Residential Space A creative outlet during residency, turned ongoing virtual soap box

My beef with Express Scripts – Part 2  8

Posted on March 22nd, 2006. About Health Care, Ramblings.

My handful of readers may recall my recent post in which I expressed my frustration over being unable to obtain my birth control pills through my insurance company’s preferred mail-order pharmacy, Express Scripts. To summarize, I sent them a prescription from my doctor for ortho tricyclen, they chose to fill it with a generic (tri previfem), they are now out of tri previfem, and were stating that they could not fill it now with ortho tricyclen, the original medication indicated in the prescription. The *only solution*, they claimed, was for my doctor to write another prescription, and I could mail it to them. They insisted that once a prescription has been filled, even with a generic of a different name, only that generic can be dispensed.

Okay, so I went to my neighborhood Walgreen’s today, and they confirmed that tri previfem was unavailable. Fine – I will accept that this generic is unavailable for the time being. BUT the first question the pharmacist had for me was – would it be okay to provide me another generic or ortho tricyclen? Ummm, YES, I told her. She warned me that my insurance may not cover it, to which I replied that I didn’t care at this point. So I questioned her – Are you SURE you can fill a prescription with a different generic once it has already been filled with a generic of a different name? Of course, she answered, we do it all of the time. Otherwise when generics are discontinued patients would have to return to their doctors for prescriptions too frequently. EXACTLY. Thank you. I feel vindicated – somebody gets why this was bothering me. Do you ever have those moments when something seems perfectly reasonable or unreasonable to you, but those around you are not bothered by it? And you think – is there something wrong with my brain? Why am I not getting this? Now I feel justified – there is something wrong with the representative and “supervisor” at Express Scripts.

Who knows – perhaps I will go to retrieve my prescription tomorrow and the pharmacist will say – Sorry, I’m a new graduate fresh out of pharmacy school and I didn’t know that I wasn’t supposed to be filling prescriptions this way. Oops. But I will assume for the time being that she knows what she is talking about moreso than a customer sales representative without any medical training.

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