Woman says pharmacist interrogated her over medicine causing her to out her sickness in front of strangers

Gorodenkoff/Adobe Stock @itsmaggieperkins/TikTok (Licensed)

‘Had that happen once at CVS’: Woman says pharmacy tech interrogated her over medicine, forcing her to out her illness in front of strangers

'Pharmacy tech here - can’t think of one reason why that was asked.'


Braden Bjella


Posted on Apr 13, 2024   Updated on Apr 13, 2024, 9:56 am CDT

A user on TikTok has sparked discussion after alleging that a pharmacy technician forced her to reveal her illness publicly before providing her with her prescribed medication.

In a video with over 255,000 views as of Saturday, TikTok user Maggie Perkins (@itsmaggieperkins) says she went to a pharmacy to pick up pain medication. When she arrived, the pharmacy technician greeted her with an uncomfortable question.

“The pharmacy tech asked me, ‘Why do you need this medicine?’ And I told her, and then she said, ‘Why do you need this medicine?’ And I told her again,” Perkins explains. “Then finally, we ended up having me say out loud to an entire group of people [that] I have endometriosis.”

“She had questioned me to the point where I had to declare my diagnosis to a room of people who are next to me and can hear me,” Perkins continues. “And I just feel like, is that patient privacy? Like does a pharmacy tech get to look at a patient and say, ‘What is your diagnosis?’”

While Perkins notes this behavior may be expected from a pharmacist, and that she understands the issues with prescribing pain medication, she was unfamiliar with the idea of a pharmacy technician being able to ask such questions.

“Is being in line, and is requesting your medication, basically waiving your right to having a private discussion?” Perkins asks. “And does a pharmacy tech need to have…a private nature discussion with me about my diagnosis?”

“I don’t personally feel that it’s professional or appropriate for somebody who is not the doctor or the pharmacist to be asking me and questioning the validity of my medication,” she adds later in the video.

For context, a pharmacist and a pharmacy technician play two distinct roles in a pharmacy. 

“The primary distinction between both professions is the pharmacist is legally allowed to advise patients on using specific medications,” details writer Justin Shook. “In contrast, pharmacy technicians prepare and give medications with the guidance of a pharmacist.”

According to a page from Penn Foster Career School, it would seem that Perkins’ pharmacy tech overstepped their role. The site notes that, while pharmacy technicians can do things like “[receive] and [process] prescription orders” as well as “[provide] customer service and patient education,” they are not allowed to “[provide] health and wellness advice” or “[advise] patients on prescriptions.”

@itsmaggieperkins What are the guidelines around Patient privacy rights? I honestly do not know what my rights are as a patient at a pharmacy. I feel like the last few times I have interacted with my pharmacy, they have been very vocal about my private information and have questioned the validity of my need for medication. I understand that some medication‘s are high risk. I also believe that information should be handled with sensitivity. #patientadvocate #patientadvocacy #chronicpain #endometriosis ♬ original sound – Maggie Perkins 🍉

In the comments section, users agreed that this pharmacy technician went too far.

“Pharmacy tech here – can’t think of one reason why that was asked,” said a user.

“I would tell them I only discuss my med info with the pharmacist. It’s none of their business!” added another. “It’s getting crazy out there! Especially in health care.”

“A pharmacy tech has no right to ask you that. Report this pharmacy to the state,” declared a third.

The Daily Dot reached out to Perkins via email.

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*First Published: Apr 13, 2024, 12:00 pm CDT