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Excuse my Language

March 11, 2013

I was all set to refill & pick up my insulin on Friday, but when the storm that was supposed to drop 2-4″ of snow dropped about 12″, I had to change my plans.  I scheduled my pickup for Saturday in NH.  I have done this before without incident, and was not worried about it.

Definitely a Need

Definitely a Need

There are so many things I wanted to complete on Saturday, and even though I had enough time, of course it didn’t get done.  I spent most of the morning hovering around 80, and therefore feeling low.  (Remember this tidbit later.)  I set my temp basal so I could go XC skiing with mom, then set off to the pharmacy.  I use the Walgreens app to refill my prescriptions, and sometimes they email me and sometimes they do not.  I told the girl who I was and she said they had nothing for me.  I told her that I sent the prescription through the night before and that it was supposed to be ready 2 hours earlier.  She then “informed” me that my insurance has changed the policy and they only allow my prescriptions to be filled through a mail order pharmacy. (Informed is in quotes because I believe inform implies that she was nice.) This was the first I had heard of this, and with tears welling up in my eyes I asked her if they can do that without notification?  “Uuuuh, yes.  Call your insurance,” is all the bitch said to me.  I tried calling my insurance, but remember, it’s Saturday.  I walked out of the pharmacy with tears rolling down my face.

Now, I’m not saying that this is your fault bitch, because I know that it’s not.  But when you tell a patient that the medicine they NEED is no longer available to them, have some courtesy!  It was obvious I was not aware of this policy change, and I don’t know what to do! SHOW COMPASSION. UNDERSTANDING. SYMPATHY. OFFER TO HELP.  I am not a medical professional and even though I communicate with medical professionals all the time, it doesn’t mean that I can make it work on a Saturday when the insurance office is closed.

That night I saw a friend who is a pharmacist and I explained the story to her.  I think she was ready to rip this woman’s head off as well.  She told me that whenever something like this happens, she looks at what the medical history is, what the prescription is for, and what would the side effects be if the patient cannot get this medication.  She told me she’d never send a patient away who says they have no more, and that she’d give you enough to last until Monday when insurance & doctors can be reached again.  Thank you for restoring my faith.  Also, I want to go back.

I called insurance at 9:00 this morning, and the woman explained that no, they don’t require a mail order pharmacy.  What they want is a 90 day supply rather than 30, so my prescription needs to be re-written.  She over-rode it for today, and I’ll be able to pick up insulin around noon.  I will be getting a new prescription from my endo so that I don’t have to experience this again. 

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8 Comments leave one →
  1. March 11, 2013 11:52 AM

    OH dear gosh. Some places/people just don’t pay attention anymore. Sorry you went through all of that. I know from personal experience that it’s very nerve wracking.

  2. mom permalink
    March 11, 2013 11:53 AM

    Not like out hometown pharmacist. He always works with us on insurance, medications, carrying items we specifically like. Much more personal than sending a person with diabeltes home on a week end with no insulin, compassion, or thought as to how this would affect you.

  3. March 11, 2013 12:31 PM

    Yikes! I’ve had pharmacy people be rude to me before but never one that was so unhelpful!

    Even if your insurance had required you to do mail-order (which mine does), since you were out of insulin (i.e. life-sustaining medication) she should have called the pharmacy service line of your insurance for you to request a vacation/emergency refill instead of basically turning you out.

    Things like that piss me off.

    • March 11, 2013 12:47 PM

      Well, I should’ve asked to speak to the head pharmacist and they probably could’ve helped me. But the effect of feeling low for so long had me in an emotional mess, so I just left before the tears became uncontrollable.

  4. March 11, 2013 1:22 PM

    I think your mom may be on to something. Growing up, I always used one of the local small-town pharmacies and not one of the giant chains. When I went to college it was the same thing, I stuck with the local guy. Now, I rely on the chains (mostly because of convenience), and the service is definitely not the same. They do what the computers say they are authorized to do, with no thought-process whatsoever.

    The local guy will give you a refill on a Saturday even if he knows you’re out of refills, expecting that it will be called in on Monday. The local guy won’t say – when questioned – that the reason you’re getting a round off-white pill instead of the square purple one is because “the manufacturer changed it” (referring to my son’s Rx, not my own). Yes, there are benefits to the chains too (especially for frequent travelers), but the local-guy usually reigns supreme. It shouldn’t be that way.

    I’m sorry you had to go through this.

  5. March 11, 2013 5:28 PM

    That’s awful. Like you, I probably would have walked out also rather than stand in the store and cry. I do think you should speak with the “head pharmacist” about the incident. Maybe it’ll help the next person who needs a kind word.

  6. March 12, 2013 4:21 PM

    Grrrr, that really sucks!!!! (I feel like I should leave a better comment, but really I’m so upset for you this is all I can think of to say!)

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