Back to my initial question – if your pharmacist tells you they don't have any oxycodone, are they telling you the truth?
Amy Pavuk, a reporter with the Orlando Sentinal, spoke with Paul Doering, a professor at the University of Florida's College of Pharmacy. He told her that when pharmacists can't or are not comfortable filling a prescription, they take the path of least resistance. "They will simply wash their hands of the situation by saying 'I'm sorry, we don't have this,' Doering said, “Whether you do or don't have it, [the customer] will never know."
What You Can Do
Although there is no way to guarantee you won't find yourself in this situation, there are a few things you can do that may help minimize the possibility.
If possible, use only one pharmacy for all of your prescriptions.
Be honest about your medical and prescription history. Pharmacists can check your prescription history in your state's prescription-drug-monitoring database. If they find that you've been dishonest, you will become suspect and they may refuse to fill your prescription.
Get to know your pharmacist and let him/her get to know you. This is often easier to do with a small, privately-owned pharmacy rather than a big chain pharmacy.
Watch your refill dates and don't try to refill an opioid medication early. It will only raise suspicions – and you won't get your medication early. Refills of controlled substances are strictly regulated.
Have you had trouble filling a prescription for oxycodone in the past year? (There was a true oxycodone shortage in 2009 but that was not related to this current problem.) If so, what did your pharmacist tell you? Do you live in Florida or another state?
Allen, G. (2011, March 02). The 'oxy express': Florida's drug abuse epidemic. NPR.
Pavuk, A. (2012, September 29). Rx for danger: Pain patients decry oxycodone shortage, but DEA says there isn't one. Orlando Sentinel