Atlanta, Georgia

I took a prescription to the Ft.Oglethorpe, GA Wal-Mart Pharmacy to be filled. The pharmacy manager, Tony Travis, told me he would be unable to fill the prescription (even though I had filled the same prescription at a wal-mart close to this one) because: He would need to verify the prescription with the MD (reasonable), He would need to speak with the MD and find out what diagnosis I had to justify the prescription (semi-reasonable) and He would need to discuss with the MD the different meds and treatments I had been on in the past that didn't work in order to justify this prescription (totally unreasonable and untrue).

When I questioned this pharmacist about this "requirement from the DEA" he stated "The DEA requires me to verify your past medical history and all the different drugs you have been on in the past that led up to you being placed on this medicine, and since its after hours and your doctors office is closed you are just gonna have to wait." I asked him if the DEA requirements were limited to just this medicine (percocet 10/325) or all pain medicines he said "all c-2's". Why would the DEA care what I was on prior to percocet? As this problem occurred the day before Thanksgiving I had to wait until Friday the 25th before making some calls to verify (or in this case discredit) the information. What I would like to know is this: why not tell the truth?

Why lie to your customer? Whats going on that a person cannot get a legitimate prescription filled? I see where we as a society are going with this and it's a slippery slope we are navigating. First its pain meds, next anti-anxiety meds, then anti-depressants and soon all meds with be dispensed by a government controlled pharmacy.

It will start out as a "pilot program" and will be labeled as "temporary" control.

We all can be assured there is nothing so permanent as a "temporary" government program. So you pharmacists just keep on telling your tall tales-and I will exercise my right (while I still have it) to use a different dispensary.

Product or Service Mentioned: Walmart Prescription Refill.

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The pharmacies I have dealt with for years Walmart suddenly refused to fill my prescription of 10/325, they said “new rules” and that they have a limited supply and since I get so many a month they couldn’t guarantee they would fill it. I was out for 6 days until I filled it at CVS.

The next month I try to get it filled at the CVS and they say they need a treatment plan when I called after 2 days to see if it was ready. The doctors office sent it and they said good luck with them they often reject it. Instead of rejecting it, they say. They didn’t get it.

These pharmacies are causing legitimate patients to go “pharmacy shopping”! I have never felt more humiliated in my life. I work in the healthcare industry and am saddened by the control tactics of these companies.

It doesn’t just happen with narcotics, I saw it happen with a blood pressure medication because they don’t get enough money for it, they tell patients it’s on back order and have them get it changed to a medication that they have used and didn’t work! Sad state of affairs and never thought it would happen in good ol USA


The pain killer epidemic is what caused all of this nonsense. It is absolutely horrid that people suffering with real pain cannot get their legit pain medication filled.

What's even WORSE is after this pain pill epidemic started and more and more people are seeking treatment for their addiction, they also are being turned away from pharmacies for their addiction treatment medication. You see and hear the advertisements everywhere, "if you or a loved one are suffering from addiction there is help". Sure, there IS help but good LUCK getting your legit prescription that treats and controls your addiction and cravings filled at a pharmacy and even if you do find the odd pharmacy that is willing to fill it, you better have a very fat wallet because a big majority of the pharmacies refuse to accept insurance for the medication although they accept the same insurance for every other drug in their pharmacy and the insurance does cover it. So, exactly what do they think people with a pain killer addiction is going to do when they are unable to get their addiction medication filled?

They are going to go right back to using pain pills again and likely start doctor shopping to obtain a prescription for pain pills and the whole vicious cycle is going to start all over again.

Until these pharmacies and pharmacists lighten up and start treating people with respect and STOP refusing valid prescriptions for pain and addiction, theres going to be no end to the pain medication abuse epidemic. Ultimately, it should be up to your doctor to decide what is best for you, not a pharmacy tech or pharmacist.


I have huge issues with this pharmacist who refuses to fill a valid prescription from a medical doctor by substituting the decision making ability of the pharmacist over that of the patients personal licensed physician.

Disclosure: Part of what drives this conversation is the huge argument and disagreement I have been having with CVS based on a policy they have ONLY in Indiana. I was told (personally) that this policy is only for Indiana, not a single other state has the same policy.

