Why would a doctor write a prescription on an ongoing medication for four weeks, no refills, then ask the patient to return in six weeks?

I can’t just punch an Rx number into the pharmacy’s phone to order my refill when there aren’t any refills.  I have to leave a voice message.  Then the people at the pharmacy have to listen to the message, look information up in their computer, and send a fax to my doctor’s office.  At the doctor’s office they do their thing and return the fax to the pharmacy.  Multiply that for numerous patients.

  • More work for the patient
  • More work for the pharmacy staff
  • More work for the doctor’s staff
  • More dead trees to generate all that fax paper

After a ton of excess paperwork, the prescription finally gets filled in two days instead of two hours.  It would be easier for everyone if the doctor would just write for the prescription to last until the follow-up appointment.  Allow one refill!

What do you think?
Would you just take the rx, knowing about the upcoming hassle,
or would you ask your doctor to allow one refill to last until your next appointment?