Pharmacy Frustrations

I was diagnosed with type1 6 months ago now...It has been a rough and crazy experience. I guess I'm just wanting to vent and see if anyone else has had the same experiences that I've had the past few months....

Last night I went to the pharmacy to get my monthly refils. I feel like every time I go to the pharmacy, it's a fight to get the supplies I need for one reason or another. Either they don't bill my insurance correctly and try to tell me I owe an obsean amount of money. Or, they can't find my correct prescription. Or, they try to tell me I doin't need the things like my needles or test strips. Usually I leave the pharmacy feeling extreamly frustrated if not in tears.

Test strips tend to be the thing I have to fight with them on the most. Because I was having so many issues with getting my test strips, my Dr even re-wrote my presctiption for 300 a month to make sure I would have more than enough to get me by. But, my pharmasist insists that I should only need 150! If I were to test the minimum that I'm supposed to test, I would need 180. That doesn't include extra testing I need to do when working out or having issues with my numbers.

I don't know if the reason I have so many issues with getting my correct prescriptions is because my dosages have gone through so many changes through the past 6 months, that they're having a hard time keeping up? or what!! But, I feel it should not be this difficult to get the thinks that I need. Especially test strips!!!! It's not like test strips are something that I can sell to drug addicts or something! And, I don't feel that it is my pharmasist's job to decide that what she thinks is best for me, particularly when her opinion is different that what my Dr says.

Are these normal Pharmacy problems? Or am I just gooing to a really bad pharmacy?

My pharmacist didn't bat an eye at my Rx for 300 strips. I feel like if you're the one paying for them it shouldn't matter. Can you not go to a different pharmacy if you aren't happy where you're going now? My pharmacist is really helpful and even gave me more info on diabetes and info for a CDE and such the first time I went in with the Rx for the strips since it was obvs new to him that I'm diabetic. I'm not on insulin yet and he was the first one to comment that I wasn't put on anything yet since I'm still waiting on test results to confirm the type 1/lada dx. It's actually a pain in the rear end.

Try a different pharmacy!

It's not like you can abuse a prescription for test strips.. it's not your pharmacist's business what YOU need. Your stories are even making me frustrated!

There are many pharmacies in my area and I've had insurance company issues, but not problems with employees at the counter.

I agree with Michael.. try a different place if you can.

Sounds like it may be the pharmacy that you use. Do you have to go to that certain pharmacy per your insurance? If not, I would try around and see. I would also maybe contact your insurance provider and see what is up .. I have heard of people only being able to get so many test strips a month, but I believe that your doctor can indicate that the strips are a medical necessity and they have to give you what he/she prescribes. I have a relative with Type 2 that had the same issue, and that is what the doctor did. Now she doesn't seem to have a problem. I agree, they should not limit you, it is not like it is a prescription with an addictive nature.

Good luck!

There are only a couple places that my insurance will let me use, but I am definitely going to try switching pharmacies.
Thanks for all the advise!

Hello, 6 months diabetic is a pretty scary time, and I understand the frustration pretty well.

To me, they are normal problems. Pharmacists can save money for their business by doing things, like dispensing the lower amount, or switching to a generic brand. Two tricks I have found out that help me with my orders are these;

1). Ask the doctor to specify how many times you are to test a day on the prescription (and make sure it is how many times a day you would test at most, not typical. You are newly diagnosed, so it plausible that you will still be experimenting with what you eat and what you inject. You could test before and after eating, when you wake up, when you go to bed. If you eat 3 times a day, thats 8 times right there. Maybe an extra time or two if you feel low or high, and now you have written justification for the order. Harder for them to argue there. A lot of pharmacists will count and estimate how much supply you get and when you run out, which is probably why they tell you what you do or dont need. This may give those types of pharmacists a better number than what they may have in mind.

2) Have the doctor write "dispense as written" (DAW) on the script. They cannot change the brand once it is written like that, and I have not had problems with quantity after this. It may be possible that they could still try, but DAW is a direct order from the doctor, so you should have fantastic grounds if they try something.

Hopefully these may work for you. If not, it may be time to see what your other options are for pharmacies. Good luck!

Thank you! That's really helpful. I'm sure that is exactly what's going on.
This company has been cutting corners in other ways to try and save money recently, so it doesn't surprise me that they would try and do the same in their pharmacy too. Also, when I was first diagnosed my Dr was only having me test a couple times a day. Now that I'm officially type 1 and taking insulin whenever I eat I'm having to test a lot more.
I'm hoping things will go better with a different company. I'll be sure to have my Dr do the DAW if I have any more issues.

Thank you!!

I've had difficulties with pharmacies in the past accepting prescriptions. However, it ultimately seems to be the insurance companies who cause the most uproar at how much we should be testing. It's going to sadly be a battle the rest of our lives it seems :(

A fairly cheap alternative to expensive name brand test strips are walmart brand testing strips. They are called "Reli-On" test strips. 100 for $35. My insurance fights me tooth and nail on test strips for some reason and only allots me 4 a day, no more; no less; no matter what. So I buy about 200 of the Reli-On a month as well. They're not "as" accurate as my one-touch test strips, but they are within 10 BG points. For the price and the situation, it will have to do.

I hope you can get this figured out, and in my opinion, I would switch pharmacies!