Pharmacy Is So Confusing, it Even Confounded Me

A woman talks on the phone, looking confused and concernedOver the July 4th holiday week, my wife and I realized our daughter’s EpiPen® was one month past its expiration date. Time for a refill. No problem, right? Ha!

The expense wasn’t the biggest problem, although anyone who buys EpiPens knows the sticker-shock, even with good insurance. (The EpiPen Jr that our daughter needs is even more expensive, even though there is less product. Go figure.) Luckily, I work here and was able to find a good price through our extensive pharmacy resources. The real pain involved the prescription itself.

I’m still fairly new at Rx Savings Solutions. I’m enrolled in a new-to-me health plan. My daughter’s prescription had always been filled at my former employer’s onsite pharmacy. How hard could it be to get it filled somewhere else?

Quite difficult, it turned out. We might have set a personal record for phone tag with repeated calls to both our doctor and a pharmacy. Three hours of back and forth with multiple contacts at both places, and this is 2018!

Once everything was finally sorted out, it was another 24 hours before we finally received confirmation that the prescription had been sent and received.

Fortunately, our daughter never needed this medication in the interim. The EpiPens we had, though expired by 30 days, likely still would have been potent enough. But I couldn’t help but wonder what would’ve happened had we lost the pens, or had we been traveling, and she needed them… At best, an expensive ER visit.

The experience also brought to mind children in multiple living arrangements, where each household needs at least one set of pens, plus a set for school. Does the average consumer have the time and wherewithal to navigate a transaction like ours?

Having spent nearly my entire career in electronic medical records, I felt like I knew my way around the healthcare landscape. The pharmacy side of things is a complicated animal on its own.

The experience made me thankful to be working for Rx Savings Solutions. Our goal is to simplify situations like ours, to alleviate the frustrations it caused. Our own employees recognize pain points like this every day and develop solutions like our Contact Prescriber feature to address them.

A simple click of a button could have put the wheels in motion to get the prescription switched for us. Whatever back and forth between our doctor and the pharmacies would have been taken care of by our expert pharmacy technicians. Sure, it might’ve still taken 24 hours, but hours of stress, confusion and frustration would have been removed.

I should also note that our soon-to-be-released refill alerts would have reminded my wife and me that our EpiPen was approaching expiration.

Next time, we’ll know! This one small corner of the crazy pharmacy universe confused me—and I work here. Having gone through it, it’s even more gratifying to know that Rx Savings Solutions is there to help millions of other consumers avoid problems like this.

Tags: Product