boxofdelights: (Default)
[personal profile] boxofdelights
So, I have high blood pressure. I take a high dose ACE inhibitor and diuretic twice a day. I also take prescription potassium, to counteract the effects of the diuretic. Everything to do with doctors fills me with a surly and powerful Idonwanna, but I got a new doctor in January, who wrote my prescriptions and told me to come back in six months for a physical.

Also in January, the grocery store near me, where I had been getting prescriptions filled, closed, but not before I got a 90-supply of both drugs.

Monday, I realize that I am almost out. I call another pharmacy and ask if they can transfer the prescription from the defunct grocery store pharmacy. He assures me that they can. I tell him the names and dosages of the drugs. He tells me that they got swamped with a whole bunch of orders, so he might not get to mine today, but they will be filled in the order they were received.

Tuesday, nothing.

Wednesday, I call the pharmacy to ask if my prescriptions are in. The potassium is in, she says, but they are waiting for doctor authorization on the other. The thought does cross my mind that it is odd that only one of the prescriptions, written by the same person at the same time, needs to be reauthorized. Apparently my Idonwanna covers not only talking to doctors, pharmacists, and insurance companies, but also thinking about them, because the though crosses my mind and immediately vanishes.

Thursday, I call the pharmacy to ask if my prescriptions are in. The potassium is in, he says, but they are waiting for doctor authorization on the other. I decide to call the doctor and beg. I get my prescription vial. It says I have one more refill. I call the pharmacy back. "Can I just check what doctor you are requesting a prescription authorization from?" I ask. "Because my bottle says I have one more refill." He reads me the name of a doctor who left town more than two years ago. That office is never going to call him back, because the whole office shut down more than two years ago. "That is an old prescription. Can you get the prescription from Dr. [Current-doctor]?" He assures me cheerily that they can.

Friday, I get an automated message from the pharmacy alerting my that my prescription is ready for pickup. I drive there. I ask for my prescriptions. The potassium is in, he says, but they can't get the other until Wednesday. I stare at him for a while. He says they don't have enough to fill the prescription, but offers to check whether they have any at all. "Please do," I say. They don't. I don't have enough pills to take me to Wednesday. He offers to call the other stores in his chain in the area, to see if they can get me enough to tide me over until Wednesday. "Yes, please do that," I say.

I did eventually get a six-day supply of my ACE inhibitor/diuretic from another store without incident, except that when the second pharmacist said that I had to come back to his store on Wednesday to get the rest, I asked him to confirm that, because the first guy was certain that I had to get the rest from the first store. "Let me finish," said the second guy. "We don't have enough pills to fill your prescription. We will get them in Wednesday. This is a loaner. We are loaning you six days' worth of pills. Since we are the ones billing your insurance company, you have to complete the transaction here." I said that made perfect sense. He apologized for the inconvenience. I assured him that I did not mind never ever going back to the first store.

Does this kind of thing happen to everybody? Is it me?

Date: 2017-05-06 04:01 am (UTC)
sasha_feather: Retro-style poster of skier on pluto.   (Default)
From: [personal profile] sasha_feather
It happens to everyone. It's so frustrating; I'm sorry you had to deal with that.

Date: 2017-05-06 05:11 am (UTC)
elf: Dust sprite being squished by rock (Keep Trying)
From: [personal profile] elf
It's not just you.

My husband spent five days arguing with his pharmacy to get his pain meds, wherein they insist that they didn't have authorization for him, he called his doctor, she gave authorization, back and forth - he eventually figured out that they have another client, Firstname I. Lastname, just like him.

They swore, over and over, that there's no way they could've mixed up his order with someone else with the same name. (Very common first & last names; there were five Firstname Lastnames in our city last time we saw a physical phone book.)

There is no incentive for pharmacies to avoid these mixups, because there's never any penalty to them when it happens. Customers get screwed out of their medications - usually that's an inconvenience, sometimes it means agony; in rare cases it means hospitalization or death - but finding the chain of errors is so complicated and difficult that there is almost never a lawsuit no matter how bad it gets.

Date: 2017-05-06 05:39 am (UTC)
kate_schaefer: (Default)
From: [personal profile] kate_schaefer
Yes, it happens to everyone. I had a chain of crap like that just last month, though with a prescription that I don't take regularly; I just have to have it on hand in case of certain allergic reactions.

Date: 2017-05-06 01:46 pm (UTC)
the_siobhan: It means, "to rot" (Default)
From: [personal profile] the_siobhan
Judging by what I read on my f-list it happens to all Americans.

You folks put up with so much.

Date: 2017-05-06 03:01 pm (UTC)
malnpudl: (Default)
From: [personal profile] malnpudl
If it's Walgreen's, it happens to everyone. *perpetually peeved*

My local Costco pharmacy is wonderful. They put me through almost none of this. However, my thrice-accursed insurance plan decided to punish me fiscally for using anything but Walgreen's, so I switched -- and I remain eternally resentful.

Point being: There might be a good one near you. Problem is, you have to try them until you find out. And then deal with transfers. It's all a royal pain.

Other point being: Much sympathy!

Date: 2017-05-06 07:54 pm (UTC)
snippy: Lego me holding book (Default)
From: [personal profile] snippy
It's not just you. But it rarely happens to me if I make a complaint to the state Pharmacy Board after the first mistake.

Date: 2017-05-06 08:01 pm (UTC)
muninnhuginn: (Default)
From: [personal profile] muninnhuginn
Happens to lots of folk. Daughter goes to get her really common prescription refilled every six months and always gets it part filled and has to go back later on in the week for the rest. Since we're in the UK, this is not the insurance companies or the GP it's merely the pharmacies keeping insufficient stocks of even common drugs. Fortunately we live in a small city and it's merely an inconvenience.

Thinking about it, I did spend an entire day traipsing around town for a really common migraine medicine for her too. That wasn't even on a prescription. No-one had sufficient stock.

So, I feel your pain, and am still heartily thankful we are just about hanging onto the NHS, even with all its faults.

Date: 2017-05-07 07:11 pm (UTC)
bibliofile: Fan & papers in a stack (from my own photo) (Default)
From: [personal profile] bibliofile
This. All examples of how companies have adopted the "just-in-time" supply model. Never mind that it started as a way to make manufacturing more efficient, not with stuff that directly affects patients who need their goddam medication.

Date: 2017-05-07 12:07 am (UTC)
jesse_the_k: Pill Headed Stick Person (pill head)
From: [personal profile] jesse_the_k
I'm so sorry this shit is happening to so many of us!

Date: 2017-05-07 01:23 am (UTC)
firecat: red panda looking happy (Default)
From: [personal profile] firecat

Also, unsolicited Nonbinary Answer Syndrone alert: I wonder if your doctor knows about triamterene (a generic, potassium-sparing diuretic)?


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