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Was CVS Pharmacy right or wrong?

Was CVS Pharmacy right or wrong?


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tacomancer

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Should CVS Have Sold $21 Inhaler To Asthma Sufferer Who Only Had $20? - The Consumerist

A woman in New Jersey suffering from an asthma attack had to call a paramedic when her local CVS wouldn't sell her a $21 inhaler for $20. The woman and her boyfriend were walking home in Garwood, NJ, when her asthma kicked into high gear. Hoping to quickly remedy the situation, they popped into a nearby CVS to buy an inhaler.
Is profitability so important that CVS did the right thing here?
 
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This is wrong, on so many levels. For a measly dollar the people working there would deny a person emergency medical treatment, and possibly let her die. I really can't believe people sometimes.
 

molten_dragon

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Could the clerk not have just paid the last dollar with his own money to possibly save the woman's life? I'm sure she would have paid him back.
 

spud_meister

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Of course they were in the wrong, the boyfriend even offered surety that he'd pay the extra dollar, the people who were working should be sacked.
 

tacomancer

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Could the clerk not have just paid the last dollar with his own money to possibly save the woman's life? I'm sure she would have paid him back.
If I was in that situation, I wouldn't care if I got paid back.
 

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I don't see anything wrong with what happened.

CVS is a business, not a public service. They operate on profit. And even though they offered surety, they cannot be compelled to accept it.

So boyfriend called the paramedics, a public service that doesn't worry about profit because it's paid for in tax dollars. They arrive to the scene and gave her the medication that she needed.

Everything worked out as it's supposed to.

If we're going to have a capitalistic society don't be surprised when businesses act capitalistic.
 

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I don't see anything wrong with what happened.

CVS is a business, not a public service. They operate on profit. And even though they offered surety, they cannot be compelled to accept it.

So boyfriend called the paramedics, a public service that doesn't worry about profit because it's paid for in tax dollars. They arrive to the scene and gave her the medication that she needed.

Everything worked out as it's supposed to.

If we're going to have a capitalistic society don't be surprised when businesses act capitalistic.
This is more about the individual clerks than the company itself. Personally I would have gave it to her, and wouldn't have given a damn about the extra dollar. Even if the manager told me not too. I would have given him the finger, and gave her the inhaler anyway. I understand that they have to make a profit, but in this situation, where she could have stopped breathing, and was having the episode in the store, money loses it's importance, it's all about saving another human being. Money isn't everything.
 
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I would've just told the cashier to toss off and stolen the damn thing.

Exigent circumstances, anyone?
 

tacomancer

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I don't see anything wrong with what happened.

CVS is a business, not a public service. They operate on profit. And even though they offered surety, they cannot be compelled to accept it.

So boyfriend called the paramedics, a public service that doesn't worry about profit because it's paid for in tax dollars. They arrive to the scene and gave her the medication that she needed.

Everything worked out as it's supposed to.

If we're going to have a capitalistic society don't be surprised when businesses act capitalistic.
Capitalistic is one thing. Potentially letting someone die for a dollar, while capitalistic, is abhorrent.
 

samsmart

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This is more about the individual clerks than the company itself. Personally I would have gave it to her, and wouldn't have given a damn about the extra dollar. Even if the manager told me not too. I would have given him the finger, and gave her the inhaler anyway. I understand that they have to make a profit, but in this situation, where she could have stopped breathing, and was having the episode in the store, money loses it's importance, it's all about saving another human being. Money isn't everything.
Personally, you're allowed to do that. However, they aren't compelled to do that. So the clerks still did nothing wrong.
 

samsmart

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Capitalistic is one thing. Potentially letting someone die for a dollar, while capitalistic, is abhorrent.
Nobody died. The paramedics were called, which is what they should have done. Things worked the way they're supposed to.
 

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I would've just told the cashier to toss off and stolen the damn thing.

Exigent circumstances, anyone?
And then the district attorney could ask you why, if you know you have asthma, didn't you carry an inhaler with you if you knew you're susceptible to asthma attacks. Individuals should be responsible with their health and have the foresight to carry their medications with them if they can have an attack at any moment. That is not the responsibility of a private pharmacy business.
 

tacomancer

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Nobody died. The paramedics were called, which is what they should have done. Things worked the way they're supposed to.
And if the paramedics were too slow for whatever reason ...? (blown tire for example)
 
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And then the district attorney could ask you why, if you know you have asthma, didn't you carry an inhaler with you if you knew you're susceptible to asthma attacks. Individuals should be responsible with their health and have the foresight to carry their medications with them if they can have an attack at any moment. That is not the responsibility of a private pharmacy business.
I'll tell inspector Javert that my girlfriend is, in fact, a human being and forgot her essential medicine one day out of ten thousand and got unlucky. I'd get off, too.
 

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Nobody died. The paramedics were called, which is what they should have done. Things worked the way they're supposed to.
Thankfully. But what if she died? Would your opinion be different? Is a dollar worth the risk of letting someone die? I know they are a business, but they are in the health field, and in the health field, money doesn't always take precedence.
 

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Thankfully. But what if she died? Would your opinion be different? Is a dollar worth the risk of letting someone die? I know they are a business, but they are in the health field, and in the health field, money doesn't always take precedence.
If she died I would have asked why a person with a medical condition that can debilitate her at any time didn't always carry around with her the medication she needed to deal with that medical condition. She has a responsibility to her own health. Nobody else. If she doesn't regard her medical condition with the forethought necessary, that is her own fault and nobody else's.
 

