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  #1  
Old 02-03-2004, 02:28 PM
SnoopyFan SnoopyFan is offline
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What if the pharmacy gives you too many pills?

The other day, a pharmacy accidentally gave my mom 10 more painkillers than the script called for. She calls the pharmacy and tells them and they want them back.

Her transportation is limited and it would be a very big hardship to return them. The pharmacy told her they can't resell the pills and all they will do is throw them away. She didn't have to call and tell them, but did because she didn't want them to notice 10 missing pills and start suspecting their employees of stealing them.

What happens if she doesn't take them back? Anything?
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  #2  
Old 02-03-2004, 09:25 PM
boofy_bloke boofy_bloke is offline
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1. The pharmacy is at fault for giving her the wrong prescription.
2. Your mum is still liable for returning the goods as she didn't pay for them, even though it's not her fault.
3. She must return them within a "resaonable" amount of time. Her next visit to the pharmacy should be fine.
4. If she doesn't return them probably nothing will happen, but the pharmacy has a duty of care which it breached by giving her the extra pills. They are obligated to recover the pills and destroy them, not the least because giving people extra pills is dangerous to their health.
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  #3  
Old 02-04-2004, 02:28 AM
Really Not All That Bright Really Not All That Bright is offline
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Theoretically, a tech or drug clerk should have counted them out. The pharmacist on duty would then have had to recount them. I was a tech at an Eckerd for two years and never saw or heard of a script being overfilled. (Certainly not by more than one).

Your mother should switch pharmacies, because frankly if the pharmacist isn't recounting he or she may not even be checking that the script was filled from the right bottle.
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Old 02-04-2004, 06:45 AM
MsRobyn MsRobyn is offline
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What dutchboy208 said, but there's more.

I asked my dad, who's a doctor of pharmacy, about this and he said that there's nothing the pharmacy or FDA can do to your mother, period. The pharmacy made the mistake and is now scrambling to cover their butt. She doesn't have to return the excess pills unless she wants to.

The way it works is this. Every pharmacy has to account for all narcotics received, in stock, and dispensed. The pharmacy can't be more than 5% off. When they did an inventory count, or went to dispense to someone else and discovered that they'd dispensed too much to another patient, they had to cover their butt, because 10 is a LOT to overdispense.

But the short answer is, your mother isn't obligated to do anything.

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  #5  
Old 02-04-2004, 08:48 AM
Duck Duck Goose Duck Duck Goose is offline
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My daughter the Pre-Pharmacy Student/Walgreen's Pharmacy Tech agrees with MsRobyn.

I asked her the OP through the bathroom door, and her first question was, "What kind of pills? If they were a controlled substance, the pharmacy has to account for every pill it has in stock, so yeah, they'd need to have them brought back. But if they weren't a controlled substance, then they must have a really harsh pharmacy manager."

And she agrees they can't make your mom bring them back. But it would be a kindness to the hapless pharmacy tech who filled the prescription to do so.

Just because she counted the pills wrong doesn't mean the customer also possibly got the wrong prescription. Those are two different things.
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  #6  
Old 02-04-2004, 11:55 AM
occ occ is offline
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Pharmacies arent allowed to take any sort of returns, either, FWIW. I believe
this is a Federal law. If they simply want to destroy the pills, why does your
mother need to return them? They are definitely not allowed (by law) to put them
back into their inventory, so if thats what the guy wants to do, why aid them in breaking the law?

As far as "you didn't pay for it, so you owe them the money", I don't believe thats the case. I believe the law would hold that as it was simply an error on their part, you have no obligation to pay; its yours (disregarding, for the moment, that we're talking about something that requires a prescription to posess and all that). I could be wrong, but I know that in situations where, say, you are shipped something accidentally, you have no obligation to pay for or return the merchandise to the company who made the error.

If she wants to really know what she should do, she might consider simply calling the local police department, though I don't know how versed your average cop would be on laws concerning pharmaceuticals.
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  #7  
Old 02-04-2004, 12:11 PM
Derleth Derleth is offline
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occ (and everyone else) is correct, AFAIK, about your mum not being financially liable for the ten pills the pharmacy accidentally gave her. The rule of thumb is, if it's not your fault it's not your ass in the sling. For example, if someone shipped a fully-loaded Cray to my domicile complete with its own fission plant and air-conditioned building, I can keep it and the people who are out the serious hardware can kiss my nerdy ass.

(I don't know if anyone is shipping Crays via parcel post, but a guy can dream. )

(I don't know if this applies to advertisements: If some schlub advertises a Cray for $1.25 instead of $1.25 million, I don't think I could force him to honor the ad. But that's neither here nor there.)
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  #8  
Old 02-04-2004, 08:12 PM
SnoopyFan SnoopyFan is offline
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Just because she counted the pills wrong doesn't mean the customer also possibly got the wrong prescription. Those are two different things.

Oh, definitely. They got the type of pill right. Just gave too many.

Thanks for the answers!
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  #9  
Old 02-04-2004, 09:57 PM
Stan Doubt Stan Doubt is offline
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Based on my pharmacy tech experience (about ten years ago, laws may have changed) I would agree with DDG and Msrobin, if the painkiller in question was a schedule II narcotic like Percocet/Endocet/Oxycodone/Oxy Contin, but not if it was a schedule III or IV drug, like hydrocodone/Vicodin or codeine. All these drugs are in fact "controlled substances", though I'll allow this term may be used colloquially at the pharmacy to refer to schedule II drugs that are under stricter "control". If your mother's prescription was for a schedule II drug, the pharmacist has a strong interest in accounting for those "missing" schedule II pills as his log book is now incorrect.

