Dear #Walgreens CEO Gregory D. Wasson

Like, NEVER.

Like, NEVER.

Dear Walgreens’ CEO Gregory D. Wasson,

I’ve been a huge fan of Walgreens over the years. For the longest time, it was my favorite place to run in to pick up something quick, grab a soda, or a quick 6-pack, and I’ve exclusively used your pharmacy for years.

And then you guys decided to buy USA Drug. Up until that moment, I never had a complaint. I had great service. Rarely had to wait in line. The pharmacists were always helpful and the techs always courteous.

That has consistently not been the case since your company took on USA Drug’s clientele. It’s not the employees’ fault they are overworked and understaffed, but you know what? It’s DEFINITELY not the customer’s fault either.

Now, we’ve had similar experiences at various Walgreens in different locations, but the purpose of this letter is to talk to you about the store in Bryant, Arkansas. We have decided that this location is probably a combination of the 5th, 7th, and 8th Circles of Hell…right here on earth.

My partner is on a Schedule II controlled substance and has been for 15 years or more. He has had this same prescription for as long as he can remember. Last month, when he took his prescription in, the pharmacist gave him some flack, but filled it anyway. However this month, the pharmacist refused saying “I have never seen this prescription written for a man your age, and I’m not going to fill it.”

Um. Well, he’s not the physician, so the dosage is not his call.

So we called his physician and had him “approve” the prescription as written. They also sent the information to the insurance company so there wouldn’t be anymore push back from the all-knowing pharmacist.

We called and spoke to a pharmacy tech last Thursday, a week after all the approvals were sent through because we had not been informed that his prescription was ready. The tech said the prescription would be filled and ready to be picked up after work.

Imagine my partner’s surprise when he arrived after work, waited in the drive through for 15 minutes only to be told they were out of the medicine and it would be at least a week before they got more in. There was no offer to send the prescription to another Walgreens and there was no offer to return the prescription to him so he could have it filled elsewhere.

I would like to say the story ends here, but sadly, it does not. At this point in the story, he has been more than a week without his medication.

Friday, he calls his physician to see if they can recommend a real pharmacy that will actually fill the prescription as prescribed. The office tells him to go pick up his prescription from Walgreens and gives him the address of a new, legitimate pharmacy. He drives to Walgreens, goes into the store and waits for a half hour while they look for his now missing prescription.

Yes. somehow, they’ve lost a prescription for a schedule II controlled substance. So he now has to go to his physician’s office, pick up a NEW prescription to take to the new, legitimate pharmacy.

Since Walgreens is on every corner, you’d think it would be convenient, huh? Well, obviously not.

I have never had too much of a problem with this particular store until recently when they’ve run out of medicine and not informed me prior to pick up. Lately, I’ve had to wait in line for up to 30 minutes to get my medicine, and that’s not really convenient, but it’s not a game changer for me.

However, Friday, June 14, 2013…the very same Friday Walgreens lost a prescription for my partner’s schedule II controlled substance…I went to pick up my refills to go out of town. I had received my confirmation call and a text message telling my prescriptions were ready. I get there, I wait in line 15 minutes and I’m told that there is no prescription ready for me. I showed the girl the text message and say, clearly there should be. I tell her I’m going out of town and need my BP meds before I leave. She tells me they’ll get them ready for me in 15 minutes. And they do…however, I have to wait another 30 minutes in line to pick them up!

This is inexcusable and bad business. Between the multiple bad experience my partner has had, and then the experiences we both had on Friday at the same store, we are done.

It seems that purchasing USA Drug was not such a good idea because your customer service has bitten the dust. Your pharmacies aren’t stocking their medications properly, and your pharmacists (at least one at the Bryant store) are practicing out of their scope. Losing a prescription for a controlled substance is unprofessional and as far as I’m concerned, unredeemable.

Losing our business probably won’t do much to your bottom line, and that’s okay with me. But, I am quite certain after our experiences, we are not the only business you’re losing. I’m just one of the few who will let you know why.


Melissa Francis, author, mother, partner and now FORMER customer

ETA:  Update on the Walgreens at the bottom of this blog post.

14 thoughts on “Dear #Walgreens CEO Gregory D. Wasson

  1. Ive not noticed a change in the courtesy of my Walgreen’s on Bowman. In fact, the new guy is very nice. I have, however, noticed that not only have they not had my medication in stock but several friends have noticed the same. I can do without mine (I’m not nice but I can go without it for a few days) but I have friends who’s survival depends on their medication. Thats a frightening thought of not being able to get medication that your body must have. AND yes Walgreen’s is TWICE as busy as normal and they were busy before buying out USA Drug.


    • I’m happy to report I’ve already been contacted by Walgreens to investigate this matter. Whether we stay customers or not, this problem has GOT to be addressed. You’re a pharmacy, you probably ought to be able to fill prescriptions, at the very least. Sigh.


  2. I have had so many problems there too!! Same thing with the text message & then get there & it”s not filled or they are out of it. Once it was with tamiflu . Got their text ….get there and they say they are out of it & to check back in a couple days. Uhhh….hello! It only works if u take it within 4& hrs of symptoms! We changed pharmacies finally after NUMEROUS problems.


  3. Ummm. I cannot believe that the pharmacist said they weren’t going to fill your partner’s prescription and were going to call the doctor. That seems to me to warrant a call to corporate! (Along with all the other issues.) We have a Walgreens here, too, and I swear they are always slow and disorganized. And I don’t like that new shopper card either. They’re trying to harness customer info just like the grocery stores. Not good! Hope you get it all worked out!


    • Deb, if the pharmacist had called the doctor’s office to get the approval themselves, I wouldn’t have had an issue. The fact is he refused to call either the doctor or the insurance company to verify this was a normal prescription. (even though they have filled it previously with no issues). Jeff spent hours on the phone and in line trying to get this sorted out, when it would have just taken the pharmacist moments to do the same thing. This is just one of the rudest and unprofessional stores I have ever dealt with on every level


  4. Sounds like the CVS at the corner of Duke St and Sweeley St in Alexandria, VA. Seriously, I swear I could have written this same thing myself. Substitute “partner” for “daughter” and “Schedule II controlled substance” for “allergy medication” (both prescription-strength antihistamines AND an EpiPen) and it’s about right…


  5. I will not go to the pharmacy at walgreens anymore. If you live in Little Rock, go to Don’s. Family owned and operated.


  6. Pingback: take me for a ride on your big green tractor… | Mel-O-Drama

  7. Our son-in-law also is having problems getting his longtime meds. He’s dying and has to have these meds to breathe. Like El Jefe, Walgreens told Jason they were out of the meds. Really???? Really?????


  8. Someone need to investigate this Walgreen pharmacy here in Athens TX. My husband and I have got our prescriptions at Walgreens for years and we love the rewards program. But these past 6-8 months, they have messed up the prescriptions and it takes 2-3 days before we can pick them all up, it’s ridiculous! You can’t order your prescriptions early but you can pick up 1 prescription at a time through 2-3 days time. Look up Michael Travis’s prescriptions and see how much mistakes they have made. Always trying to make the doctors office to blame. When your suppose to take your meds every day, and not miss a dose, or double up on the next time, do you realize how much meds you miss when you have to wait for days to get them??? We are seriously planning to find another pharmacist.


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