questionsmail order prescription screw ups...

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I have had the same issues with local pharmacies. My daughter had a rx for a pain reliever (Tramadol, was not a scheduled drug at the time) after knee surgery. I went to refill it and they said they would only refill with 10 pills. Rx was for 30. I called the dr. and he wrote another rx and faxed it over. After, I just called the dr. when I needed the rx refilled.

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I have not had any problems like that but I use a small local pharmacy so that might be the reason. I refuse to deal with CVS. I have no problem ordering from Canada or Israel for things and my doctor has written the rx's for me to do it.

I don't know if pharmacies are just covering their butts or what and I wonder how much of this is because of the insurance industry. It's exhausting.

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We use Express-Scripts as well. They sometimes tell us "can't read the rx" and "tried to contact your doctor". Oddly enough, we NEVER have a problem contacting the doc.

I think it's a money saving plan - don't fill something from time to time just to save the company money and make you want to pull your hair out.

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@mtm2: I can't pull my hair out, I lost it all from the stress of my last job, hehehe.

I think the worst part of dealing with these companies is their inability (lack of interest) in even feigning care for the customer. I've heard every excuse known to man and more often than not, the legitimacy of the excuse is laughable before the rep or supervisor can finish saying it. For example I was told today that a script that was supposed to be mailed on 5/31 was cancelled and the script marked expired (despite it only be 3 mnths old,) two days before the order was to be filled because they received a new script from my Dr on 6/14. So she figured I'd buy her BS & just forget that they arbitrarily expired the script, that 6/14 is 2+ weeks after prior was cancelled & it was only 3 mnths old.

I use a local chain pharmacy (Duane Reade) for one time or quick fill prescriptions. Rarely have any issues because those scripts are for small quantities and usually pretty cheap (in comparison) drugs.

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My advice: stick with your small locally-owned and operated independent pharmacist---avoid the big chains and mail-order companies like the plague.

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I used Drugstore.com for years and never had any issues. But I would get a written script from my Dr and mail it in to them myself. I then managed everything online. These days I have been using my local Giant grocery store because you earn gas points on all purchases, including prescriptions and it all adds up. Good luck!

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Unfortunately that's not an option for many people, depending on the medications they are on. Local pharmacies don't fill multiple months at discounted rates. Even with insurance, I pay $12,000/year for one medicine I am on. If I filled it locally I'd be looking at something north of $25,000/year. Using stores like drugstore.com, Target, Wallmart, Pathmark, etc aren't options when you have insurance and need to get discounted rates. I'm counting the days until I turn 65. Of course if the republicans have anything to say about it, medicare won't exist by the time I am eligible.

Drug companies, pharmacies, insurance companies are a total scam. Sure you can get your medications from overseas but you're playing roulette with your life.

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Never had that problem. I use a local Mom-and-Pop pharmacy. The hassle from a mail-order pharmacy doesn't seem to be worth the small savings IMHO.

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@mschauber: Have you contacted the drug manufacturer directly? You might be surprised at the financial help many of them are willing to provide to assist you in getting your medications at reduced cost. A lot of it hinges on knowing who (and HOW) to ask.

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Hmmm... I just came back here to read the new posts and discovered that mine never made it from 11 hours ago... The gist:

I can get an Rx and up to one refill at a local pharmacy (my local CVS), after which my drug plan (union welfare fund) makes me go mail order (Medco for most stuff and ExpressScripts for certain things, though I believe Medco recently bought ExpressScripts).

With two exceptions, using Medco has been a breeze.

Problem #1: About a year ago, a shipment with 90 days worth of two meds went missing and it took three months for Medco to credit me (and I had to get a "7 day emergency supply" from CVS for one of the meds).

Problem #2: Each year when Medco needs a new Rx for my glaucoma eye drops, it has taken two to six weeks for the new Rx to get to Medco. The last time, we tracked the problem to an incompatibility between Medco's FAX system and that at my eye doctor (faxes are never received on either side). I now know to just use USPS with paper Rx to make it work.

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@baqui63: My insurance does something like this. When I have a medicine that has to be taken daily or is refilled 3 times in a year (basically everything I take falls under this statute), they demand that I get it from their mail order pharmacy to save them money. In fact, if I don't get it from their mail order pharm, they actually charge me more and don't pay for their part of the prescription. I manage to avoid it by asking the doctor for the biggest pill they make and splitting it in quarters to meet my dosage. Therefore, a 3 month supply for $10 lasts me all year. And yes, it is safe to split all of my pills.

Also, use a local pharmacy when possible. I switched from a couple chains to a local one a few months ago and while I pay slightly more, the service is impeccable and I get my pills faster. Love it!!

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@reginafilangee: I have not, but wouldn't imagine I'd fall into a category of people they would help, my income is probably too high :( But I guess it can't hurt to try.. Any recommendations on the 'how' to get them to want to help?

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@baqui63: Not sure about the medco & express-scripts merger, anything is possible since anti-trust laws have pretty much gone out the window unless there is something in it for that particular politician.

My insurance company keeps switching mail order companies, so I have had the "pleasure" of trying all 3 major ones. Just like cellphone companies, their quality compared to each other keeps changing as they try to out do each other. [rant] They must be trying to out do each other for the award of lowest quality customer service.[/rant]

Express-Scripts used to be easy to deal with, but since switching back to them about 8 months ago, they have been a nightmare. Medco was by far the worst for many years, but in the past 2 or 3 years has really improved. CVS Caremark is, well, a crap shoot. It's kind of 'like a box of chocolates, you never know what you're gonna get'... I've received everything from someone elses order 3 times the # of pills ordered for no extra $.

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@cardinalsfan: I actually really like the pharmacist at the local Duane Reade I go to. Of course it's only 1 of 3 within a 3 block radius and all 3 operate very differently.

But the pharmacist is very nice, takes the time to call the doctor if there's any reason at all. Can prioritize filling orders based on type of med, order they came in, whether customer is going to wait or come back, and the impressive one, is simply from looking at the customer. He has the ability to read body language and takes that into consideration. I've tried the local pharmacies over the years and at least in NYC, they offer no advantage.

Now Rite Aide, that's a pharmacy, again at least in NYC, that I avoid at all costs. Rude employees (including pharmacists,) over worked, over crowded, and as slow as molasses. Standing on line for 20 minutes to pick up a script is the norm and about 50% of the time I found they had made a mistake or just hadn't filled it by the time they told me it would be filled.

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I'm astounded to read about all the problems that people have had and I really feel for y'all. I've had great experiences with the two mail-order pharmacies that I've used; the one time that I had a problem, it was my mistake (right after moving, gave them my next-door neighbor's address), they sent out the prescription again, even without receiving the initial shipment back (it just "disappeared": thanks, neighbors!), and even sent it overnight mail at their expense.

I have a few chronic health conditions and am very dependent on medication to help with some basic life functions like breathing. :) There's nothing as stressful as waiting for that box of medication to arrive, wondering if something is going to go wrong, and I really feel for everyone for experiences that stress; it must be so much worse when mistakes/errors happen frequently!

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@minkeygirl7: you metioned buying from canada or israel have you ever done this ? Any advice