Do you use a mail-order pharmacy?

I’m curious about how many other t1s out there use a mail-order pharmacy. If you do, is it a pharmacy your insurance plan contracts with? or is it run by your insurance company directly? or is it a 3rd party mail-order pharmacy that you selected but just happens to work with your insurance?

What do you like about your mail-order pharmacy?

What do you hate?

I recently had a terrible experience with the mail-order pharmacy run by my insurance company…I’ve taken some steps to insure that the mistakes that were made won’t happen again because I can’t really stop using it…I can get a 3-month supply for a 2-month co-pay through the mail-order, and I can’t get that anywhere else!

I am too much of a control freak to try mail order. I want to use it but I always wondered if there are issues with it. May I ask what was your terrible experience?

I’m kinda like Rye here. I go to my pharmacy and get my insulin & meds.

My endo (or rather probably some PA at the group practice) faxed in an incorrect Rx for insulin syringes instead of pen needles. Because I accepted delivery (not knowing what was in the box!) and they can’t take returns, now I’m responsible for the $60 co-pay. I tried to confirm the prescription was correct before they sent it by calling before they shipped it, but the rep I talked to was pretty adamant that the Rx “must be right” even though she said what she could see was an Rx for syringes. I tried to explain the difference between syringes and pen needles, and it sort of seemed like she didn’t understand what the difference was, and I could sort of see how non d-folk might think “needles = syringes,” so I just shrugged it off and thought it was probably fine. This Rx was alongside an Rx for the Symlin pen that was shipped at the same time, so I thought surely my endo didn’t write an Rx for syringes next to an Rx for a pen? But sure enough, that’s what must have happened.

I totally get the control freak thing. I hate not being able to physically see and verify an Rx before it’s getting filled, but it takes sooooo long if you get a paper Rx and mail it in!

I have the same deal where I get 3 mo supply for a 2 mo copay through Anthem’s Express Script mail-order. They have never failed to deliver the correct amount on a timely basis and the savings are worth it. It is convenient to get it all in the mail although I have to tediously click multiple webpages to go from the Anthem to the Express Script site. Recently, Express Script would not fill the last of my refills on two of my scrips and did not make it easy to understand why. Turns out they wanted the scrip to be written differently even though they filled the first 3 of the 4 refills just fine. I guess they instituted a policy change that strips must be written in terms of 100’s and syringes in terms of bags of 10. Bottom-line is I had to make a doc appt and get the scrips renewed all because of this moronic inability to fill the last refill. They knew exactly what I needed but were hanging it up due to their policy change. They deserve a taste of their own medicine but the copay savings is too good to forgo.

Heck, I’m ready to go mail order. My local pharmacy makes mistakes all the time, or when I come by to pick up my rx meds and rx supplies, they don’t have my full order ready. The gas I am using driving to and fro has eaten in any savings I would have otherwise realized, not to mention the time I have wasted on the road traveling.

Just this week I needed to refill my 90-day supply of pen needles, test strips, and rx meds. I called in the order, and they called back later in the day and said my order was ready. When I arrived to pick up my order, they had my test strips and one rx med ready, but they only had 3-of-90 of another rx med and only one box of pen needles. Geeez, Pharma folk…thanks for telling me! They asked me to come back in a couple of days for the rest of the order. Pfffft! Yeah, right! They don’t deserve my business.

I do a lot of shopping by mail order, and I’m about to do the same thing with my rx supplies and meds.

Co-pay savings are not worth it if you have to make an appointment with the doc to get the rx changed. Seems like they should call the doc’s office for you to adjust the rx list.

I ended up going to American Diabetes Wholesale to get my pen needles. Turns out I can get them for about $3 less than my $60 co-pay just because the prices are so good there! I put in my order today around 3 p.m. and received the shipment notification a couple of hours later! So far, I’m impressed. I think one of the biggest problems with my mail-order pharmacy is that it’s run by the insurance company, and so they have no real motivation to provide good customer service because they have a monopoly on my business (at least for things I can’t get cheaper elsewhere).

I totally sympathize. I’m guessing they didn’t inform you of that policy change, either.

Oh, yeah, I’ve had the pharmacy say the same thing which is they filled my strip order exactly as the doc office faxed it and it turned out the office person downgraded the scrip (without the doc’s review) from 5 daily to just 2 because she couldn’t understand why anyone would need 5 a day (Uh, 'cause we’re not all T2). This was a GP’s office, not an endo, so I have since moved on to a diabetic specialist to avoid this kind of idiocy.

