Target Pharmacy Update

Wow, I want to thank everyone for the support and encouragement here! It was a crazy few days, but now things have gotten a bit calmer here, and I wanted to update everyone on what’s happened.

I called BD’s toll free number to see what they would say about this. I spoke with a very nice representative, Susan, who listened to my story and who also was disturbed by the pharmacist’s actions. When I told her that Target sold me a box with an open bag of syringes that had not been opened in front of me (and that I had not opened), I could here the disbelief in her voice. She offered me the option of sending the syringes back to BD, at their expense, and receiving a coupon for a free replacement box. I have decided to take her up on her offer and am waiting on her package.

I also went back to the store. Actually, I did that the same night so I could speak to the same LOD at Target. I wanted to show him the box and open bag of syringes that I had been sold. He was none too happy, and he also offered to replace the entire box with a new box of syringes that he would inspect to ensure none of the bags were opened. I let him go to the back and find a box, thinking that there couldn’t possibly be any more back there. After all, that pharmacist raised such a ruckus that it seemed that this little box must have been hiding in a dark corner somewhere and was the last of its kind. I was surprised when he came back with a box of half unit syringes and repeated his offer to swap boxes. I rejected that offer. Something told me that if I gave him that box, it would end up in the trash or some place else. The evidence of Target’s misdeed would be hidden and they could deny any wrong-doing. And, I believe I was right…

When I got home, I found a message on my answering machine from the lead pharmacist. He wanted to discuss the incident. I returned the call the next day, and found him to be quite amenable, quite nice. Well, I’ve talked to him before and I’ve never had a problem with him. He told me that the other pharmacist had continued to express regret for her behavior. The rude, mouthy-ness I might have been able to handle; it was the syringe-wagging and putting the syringe back in the bag and box then pack on the shelf that I found most disturbing. He also was very displeased with that behavior and asked if I was sure she put the box back on the shelf. I told him it appeared to me she did, he went to look for it and could not find the box. Huh, go figure. That’s what makes me think I was right to not give the box over to the LOD at Target. The security cameras caught the incident on tape (Big Brother is always watching) and while I maintain that the pharmacist was wagging the syringe in my face, I was told that security cameras did not appear to have caught that. Given that they find what I claim, I’ve been told the pharmacist will be terminated.

In all honesty, while I understand the necessity of terminating her, I feel bad for her at the same time. Maybe she had a bad day. I know she maintains she honestly didn’t know about the 1/2 unit syringes, and I know that many other pharmacists are unaware of them, too. However, I cannot, in good conscience, allow those syringes to be sold and I would not want another to have a needle wagged in his or her face. And I would not want someone to become ill because they injected themselves with a needle that had been contanimated because it was opened without their knowledge. So, while I know this was the right thing to do, it also makes me sad.

I did call Target corporate, but have not heard back from them since I called. I do intend to call them back and to file a formal complaint with the state. I hope by Friday, I will get the package from BD and will be able to send the syringes to them. So, the incident marches on. With any luck, it will be in the past before long.

Sounds like you’ve gotten a fairly satisfactory outcome (shouldn’t have happened at all) but wow, that pharmacist! A single rude, incompetent or lazy pharmacist can sour my relationship with an entire pharmacy. It is a bit unfair for me to judge an entire pharmacy for the actions of one pharmacist but it is really for me to separate the two emotionally. In my case, the pharmacist still works there so I don’t use that pharmacy. In your case, Target seems to genuinely agree with you that the behavior and actions (putting a non-sterile syringe back on the shelf for resale, wow!) are unacceptable. I guess you can use the pharmacy again and I bet you will check your order every time!

I too am glad you seem to have arrived at a satisfactory outcome, but this whole incident should never have happened in the first place. It seems that “trust, but verify” seems to be the case when dealing with any pharmacy to avoid problems. We’d had some problems too,but are willing to work using this axiom for the convenience of a 24 hour pharmacy near us. We have had to go to corporate on more than one occasion. We try to have most of my maintenance meds through mail order.