Pharmacy and Doctor Office Fun

Posted: July 3, 2010 in Uncategorized
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What I Have To Go Through EVERY Time I Need a Prescription Refill When The Doctor is On, or Going on, Vacation

It’s no secret that I tend to exaggerate, so when episodes like the one I’m about to relate occur, nobody believes me – everybody thinks I’m exaggerating.

I’m not.

What follows actually happened.

Me (to Pharmacist): Hi, my Atrovent is almost out. I’m wondering if I have any refills left.

Pharmacist: Please hold. (three minutes later) You don’t. You’ll have to call your doctor.

Me (to Dr.’s office): Hi, I need a refill on my Atrovent.

Dr.’s Office: Please hold. (ten minutes later) You’ll need an appointment.

Me: Can I come in next week?

Dr.’s Office: No, the doctor will be out next week. It will have to be the week after next.

Me: That won’t work for me, because I’ll be gone the two weeks following the doctor’s vacation. Is there any way I can make an appointment and get the prescription before the appointment?

Dr.’s Office: Please hold. (ten minutes later the receptionist came back to the phone, scheduled an appointment for me, and said) Wait until later in the afternoon to call the pharmacy.

Later in the afternoon I called the pharmacy to find out that no prescription was waiting for me. So I called the doctor’s office who told me they faxed the prescription. Then I called the pharmacy back and was told that yes, the doctor’s office faxed the prescription, but while it indicated that the prescription could be filled, it also had written on the consent form that I would have to make an appointment first.

I told the pharmacy that I had already made the appointment but the pharmacy obviously had no way of knowing, so they told me to call the doctor for clarification.

I called the doctor’s office back to tell them that the pharmacy needed clarification, and that while the fax indicated it was OK for me to get the prescription filled, because of the reference about the appointment, the pharmacy needed to know that I had actually made the appointment.

And now it gets interesting (or boringly frustrating depending on how you read it), because the doctor’s office then told me to call the pharmacy back, tell the pharmacist to fax back another form, indicate on the form that I had an appointment scheduled, and then the doctor’s office would fax the prescription back to the pharmacy.

So the pharmacy, aware that I had now been waiting several hours for the prescription (and probably getting really tired of talking to me), called the doctor’s office for me, spoke to a nurse, and was told by the nurse that I couldn’t have the prescription filled, because I had to make an appointment first.

AAAARRRRRGGGGGGHHHHHHH! I called the nurse (it’s now 5 o’clock on a Friday) and told her I had made  the appointment. All she had to do was look in the books. (Please hold). After she noticed that yes, indeed, I HAD made the appointment – HOURS AGO, I might add – she told me to call the pharmacy and ask them to indicate on the fax that I had an appointment, so that when she saw the fax, she would know it was OK to send the prescription.

So, once again, though it made absolutely no sense whatsoever (how would the pharmacist know I had made a doctor’s appointment?) I followed instructions and waited 15 minutes. By that time, of course, the doctor’s office had closed (obviously nobody there cared to wait for the pharmacy even though I had been on the phone with the office ALL DAY) and when the pharmacy told me they still had no prescription and that the last note they had was the one that indicated I couldn’t fill the prescription until I had an appointment scheduled, I left a message with the doctor’s answering service.

The answering service diligently took detailed notes, called the doctor, the doctor called me back, told me he thought he had already OK’d the prescription, but got the number for the pharmacy, anyway, and just when I thought my endless problem was over, the doctor called back to tell me that I must have given him the wrong number. He read it back to me. It was the correct phone number (I didn’t dare suggest that he might have misdialed).

And then, after spending an entire day trying to fill one measly, but important, prescription I FINALLY got my Atrovent.

If this were a fluke I’d say, oh, well, whatever. Unfortunately, though this exact problem doesn’t occur every time I try to refill a prescription that has expired during my doctor’s vacation time, something similar happens EVERY time he is either ON vacation or GOING on vacation.



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