When Pharmacists Attack!

The Type 1 diabetes community share stories of when they’ve had to defend themselves against medical nosiness.



Recently, we shared a story of Frank Sita’s confrontation with a pharmacist over his diabetes supplies:

“Why do you need that many boxes? Are you going away or something?”

My pharmacist grabbed a pen and paper and began writing down the number of test strip boxes that I had taken to the counter to purchase. She told me that she would have to go and check if it was okay for me to take that many. I was at a loss for words. I felt so guilty and ashamed.

Several other Insulin Nation readers shared their own stories of pharmacist/doctor interference on our Facebook page. Here are some of their comments*:

Yes, I had a pharmacist not fill the prescription for my daughter’s needles because he “didn’t know what I did with them.” I told them I used them to give my daughter insulin every time she ate more than five carbs. He said my daughter was on a pump, and asked again what I used them for. My daughter wasn’t on a pump – it was horrible.
-Amanda Smith Paxton

I’ve had my doctor get all up in my face. I told him I didn’t appreciate his attitude, started to put my socks and shoes back on, and told him he was about 30 seconds from being fired. He calmed down.
-Toby Rey


My pharmacist refused to give me Lily-brand insulin, because he said the county was paying for it; he gave me generic insulin instead. My doctor wanted me on Lily because the generic didn’t work for me. I finally had to switch pharmacies.
-Patricia Gilbert


I called Walgreen’s to refill my son’s strips; we use 300 a month, and the tech made a comment like “300?! Wow that seems like a lot!” Yes, it is a lot, and we are blessed to be able to get that many, but it’s really none of your damn business.
-Gabriella Burkhardt Hill

Most of my pharmacists are amazing, but I actually reported one who took me to the herbal section and informed me of all the ones that could massively reduce or eliminate my insulin usage. I was also told the reason I had Type 1 diabetes was because my mother ate too many carbs while I was in her womb!
-Megan Shaw Wilson

*Comments may be slightly edited for clarity.

Do you have a similar story to share? If so, email me at cidlebrook@epscomm.com.

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Craig Idlebrook is managing editor for Insulin Nation and Type 2 Nation. He's written about health policy, environmental health, community health, and maternal health for over 25 publications. You can reach him at cidlebrook@epscomm.com.