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Syringes @ WalMart

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#1
drummingfool

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I went to Wal Mart today to grab some syringes. Here's basically how it went.

Me: Hi, I need to buy some syringes.
Cashier: Can I see your diabetic card?
Me: What in the world is that?
Cashier: Its a little card that proves you have diabetes.
Me: ...I dont have one.
Cashier: How about a medicalert?
Me: I have one, but the band is broken and its at home.
Cahier: I'm sorry, we cant give you syringes then.

At this point, I got pretty mad. I was completely out of syringes and needed to take my Lantus. Aside from that, I ran out of pens today and now need to take novolog from vials until the first of the year when my insurance kicks in. I NEEDED those syringes. It goes on.

Me: I have NEVER had to provide anyone with any of those things to get my needles.
Cashier. Im sorry sir. Without them I cant sell you needles.
Me: You mean that the only proof you require is something that I can get 2 aisles from here and anyone can buy without question?!
Cashier: I guess, if thats how you want to look at it.

At this point, I whipped out my case of diabetes stuff I keep with me. I opened it up to reveal my monitor, strips, Lantus, Novolog, Lancet device, control solution and spare lancets.

Me: Isnt this enough proof? I have all my prescription meds right here.
Cashier: I'm sorry. If you want, you can go buy a medicalert and come back.
Me: Let me talk to your pharmacist. NOW.

She goes and gets the pharmacist after speaking with him for a second, and the pharmacist calls me to the consultation window.

Pharmacist: Look, were going to do it, THIS time. Next time bring some kind of proof.
Me: Your only proof is something that costs 50 dollars a couple aisles down and is available to ANYONE! This is outrageous!
Pharmacist: Its our way of making sure that drug users dont -
Me: (interrupting) I can appreciate that as much as anyone else, but has it occurred to you that a druggie can buy a medicalert just as easily as I can?
Pharmacist: (quiet)
Me: If you guys are going to enforce this rule, you need at LEAST some kind of sign stating your policy.
Pharmacist: We have a sign right here.

The sign reads something to the effect of: "We require proper ID for the sale of any controlled substance".

Me: A needle is not a CONTROLLED SUBSTANCE! Dear lord, its a device made to transfer medication subcutaneously from a vial to the body!! What is the DEAL here?
Pharmacist: Next time bring ID, we wont have this problem.
Me: Heres your proof. I need THIS (pointing at the lantus and novolog vials) to get in HERE (pointing at my stomach) or else I go to the EMERGENCY ROOM. As I said, I appreciate you trying to keep drug users from getting their fixes, but all youre doing is keeping me from getting what I need.
Pharmacist: Well, go ahead to the register. She'll get you what you need.

Heres where it TRULY gets interesting. A lady in front of me walks up to the register, asks for needles and gets them, NO QUESTIONS ASKED. When I aprroached the register, the cashier had my needles waiting for me. I purchased them and proceeded to ask the cashier -

Me: So... what was up with that lady? You didnt ask her for ID! She could be a druggie!
Cashier: Honestly sir, shes an older lady. Diabetics are older people.
(I exploded here :) )
Me: Are you SERIOUS??!! Im a type 1! Type 1 means JUVENILE ONSET! I've had it for almost a decade! If youre going to work in a pharmacy, learn what youre doing!

So basically I had to spend 20 minutes at the pharmacy for something that shouldve taken a minute or two because Im young. I was in a hurry today, which didnt make anything better. I feel like I was discriminated against just because of my age or appearance.

I think I'll be getting my meds elsewhere from now on. :)
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#2
mell1682

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I went to Wal Mart today to grab some syringes. Here's basically how it went.

Me: Hi, I need to buy some syringes.
Cashier: Can I see your diabetic card?
Me: What in the world is that?
Cashier: Its a little card that proves you have diabetes.
Me: ...I dont have one.
Cashier: How about a medicalert?
Me: I have one, but the band is broken and its at home.
Cahier: I'm sorry, we cant give you syringes then.

At this point, I got pretty mad. I was completely out of syringes and needed to take my Lantus. Aside from that, I ran out of pens today and now need to take novolog from vials until the first of the year when my insurance kicks in. I NEEDED those syringes. It goes on.

Me: I have NEVER had to provide anyone with any of those things to get my needles.
Cashier. Im sorry sir. Without them I cant sell you needles.
Me: You mean that the only proof you require is something that I can get 2 aisles from here and anyone can buy without question?!
Cashier: I guess, if thats how you want to look at it.

At this point, I whipped out my case of diabetes stuff I keep with me. I opened it up to reveal my monitor, strips, Lantus, Novolog, Lancet device, control solution and spare lancets.

Me: Isnt this enough proof? I have all my prescription meds right here.
Cashier: I'm sorry. If you want, you can go buy a medicalert and come back.
Me: Let me talk to your pharmacist. NOW.

She goes and gets the pharmacist after speaking with him for a second, and the pharmacist calls me to the consultation window.

