Monday, March 31, 2008

What a day...

I spoke with Moki's doctor this morning about an hour after the hospital opened up. After explaining that Moki's cough had returned on a regular basis, he agreed that a change of medicine was in order. The new medication, Baytril, is unavailable in a liquid form. Moki's cannot take pills. Which means we are back to having his medications compounded (turning a pill into a liquid form of medication.) So ok no big deal I thought to myself. I'll just pick up the pills from the vet and take them over to the compounding pharmacy located a few blocks away from my house...Simple, or so I thought.

When I got over to the vet office, they where very surprised that I had been able to get a hold of the compounding pharmacy. According to the office staff, they had been trying for weeks. Apparently, one of their clients came into the office and told them that the compounding pharmacy had shut down. This particular client was there the morning it happened. Basically the owner of the compounding pharmacy came in one day, without giving the staff at the pharmacy any advice warning, and told them that he was returning to his own country. He kicked everyone out, locked everything up, and apparently got on a flight that day and flew back to wherever he was from. Prior to leaving the country, the owner didn't bother to transfer any of the clients file, just locked everything up and closed the pharmacy indefinitely. Thus many clients at my vets office who used the compounding pharmacy, where left without their medications, or medical files.

Now here was the odd, thing. Prior to picking up Moki's medication from the vets office, I called the compounding pharmacy, and spoke with someone. They told me that they could indeed compound Moki's medication, but that they would need me to bring in the pills, since they didn't have them in stock. When I told the staff about this at my vets office, they assumed that maybe the compounding pharmacy had reopened since there had been talk about some of the employees wanting to reopen the pharmacy.

So I pick up Moki's medicine, and drive to the compounding pharmacy. When I get there I notice a note on the door. The note basically said that the pharmacy was closed down indefinitely. It listed the number of another pharmacy and said that they had transferred all files over to the new pharmacy. So I call the new pharmacy.

The new pharmacy tells me that they can indeed compound Moki's medication. So I hop back into my car and drive 20 mins to the new pharmacy. The lady behind the front desk asks me how she can help and I explain that I need to have these pills (I hand her the bottle) compounded. Upon seeing the pills she says, oh ya, I spoke to you over the phone. Ok so now it makes sense. The new pharmacy has taken over the business of the pharmacy that shut down. No biggie.

Here's where it starts to get annoying. The pharmacist, then takes the bottle of pills pours them into a new container, and hands them back to me, keeping the original bottle. I ask her why she is handing the pills back to me, and say tells me that they use a powder formula to compound this particular medication. Ok so then why did you ask me to bring the pills in? Ahhhh! So now I have to go back by the vets office to return the pills, because the compounding pharmacy wont use them, (they will only use their own powder formula.)

So I go back to the vets office explain what happened and tell them I want to return the pills. They cannot accept them. Apparently there is some regulation that would make it illegal since the pills where not in a sealed container. So now I am out thirty dollars and stuck with a bottle of pills we can't use! In addition to that I have to make another trip back to the compounding pharmacy to pick up Moki's medication, two hours from now.

Needless to say I am finding myself slightly annoyed at the moment...
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
I'm back from the pharmacy, but I can't help but question, if what the compounding pharmacy did was legal? Essentially if you think about it, what the pharmacy did was give me an unauthorized prescription. By refusing to compound the pills that I brought in with me, (which where prescribed by Moki's vet because they could be compounded) and instead forcing me to buy their pills. Since I had the orginal bottle of pills now sitting at home without a label, when I picked up Moki's prescription, I asked them if I could have the original bottle back. I explained that they took the orginal bottle to fill the prescription, and left me with an unlabled bottle of pills. I wanted the original bottle back so that I could place the pills I bought from the vet back in it, since it had the dosage information on it. The compounding pharmacy then gave me back the original bottle with the prescription written on it, and the new bottle of liquid medicine, so essentially, they gave me an unauthorized prescription. (In other words, when I went to the pharmacy I had one prescription written by Moki's doctor without refills, when I left the pharmacy I had two!)

