Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Down With Mail-Order Pharmacies!!!

I am pulling my hair out over here! Warning you now this post is a rant on my part. Feel free to exit the ride at this point. Because I am ticked.

We are forced to use a mail-order pharmacy on our maintenance drugs (i.e. inhalers, allergy meds, birth control), or we pay a HUGE premium for the convenience of using our local pharmacy—to the tune of around $1k per year.  The other day I had a the gazillion and 1st run in with them. I hate, no I LOATHE, the fact that we are forced to use them.  And here’s why.

1) It takes FOREVER to get to a real, live person when you have to call. Like literally ten minutes of automated crappola before the option of a “customer service” agent is even an option. (I use the term “customer service” quite loosely here.)

2) If you need to talk to the pharmacist, you are out of luck. You can’t. I have no idea why; I just know you can’t because my husband asked to speak to one during one phone call & was told that the pharmacist was not available.

3) We are FORCED to have to use the mail order because with our prescription plan we pay a premium to use our local pharmacy. So, we pay more for the same medicine & the same amount of the medicine if we get it filled locally rather than using the mail order pharmacy. Unfortunately, we don’t have the extra money to spend.

4) THEY LOST TWO PRESCRIPTIONS I MAILED TO THEM. How do I know the mail-order pharmacy lost them as opposed to them getting, say, lost in the mail? Two of the scripts I mailed them where in the same envelope. One was for my husband; the other for me. They have my husband’s but not mine. Yeah, they lost it. On a different day, I mailed a script for my son. They don’t have that one either. I can only assume they lost it as well. (And, yes, I know what assuming does, but, in this case, I feel justified in my assumption.)

5) The above mentioned script for my husband had the wrong date on it. See, he went to the doc in early January when the year had just changed. The doc—like all of us do out of habit—put 2010 instead of 2011. Now a local pharmacy would have caught that, called you &/or the doc, & gotten it taken care of in a day. Maybe 2. The mail-order pharmacy never contacted us about it. If we hadn’t of called to check on why it was taking so long to get to us, we would have never known.

6) I have to clean up their mess when they screw up. The three above mentioned scripts? I have to call the three different doctors now & ask them to fax in new ones. 

7) They automatically fill whatever script. No questions asked. Which might be a good thing at times. But this literally cost a $100 one time. Hubs doc changed the strength of his inhaler. Didn’t mention it to him. We just mailed the script in thinking that they would put it on hold in his file until we needed it. You know? Like the local pharmacy would do. Nope. Filled it. Without any regard to the fact they JUST FILLED THE SAME MEDICINE a week ago because THEY PRESSURE YOU TO AUTOFILL. Don’t you think someone would have noticed something was wonky? So, hubs ended up with 6 inhalers, 3 of which he couldn’t use.

Okay, I feel better. I love how venting always makes me feel better.

Please tell me we are not the only ones who had had these bad experiences with mail-order pharmacies. Who else is in our boat?


  1. I hated waiting for the mail order scripts to come and the lag time between ordering and when the actual script came. But, when we had that particular health plan, getting 3 months of meds for the price of 1 month was worth it. We were fortunate that we didn't have the issues you've dealt with. We have had other issues with the company our health care plan uses for scripts though. Like not getting the computer to recognize that my son needed a non-formulary med, and we were to receive it at a lower copay since it was medically necessary, among other issues.

    One thing you could try to circumvent the losing of scripts in the mail is to have your doctor fax them if the pharmacy will accept those. That's what our docs used to do for us. I just had to call, they'd fax, and it was done.

  2. Oooh I hate mail order pharmacy too! That sucks!

  3. I actually like my mail order pharmacy, but I only have one recurring script with them currently. They don't require auto-filling...but they do send reminder e-mails. I do hate having to remind my doc for the 3 month script. Can you fax or scan to e-mail the script?