Just a couple comments on Tara’s situation. Firstly, check that the pharmacist doesn’t have a little Vicodin habit of his or her own. Probably not, but I’ve lost all faith in humanity.
Secondly, this situation is deplorable. If a veterinarian at an academic research facility intentionally withheld post-op painkillers from animal subjects larger than a rat– especially a dog, cat, or monkey– without a justifiable experimental purpose**, I have little doubt that said veterinarian just set in motion a series of events that would result in termination of his or her employment. I find it shameful that her relative had to go through this.
If you’re ticked off too, read Terra Sigillata’s excellent post on the responsibilities of a pharmacist.
**specifically, violating the experimental protocol of the principal investigator, and the animal welfare guidelines established and implemented by relevant oversight committees, e.g. IRB and ACUC.