Refills

Imagine:

You see your doctor; he writes a prescription.  You fill it, take all the pills, get a refill, take the pills…  Simple.

Then you see another doctor for something else and are given a new prescription.  You fill it and start taking these pills, too.  Since you didn’t fill your prescriptions at the same time, they don’t need to be refilled at the same time.  Now you’re at the pharmacy twice a month.

You have a follow-up with your doctor and he writes an additional prescription as well as increases one of the existing meds to three times a day instead of twice a day.  Now you have two prescriptions to refill on one day, and another to refill on a different day.  Except that you still have part of a bottle left from when the one med was bid, so really you run out on three different days.  Next your tid rx is reduced to bid, so a two month supply lasts you three months (and the pharmacist thinks you’re not taking your pills regularly).

Now you’re at the pharmacy so often that everyone who works there knows you.  When they glance up and see that it’s you standing in line, they smile, “Oh, hi,” go grab your bag off the shelf, and ring up your purchase without you having to ever say your name.  They show you their latest knitting projects and ask about your kids.

And you’re given another prescription.  And another.  You need a separate appointment calendar just to keep track of when the various pills need to be refilled.

I never really let it get that bad; I gave up way before it got to that point.  My refills usually all get picked up at the same time and I just dump the remains of the old bottle into the new one.

Last night I got curious and dumped everything out to count.  In theory (if you go by the dates on the bottles) I should refill everything by next Monday.  My mtx bottle is empty.  The folic acid will run out on Monday.  But there are thirteen days of one med, seven days of another, and 48 days of yet another (guess I don’t need to fill that one this month)!

My cupboard is FULL of prescription bottles!  I’ve heard of people whose insurance company won’t pay for medicines more often than every thirty days.  I’m so glad that my insurance pays without squawking so that I can fill everything in one trip (even if there’s a bottle that isn’t empty yet) instead of making me visit the pharmacy weekly.

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4 thoughts on “Refills

  1. I’m lucky in this, I think. My medical care is through the Veteran’s Administration, so I’m able to refill my prescriptions online — and then they’re mailed to my house. As long as I remember to get online and request refills, all is well. If I forget, however, I end up making a 60-mile drive down the mountain to the local VA medical center, where I wait for my prescription to be filled for two to four hours. Having to do that once is enough to learn a lesson!

  2. I’m lucky because my Mom is a pharmacy technician, so she brings all of my prescriptions home for me and I pick them up on the weekends. But I also have to refill at different times throughout the month, which does get irritating.

  3. Yay – something that works better in the UK at last! I too can request my repeat prescriptions on line and then just pick them up once a month. If I get a new thing to add to the list they’re quite happy for me to combine it into the monthly pick-up even if it means carrying some over. None of my pills quite ‘match’ as far as monthly finishing times go, but it doesn’t matter … so long as I remember to renew. So THANK YOU – you just reminded me to do that!

  4. I haven’t checked if I can do the refill orders online; that would be ideal. I’ve finally figured out that I can phone in the refill requests and have everything ready to pick up after I visit my doctor. Once I had to day, “Sorry, that one is being discontinued. Please fill this new one instead.” They were nice about it, but I felt bad for the extra work it created.

    Not sure I’d be comfortable with mail-order prescriptions. I buy a lot of stuff online, but I want to see a 3D pharmacist.

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