In my CVS store, the schedule II drugs were locked in a safe and a log was kept to document their dispensing. The pharmacist always had the keys and counted these drugs. Schedule III and IV drugs were shelved with the other medicines. Though all controlled substances' scripts were saved, no log was kept of their dispensing, other than through whole/partially full bottle counts and inventory. For example, if a sch III or IV pill fell on the floor, it was discarded without specifically accounting for it in any sort of inventory.
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  #10  
Old 02-05-2004, 02:58 AM
Really Not All That Bright Really Not All That Bright is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Duck Duck Goose
Just because she counted the pills wrong doesn't mean the customer also possibly got the wrong prescription. Those are two different things.
I didn't say that. What I was suggesting that if the pharmacist who allowed a prescription to be overfilled by ten is perhaps more likely to allow a script to be filled with the wrong drug.
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  #11  
Old 02-05-2004, 06:29 AM
MsRobyn MsRobyn is offline
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Stan Doubt, the practice in my father's pharmacy is to keep ALL narcotics in locked cabinets, and to account for every pill dispensed or destroyed, regardless of schedule. (FTR, he's in Texas.) The reason is because most of his clients live in long-term-care facilities where drug diversion and theft are huge issues. If he logs everything, the nursing home can not use the "we were shorted by the pharmacy" excuse.

YMMV, of course.

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  #12  
Old 02-05-2004, 08:34 AM
Daftbugger Daftbugger is offline
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I did work experience in a pharmacy that had a lot of old people coming in. We were amazed at the of people who counted their pills! You get given a bottle of 60 and you're gonna take them home and count them?? Don't you really have anything else to do?
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  #13  
Old 02-05-2004, 01:52 PM
Really Not All That Bright Really Not All That Bright is offline
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Well, you did say

Quote:
Originally Posted by Daftbugger
a lot of old people
.

It wasn't just your pharmacy. All pharmacies have "a lot of old people coming in", unless they happen to be prison or college pharmacies, or out on the tundra or something. The elderly have a lot more a) need, and b) time to see to their own healthcare- regular checkups and the like.
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  #14  
Old 02-05-2004, 02:42 PM
MsRobyn MsRobyn is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Daftbugger
I did work experience in a pharmacy that had a lot of old people coming in. We were amazed at the of people who counted their pills! You get given a bottle of 60 and you're gonna take them home and count them?? Don't you really have anything else to do?
You'd be surprised how often this happens. When my dad worked in a retail pharmacy, he'd get people who emptied the bottle and counted every pill right in front of him. Some of them opened sealed bottles from the manufacturer and counted those.

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  #15  
Old 02-05-2004, 04:34 PM
epepke epepke is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SnoopyFan
The other day, a pharmacy accidentally gave my mom 10 more painkillers than the script called for. She calls the pharmacy and tells them and they want them back.

Her transportation is limited and it would be a very big hardship to return them. The pharmacy told her they can't resell the pills and all they will do is throw them away. She didn't have to call and tell them, but did because she didn't want them to notice 10 missing pills and start suspecting their employees of stealing them.

What happens if she doesn't take them back? Anything?
No offense intended, but your mom is stupid. If she's stupid enough to call the pharmacy, then she should pay the stupidity tax of taking them back.

Never say "no" to free drugs. At worst, you can always flush them down the toilet.
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  #16  
Old 02-05-2004, 04:57 PM
AngelicGemma AngelicGemma is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by epepke
No offense intended, but your mom is stupid. If she's stupid enough to call the pharmacy, then she should pay the stupidity tax of taking them back.

Never say "no" to free drugs. At worst, you can always flush them down the toilet.
Her mum wasn't stupid. She realised that if pills are missing someone is going to get into trouble. She was being nice and helping that person out.
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  #17  
Old 02-05-2004, 05:33 PM
Duck Duck Goose Duck Duck Goose is offline
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Well, I'm not elderly, and I always count my pills. If I just paid $48 for a teeny pile of pills that wouldn't cover a jellybean, damn right when I get home I'm gonna make sure I got everything I paid for.
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  #18  
Old 02-05-2004, 05:45 PM
AngelicGemma AngelicGemma is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Duck Duck Goose
If I just paid $48 for a teeny pile of pills that wouldn't cover a jellybean, damn right when I get home I'm gonna make sure I got everything I paid for.
Is that really the kind of price you get charged over their for pills?!
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  #19  
Old 02-05-2004, 05:47 PM
AngelicGemma AngelicGemma is offline
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*there, not their.
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  #20  
Old 02-05-2004, 07:07 PM
Really Not All That Bright Really Not All That Bright is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AngelicGemma
Is that really the kind of price you get charged over their for pills?!
For an uninsured patient, or one whose prescription isn't covered by their insurance, yep. $50 for thirty pills is for an expensive generic or cheap branded medication, too; I've seen uninsured patients fork out upwards of 700 dollars for a month's supply of three or four meds.

If I remember rightly, the NHS charges you five quid for any medication and covers the rest, right?
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  #21  
Old 02-06-2004, 07:22 AM
AngelicGemma AngelicGemma is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dutchboy208
If I remember rightly, the NHS charges you five quid for any medication and covers the rest, right?
I think its actually more like 6. But I'm not sure. Children get it for free and I haven't needed any medication since I was a child. The only thing I take is the pill, which is free on the NHS as it is contraception.
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