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Really A Pharmacist?
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44 posts in this topic

Edit: the stock bottles of medications always come with a medication printout. You can ask your pharmacist to let you read through it to verify you can take it safely, since it contains all the ingredients. Just make sure to do it before you pay for your meds, because in the US once the medication leaves the store you can't legally take it back.

I have looked at these and have never found anything but "fillers" listed. Including Top 8 allergens. Where would this info be listed?

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I have looked at these and have never found anything but "fillers" listed. Including Top 8 allergens. Where would this info be listed?

Not ALL the ingrediants are on that list, for sure not gluten specifically. Its not even on the pharmacists computer, they have no access to it, so even armed with a printout I wouldn't trust it, especially if I had celiac children. For myself Im knowingly taking a risk if I decide to take the meds, but no way would I take a chance with my kids.

They told me to call if I wanted to know (the manuf)

You can't bring meds back here either.

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I have found a list of gluten-free meds through google searches, and that has been at least vaguely helpful. It's incredibly frustrating, though. I had multiple medical professionals tell me that the amount of gluten in my antidepressant wouldn't be a problem because it was so small-- just a wheat derivative in the coating. And yet, I felt so much better once I finally got off of it...

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I think it's a silly law, but what can you do? The AG would be on her side because she was following the letter of the law.

What law ? This is clearly being abused by the store. She did not have to hand you anything, she merely had to do her job, which was to answer your questions as to product safety. She had the ability to do this. She refused to do it.

If you were serious about complaining about it, then, at this point you should contact an attorney and have them give you a professional opinion on whether or not this alleged pharmacist could legally withhold the ingredient information on a medication package from you, that you otherwise would have been within your legal rights to purchase as an over the counter medication.

The store was requiring the legal transaction of completing a contract (your releasing your private identity AND giving them money) before both parties had the full information of what it entailed. In other words, the store forced you to purchase a pig in a poke. She could have been then selling you a placebo, for example, and you would never have known the difference.

I don't care what the Attorney General of CA "thinks" about anything, because laws are subject to interpretation by the courts when they are abused by various commercial interests, and the opinion of the AG can be appealed to a higher court.

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Not ALL the ingrediants are on that list, for sure not gluten specifically. Its not even on the pharmacists computer, they have no access to it, so even armed with a printout I wouldn't trust it, especially if I had celiac children. For myself Im knowingly taking a risk if I decide to take the meds, but no way would I take a chance with my kids.

They told me to call if I wanted to know (the manuf)

You can't bring meds back here either.

I find it infuriating that meds do not have to follow the same regs for binders that food does as far as labeling allergins.

The only thing we can do is find out the maker before we get the script, then go on the computer and put the makers name and the word contact in a search engine and then call the number that comes up. A long and frustrating process if you are ill or have a sick child. Things need to change with the label regs and they need to change now. I've wondered for a long time how many of the 'side effects' on drugs are due to undeclared inactive ingredients that people are reacting to rather than the actual drug itself.

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I've wondered for a long time how many of the 'side effects' on drugs are due to undeclared inactive ingredients that people are reacting to rather than the actual drug itself.

I think they should be called the so-called inactive ingredients.

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Hexon, its very hard to be patient with someone who shrugs their shoulders and walks away from you, telling you that if its JUST an intolerance then no biggy, but IF it were an ALLERGY then well maybe we should look into it...they arnt asking questions and trying to inform themselves, that is the maddening part, there is no opportunity to explain yourself.

This is what annoys me about so much of this stuff. If the pharmacist/waiter/whoever looked me in the eye and said "I'm sorry, I don't know. But let me try to find out for you" then I wouldn't be annoyed. But when they basically brush me off as if I'm too much trouble...well then I'm mad.

I just recently got the "I don't think so" answer from the HEAD of the food service at the hospital where I work. I took my salad for lunch but forgot dressing. Oh the hoops I had to jump through just to get a look at the original container of dressing. And then to request a small bit of it directly from the original container, not from the refillable ones on the salad bar. For which I was prepared to pay, for goodness sake. She said "I don't think so" when I aksed if it had gluten. I told her that that wasn't good enough although it would probably be okay since I was right there at the hospital. So I could get to the emergency room quickly. (My reaction isn't quite that bad, but I saw no harm in scaring her a bit! I mean, this was the HEAD OF THE FOOD SERVICE!) anyway...yeah, very annoying, the "I don't think so" attitude, and not wanting to find out the information for you.

