Marginally refillable

You’d think that in this putative era of Medical Marvels we could do better than this:

Got a letter from Walgreens, a form letter out of a computer, but an actual printed-on-paper, delivered-by-snail-mail letter the other day. It’s telling me that one of my prescriptions has expired, and the doctor hasn’t stepped up and authorized any more. All this requesting and authorizing is done with fax machines, so if the doc is going to authorize more drugs for me, he’s going to need the fax number. Well, where is it? It’s not in the letter, it’s not on their website, so I call, fight with the robo-cop answering machine, wade through an armload of protocol with the operator and finally get the fax number. Call the doctor’s office and they tell me they don’t need the fax number, all this prescription s*** is handled electronically now.

I am particularly concerned because I’m at a place about one step in back of this: everything going in and coming out on my behalf is fax, even if it’s that weird-looking electronic fax that’s sent as TIFF files or something, and I have about ten prescriptions to deal with every month.


  1. Georganna Hancock (@GLHancock) »

    1 August 2014 · 11:13 pm

    I’m in Kaiser (a one-stop sort of healthcare shop) and it’s all electronic. My dozen Rxs are refilled on my request quarterly from KP’s mail order pharmacy. The order is via the web, the pills come by USPS. It usually works fine.

    Until this week when I noticed I had only 8 tablets of Evista/raloxifine left. The date on the label read that it was filled on 5/4/14 – which meant it couldn’t be refilled for two weeks. Huh? Did they short-change me? My account online said it had been refilled last in February, but noted a new order was in process. Huh? I have no record of trying to refill it.

    So I called. The rep could give me no info about a date of refill request & could only see that it had been changed from Evista to raloxifine (generic) but my doctor hadn’t O.K.’d it. The listing is still “Evista” but it says only “raloxifine” on the label. WTF?

    The rep said she’d contact the doctor & IF she O.K.s the “change” & renews the prescription, then it would be filled, my credit card charged, and they’d send more pills. Here I sit …

  2. CGHill »

    1 August 2014 · 11:26 pm

    The mail-order division of CFI Care (not its real initials) would be marginally more convenient for me than multiple trips to the nearest Target store, but it would cost much more: a lot of the stuff for which I’d have a $15 copay ($45 for 90 days’ worth) sells at Target for $12 (or less) for the same 90 tabs. I do not do as good a job with monitoring supplies as I’d like to think.

  3. LCB »

    4 August 2014 · 12:11 pm

    FAX machines are so old school. :-)

    My docs are part of a hospital group. They do all of their communicationg with Walgreens via electronic media. As a matter of fact, my doc said they will NOT accept a prescript request from a pharmacy via fax. They just throw them away.

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