Pharmacist: Look, were going to do it, THIS time. Next time bring some kind of proof.
Me: Your only proof is something that costs 50 dollars a couple aisles down and is available to ANYONE! This is outrageous!
Pharmacist: Its our way of making sure that drug users dont -
Me: (interrupting) I can appreciate that as much as anyone else, but has it occurred to you that a druggie can buy a medicalert just as easily as I can?
Pharmacist: (quiet)
Me: If you guys are going to enforce this rule, you need at LEAST some kind of sign stating your policy.
Pharmacist: We have a sign right here.

The sign reads something to the effect of: "We require proper ID for the sale of any controlled substance".

Me: A needle is not a CONTROLLED SUBSTANCE! Dear lord, its a device made to transfer medication subcutaneously from a vial to the body!! What is the DEAL here?
Pharmacist: Next time bring ID, we wont have this problem.
Me: Heres your proof. I need THIS (pointing at the lantus and novolog vials) to get in HERE (pointing at my stomach) or else I go to the EMERGENCY ROOM. As I said, I appreciate you trying to keep drug users from getting their fixes, but all youre doing is keeping me from getting what I need.
Pharmacist: Well, go ahead to the register. She'll get you what you need.

Heres where it TRULY gets interesting. A lady in front of me walks up to the register, asks for needles and gets them, NO QUESTIONS ASKED. When I aprroached the register, the cashier had my needles waiting for me. I purchased them and proceeded to ask the cashier -

Me: So... what was up with that lady? You didnt ask her for ID! She could be a druggie!
Cashier: Honestly sir, shes an older lady. Diabetics are older people.
(I exploded here :) )
Me: Are you SERIOUS??!! Im a type 1! Type 1 means JUVENILE ONSET! I've had it for almost a decade! If youre going to work in a pharmacy, learn what youre doing!

So basically I had to spend 20 minutes at the pharmacy for something that shouldve taken a minute or two because Im young. I was in a hurry today, which didnt make anything better. I feel like I was discriminated against just because of my age or appearance.

I think I'll be getting my meds elsewhere from now on. :)


My blood is boiling reading this!!! I have NEVER heard of any diabetic having to prove themselves as one. Wow...I'd go above their heads and make a big complaint cuz that is some BS!
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#3
Funnygrl

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I hate WalMart (though ReliOn syringes are my favorite).

For a pharmacist to dispense ANYTHING it's completely at their discretion. They don't need to sell you aspirin if they don't want to.

Syringes are prescription items in many states. In NY you can only buy 10 at a time without a prescription.

The easy solution is to just tell them to call your doctor or get a script to keep on hand next time you see your doctor. Is Walmart where you get your insulin? They should have been able to look up that script.

I agree their rules need to be applied across the board and consistently, though.

#4
Barberian

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That level of ignorance is unexcusable! :mad: You would think people in the health care industry would know better, even a lowly pharmacy assistant should know better! I suggest contacting BOTH the head pharmacist, AND the head manager for that walmart store. Inform them that you intend to contact the regional manager when you are done talking to them. That usually fixes any problems any time I've had when I've had trouble at a WalMart that wasn't a quick easy fix. I was in anywhere from 5 to 12 stores a week pulling trailers for WalMart for 2 years.
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#5
HuskerMychal

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Things are a bit diff here in Oregon. When I was using meth a friend of mine was a "slammer" (needle user with drugs). and he was always able to walk up and buy a pack or 2 of ten. My insurance pays for most miine and i have a script at both costco and walfart.

BTW, I hate walmart but there script prices sure help the pocket book. Thiugh it is 80 for a month of test strips for me :(
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#6
Eddy

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[ WARNING: Hyperglycemia crankiness in effect ]

Typical Wal-Mart stupidity in action. The same glorious chain will tell one to look for animal repellent in the pets section when you ask in lawn and garden. (That's a first-hand experience.)

And once when I had the test strips filled, they didn't bother to tell me about a stock-out until I arrived at the store. Fortunately, I was able to make it elsewhere five minutes before closing.

I now try to keep plenty of * on hand. Don't depend on apathetic dumb you-know-whats to keep you alive and healthy, or you'll be sadly disappointed.

#7
Eddy

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Pharmacist: Next time bring ID, we wont have this problem.


I love the way that he tried to pin this on you. I'd have been quite tempted to say, "Next time, think intelligently and we won't have this problem."

I've had problems buying needles in Los Angeles. I've also heard stories that one can take used needles to <some location> and receive new, clean ones free of charge... so that drug users won't spread diseases. Hunh?!

Fortunately: 1) The state where I live usually is more level-headed; 2) I have had syringes/needles prescribed just to be safe; and 3) I re-use needles now, making even a bag of ten go a long ways.

#8
Eddy

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And 4) I only purchase select few items -- test strips and Novolin R and N -- at Wal-Mart. When the price difference is less substantial than for those items... I happily avoid the place.

Here's a brainstorm that I just had: I know that Novo Nordisk offers a PAP ("Patient Assistance Program"). I wonder... might they be willing to sell Novolin R and N for "retail" at Relion prices via something similar? And Eli Lilly and/or Sanofi Aventis?

#9
Eddy

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I now try to keep plenty of * on hand. Don't depend on apathetic dumb you-know-whats to keep you alive and healthy, or you'll be sadly disappointed.