I have currently spoke with the Indiana Professional Licensing Board, the Indiana Attorney General, and the DEA on what CVS is doing, and the future of the Indiana only CVS issue is headed for some huge problems for CVS.

Yes, pharmacists provide a huge benefit by assuring that none of your prescriptions (if you take more than one) will interact or cause problems with whatever your personal prescriptions are. I have no problem with pharmacists who refuse to refill prescriptions earlier than the normal refill date to avoid patients abusing or taking too much medication quicker than proper (such as narcotics and pain medications). I have no problem with pharmacists who work to assure that a patient is not "pharmacy shopping" to get more prescriptions filled than they should (again, I am primarily referring to narcotics and pain medications).

But allowing a pharmacist to provide an unwelcome, unnecessary, and not needed personal belief into the filling of a prescribed medication is (IMHO) ethically and morally challenged ability. The doctor/patient relationship is one of the most sacred professional relationships we have (surpassed in my mind only by the pastor/parishioner relationship).

A valid medication prescription should never be refused based on a personal belief system of the pharmacist.

According to the American Pharmacists Association (APhA) and their Code of Ethics, a pharmacist

1: Respects the contractual relationship between the patient and pharmacist. 2: Promotes the good of every patient in a caring, compassionate, and confidential manner. 3: Respects the autonomy and dignity of each patient. 4: Acts with honesty and integrity in professional relationships.

5: Maintains professional competence. 6: Respects the values and abilities of colleagues and other health professionals. 7: Serves individual, community, and societal needs. 8: Seeks justice in the distribution of health resources.

And the APhA even provides guidance and further explanation on each of the Code of Ethics topics, and in #3 it states that a pharmacist ""promotes the right of self-determination", and for #4 it provides that a pharmacist "avoids discriminatory practices, behavior or work conditions that impair professional judgment, and actions that compromise dedication to the best interests of patients"," which is sure as heck NOT the case in the Wal-Mart article, IMHO And I want to be crystal clear that in the situation provided in the enclosed article this is NOT a situation where the patient is requesting Misoprostol as a "morning after pill" to induce an abortion. That is a LONG debate for another time and another place. In this instance the patient was already in the midst of a huge personal tragedy because she had a miscarriage due to the death of the baby inside her womb. I think we can all agree that any mother would be devastated being told by her OB/GYN that the 5-week old child inside her had passed away, and that she only had two choices: an invasive “dilation and curettage” procedure which would surgically remove the contents of the uterus, or a pill that would have the same effect but would be less invasive.

The young mother chose the second option. As stated by the young mother enduring this personal tragedy "They WON'T fill it. Not that they CAN'T. But they WON'T", and also being told by the on-duty pharmacist that their "reason" for not filling the prescription was "Because (Wal-Mart) couldn't think of a reason why you would need that prescription." The poor young lady told them ( as well she should have) that "it's not (their) job to know what I need or don't need.

It's (their) job to fill a prescription. The job of knowing what I need or don't need is between my doctor and myself. I shouldn't have to come up here and explain myself or why I need any kind of medication." I have to agree with her 100%, and based on the stupidity I am enduring from CVS, I am kinda on my soapbox right now over pharmacies (CVS) or pharmacists (current story) just making up their own rules as they go. On top of that, for both scenarios, each corporation does not even have the guts to post their so-called "policy".

You get to find out at your time and expense after you show up to get YOUR medication, which is rightfully yours under all principles and precepts and ethics and morality under the sun, but instead a corporation has stated that THEY know better than YOUR personal physician, but that THEIR decision is a secret, since the decision is not posted in the store or on their website that THEY have decided certain ambiguous and asinine rules about YOUR medications. I'm actually pretty pissed off over this. Is this another one of those fallout rules from the Citizens v. United case, now that our illustrious Supreme Court thinks that "corporations are people".

Or is it the result of some village *** hiding behind an Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) type law in their region and state. I have the utmost respect for the skill, training, and dedication that is required to be a pharmacist. I get it, you are a member of a long-standing and proud group of people who are involved in healthcare and providing medical care and treatment for people. But when a person like the one at this Wal-Mart starts substituting a PERSONAL belief and abdicating their PROFESSIONAL responsibilities, they have stepped over a line as a healthcare provider, Ethics are not optional in medicine, they are an essential and integral part of health care.