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Cugy

I just cannot believe your bad luck! I swear it seems you have encountered every rude, ignorant, lazy, unprofessional, mean-spirited, argumentative person in the field. I would be devastated to run Into even a couple of these nasty folks in the course of a year! You poor thing.

You must feel like you have a big ol' red target painted on your forehead.

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JustNana...

Yeah it feels like that lately. Today for Easter my family was here, and I stared at my mom's famous German strawberry cake, but refrained from eating it...didn't want it because again my kidney hurt so bad I just sat at the table with a long face while my family argued over who I should go to see next. My husband wants to take me down to the city to the major trauma hospital, but I would feel so stupid walking in there with a pain in my side and cloudy urine....even armed with results from my previous urinalysis...if they hear I have celiac it will surely be the same if not worse there since they deal with the worst of the worst, poor broken people. I just couldn't deal with them telling me Im a headcase, a liar etc....or saying its the celiac go home and stay on your diet....

Im very disillusioned in general with healthcare professionals....This too shall pass Im sure.

Happy Easter to my new found friends!

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What law ? This is clearly being abused by the store. She did not have to hand you anything, she merely had to do her job, which was to answer your questions as to product safety. She had the ability to do this. She refused to do it.

If you were serious about complaining about it, then, at this point you should contact an attorney and have them give you a professional opinion on whether or not this alleged pharmacist could legally withhold the ingredient information on a medication package from you, that you otherwise would have been within your legal rights to purchase as an over the counter medication.

The store was requiring the legal transaction of completing a contract (your releasing your private identity AND giving them money) before both parties had the full information of what it entailed. In other words, the store forced you to purchase a pig in a poke. She could have been then selling you a placebo, for example, and you would never have known the difference.

I don't care what the Attorney General of CA "thinks" about anything, because laws are subject to interpretation by the courts when they are abused by various commercial interests, and the opinion of the AG can be appealed to a higher court.

I don't think the store is abusing anything. She did read the ingredients on the label, and she let me look at them, but as we all know, the gluten is hidden in the stuff you can't see. What she legally couldn't do, without getting my license, and selling me the drug, was to let me walk away from the counter with the meds. I couldn't stand at the counter and do it because I would be in everyone's way. (There was a line behind me).

Honestly I don't care about this nearly enough to get an attorney involved. It was just a pain, and a waste of time, but not nearly the headache that a lawsuit would be. It just isn't worth it.

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... but as we all know, the gluten is hidden in the stuff you can't see.

Okay, I'm confused. What things can't you see? And how does gluten hide in them?

Where I am (Canada), everything in the medicine must be accounted for on the label--you can see everything. It is just hard to see the label on prescription meds when the pharmacist keeps the bottle and you just get the prepared sticker on the dispensed package.

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"Because I would be in everybody's way...."

So ? Then the store should hire another clerk, and open another counter slot, shouldn't they ?

Sorry, it is not your job. It is the pharmacist's job to make sure medications that are dispensed are safe. They're treating it like a prescription by denying otc access to it.... and by not calling the manufacturer, but forcing a customer to purchase it first to determine safety - then telling you to return if you found out it was not safe - The store was committing fraud.

Just trying to get other people to realize that they don't have to put up with this. I am not trying to make you out as being wrong, but the store is committing fraud, and it's also data mining your information for law enforcement, but it might also be selling your information to marketers, etc. If you charged the purchase, you may also have had to pay a small transaction fee - this is another way that they can make money. Hello.

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Okay, I'm confused. What things can't you see? And how does gluten hide in them?

Where I am (Canada), everything in the medicine must be accounted for on the label--you can see everything. It is just hard to see the label on prescription meds when the pharmacist keeps the bottle and you just get the prepared sticker on the dispensed package.

Drugs are not required to be labeled for anything pretty much. Some do but it's few and far between that do. I have a child who on top of celiac disease has life threatening allergies. I have to call EVERY drug maker of EVERY drug EVERY time because they are not required to label for anything (including Top 8 allergens).

It sucks!

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Okay, I'm confused. What things can't you see? And how does gluten hide in them?

Where I am (Canada), everything in the medicine must be accounted for on the label--you can see everything. It is just hard to see the label on prescription meds when the pharmacist keeps the bottle and you just get the prepared sticker on the dispensed package.

Must be nice. FALCPA does not cover prescription or OTC medicine in the US. Starch can be wheat starch and they don't have to tell us. Alcohol is exempt too, as are USDA regulated foods like meat and poultry.

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It isn't perfect. But what I meant was that there must be something on the list to cover each ingredient. What melikamaui suggested was "stuff you can't see." At least here, everything must be disclosed, even if by an ambiguous term. There is nothing you "can't see," although there may be things that you cannot be sure about.