P.S.: Here, "*" is meant as a wildcard, like used in computing. It was not intended as a euphamism for profanity.

#10
Psycho Penguin

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I can see where the store was trying to protect itself. They probably had a fairly recent case and was being a little overprotective. But still.. there's only so much they can do and they're not the police. I'm now worried about purchasing syringes in the future as I am running low myself.
Type 1 diabetic since February 2008

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#11
spinnb7

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the easy answer is not to support the evil corporation with horrible hiring practices that not only destroys family run business, but also treats their employees very poorly.

don't shop at walmart. its a hellhole, a disgusting store.
i have never had this problem at my local pharmacy, be it a chain store, or a privately owned pharmacy.

#12
IrishJoe

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there is only one solution to walmarts stupidity...

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#13
owlyn

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That is truly outrageous. In pennsylvania, we don't have this problem, as you need an Rx to buy syringes. I have two suggestions:

1. Get an Rx for syringes even if it's not needed in your state.
2. If possible, don't support the anti-union, anti-public school, small business destroying, employee-hating Walmart if you can help it.
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#14
sprzepiora

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Walmart is a great store, I go there all the time. The problem you had is with the pharmacist at a particular Walmart, probably not Walmarts policy.

As a previous poster said in NY you "can" get 10 syringes from participating locations, both Walmarts around me participate. I have never had to take them up on that because I have, so far, (knock on wood) been able to keep my supply stocked. I have about 12 months of insulin pens and pentips with probably two months of strips, these are harder to come by.

I suggest you wait until you calm down and go back and talk to someone higher up. I am positive it wasn't a personal attack against you and level heads will prevail. I also suggest finding out your state laws on the matter.

They may be trying to keep themselves from being sued by the mother of an IV drug user or something, you just never know in this day and age what is going on.

Good luck!
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#15
yannah

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ok, but the point here is that someone else got them with ease.

I think it is pure discrimination against you personally.
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#16
duck

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I'm going to have to stop reading threads like this...I think the stupidity of certain "rules" makes my blood sugars rise!

I had a similar problem once buying pen needles...Long story short, I only had my pen on me, and needed to bolus. The pharmacy tech told me they were a controlled substance, and I needed a script. After about ten minutes of arguing, I finally asked if he had a list of controlled substances, and if so, show me those were on there. He did have the list, and they were not on there. He called his HQ, who apparently told him they were not controlled (that's what I think since he wouldn't confirm that with me).

I don't know...Maybe druggies use the excuse "I'm a diabetic" all the time, but being what I am, it sure as **** makes me mad to ever have to justify my needs to anyone.
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#17
Eddy

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I suggest you wait until you calm down and go back and talk to someone higher up. I am positive it wasn't a personal attack against you and level heads will prevail. I also suggest finding out your state laws on the matter.

They may be trying to keep themselves from being sued by the mother of an IV drug user or something, you just never know in this day and age what is going on.


Perhaps someone should alert Wal-Mart higher-ups to this thread. And to the other, where they told me my strip refill Rx was ready... only for me to go and find that they were out of stock.

#18
HuskerMychal

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This thread made me count needles, 12 left and I use 3 a day. Called in a refill, just hope i can get down to get them. We are snow and iced in here
:(
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#19
Subby

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Not fun at all. Whether you decide to complain or not, I hope your stress comes down, that's the most damaging personal aspect about this kind of thing. Do something to relax and unwind of you can! Idiots abound, bad service happens, ridiculous attitudes are out there, it's not fun, and I too get my blood boiling, but part of the answer is to put outrage and anger behind you to a certain degree.

As a ironic contrast, way back in the day I once had problems getting syringes because I couldn't prove I WAS a druggie. It was a needle exchange program that provided syringes for users. I was nearby and in need of a syringe so I went there. I let slip I was a diabetic and they refused me any syringes. I remember trying to backpedal with something like "what if I was a diabetic AND a user?" but they were having none of it (I suppose I obviously wasn't).

I remember feeling more bemused than upset about that, it was a bizarre experience.

These days in Australia diabetics are very fortunate to get them provided for free through particular outlets or by mail.
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Some essentials for my blood sugar control: dosing via i:c ratio and cf • basal testing when needed • daily 40 minutes moderate exercise (or close) • carbs somewhere below 120g currently • only eating carbs and carb/fat combos that do not cause a problem spike, with or without insulin.

#20
Mich

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Well, you all may want to Google the new law just signed by President Bush that becomes effective Jan 20, 2009. It allows any person associated with health care (including the two encountered by DrummingFool to decide such things according to their own judgement.

It's called the Conscience Rule, and is aimed at restricting women's health issues such as birth control methods and abortion. It is written in extremely broad terms and could easily apply to someone who feels they are "preventing" drug abuse.

I immediately wondered if anyone in my pharmacy might be conscienciously opposed to my genetically engineered Novolog. A stretch? Like DrummingFool, I've been surprised before by ridiculous siturations involving my meds.

This is not intended as a discussion of abortion (oh, please!), but as a heads up for the possibility of future problems such as the one described in this thread.

Mich




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