A TikTok video appearing to show an elderly man being refused his medication after trying to pay for it in change has sparked outrage online.
In the video, the man – whose name is Joseph Murdocks – can be seen remonstrating a cashier at Walmart in Pahrump, Nevada.
He says: “So I can’t get my medication because you don’t take American money. Is that what you’re saying, you don’t take American money? Because that’s what it sounds like you’re claiming.
It’s American money, you give it back in change every day, what is so hard? ... Not everyone is rich, you know. Not everybody has a credit card.”
Some businesses are requiring cash payments because of the risk of Covid-19 germs lingering on coins.
But Walmart is not one of those businesses: after the outbreak of the pandemic they confirmed “cash is welcome at all of our stores”.
The video was posted by @thrist101, or Devan Dylan, who filmed the video while waiting in line at the pharmacy.
It prompted a backlash that didn’t end on TikTok. Several Google reviews of the Walmart pharmacy in Pahrump now reference the incident.
Brea DeDeux wrote “Walmart makes millions of dollars everyday... you would think their company has a better policy when dealing with elderly customers that rely on them for prescriptions. You’re too good for change?”
Richard Lawson wrote “Absolutely disgusting. This Walmart refuses medication to elderly people who had to resort to paying with change due to unfortunate financial situations.”
Lauren Stanaland added “definitely don’t come to this pharmacy because they’re not for the people”.
The video was seen by some on TikTok as a further indictment of the US healthcare system.
People who cannot afford to pay for their medical costs are frequently forced to rely on others’ goodwill for help: a third of the money raised on GoFundMe is spent on medical expenses.
Walmart has been contacted for comment and indy100 will update you if we receive a response.