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What we typically get here, Peter, is a list of the active ingredients on one side of the bottle, and then a statement on the other side of what the product does not contain. I have two examples here where they state:

No.1. "Free from: No dairy, egg, gluten, nuts, shellfish, soy, wheat, yeast, artificial colouring, flavouring or preservative." (Thompsons- a good down under brand - tablet form)

No. 2: Superior Low Allergy Formulation:"This formulation is free from artificial colouring, artificial preservatives,sweeteners or flavours, yeast, wheat, milk, fish, glulen, lactose, sugar and sodium." (Sanderson - a New Zealand company, unknown to me - have not taken yet) - capsule form).

Both may well contain corn, but I am not sensitive to tiny amounts of corn starch. No.2 could contain eggs, soy or nuts - eggs and nuts are not a worry for me. The contents of the capsule case in No.2 are unknown. The binder in No.1 is a mystery. However I adjudged both products safe since I thought it was unlikely that No.2 had soy. :)

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Peter... You are obviously well informed, and have done alot of research...but for those of us who are newly diagnosed, we RELY on those with the education (pharmacists/docs etc) to help find safe medications etc. Even though they may put all the ingrediants on the lables alot of the terms are vague. Im still having trouble dealing with trying to decipher ingrediants and knowing what is gluten-free and what is not. If we can't even rely on those who are supposed to know, then it makes for a very hard journey. I understand that maybe pharmacists don't learn about celiac, but their blatant disregard for attempting to learn is aggravating and dangerous to say the least! They need to be more willing to help us celiacs investigate things, and to help find out for us what is safe and learn WITH us. In any job Ive had Ive always been willing to learn, knowledge is saftey in this case and when dealing with meds, saftey would be number one...at least in an ideal world. I was a pharmacy assisstant to two different pharmacies, and if someone had a question re something I didn't know about, I would find out, and not stop until I did. Maybe its an ego thing, they can't admit that they don't know it all!? THEN LEARN!!!

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It isn't perfect. But what I meant was that there must be something on the list to cover each ingredient. What melikamaui suggested was "stuff you can't see." At least here, everything must be disclosed, even if by an ambiguous term. There is nothing you "can't see," although there may be things that you cannot be sure about.

What I meant was that it doesn't just say "gluten" on the ingredients. Someone who isn't practiced would have no idea where gluten hides and just looks for the words "wheat" or "gluten". "Well I don't see any gluten on here". Of course you don't, it's hiding in the malt extract, etc.

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Peter... You are obviously well informed, and have done alot of research...but for those of us who are newly diagnosed, we RELY on those with the education (pharmacists/docs etc) to help find safe medications etc. Even though they may put all the ingrediants on the lables alot of the terms are vague. Im still having trouble dealing with trying to decipher ingrediants and knowing what is gluten-free and what is not. If we can't even rely on those who are supposed to know, then it makes for a very hard journey. I understand that maybe pharmacists don't learn about celiac, but their blatant disregard for attempting to learn is aggravating and dangerous to say the least! They need to be more willing to help us celiacs investigate things, and to help find out for us what is safe and learn WITH us. In any job Ive had Ive always been willing to learn, knowledge is saftey in this case and when dealing with meds, saftey would be number one...at least in an ideal world. I was a pharmacy assisstant to two different pharmacies, and if someone had a question re something I didn't know about, I would find out, and not stop until I did. Maybe its an ego thing, they can't admit that they don't know it all!? THEN LEARN!!!

Another issue now in large chain pharmacies is that the pharmacists' bonuses rely on the amount of prescriptions they fill, not on how many patients they talk to. Also, when "the man" sends people to audit the pharmacy they are told to fill, fill, fill and not told they need to counsel more often. Unfortunately this decreases the patient-pharmacist interaction time. And one cannot simply hire new employees to fill the need of a busy store, as everything is run corporately. While I cannot make a claim that an independently run pharmacy store would be more concerned or have a care-oriented mindset, I can say that in my experience working at both independent and chain pharmacies, the independent spent more time on patient counseling and problem solving. This could have been personality driven or derived from not having "big brother" breathing down your neck while you're trying to work. It'd be awesome to see some CE (continued education) courses on celiac disease offered in the future, especially as the need increases.

And I'm by no means justifying what this pharmacist did, as patient health should have been his main objective. Unfortunately, job pressures which shouldn't exist (and didn't use to exist) are now interfering with how effective health care is, and it's disappointing.

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