I have several prescriptions with CVS and moved them to the CVS Pharmacy on Seal Beach Blvd in Seal Beach, CA. On three separate occasions my girlfriend and I have had to deal with the Pharmacy staff over the phone. Each time we dealt with the same Asian woman who is extremely rude, dismissive and has a very difficult time with English. Let me re-state, she has an extremely difficult time understanding English and we have an even harder time understanding her. To top it off, my prescription for Coumadin was due yesterday 01-16-2012. Its 5:30pm PST time on 01-17-2012 now and I left the pharmacy 15 minutes ago.
First, I called them 3 1/2 hours ago at 2pm to confirm that it was ready and were told the it would be ready very soon. We arrived at 4pm and it was not ready. I spoke to the Pharmacy staff member and asked when it would be ready. I was told 15 minutes. I told him that my girlfriend and I would go get dinner and return after. We returned at 5pm and spoke to the same Pharmacy staff member. We were told that it was not ready again. He told us that it would take a little more time. While waiting I decided to get some supplies which included insulin syringes and blood sugar tablets. I am a Diabetic without insurance and have purchased my prescriptions and supplies with cash or credit card for years. When asking for the supplies I was told that they do not sell syringes.
I have, in fact, purchased them from the CVS Pharmacy located in Westlake, CA on several occasions. They asked for my ID and had me sign a syringe receipt form. I explained this to them and the same woman told me that CVS does not sell syringes and then dismissed me and walked away. I assumed that she misunderstood me as she does each time we speak. I asked again, but this time she asked to see my Diabetic Card, as if some card that says that I’m Diabetic would be sufficient to purchase syringes. Second, there is not a national or state database where Diabetics are required to register and then issued cards like drivers licenses. Have you ever asked a person for their cancer card? Moving on, I then explained that I had purchased insulin and syringes from CVS again. She then proceeded to look my purchasing history up in the computer.
I asked her how she could possible know if I had purchased insulin if I paid cash and it was a non-prescription item? She again dismissed me and rambled on, which I could not understand. I had to repeat my statement 4 to 5 times before the Pharmacist on staff walked over and asked me what was going on. I explained that I was trying to purchase syringes to administer my insulin as I was a diabetic. She told me that it was a prescription item, which it is not. I told her that it was not a prescription item and anyone could purchase them from any pharmacy, even online.
She responded, “Purchase them online then”. Basically what they are saying is that they don’t recognize the protocol of other CVS pharmacies and that they need a purchase history for insulin with insurance to be able to provide a basic necessity for a diabetic. They give needles away for free to drug attics, but I cannot purchase a very necessary supply which allows me to live, from a company that claims to be a Pharmacy. The more interesting part was watching the other customer’s faces of disbelief as they listened to the pharmacy staff.
To prove my point, I then went to another CVS pharmacy located just miles from this CVS location and was able to purchase my syringes and Coumadin within minutes. I was able to do this without insurance, insults, embarrassment or a diabetic card.