Your Pharmacy

I went to Walgreens yesterday to pick up all my supplies. A disinterested clerk slapped my test strips an blood pressure medicine down, said "somebody will ring you up" (she didn't look busy) and started to walk off.
"I have more medicine in the refrigerator" I volunteered.
She slowly waked back to the refrigerator and brought out my Lantus and Humalog.
"What about my pen needles?" I prompted.
She ponered that for a few minutes before looking me up on the computer.
"Denied" she said and walked away.
"Excuse me, but I can't actually give my Insulin without a needle," i responded.
Another employee came up and looked me up on the computer. "Denied," she confirmed.
"No that's not right," I said. "I have to have needles."
"Well there is an order for 200 pen needles but insurance denied it,"
"Tht's because insurance will pay for 100 pen needles, not 200 pen needles. If you put in for 100 pen needles it won't be denied."
"Oh, ok." Click click. "Oh, they will be ready in a few minutes."

Now I realize I'm lucky I even have insurance but does anybody behind the counter have any kind of medical training? Let alone that I've been coming there for almost 3 years now.

What about you? Any problems ordering or getting your diabetes medications?

LOL..yeah, I have had experiences like this at CVS plenty of times. More than I'd like to count. At this point, I know what to tell them to put into the system each time a denial or some other issue occurs. It's incredibly frustrating but, like you, I look at from the perspective of at least I'm lucky to have insurance.

That said, if I do encounter rudeness or something that is just dangerous (like being given the wrong insulin prescription), I don't hesitate to call a manager. I've done this at my local CVS several times now and each time it resulted in my issue getting resolved quickly.

I purchase all my diabetic supplies via mail order and get a 90 day supply. I have my endo write me a prescription for way more than I am going to use, because he doesn't really care, and I am going to pay the same co-pay no matter what he writes. So why pay $ 60.00 for 2 boxes of humalog pens when I can pay $ 60.00 for 3 boxes of pens ? I have found it less frustrating to actually go to the local supermarket pharmacy for other prescriptions. The pharmacists there give a crap about what they are doing and don't seem as harried as pharmacists at the big chains. Walgreen's, CVS, Rite-Aid they all pretty much suck. My co-worker also works part-time at Walmart and swears by their pharmacy both for cost and also for the staff. Now it may be because he is an employee that he gets great service, but he has a pump and no issues with Walmart.

I know. I remember when they told me my insurance no longer covered my test strips. After a big run around I realized that the insurance switched which test strips they covered. Long story short I had to get a new meter and different covered test strips. I feel sorry for anybody that doesn't have the stamina to wade through all the BS.

I fill my short-term prescriptions at a local mom and pop pharmacy where they actually know me and seem to care. The long term stuff I have to do mail order or at CVS.

I think I would have exploded at the experience you had. I just can't bear stupidity or carelessness. It's really frightening that such people work in a critical area like a pharmacy.

The mail order places are no better sometimes. I had to do lots of screaming at Caremark this year to get them to fill things right...even had to get my company's benefits department to call them up to straighten things out.

Interested that you mentioned Caremark. I had been with Medco for years and was very happy with them. Feds switched to Caremark this year and I do not like it at all. Their website is most unfriendly. Medco showed you how many scripts you could refill and the dates/end dates. You cannot get that with Caremark site. Just that a script can be refilled but not how many times or when it ends--at least I can't find it.
And I am not sure there is a way to complain to the powers that be with the fed gov.

Yep. I agree.

I was with Medco before too. While I know people have had problems with them. I never did. Caremark frequently makes mistakes, things don't come as fast, and as you pointed out, the web site is not as good.

My insurance company switched from Express Scripts to BioScrip and then BioScrip got bought out by Walgreens Healthcare, what a nightmare that was. Having to go through a million phone prompts before actually getting a human being. I finally made a big enough stink that I got my own personal "patient advocate" at Walgreens who I can call and will actually answer the phone and help with whatever I need. But like I said, I had to make a huge stink both with my insurance company and with Walgreens before this woman called me and when she did I am thinking why doesn't everyone get this kind of service ?

Running my needles through insurance cost $48.00/box, paying for them without running through insurance, $15.00/box.. go figure.