If you choose to use auto-refill for your prescriptions at a chain pharmacy, be very, very careful if you move, or if you just happen to get one refill at a different store than usual. G. learned the hard way that Target, at least, will refill your prescription, fail to call you, and if you don’t happen to pick up your refill within two weeks: too bad for you; you’ve lost that refill! [More]
Publix wants people with diabetes to become their longterm customers, so they’re giving away 30-day supplies of generic metformin in 500 mg, 800 mg, and 1000 mg dosages, with unlimited refills. Although Publix would love it if you subsequently get all your prescriptions filled there, it’s not a requirement for the free drug. [More]
Walgreens told Bloomberg News that the company is looking into selling fresh food and prepared meals–things like salads, cut fruits, and sandwiches. From RetailWire:
Details of the program were sketchy, including when it would launch. [...] The drugstore chain has been in talks with food manufacturers, mentioning Unilever, Nestle and Sara Lee, about creating private-label and branded products for the initiative. [More]
Rob’s local Kroger pharmacy screwed up the prescription on his kid’s TamiFlu. Rob caught the error before any harm was done, and he’s not the confrontational type. In fact, he’s wondering whether he should just drop the whole matter. Here’s your chance to convince him otherwise. [More]
G.’s young son was recently ill with H1N1, but no pharmacy in the city where he lives had liquid Tamiflu in stock. (Even the federal government released its stockpile not long ago.) He writes that nearly every pharmacy he called turned him down. Then he learned that the liquid can be made from Tamiflu capsules by pharmacists, or even by parents at home. Why didn’t the pharmacy staff, or his doctor, tell him this?
CVS pharmacies apparently don’t need consent to enroll customers in ReadyFill, a program that signs customers up for the maximum allowable number of prescription refills and then robocalls them when their drugs are ready. According to a veteran pharmacist, the automatic enrollments began after CVS’ corporate office set specific performance targets that would affect bonuses for managers and pharmacists. Inside, the pharmacist tells us what ReadyFill is, how it works, and how to escape those annoying robocalls…
Remember the class-action lawsuit against the makers of cold-and-flu-preventing magic potion Airborne? Airborne claimed that it could prevent or shorten colds and flus, without any actual scientific evidence to back those claims up.
We have also shared with all of our pharmacy departments that this is an unacceptable practice and should not be repeated. At Sam’s Club we always have the health and welfare of our customers and members in mind with everything we do and we deeply regret that this incident occurred.
It took three calls from CVS’ automated reminder service for me to realize what was going on: CVS Pharmacy was refilling our prescriptions without our asking for them to be refilled, and then their automated dialer was calling us to notify us that we had a prescription waiting. Nobody in my family requested to have a prescription refilled, yet three times CVS called us to tell us to come and pick up our prescription.
Chris has to take the immunosuppressant drug Prograf because of a kidney transplant, and it costs nearly $300 for a one month supply. Yesterday, he found out that someone at CVS corporate has instructed his local pharmacist to start billing him directly, apparently because his secondary insurer hasn’t been paying for nearly two years.
CVS stores across the nation regularly stock expired medicine, milk, and baby formula, according to a damning union report. This isn’t the first time CVS has been caught stocking dangerous goods. Last year, New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo threatened a suit after his office caught the pharmacy selling goods over a year past their expiration dates. CVS claims that, despite investing over $160 million in a “perpetual inventory management” system, it’s nearly impossible to keep expired items off the shelf because they simply have too much stuff.
Back in April, reader B. e-mailed the Consumerist tipline about a change to his health insurance plan’s prescription drug schedule. It raised a drug that he’s taken for years, the generic version of Prozac, to a different schedule—more than tripling B.’s co-pay, from $8 to $25.
If you get your prescriptions filled electronically, always double-check the dosage. Kimberly’s prescription was recently screwed up somewhere between the physician filling out the order online and Costco’s pharmacist receiving it. Luckily for her, the Costco pharmacist was incredibly helpful and fixed the problem for her, so Kimberly didn’t have to waste her copay or deal with the issue on her own. He also explained, however, that the current state of electronic prescriptions is a big mess.
Whether it’s rational or not, there’s something very satisfying when your pharmacist acknowledges you personally—it makes you feel like this expert you’re placing such trust in takes the job, and you, seriously. In our experience it’s a rare thing to see from pharmacists at chain drugstores, but Mike just had a great encounter with his Walgreens pharmacist when he moved to a new town.
Reader Pattie got the wrong pills from CVS and luckily, she noticed before taking them. She has no idea what they were, but is wondering if this sort of mistake is common.
Nearly all of Houston has no power and most has no water. Even though my upstairs ceiling caved in, my manager at Walgreens said “you’re scheduled to work and are expected to be here.”
His response was “Whatever, somebody needs to come deal with this because I’m about to go off…”
The WSJ Health Blog says that pharmacy benefit managers are marking up the amount they charge your insurance company for generic drugs and keeping the difference. Often the mark-up isn’t too severe, but the WSJ has one example where the difference was over a hundred dollars.