What is everyones opinion on the issue?

21 comments:

Tun Tun said...

What a shame you had to go through all of that. As if you don't have enough to deal with.
It sounds like compounding a formula is changing a pill into powder form? Would it be acceptable to grind Moki's pills up so you could get it into him?
Also, if the baytril does not work, ask about a broad spectrum antibiotic or even a silver based medication. Silver is known to fight infections that are resistant to antibiotics.

'Nique-Tun Tun's mom

jane said...

Whata runaround for you. I hope Moki gets on ok with the Baytril :)

Max said...

The prescription issue is why they kept the bottle...it has the info they need on it. But they should have given you the chance to take the pills back in the bottle to get a written scrip first. But yeah, the stabby place can't take the pills back since they were transferred. Some places won't even take them back, period. The place were the Woman gets her needles from won't even take them back when all the packages are still sealed. Once she got the wrong form of medicine for her pee-til-i'm-dead disease, and it's very very very expensive, and the place couldn't take the sealed package back. But she gets it for free, so it wasn't a big deal for her...but it cost the military like $500...

The Cat Realm said...

Rules and regulations - I can see how one can get annoyed. I would be more than just slightly annoyed....
Poor Moki - I hope the new medicine works - mostly I hope you would be able to get a diagnosis. And get better! Sending you purrs!
Karl

meemsnyc said...

We just read your pharmacy story. What an awful and quite frustrating ordeal you had to deal with! We don't know much about compounding pills, but I would ask your vet if this is normal procedure. It sounds odd to us.

Huggs and Purrs to Moki!

Jan's Funny Farm said...

Well, we just left you a message and it disappeared. Blogger ate it.

We think it is a shame you had to go through all that. We would think a RX from the vet should have taken care of it, so we don't think they're very honest or above board. But unfortunately, you need them to help with Moki's meds.

Hope the med helps Moki.

Camie's Kitties said...

We don't think it was completely aboveboard. They should have called your vet at the very least to get a copy of the prescription sent to them and then given you the unopened bottle back at the very least. Hopefully it wont happen again.

Tiki, Tavi, Cody and Camie

Pamela Heywood said...

Sheesh ... we whine about beaurocracy (we can't spell it mind) in Spain, but I don't think I ever came across a run around quite that bad. (YET, she adds, so as not to tempt fate.) In such a case though, I think we'd just be expected to find a way of crushing pills, or whatever, to get the medicine inside the cat.

Hugs, take your medicine like a good kitty and get better soon Moki.

Cat-a-holic, Lilly and Laila said...

What a nightmare! There's a pharmacy here in the Chicago suburbs quite popular for cat meds to be made into liquid form and I've used them myself. In fact a friend who lives in Montana has his done there and they ship to him. Keeping you and Moki in our daily prayers. You are such a great catmom!!!

-d ma said...

i'm not sure that's illegal behavior although you may be right about the unauthorized prescription. In any case that's downright unexplainable behavior by the compounding pharmacy...

hope moki's cough gets better soon.

Name: Mr. Hendrix said...

how frustrating! i'd ask your regular vet about it. Max makes a good point. I'm not sure they'd be allowed to do this with human pills but I'm not sure.
Can a place like Drs. Foster and Smith (drsfosterandsmith.com) or petmeds.com compound the prescriptions for you?

Wrigley & Cobalt said...

Wow what a bunch of mess. We hope these new pills help Moki feel better.

Cecil the Cougar: said...

What a mess. Maybe they are playing an April Fools joke on you! I am not sure if that is legal, but it sounds suspicious to me. Maybe they called your vet to authorize another prescription?

JB's Big World said...

Something does not sound right about this at all. Are you sure you got the right medication for Moki, is the question I would be wondering.
--JB

Parker said...

Mommy works in healthcare and says that without a doubt that pharmacy would be in huge trouble for what they did. You got a double Rx. and they have no record of what they've dispensed.

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