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Damn right we have a drug problem.... - Blather. Rants. Repeat.
A Møøse once bit my sister ...
Damn right we have a drug problem....

Oh, sure, there are plenty of stories about the illegal ones-and even those are getting weird.  Just today, it was reported that cops from our town busted an Ecstasy lab on one of the richest streets in the whole area on Saturday, while sheriff's deputies one town over

arrested an ice-cream truck driver, after accusing him of screaming at people and wearing nothing but his underwear while impaired by drugs.

Deputies Lee Richard and Daniel Harris responded to Emily Court in the Town of Clarence on Friday evening after individuals at the scene had complained about the operator’s bizarre behavior.

Fortunately, he was arrested without incident, and was reported to be in good humor.

Barum bum.

My problems are coming more from medications of the legal kind. I have three, which I take one of each every morning, and which helpfully are refilled on 30, 60 and 90 day cycles just to keep me confused.  The first confusion came this morning, when I stumbled out, put my coffee on to heat, and poured out what I thought were the three pills.  Only they weren't. One, I'd just gotten refilled on Friday, and it looks almost identical in size and colour to one of the other two. But one has always had an Arabic number on it, while the lookalike has had a Greek letter.  Instead, I was looking at two Number Fives.

No, dammit. I said number FIVE.

Turned out I'd poured out two of the same pill from two bottles- the almost empty one and the one I'd just refilled.  They change the shapes and colors of these pills several times a year, so it's hard to keep up. I figure it's just a matter of time before I'm into one of these:

What an evil colour. How do they expect the fogies to find their Viagras in that?


But I wasn't done with the prescription, oh no.  Because it once again came with no refills, and I have no idea why. I get my annual checkup in January, and that's when my two long-time scrips used to get rewritten for the whole coming year.  When I added the third this January, that was originally written with no refills- and the other two also showed up that way.  (One change is they now submit them electronically to your pharmacy of choice, so I don't even see the order until I pick up and pay for the first fill.)  That new scrip, the monthly one, had to be renewed by phone at least three times before he extended it out a few, and the 60-day job also took two refills before I now finally have it automatic for the rest of the year. But the one I just refilled- which came back for the third straight time with "no refills" marked on it- produced a call from the Doctor today.  Apparently he only authorized it because I was out of them, and I will need to go in again before he'll refill it again (which, fortunately, won't be for 90 days).

But the question, it begs: WHY?  I've been on the stuff for years now. It does its job. It's something I can objectively check anytime (and do have checked fairly often) to be sure it's working. But now someone- the Doctor? the Insurer? River Song?- doesn't think I'm safe with the shit for more than nine months.

Not that I don't like the guy, but it just seems a waste of everybody's time.  Maybe after the next election, they can fix Obamacare in a practical way to make this all easier. I even have my preferred ticket:

7 comments or Leave a comment
glenmarshall From: glenmarshall Date: July 28th, 2015 02:57 am (UTC) (Link)
A short answer for the doc re-visit is that about 1/3 of all front-office activity is prescription refills. They do it for free, so the doc needs to ring the cash register every once in a while to pay them.
xiphias From: xiphias Date: July 28th, 2015 12:00 pm (UTC) (Link)
I've been using one of those pill organizers for perhaps over five years now, and I'm 41. So since I was 35, plus or minus. Mine's clear, though, not blue.

I can now only get a 30 supply of my generic lamatrogine, because it's no longer on my insurance's "preferred" list, even though it used to be. It's still covered, just not preferred.

No reason given as to WHY -- it's a cheap generic, and is the most effective med out there for bipolar II, and it's safe. It's got every single characteristic an insurance company looks for in a preferred drug -- it works, it's cheap, and there's nothing cheaper out there. But it's not preferred.

Medical insurance companies are incomprehensible.
warriorsavant From: warriorsavant Date: July 28th, 2015 07:00 pm (UTC) (Link)
I love hearing about medicine in the US - it reinforces why I stay here. Not saying don't have much our own silliness, but much less so. For most things, I'm fine for refilling out for a year. After that, usually want to see the patient. Sometimes I get faxes from the pharmacy requesting a refill for someone I haven't seen in 2-, 3-, or more years. Uh, no.
yesididit From: yesididit Date: July 29th, 2015 01:37 am (UTC) (Link)
you do know that you can request the doctor to give you a 90 day supply prescription. you dont have to settle for 30 or 60 if you dont want. but if you dont ask or demand, the dr writes whatever he wants. and you can ask or demand a years worth of refills be included in the prescription. but again, if you say nothing, its drs choice.

greenquotebook From: greenquotebook Date: July 30th, 2015 03:13 am (UTC) (Link)
Tell your doc to write the script for a 90-day supply if that's what your pharmacy-by-mail will fill (that's what mine does), and make sure that he gives you enough refills to get you through till your next appointment. The number of times I had to remind my neuro to write the script properly is staggering.

Another issue might be the mail order pharmacy. Mine wouldn't autofill one particular script because the drug is on a certain formulary - not as stringent as the controlled substance list that requires a special prescription pad, but it's the same idea - that prevents them from automatically refilling it, so I have to be careful to place the order on my own when I see my supply dwindling. Look into that as a possible issue.

Also, insurance might not automatically pay for the drug due to costs and if they don't approve it right away, it won't be dispensed. I'd call the pharmacy and see precisely what they have to say. If it really is that the script ran out of refills, then it's all on your doc (and you) to make sure it's properly written to cover you between visits. I'm a veteran of these mail order prescription systems (since 1992) so if you need help ferreting out the real problem, call me and I'll help any way I can.
captainsblog From: captainsblog Date: July 30th, 2015 09:42 am (UTC) (Link)
They don't make us use mail order. All three are at Wegmans- and they've actually automated the "you're out of refills" process so it's no less convenient than when I DO have them, long as I don't wait until the last day to call in the renewal.

Why don't I put them on auto-refill? Ah, another peeve. I used to, but found that if you don't pick up within a few days of them filling it, they return it to stock. Which can happen if you forget a day, or pull from your Secret Stash because you almost forgot (I keep a day or two of everything in my gym bag just in case I forget, upping that whenever I travel), and when you notice it's run out, it's been more than the Number of Days and you have to wait- sometimes more than a few minutes- for them to re-refill the damn thing.

Edited at 2015-07-30 09:44 am (UTC)
greenquotebook From: greenquotebook Date: July 30th, 2015 11:20 am (UTC) (Link)
I resisted using mail order forever, but it really is a huge convenience for long term scripts. Three months at a time, it's cheaper overall, auto-refills... it just shows up at your door, no muss, no fuss. It gets around all of the problems you just outlined. No worries about running out, no worries about them pulling it and putting it back in stock. The issues I have with Medco are over the particular medication I take, because it's very pricey. Other than that, they've been great to me. I just got a package with my allergy meds in it, a full week before I would have even bothered to order it myself. The only potential issue is if you're tight on cash, because autoship also comes with autocharge in most cases (they will ship meds along with a bill if the cost is under a certain amount, but my expensive meds need to be paid at the time of shipment).
7 comments or Leave a comment