In most of the country, pharmacies can offer rewards points, coupons, or other inducements to get you to switch prescriptions to them. Not only is this illegal in certain states, it’s also illegal to offer these incentives to customers with health insurance through Medicaid. Kmart has settled allegations from a whistleblower that it did exactly that for customers with Medicaid, and accepted co-pay coupons for brand-name drugs for them. [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?
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.
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.
Seven state attorneys general, Planned Parenthood, and the ACLU have sued to overturn the so-called “conscience” rule, which allows doctors, pharmacists, and other health care workers to refuse to perform procedures or dispense medication that conflicts with their beliefs.
His response was “Whatever, somebody needs to come deal with this because I’m about to go off…”
Next Month, the FDA will hold a public meeting to discuss whether or not they should allow certain drugs to be sold “behind-the-counter”—that is, after consultation with a pharmacist, but without the need for a prescription. If they move ahead with the plan, a new BTC category will be created, although what drugs will fall under it have not been determined.
PikaPikaChick concurs, Walgreen’s is the suck. She even wrote a letter to them, expressing the degree of their suck, which is manifest.