Rx Insurance

It was bound to happen sooner or later.  My “specialty” meds can no longer be filled at my local drug store.  Instead, for my “convenience,” I’ll have to drive 22 miles to Walgreens, instead of 3 miles to my local pharmacy.  How the &*!%$ is that convenient?!

RxLetter

Methotrexate and Cimzia are both on the list.

Now, I realize that one option is to get prescriptions through the mail, but I have heard so many horror stories about the incompetence of mail-order pharmacies that I don’t see that as a very good solution.

Furthermore, one doesn’t have to read very many pharmacy blogs to be aware that Walgreens is one of those pharmacies that have a truly horrible reputation for pushing pharmacists to do more and more work in less and less time, without enough manpower to ensure patient safety.  I guess I can be relieved that my particular meds affected by this are ones that just require slapping a label on the box.

Any suggestions?

Lost Rx

Frantic Pharmacist posts, over on his blog Counsel Me:

I don’t feel like a lot of people have the respect for prescription medication
that it warrants. And sorry, but I see NO reason why any prescription should be
‘lost.’

I agree.  There is no reason to lose a prescription.  That’s why I felt like an idiot when I did it.

My most recent medicine came, conveniently, in two bottles.  Thinking that the two separate bottles were perfect, I put one in the kitchen cabinet with all my other prescriptions, and took the other out to the car.  If it was in the car, then I’d have the option of being away from home at mealtime.

It worked great.  At least it did until the day I took the last pill out of the bottle in the kitchen and went to the garage to get some of the medicine out of the other bottle.  The bottle was gone.

I looked everywhere.  It wasn’t in the cup holder where I’d been keeping it.  It wasn’t in the center console.  It wasn’t in the glove box.  It wasn’t under the seat.  I was getting frantic.  I can’t eat without those pills!

I searched the car again.  I looked under the other seats and in the back.  That bottle was nowhere to be found.  Thinking back, I remembered where I’d last taken those pills.  I was wearing my green coat, and I also had my laptop computer.  I checked all my coat pockets.  Nothing.  I emptied my computer bag.  Still nothing.

I lost my prescription.  How can someone lose an entire bottle of pills?  What kind of idiot does that?!

I didn’t have any refills, and even if I did, it was too soon for insurance to pay.  Having no pills, I didn’t eat that day.  I spent my time looking everywhere (again) that I thought those pills might be – and a lot of places I didn’t think they could be.

It’s bad enough to have lost my pills, but I couldn’t get out of this mess without help.  Finally I phoned my doctor’s office and they phoned in a refill for me.  I was dreading my trip to the pharmacy, because those pills cost over $100 and it would be out of my own pocket.

At the pharmacy I sheepishly explained to my pharmacist that I’m an idiot.  She looked at me incredulously and exclaimed, “That’s a huge  bottle!  How could you lose it?!”

She was right.  It’s not one of those tiny prescription bottles.  This stuff stays in the manufacturer’s bottle and just gets an Rx label slapped on it.  I had no idea how I could have lost it.

I explained what had happened, and told her I realized that insurance wouldn’t pay since it was my screw-up, but I really needed those pills.  Before ringing up the sale, she worked her magic and got my insurance to cover the pills.  To me, that’s going above and beyond the call of duty.

She rang up my prescription and I signed the little electronic pad.  I then opened my purse to pay.  There, beside my wallet, was my missing prescription bottle.  It was in my purse!  I am such an idiot.

I still think there’s no excuse for losing a prescription.  It happens, though.  People aren’t perfect – not even close.

Technology in the Pharmacy

I love when technology makes life easier.  New processes and inventions come along that are so much better that nobody would dream of returning to the old way of doing things.

Bulldozers and other earth moving equipment took the place of wheelbarrows & shovels for building roads.  Executive secretaries now run word processing software on a computer instead of generating letters using typewriters and carbon paper.  Doctors offices use a scheduling database instead of the old giant scheduling books.  Western Union doesn’t have much call for telegrams now that phones are so common.  New, efficient technology replaces the old, and people are happy to make the switch because it makes their lives so much easier.

That said, I don’t think we’re there yet with e-scripts.  The general concept with electronic prescriptions is that when a doctor writes a script, that information is simultaneously sent to the pharmacy and entered in a patient’s medical record.

If pharmacists and doctors were all ecstatic over how e-scripts solve a bunch of problems and make their lives easier, maybe I’d re-think my position.  They’re not, though, so I’d rather hand-carry my prescription to the pharmacy.

  1. I know it gets to the right place if I deliver the prescription myself.
  2. I know what the prescription says if I have it in my hand.
  3. I can keep a copy for my records and can refer back to it if the instructions on the bottle of pills that I’m given doesn’t match up to what the doctor told me to take.
  4. I can tell the pharmacist when I still have half an old bottle left, so he doesn’t need to fill this new prescription from a different doctor until the old bottle is gone.
  5. The pharmacist doesn’t need to do the work of filling meds I can get OTC if the prescription is for something that’s available both ways.

Doctors can still enter prescriptions into their computerized records.  It’s simple to print the prescription instead of sending it to the pharmacy wirelessly:  same result from the doctor’s point of view, better results from mine.