First of all, by substituting a personal belief instead of the ethics of their profession as a pharmacist, the Wal-Mart pharmacist (and the company that backed the decision) has failed to fulfill their duty to the patient. They have failed and disrespected their duties to colleagues and other members of the pharmacy profession, and instead of maintaining the aspects of being a professional in healthcare and upholding and maintaining the dignity and respect of the profession and striving to maintain a reputation of honesty, integrity and reliability, they instead invited ridicule due to the indefensible position they are in by inserting subjective personal beliefs in place of objective professional obligations. They substituted individual beliefs over scientific fact. Pharmacies and pharmacists are like many in healthcare, whereby once trained they are sent out into the community to benefit others by their knowledge.

As practitioners of an autonomous profession, there is the obligation and responsibility to contribute from their sphere of professional healthcare competence to the general well being of the community. That could not happen at this Wal-Mart since they clearly started "making it up as they go" as evidenced in this story. What happened to this young mother at a time where she was vulnerable, emotional, and in need of compassion, care, and assistance, instead this Wal-Mart pharmacy utterly deserted her by failing to maintain and promote standards of excellence in performing and advancing the art and science of the pharmacy profession, and their "efforts" to even remotely preserve the dignity and privacy of the patient were sadly and laughably futile. It is not lightly that I opine that they utterly botched their professional obligation to uphold and maintain the dignity and respect of patients who need assistance from pharmacists and the pharmacy profession, and their efforts did absolutely nothing to contribute to the general well being of either the local or overall medical community.

Ethics are not optional in medicine, they are an essential and integral part of health care. The insertion of some sort of nebulous and subjective "internal code" has no place in the provision of care for a patient, and it is especially appalling when a member of the healthcare profession neglects their duty to all patients by forgetting that all patients deserve the highest application of honesty, courtesy and integrity, and a member of the healthcare profession should recognize the standards demanded of them, not in passive observance, but as a set of dynamic principles guiding their conduct and way of life. It is the duty of healthcare professionals to abide by an ethical code that recognizes the needs of the patient should always be first and foremost in the minds of the provider. There is absolutely no place for a personal bias or intolerance when you are part of the healthcare delivery system.

If you cannot put your internal prejudices and impartialities out of the way and treat and provide care for all patients equally, then you need to get out of healthcare. Patients always deserve that the person caring for them will treat them equally and without reservation.

If you cannot do that, then do a favor to the rest of the medical profession and the countless number of medical professionals who are "loud and proud" that they always provide quality care of the highest standards for each and every patient, and just walk away. You may think you are providing care for patients, but your actions are a twisted insult that stains the reputation and upstanding character of the rest of the medical community, and your callous disregard for the humanity of others actually makes me sick.


I know that often patients shop around for doctors to write prescriptions b/c they are addicted to pain-killers and other pills. If a patient goes to many different doctors to secure these prescriptions there would be know way for any of the doctors to know that others are also prescribing these pills to the patient.

If someone abusing these drugs goes to the same pharmacy, however, the pharmacist will know something is going on and can, and probably should, not fill the prescription w/o first checking with the MD. The pharmacist would be the last line of defense in that case.


Sounds to me that this pharmacist is trying to be the narcotic police. It is none of his business what your medical history is.

If the script is legit, it is their job to fill it, not question it. As a chronic pain patient, I have had issues in the past with pharmacists/medical "professionals" trying to judge me and my medication.

Some people think that just because you take pain meds, you're a drug addict, and it is their job to make sure all addicts are denied their fix. Personally, I would report this guy to his manager, and continue up the chain of command until you are satisfied with the results...whatever results they may be.


I have been on percocet for a couple years and oxy off and on and time released morphine due to a chronic illness and I have never had a pharmacist tell me that. Even other people i know who have been put on this med for injuries have never had that problem.


I have had the same problem with Percocet and Morphine at two different drug stores. One of them told me that I was in more medication then a cancer patient and she refused to fill out.

When I called the corporate office they told me that because when a pharmacist fills a RX it is their license at stake and they have the right to refuse anyone. Must be nice to refuse to do your job and be upheld by management


I can understand a doctor needing that kind of information...but a PHARMACIST??? When did they go into the business of overriding a doctors prescription? I'd be researching these DEA requirements.