I could but my pharmacy is right down my block and I prefer to go there. Besides I’ve developed a great relationship with the people who work there, and I much prefer that.

You’re right, the doc would have fixed the problem without an appointment but it had been over 6 months anyway. Mainly I did not like having to call Express Scripts for an explanation. I mean who likes calling customer service, ever?

My ins contracts with Express Scripts. Haven’t had any issues, they even send me an email reminder when something is ready for a refill. Things usually arrive in 2-3 days. I use my local pharmacy for things I don’t want to wait for, or one shot Rxs that I only need a few of. Very convenient for me. I go to their site when I get the reminder and in 2 clicks I’m all set.

My plan requires me to us a pharmacy called Future Scripts. I have had a problem every single time i order insulin. I’ve now become a hoarder as a result. I order the second I’m able to do so and stock pile insulin. This is after too many times having my order held up inexplicably for as long as 8 weeks. I have used mail order pharmacies before that with no problem but this one service is just incredibly frustrating.

I use the mail order service provided by my insurance provider. They give me some savings, at the expense of timeliness, significantly reduced service and more attention to enforcing the stupid details from insurance rules. I have learned some different numbers to call to “speak to a pharmacist.” And I’ve learned some of the tricks. It can take upwards of 4 weeks to complete the cycle of getting a paper prescription and having your medication in hand. The mail order Rx can take take up to 14 days and then they say delivery can take 14 days. But often, if the prescription is not written “exactly” and “correctly” you won’t have any opportunity to fix this. In the case of pen needles and syringes, my mail order Rx requires exact spec, you get 8mm, you can’t ask for a substitution of 6mm like you can at a “real” Rx. Since switching to doctor that support eRx, my doctor can place an electronic prescription request directly from the mail order formulary, that helps reduce errors and cuts the time it takes to get my medication in half… If my mail order Rx service makes an error, I don’t hesitate to have them make it right and they have always done that. With insulin, you always worry about handling, mine gets shipped in a large styrofoam box and I always check arrival temperature and I’ve never had a problem.

I get my humalog vials via Liberty Medical, but that’s only because that is where I get my pump supplies too. However, I always make sure I have a standing prescription for humalog (pens and vials) at my local CVS, just in case my Liberty order doesn’t come through in time. I’ve had a couple of close calls over the years in terms of coordinating package pick-up. FedEx will not leave a package at our door, so if I miss the delivery I have to either get my butt to the FedEx facility that night or stay home the next day and have them redeliver. CVS is definitely more convenient, but they are also more expensive than the pharmacy via liberty.

Am I doing something wrong? I first go to Anthem website and from there get routed to Express Scripts and it takes some doing before I’m on my scrip page. Once there, it is well-done with options for Auto-Refill. Never had a late order.

This is maybe not the input you’re looking for. I have a cousin who is a T2. She was doing fine on low-carb, no meds. Then she had to take Arimidex. Her fasting bs shot up 30 points, from 85 to 115. She did some research and thought Metformin might help, but her doctor wouldn’t prescribe it because her A1C had “only” gone from 5.3 to 5.7. So she got online and found a place that sells it without a prescription. I think it’s in India. She’s been using it for a year and she’s down to 5.2 and maintaining. She is perfectly happy. I’m not sure I’d do this, hope I never have to, but just wanted to mention that sometimes people use alternatives the rest of us aren’t accustomed to. I’m sure her insurance doesn’t pay for it.

I am Type 1. My insurance company (secondary now that I am on Medicare) contracts with a mail order company. Currently it is Medco but every few years they change. I have been happy with all my mail order companies for many years. I just have one copay for a 90 day supply. That includes whether I get it through Medco or at CVS, which is cheaper on Synthroid than Medco. I get 90 days worth of Synthroid at CVS also.

The only glitch I have had is once early this year, Medco was out of one drug I needed. That had never happened before. But I read that drug shortages are getting more common.

Every insurance contract is different but I am fortunate to have mine thru the fed program. Also, I have no trouble getting the meds in a timely manner, mainly because I don’t wait until I am about out to reorder. Check your insurance details and check the reviews on your drug mail order business. It should be available through your insurance information, at least once a year.

Ya know, this is a great topic – just Rye said, I’m so afraid of issues happening wiht mail-order. OR if I ran out of test strips earlier than usual, and had to wait three days for a new order to arrive? How do you plan ahead so you always have them when you need them? I’d worry too much!