In one month, the price of your generic prescription doubles. The first person at your insurance company says “Oops, that’s a mistake,” but a second person tells you that the mistake was actually made when you were charged the original, lower price. Meanwhile, the insurance company’s website tells you that the lower price is the correct one — and none of these people actually seem to give a damn. [More]
Giant drug manufacturer GlaxoSmithKline announced today that it intends to stop paying doctors to prescribe more of the company’s drugs, a move that could possibly entice other large pharma companies to do the same. [More]
If you don’t mind trading your shopping history and personal data for free stuff or discounts, loyalty card programs offer some great benefits if you were going to be loyal to a business in the first place. The question is, how much of your privacy are you willing to give up for some discounts? [More]
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? [More]
We’ve covered the topic of low-cost generic medicines in the past, helping a reader save more than $300 in out-of-pocket expenses every year by filling his prescriptions at a discount store and not using his health insurance. That’s just one person, though. Can this plan work for everyone? Our sibling publication Consumer Reports deployed their nationwide network of secret shoppers to find out.
Jeff takes the generic form of Adderall, a mild stimulant prescribed for Attention Deficit Disorder. His health insurance uses prescription benefit company Caremark, which CVS owns, so he can pick up the 90-day refills that normally would go through mail order at a retail CVS pharmacy. Yay, how convenient! Only he ran into a problem the last time he needed to get more pills. The pharmacy technician demanded photo ID in order to drop off his prescription. To pick up the bottle of 90 pills, sure: it’s a controlled substance. But to drop off the prescription? [More]
Amanda was exhausted, after dealing with her mother’s post-surgery care and bringing her home from the hospital. Neither of them anticipated that the biggest problem would that day be with getting her post-discharge prescriptions filled. One of the medications was more obscure than she had imagined. They visited three different pharmacies in their rural area and were ready to give up hope when they finally visited the pharmacy at the local Meijer. They had the drugs! For $250! Oh, no.
Zolpidem, the active ingredient in prescription sleep aids Ambien, Edluar, and Zolpimist, is apparently leaving some users — especially women — groggy and impaired in the morning. Thus, the FDA is requiring the manufacturers of these drugs to lower the current recommended doses. [More]
Last month, we wrote about how a number of pharmacists at chains like CVS, Walgreens, and Target were being pressured by management to put customers into auto-refill programs, which led to some customers being enrolled in the program without their approval. Now Target says that it no longer measures pharmacists’ success by how many people they place into auto-refills. [More]
Comparison shopping can save you a lot of money, and the difference can be dramatic in the case of prescription drugs. Susan ventured to CVS to fill her first prescriptions after leaving her former employer’s insurance, and was shocked to see that a medication she was used to paying a $10 copay for would cost $54.99 out of her own wallet. This certainly isn’t the biggest prescription sticker shock we’ve ever heard of (or experienced ourselves) but it did motivate Susan to shop around. That’s when she learned that loyalty to a pharmacy doesn’t really pay all that much. She left CVS behind, and now her bank account and her soul are much happier. [More]
Since we began following the stories of CVS pharmacists who appear to have been pressured into automatically refilling customers’ prescriptions, regardless of whether or not a refill has been requested, we’ve received enough e-mails from from both customers and pharmacists at a number of companies who say these are not isolated incidents. [More]
CVS has repeatedly denied accusations that the drugstore chain pressures its pharmacists into refilling customers’ prescriptions without their consent, but new documents show that the company expects pharmacists to push pharmacy customers into ReadyFill, its auto-refill program. [More]
Since we began covering the allegations that CVS pharmacists are being pressured into automatically filling prescriptions without customers’ consent, we’ve heard from a few readers who have experienced this problem with their pharmacy — not just CVS. We’d like to see just how widespread the issue is, and that’s where y’all come in. [More]
After leaked e-mails seemed to indicate that at least some people at CVS have been pressuring pharmacists to refill customers’ prescriptions — without the patient’s consent — in order to meet sales quotas, federal and state regulators have begun investigating the drugstore chain. [More]
Researchers have been looking into the amount of prescriptions that go unfilled for kids on Medicaid and they’ve found some pretty startling results: Almost 17,000 or 22% of prescriptions at two clinics went unfilled. Those findings mirror other studies along the same lines for adults, which have found discrepancies from 16% to 24% of those medications never getting filled.
In all of the chatter over our post about prescriptions at the vet’s office, many people commented that this kind of conflict is exactly why human doctors don’t sell us the medications we need from right behind the counter. The thing is, there is a kind of human doctor who does just that. I speak, of course, of the optometrist: dispenser of contact lenses and crusher of dreams.
What happens when your mail-order prescriptions keep on coming, automatically refilling month after month? If you pass away, your family might just find a cache worth $30,000 in unopened, expired meds, and give it to a local pharmacist to deal with, as happened recently in New York.
Nearly 19 million Americans took advantage of a coupon or manufacturer’s discount on prescriptions last year. But what many of those people may not have known is that, while they did pay less for brand name pills, they could have gotten a generic for even less.