Silly Me, Expecting My Mail-Order Pharmacy To Pay Attention To My Meds

Don’t expect your mail-order pharmacy to look out for you or for your health. That’s what reader Kathleen learned when her auto-refill prescription got auto-refilled, in spite of her new and exciting prescription for the same medication in a higher dose. Isn’t the point to having everything run by benevolent computers that they’re smarter than we are, and don’t make silly human errors?

Maybe we’re all just expecting too much.

After being forced by economic circumstances to choose Express Scripts, I signed up for automated refills, because I have a tendency to put things off until the last second. I thought the purpose of having things with these big, computerized behemoths was that they could keep track of everything, give us meds for less money, and “save us” from the error of stupid humans. Apparently not.

My doctor changed one of my prescriptions to a much higher dose. Her office sent the prescriptions over Express Scripts’s on-line system, then called them to make sure it was received (because they don’t trust Express Scripts). It was received, all was good on the human end.

FIVE days later–FIVE DAYS, which seems way too long, in my opinion–I receive the email that saying my prescriptions were being processed. I double checked online, and it all seemed correct. Great, right? Three days after that, medication had arrived, but it was only ONE medication, and it was the old, lower-dose pills.

It appears that, even though they *had* processed my new prescriptions, they have no system that cross-checks the names of the medications, so they went ahead and sent both of them. They sent me twice as many pills as I should have had, both the old prescription AND the new. They charged me for both, and were I a less observant person who just took the pills that showed up (and I know people like this), I might have a) taken the too-low dose and experienced problems; b) taken BOTH and passed out because of it. Plus they charged me for both of them!

It seems to me that any kind of brain would have seen that these prescriptions were for the same medication and asked the reasonable question, “Hmm, which one is the right one? I should check this out.”

I HATE them now, and feel resentful and angry every time I have to deal with them, which counteracts the effects of half of the medications I have to buy from them.

That’s why paying attention to what you take is super-important. Make sure that you have the right dosage and medication every time you get a new refill, whether you use a kindly neighborhood independent pharmacy or a big mail-order house like Caremark or Express Scripts. We can’t depend on the benevolent machines to do everything for us… yet.