Yesterday I had a frustrating day, all because of systems and procedures that are supposed to make my life easier.
It all started at 7:43 am. I woke up to an automated email from my online pharmacy. “We shipped your order.” Well that’s great except I didn’t order anything, so what is being shipped?? I also don’t have any of my prescriptions on auto refill so this email was troubling.
I scrolled down to see if it said what prescription was being sent to me. Nope, I’m sure for security reasons they don’t provide the name of the prescription or the full number of it. Great.
I logged into my account to see what prescription was being shipped. It was my insulin. The problem is, I didn’t need any more insulin at this time, I have 9 unopened vials sitting in my fridge, this just didn’t make sense.
It wasn’t until 11:14 am that I got another automated email from the pharmacy, this time saying, “We got your request. We’re working on this prescription for you. Give us a day, and then check back any time to get the latest details.”
That’s when it hit me. I had my endo appointment on Monday and my doctor told me that she was going to send a new prescription to my pharmacy since it was out of refills. She must have sent the prescription in and then they automatically filled it. In most cases this all would have been super helpful. My doctor proactively making sure the prescription on file was up to date, the pharmacy filling a prescription that comes in. But in this case, I didn’t want any of this to be happening.
I called up the pharmacy to explain the situation. I didn’t actually need any insulin right now, my doctor was just updating the prescription. Is it possible to cancel the order? “No, I’m sorry, it looks like it already shipped.”
This is when I started to get frustrated. “Well I never approved this order, why is it being automatically filled? What am I supposed to do now?” The man explained that unless there is a specific note from the doctor not to fill the prescription, they automatically fill and ship it. Again, in 99% of cases, this makes sense and would be super convenient. My mind was spinning. Have I met my deductible, am I going to be charged for this insulin? What’s the shelf life for it? Will I be able to use all the vials before they expire?? I was annoyed. Everything that had happened up to this point was supposed to make my life easier, prescriptions being automatically filled, shipping within a day, automated email notifications, yet here I was stuck with a shipment of insulin coming too soon.
The pharmacist let me know that the insulin wouldn’t expire until the end of 2021, so I would definitely be able to use it before it expired. He set me up to receive text message alerts any time a prescription is received. And now I know to tell my doctor to make a note to not fill the prescription right away if I don’t need it in that moment. In the end, everything worked out fine. I have a fridge full of insulin and I recognize how fortunate I am to even be in this situation when there are many people in this country and in this world who don’t have access to affordable insulin.