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If she died I would have asked why a person with a medical condition that can debilitate her at any time didn't always carry around with her the medication she needed to deal with that medical condition. She has a responsibility to her own health. Nobody else. If she doesn't regard her medical condition with the forethought necessary, that is her own fault and nobody else's.
Maybe she had used her inhaler earlier in the day, and it ran out? Maybe she lost it, maybe she forgot it, there are many reasons why she didn't have it, and none of them are mistakes that should cost her, her life. But lets change the scenario a little bit. Say she accidently cut herself, and was bleeding out, and needed a tourniquet to save her life until the paramedics got there, and this situation happened? What would your opinion be in that situation?
 

samsmart

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Maybe she had used her inhaler earlier in the day, and it ran out? Maybe she lost it, maybe she forgot it, there are many reasons why she didn't have it, and none of them are mistakes that should cost her, her life. But lets change the scenario a little bit. Say she accidently cut herself, and was bleeding out, and needed a tourniquet to save her life until the paramedics got there, and this situation happened? What would your opinion be in that situation?
If her inhaler and it ran out, then she should have been mindful of it and think, "Gee, I should get it refilled in case I have an asthma attack" and replaced it sooner.

If she forgot her inhaler then she should still be more mindful about her medical condition and train herself to not forget the medication that will save her life in case she suffers an attack.

A tourniquet is not the same as medication. Anybody can take a belt and use it as a tourniquet, but nobody can improv medication. Also, asthma is a diagnosable condition that people know they can suffer through at any time. Cuts (generally) only happen on accident.

I know you're giving me a lot of hypotheticals, but if people are going to say what the clerks "should have done," I would like to point out all the things the asthma sufferer "should have done."
 

tacomancer

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If she died I would have asked why a person with a medical condition that can debilitate her at any time didn't always carry around with her the medication she needed to deal with that medical condition. She has a responsibility to her own health. Nobody else. If she doesn't regard her medical condition with the forethought necessary, that is her own fault and nobody else's.
So, you have never had a bad day when you forgot something?
 

spud_meister

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If she died I would have asked why a person with a medical condition that can debilitate her at any time didn't always carry around with her the medication she needed to deal with that medical condition. She has a responsibility to her own health. Nobody else. If she doesn't regard her medical condition with the forethought necessary, that is her own fault and nobody else's.
You're obviously a libertarian. But basically, your argument boils down to "no-one should help in avoidable situations, and people deserve to die for petty mistakes". I can't say your argument is all that great, or moral for that matter.
 

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A tourniquet is not the same as medication. Anybody can take a belt and use it as a tourniquet, but nobody can improv medication. Also, asthma is a diagnosable condition that people know they can suffer through at any time. Cuts (generally) only happen on accident.
So if it's an accident capitalism takes a back seat?
Also you help my argument with this point, yes a tourniquet can be fashioned out of alot of things, but you can't improv medication. So shouldn't the people who have the medication give it to the lady who is having an emergency medical need? We're not talking about just handing out medicine to everyone, we're talking about someone who is having an emergency medical situation, and may die. Like I said, in the medical field, sometimes money takes a back seat, and saving a humans life is worth more than a dollar.
 

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You're obviously a libertarian. But basically, your argument boils down to "no-one should help in avoidable situations, and people deserve to die for petty mistakes". I can't say your argument is all that great, or moral for that matter.
Sams not a libertarian, but I am.

I do agree that people with certain medical conditions should accept responsibility for their medical condition. My ex husband is a diabetic and as such, has to make sure he's got syringes, insulin, a meter, etc... he takes responsibility for his own health.

Having said that, while I understand the company's official position on this situation, as a human being, I would have made sure that the woman was given what she needed to ensure that her immediate medical needs were met. Now, if I'd done that outside company policies and in turn, lost my job... then that's a consequence I would have dealt with and known going in.

Is the company's policy screwed? Probably. But unfortunately, that is their policy and they have the right to make it as they see fit. If people don't like it, they are free to show their discontent by shopping elsewhere and hitting CVS where it hurts - in the pocketbook.
 

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This is just so wrong on a human decency level.

I understand that the woman bears a lot of the responsibility for what happened here. Someone with her condition should carry an inhaler, even two!, at all times.

And I also understand that a company needs to make money and can't be giving discounts to everyone.

This, however, was a special case. She was ONE measly dollar short for pete's sake. She was in severe distress and could have died. At some point, rules have to be broken and human decency has to take over.

Either way, that stupid dollar bought this company the WORST publicity ever. What a bunch of idiots.
 

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You're obviously a libertarian. But basically, your argument boils down to "no-one should help in avoidable situations, and people deserve to die for petty mistakes". I can't say your argument is all that great, or moral for that matter.
1) I'm not a libertarian. We're talking about this specific instance, not broad political philosophy.

2) I never said "no one should help." In truth of fact, had I been there, I too probably would have paid that dollar so she could get the inhaler. But that's not what this thread is about. This thread is about whether the CVS Pharmacy was wrong not to sell a $21 inhaler for $20. My opinion is no, they are not wrong.

3) If this was such an avoidable situation why didn't the asthma sufferer take steps to better avoid it? Why should the burden be on the pharmacy instead of on her?

4) I never said she should die for petty mistakes. My stance was that instead of relying on the pharmacy that is a private for-profit business she should have relied on public medical services, such as the paramedics. Which she did. And she lived.

So way to totally misrepresent or outright ignore all the things I've said throughout this thread.
 
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