Why must it be difficult?

I've been trying now for 2 WEEKS to get my Novolog prescription filled. I think my adventure is finally coming to an end, but I'm going to put it online for everyone to see.

This all started when I switched insurance companies. The plan is better, but I couldn't use my current endo anymore. I didn't think too much of it at the time, until 2 weeks ago when I realized my Novolog supply was almost out.

I went to a cvs near my school, but they told me I prescription was COMPLETELY out and that I'd need to get my endo's permission. I gave her a call and could only get a receptionist who told me "we don't accept your insurance, so you'll have to find a new doctor."

At this point I tried getting sneaky. I called up my pharmacy in my hometown and pretended I was out of novolog while on vacation. They happily faxed the endo's office to get my prescription refilled. However, 2 days later, they called me back to say my endo refused to refill the prescription.

Now I'm kind of ticked, "but it's not the end of the world right? I can just go to an urgent care center here!"

I was wrong, apparently my insurance doesn't cover ANY urgent care center within 200 miles of where I'm at. They did cover pcp's though, so I found one that was accepting patients and got an appointment for 1 week later.

I went to that doctor, and one of the nurses seemed scarily uninformed about diabetes "Wow! it must make things so complicated to do that carb thing!" (she was talking about my I:C ratio.) The doctor herself seems pretty good. she did an A1c test, dx'd me with tendonitus in my Achilles Tendon, gave me some prescriptions for insulin and I was good.

or so I thought...

I went to Walmart that night and got my prescription. However, when I got home, I realized they gave me a Novolog VIAL instead of the flexpens like I was used to. I tried to call Walmart, but their pharmacy closed 5 minutes before I realized the mistake. I was kind of ticked, but I still had 30u or so left in my last pen so I thought I was good.

I called Walmart this morning to return my Novolog, but they told me that the doctor prescribed vials, and that if I had a problem with it, then I need to contact them.

I called the doctor and they apologized for the mistake. They told me the prescription was changed and I should be good to go. Thinking my adventure was finally over, I went back to Walmart and successfully returned the Novolog vial. BUT when I tried to get my box of pens, my insurance company said I hit some magical limit on how many prescriptions I could order from a retail pharmacy!

I reluctantly got on the phone with the insurance company to explain to them that I didn't want to get my prescriptions mailed to my campus post office. They agreed that it would be best for me to continue using a retail pharmacy and sent my prescription through. At this point I was thrilled! I was completely out of Novolog and was starting to get hungry. I remember looking over at the McDonald's across the street and thinking about getting myself a bigmac.

I walk back into Walmart to finally order my prescription, BUT THE POWER WAS OUT!!! The pharmacist said that there was nothing he could do without access to his computer. I tried convincing him to just give me a single pen and I'll come back when the power came back to pay for it. Any reasonable pharmacist would agree, but this one was too worried about getting sued, and instead just told me he's lose his license If he gave out freebies and that I should go to the hospital if my sugar gets too high.

At this point I'm pissed.

I felt like I was out of options so I called my Mom. This was a bad idea because she blamed me for waiting until the last minute "like I always do. This should be a good lesson for you."

I then hung up on her and called Dad. He was concerned for me and called up the doctor I went to yesterday. They felt bad about my situation and wrote a new prescription to a Rite Aide the next town over. Yay!

I tried to drive there, but I realized my car was almost of gas. I tried to find an open gas station, but every one in town also had their power out. I drove my car back to campus and complained about everything to one of my floor mates. He generously offered to give me a ride the 20 miles to the Rite Aide.

We get there and I walked up to the counter to FINALLY get my prescription, but the insurance company still thought I ordered my Novolog at Walmart and refused to cover 2 orders of it on the same day!

I tried to call the insurance company, but they were closed. I tried to call the prescription company they are partners with, but they told me that Walmart would have to cancel the order from there end. BUT they still don't have power and as you may recall from earlier in this story, they don't have a working computer.

At this point the Right Aide was about to close, but the lovely pharmacist decided to call and see what she could do. 30 minutes of phone calls later, she came back with bad news that I'm basically screwed until Walmart gets their power back. Since at this point I was out of Novolog, I was convinced I would have to go hungry until I could get everything sorted out.

BUT the pharmacist here felt bad for me and gave me a Novolog pen to use for tonight. She gave it to me on one condition: I need to go over there sometime tomorrow to pay for it. and if after all this, I still go to Walmart she will hunt me down and punch me. (yes she actually sad that)

I happily agreed to the term and finally got my Novolog! After 3 pharmacies and countless phone calls. All thanks to a pharmacist that actually has a heart and knows how important insulin is for the people who have to take it. Thank you Rite Aide, for doing the right thing.

Sorry for the lack of structure. I just wanted to get all this off my chest.

Wow
I wish the people who make the rules had diabetes

Send this post to the people on top who are responsible
Insurance stinks
Why should we be treated like slaves or lower class citizens ?

Resilience.

Most doctors run a business and it is a rare doctor that will renew a prescription without an office visit. And insurance companies aren't there to help patients, they are out there to make a profit from our chronic condition.

So we need to be resilient cause sometimes we are dealing with "the enemy" and we need a backup plan for our backup plan. Resilience.

Sorry you had such trouble. And your mom was wrong, the problem wasn't that you waited until the last minute it was simply that you depended on the system to act in your best interests and they don't.

W.O.W.

Amazingly bad performances by everyone involved! It is like they all took the position of: "We care about you; we care about your health, as long as you precisely fit into our rules!"

Brian,

Not sure I entirely agree with you. I had an endo in Maryland who periodically refilled my insulin prescriptions without an office visit because her practice took time to listen when I made the requests AND they recognized that insulin for a T1D is kinda like air.

Of all the players in TimmyMac's tragic tale, I hold the endo most at fault. After all, the doc had a patient that was leaving the practice due to an insurance requirement, not because of some doctor-patient dispute, or the patient abusing the prescription, etc. A simple, "I will write a prescription for one pen" would have sufficed.

Having had my share of run-ins with the prescription "system" that is designed to make profit first, avoid litigation second; always, always forcing patients to jump through lots of hoops when patients are least able to do so, and then proclaiming at every step how they put patients first(!), makes my blood boil. It leads me to exclaim, WHY must it be so difficult!!

I totally agree with the comments that doctors should always be willing to help patients get prompt prescription refills. But sadly that is probably the exception rather than the rule. My current endo will always fill my prescriptions, all I have to do is call or have the pharmacy call. But sadly I have also had more than one doctor refuse to refill prescriptions without an office visit and that is just wrong. Personally, I don't understand why we even need to have a prescription renewed. Does people really think we are just going to wake up one day cured?

@ Eucritta No, my insurance is Anthem BCBS Healthkeepers. Its a discount plan that I got through the Affordable Care Act. I know its not the best, but its $17 a month which is nice.

I'm just glad this whole ordeal is over