If You’re on Meds, Your Secret is Safe With All of Us

Once upon a time we discussed the lack of privacy at a Snider Plaza pharmacy. Several readers over a period of a few months had sent e-mails mentioning a pharmacy employee who yells out names of customers along with the type of medication etc. I had noticed the same thing and it made me cringe just a little.

Well, nothing has changed. The same employee is still at it but now there’s more.

Recently I was picking up a prescription and all of these documents were on the counter. I redacted the identifying information but it was there for all to see- names, dates of birth, type of medicine prescribed. All of this within inches of any customer making a transaction. Maybe I should reach out to an aquaintance who I now know is on anti-depressants. Or contact the patient taking birth control pills who was born in 1994.

14 thoughts on “If You’re on Meds, Your Secret is Safe With All of Us

  • March 22, 2011 at 11:34 am
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    Can they spell H-I-P-A-A?

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  • March 22, 2011 at 11:37 am
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    Maybe you just shouldn’t look at all? And I’m pretty sure taking pictures of these records is illegal, even if they were left lying around, not just unethical.

    Also, 1994 is 16 or 17. So what? Birth control pills lower the risk of endometriosis, PID, ovarian cysts, osteoporosis, breast cancer, ovarian cancer, dysmenorrhea, and acne. Frankly,the benefits far outweigh the risks. Kudos to her for taking charge of her reproductive health!

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  • March 22, 2011 at 11:39 am
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    That came out more strident than intended… but yeah, that pharmacist needs a HIPAA lesson, stat.

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  • March 22, 2011 at 1:07 pm
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    cdn, don’t try to blame the messenger. the drugstore is at fault, and that employee should be fired. I assume this is CVS? The one on Greenville has incompetent employees as well, including a “pharmacist” who almost put in the wrong mix of medicine for one of our children’s prescriptions.

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  • March 22, 2011 at 1:30 pm
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    Could sue them for just the calling out of names and medicine. Just with the pictures you have here they could be sued for privacy issues and their insurance carrier would settle in under 5 minutes.

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  • March 22, 2011 at 3:35 pm
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    That’s despicable, but why are you not giving names to anything lately? There’s a pharmacy in CVS & Tom Thumb – tell us which one is the irresponsible one! And the name and church of the booby policewoman stalking the kids at the middle school, please. They aren’t victims that need protection, they are doing things in the public so fess up, you’re doing a public service here.
    Dougherty’s Pharmacy is the best and they deliver, well worth the drive.

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  • March 22, 2011 at 4:34 pm
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    If I witnessed that, I would ask to speak to the pharmacist and complain. Remind him/her of HIPPA. They must be oblivious to it. And speak to to the person shouting the information out as well, telling her that she must refrain from announcing private information. Somebody needs to tell them, rather than just blog about it.

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  • March 22, 2011 at 4:54 pm
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    I’d be willing to bet that the pharmacy mentioned here is NOT the Snider Plaza Tom Thumb. They are always super-nice, professional and very observant of their patrons’ privacy. Perhaps the CVS? If so, they really should be made aware that they’re in violation of the law and need to become compliant, stat.

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  • March 22, 2011 at 5:15 pm
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    One of my top embarrasing moments: standing at the front of the CVS line, many other shoppers in back of me, with the checker on the loudspeaker, “Price check on this double pack of pregnancy tests!!!” I was not wearing my wedding band, had no makeup on and looked about 18, even though I was much older. Everyone giving me the silent “tsssk, tsssk-shouldn’t be having sex look.”

    Drugstore Employees: Please do not call to attention our Fleet Enemas, Joleen Cream Bleach, fungus creams, tampons, Kotex or laxitive products! Being human is embarrassing enough without the public announcements about our bodily (dys)functions.

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  • March 22, 2011 at 6:47 pm
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    Merritt’s actions are not illegal. In fact, she’s protected under a “whistleblower” statute. She took pains to redact the compromising information, and her actions could be deemed as having a larger protective value to the general public.

    The pharmacy, on the other hand, is in violation of privacy laws in healthcare. It’s doubtful anyone will bother to enforce it, but there is a substantial fine and licensing issues. And, the fine applies to each and every violation. The feds don’t normally do that unless the pharmacy acted in gross negligance (vs. just plain old lack of scruples) or maliciously (to shame someone else.)

    Now OSHA? That’s a whole other ball of wax. OSHA could fine the pharmacy $10K a day for every unlabeled bottle of Liquid Paper in the store.

    XO,

    A former healthcare consultant

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  • March 22, 2011 at 10:26 pm
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    Birth control pills can be used for other medical issues. I know of girls who take them to help with acne since they regulate hormones, which would make sense for a teenager.

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  • March 22, 2011 at 11:20 pm
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    The CVS on Mockingbird and Central is just as bad. They lay out all the paperwork at the drop-off counter in plain view – faxes from doctors’ offices, prescription orders, everything. They do call out your name if you tell them you want to wait (which isn’t a big deal), but at least they don’t yell out the name of the medication. Fortunately, clonazepam and Klonopin aren’t easy to pronounce.

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  • March 23, 2011 at 9:56 am
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    Just wanted to give a shout-out to the CVS in Preston Center. They are professional, courteous, and efficient. This CVS was originally Greenberg’s Pharmacy, which was across Preston on the east side of the intersection. CVS bought it, maybe 6 or 7 years ao, and then moved it to Preston Center, next to Office Depot. Thanks for the warning about other locations.

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  • March 23, 2011 at 4:23 pm
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    WOW @ KMOM you are on a roll today, calm down it’s just a blog.

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