **you** shouldn't abuse your pharmacist!). One woman who witnessed this incident told me she refuses to use the pharmacy in Target because they mocked her husband for his prescriptions, which were not diabetes-related. Thus, at least at this pharmacy, there is a pattern of mouthy, verbally-abusive behavior. If you can, maybe you ought to switch pharmacies. I know I would like to switch. I am very disgusted after this incident.

Views: 462

Comment by John Smith on October 15, 2009 at 4:08pm
Why don't you tell us which Target you went to? That way, we can all weigh in with phone calls and emails to get their attention.
Comment by Dori S on October 15, 2009 at 5:12pm
You can report her to the state board of pharmacy. I did this years ago when a pharmacist did not label a bottle of med on the bottle just the outside of the bag. When I took it back instead of giving it to my daughter she wanted to just put a label on it and hand it back. As a mother and a nurse I told her I didn;t think so and kept that bottle while she filled the script again. Any time you have an issue with either a pharmacist or a pharmacy all you have to do is report them to the state governing board.
Comment by Betty J on October 15, 2009 at 5:37pm
Although I don't use Target for my prescriptions I appreciate your warning.
Comment by David B. on October 15, 2009 at 6:19pm
From Target website: If you prefer to speak with a Guest Relations Team Member, please call 1-800-440-0680. I'm sure you could give them an earful.
Comment by Gerri on October 15, 2009 at 9:29pm
Appreciate the heads-up. What an experience!

Not to the degree you experienced, but I've had trouble getting 1/2 unit syringes also. My CVS has problems keeping them in stock. They've offered me several bags of whole units free until they got them from another of their stores & don't understand why it's not a substitute. I got weary of explaining this to CVS & ordered syringes on-line. Was cheaper with no co-pay on-line than it was at CVS with a co-pay. Lo & behold, I was sent whole unit syringes:) The company paid the return postage & I finally got the correct 1/2 unit syringes. I can send you the link if you like so you never have to deal with Target rudeness again.
Comment by Matthew Yarbrough on October 16, 2009 at 12:02am
Dori is correct call, write and email the licensing agency in your state. Not only do they have the power to pull or suspend a pharmacist's license but the stores ability to sell prescription meds if they are not compliant with the law and reselling a product that has to be sterile when it has been compromised is not ok.
Comment by Scott on October 16, 2009 at 6:41am
You can (and should) report this to your state medical board. You might also think about putting this on The Consumerist
Comment by Jackie on October 16, 2009 at 7:23am
I had the same problem with CVS with half unit syringes and then again with Novolog pen fills. I originally filled the RX at the Walgreens attached to the Joslin Clinic in Boston, but when I needed to refill the pen fills for my NovoJunior refillable pen, I switched it my neighborhood CVS. They kept giving me disposable Novolog pens, which don't do half units. The refillable kids pen is the only one that does. After 2 refills full of hastles, I switched back to the Joslin Walgreens, solving the issue.
Point of my story, is there a pharmacy near your endos office? They might be used to slightly "strange" RXs. I had to take a different bus home to be able to use that pharmacy, but well worth it.
I agree that you should report it, especially because it was the pharmacist. I hate dealing with the techs, but usually the pharmacist has some sense!
Comment by Elizabeth on October 16, 2009 at 12:45pm
Unbelievable. Unprofessional. Thanks for the heads up.
Comment by Renata Pellino-Porter on October 16, 2009 at 10:11pm
I have to add to this. No one should take this behaviour from any pharmacy. I had this experience at not one, BUT TWO, Rite Aid's. Abusive behaviour, giving me incorrect prescrips, and assuming I knew nothing about what I was doing. I reported them to the city on top of everyone else.


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