Friday, September 25, 2009

Did I miss something?

I always thought that when you needed a refill on a prescription (no refills left) you called the office of whoever prescribed the medication for you. Is this not true anymore? That's what I do. In fact, my PCP has a convenient answering machine set up so I just leave a message and don't have to bother anyone. But--

Recently I was at "big chain pharmacy" with neglected teen daughter waiting for a prescription. Middle-aged man and his mother are there picking up half the pharmacy. Middle-aged man proceeds to berate very young looking pharmacy tech about a missing prescription. Why isn't it there? He called the PHARMACY this morning for THEM to call HIS doctor to get refills. This took 20 minutes with a huge line behind him. I had a front row seat to this (next to a woman who I think coughed up her right lung into her HANDS). Am I missing the new way to get refills?


I have called to refill medication, discovered that there were no refills left and the pharmacy tech offered to call my doctor. I promptly declined. Isn't that my job? Why are pharmacy's even offering? Aren't they strapped enough for time and people? Customer service??--please we are creating a culture of people who can't take care of themselves. This guy was old enough to know better but now he clearly has come to expect this. I paid for my prescription and also threw in a pocket-sized spray hand sanitizer. Out in the parking lot I sprayed myself and neglected teen daughter down and shook my head in amazement.

9 comments:

The Good Cook said...

Funny - I just went through having an RX refilled. I called my cardiologist's office to explain that there were no more refills on my high blood pressure medicine. I have an appointment next week, so only needed a week until I would get new scripts... His office refuses to speak to patients requesting refills. They insist you have the pharmacist call.

New? I guess times they are a changing...

SRR said...

It is the preference of my doctor to have the pharmacy phone in the refills. It is standard ops here for both the doctor and the pharmacy.

That being said, we need to give the doctor and pharmacy more than a few hours to get the refill taken care of. More like 5 business days to be certain.

The Lonely Midwife said...

Wow-I am surprised. I guess I am out of the loop on this one. I just see these stressed out pharmacy techs and pharmacists that don't look like they are having a good time and wonder why add more work?

I am a big fan of the Rx refill hotline--and the message even tells you expect a 24 hour turn around time. Calls after 2 pm will be handled next day, etc. Must be that I see a PCP who sees his own patients. I know--a novel idea.

The Lonely Midwife said...

Wanted to clarify the PCP thing--I see many patients who tell me "my PCP is Dr. Waytoobusy, I have never seen him/her. I always see Dr. nobodywantstosee."

Chris T. said...

Where I live all the docs prefer the pharmacy to call for refills. I think it has to do with idiot patients not knowing what med or dose they are actually taking. If the pharmacist calls, then the doc will have all the info needed.I do feel sorry for the over worked pharmacy staff since they end up dealing with the people who don't have a clue. It's also standard for the docs to let the pts know that it will take 3 business days for a refill to be called in. A lot of this would be prevented if people took responsibility for their own health, were knowledgable about their disease processes, and quit expecting eveeryone else to cater to their "needs".Personal responsibility and preparation is seriously lacking in a large portion of society.

Lonely Midwife said...

Chris,

Thank you--silly me. Here I am complaining about taking care of yourself. This makes sense--why would you know what medication you are taking? or What medication I am calling for to be refilled? First things first. So I guess we are "enabling". Maybe we will get to the point where you call a hotel, tell them you want to book a room you just don't know the dates. Could they please call your boss to schedule your vacation? I agree, there is a huge black hole in the area of personal responsibility.

Slatsette said...

My pharmacy takes care of such calls for me- but then again, I'm in a very small town with a pharmacy that is perpetually slow. If I felt it was a burden I'd just to it myself. I certainly wouldn't stand at the counter and hold up a line about it. They'd just have to say "Oh, there were no refills left" and I'd be all over my cell phone chatting up my doc office. Out of line.

K said...

It may be a regional thing. When I lived back east it would be unheard of for a patient to call the pharmacy and have them request the refill. Here in S. TX, it is SOP.

Erykah said...

I just found your blog by looking up that same thing. My Rx expired so I called my PCP's office and was told that the Pharmacy needed to do it. Well I called the pharmacy and by the time I gave her my dob, name and medication, she sent in an electronic request. Thirty minutes later, I got a call to pick it up. Convenient yes! But it was strange!

And congratulations on becoming a midwife, we need so many more caring midwives in the world!