Mail Order Fail

I suppose this post title is a bit misleading since most of the fail is the result of user error. Okay, that’s not accurate either. Technically the fail is a result of user procrastination and a couple of less-than-ideal functions of my prescription mail order service.

Normally I can reorder insulin pen needles a day or two in to my final box and receive my re-up with plenty of time to spare. The same goes for my insulin. I typically re-up on my insulin pens as soon as I start my last pen. Everything arrives at my door and life carries on. But when my number of refills reaches 0 and I don’t receive any direct notification of this balance, things, like this important fact, will slip through the cracks.

Tangent: Why must prescriptions be limited to 3 refills? With something like diabetes, I’m not going to be introducing a lot of variability into my diabetes management. If I find something that works I’m going to let it rock. Is there a law against having a (valid) prescription with 4, 5, 6, or 10 refills?

Anyway, I went down my normal path of resupplying and faced the unfortunate realization that my prescriptions had expired. With my next endocrinologist appointment in two weeks and the upcoming holiday travel to prepare for – I needed to stock up now. Of course my endocrinologist’s office is in Reston, 45 minutes away from my office (if there’s no traffic) which means I had to pick up my 4″x5.5″ life-savers during my morning commute.

All of this wouldn’t be a problem if I did this right away. Remember that procrastination bit? Yea, I waited a week before making the call. So Tuesday I picked up my prescriptions, then went to the post office to overnight them to my mail order service. Since there was a small chance of running out of insulin pen needles before the standard processing and delivery time I filled in the little bubble opting for rush delivery. All of this (procrastination) cost me much, much more than the regular cost of my prescriptions and a little stamp.

And while I suppose the immediate lesson is pay attention to the number of refills, I don’t think it’s unreasonable to think that an online service is incapable of sending alert emails if a particular variable reaches 0.

Just another day in the life.

5 thoughts on “Mail Order Fail

  1. Yes, yes, and are you sure about the 3 refills things? I thought that was the case too, until my endo wrote my most recent one for something like 12 refills. Maybe because she knew about her upcoming maternity leave, but if SHE could, couldn’t anyone? I don’t know and didn’t think to ask.

  2. Chris, I absolutely agree with everything you said. If they’ll write me more than 3 refills, I’ll even promise to not refill my insulin prescription if a cure is found.

  3. I definitely think that reminders of when you have no refills remaining would be helpful. I also think that it would be helpful if the mail-order pharmacy would call you to verify the prescription and quantity they are filling. In the past, I have had trouble with getting insulin mail-order (ex. getting one box of Humalog Kwikpens for a 3 month supply and being charge for 2 copays for that one box) I think its confusing because the quantity is based on mL instead of units – I have found that my local pharmacy sometimes works better for my Humalog since the pharmacy will usually call me to make sure what they are filling is what I need.

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