Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Pharmacies decide when you can get your prescriptions

Yesterday I went to the pharmacy to pick up two refills for me and get my husband's prescription filled. No such luck. I got one prescription refilled. The other one is too soon according to the pharmacist. And my husband's was also too soon. As I was actually speaking with the pharmacist who I have spoken with several times in the past (because I am a frequent flyer at the local pharmacy), I decided to ask more questions.

I found out that most national chain pharmacies make their own rules as to when you can pick up a prescription. At Walgreen's, where I was, and at CVS, you can only pick up some prescriptions, of medications subject to abuse, the day before or the day they are needed. Rite Aid, I was told, allow you to pick it up two days prior. You can't pick them up sooner. And if you are going on vacation and want to pick up a prescription early you need to show a plane ticket or something. This isn't a law or anything this is a rule the chains have developed.

Really? How non-customer focused! This is a huge example of poor customer service. From the store's point of view, the customer has to come back to the store for each prescription (unless they can be perfectly timed to be picked up together) and potentially purchase other items.

But from the customer's point of view, with poor health probably, multiple store visits at the company's convenience are not so good. I have options here. I can switch my prescriptions to mail order where they are more lenient on prescription dates as they have to allow for shipping time.

I completely understand the issue of substance abuse, fake prescriptions and all that. But this is a bit too strict in my eyes. I can understand if its a new prescription or a new customer should be made to wait. An existing customer who gets their prescriptions filled regularly should not have to deal with this.

I have always believed that it was the insurance companies and laws that were the basis for determining when you could pick up your prescription. Not stupid company policies. Sorry I am not a fan of these. Maybe its time to write to the corporate offices to complain.


Becky said...

Sounds like it might be time to change pharmacies! I use a local Safeway mostly cause they know me there. My only issue with renewals has been when the insurance won't cover it cause it is too early (which is usually 10 days before I need it) ... or when my doctors office isn't able to reach them ... for controlled things, I sometimes need to call a day before because they don't always stock it .. but I've never had trouble with a renewal ... I think you are right about a letter to the corporate offices .. they clearly do not appreciate chronic illness and mobility issues ...

Anonymous said...

The only delays I've encountered have also been from the insurance company. My local pharmacist has gone out of her way to help me get early refills when I will be out of town, and to get a 3 month supply when I was going to be away for an extended period. This last got me a nasty letter from the insurance company saying they don't allow a 3 month supply and to not do that again. ;)


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