what local pharmacy?

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mouses
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what local pharmacy?

Post by mouses » Fri Jan 13, 2017 7:26 am

I don't get meds by mail order, because I am concerned about temperature extremes (yes, I know that can happen on the way to the pharmacy, but I think there's less of a chance that way), plus I like knowing the people in the pharmacy.

RiteAid has gone from really good to annoying over the past several years. The problem is their Not In Time inventory system. If I need a refill authorized for something they don't stock in the local pharmacy, and most of my meds they don't stock, that means a day or two for the refill authorization, then a day or three for the order to come in, the latter if it's near a weekend. And occasionally something is back ordered for a week or more. This means I can run out.

I asked them yesterday if they couldn't at least order when I placed the request, but they are prohibited from doing that until the refill is okayed.

I assume this is because they are in a lot of financial difficulty, I guess. It is a big change from several years ago when they were very helpful and used to keep the meds I get every month in stock.

In another thread, people are complaining about CVS autorefilling when they don't want autorefills.

As far as I know the only other pharmacy around here is Walgreens, which I have no experience with, but which I gather is in the verge of buying RiteAid, maybe.

Is there a local pharmacy that people actually like?

awval999
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Re: what local pharmacy?

Post by awval999 » Fri Jan 13, 2017 7:35 am

I'm a pharmacist, albeit a hospital pharmacist. But familiar with how community pharmacy is ran.

It's all different and very dependent on market. You can have a very well ran Walgreens in one district and one that's a dumpster fire in the other. You can have a very well trained pharmacist in one and a very poor one in the other. Nice and polite technicians in one and mean Grinches in the other. Best thing is to shop around and see what you like, what's convenient, you can talk to the pharmacist if you want and see how long he/she has worked there and if they are planning to stay or if you are just going to be getting a variety of floaters.

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TomatoTomahto
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Re: what local pharmacy?

Post by TomatoTomahto » Fri Jan 13, 2017 7:58 am

We get a lot through CVS/Caremark mail order. The one time a shipment was delayed, and the gel packs were at room temperature, they replaced the meds, with only a moderate amount of hassle. The shipping containers are incredibly well insulated, and they use an excess of caution in ensuring that there are sufficient cooling packs. With the cost of the meds, even to the pharmacy, I'm not surprised.

Our local pharmacy is a Walgreens. It happens to be a very friendly one, with staff that believe in customer service. They are not immune to the insurance fandango, but they try.

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Kenkat
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Re: what local pharmacy?

Post by Kenkat » Fri Jan 13, 2017 8:06 am

We use Kroger.

Jack FFR1846
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Re: what local pharmacy?

Post by Jack FFR1846 » Fri Jan 13, 2017 8:27 am

I use only CVS. My insurance company list of approved pharmacies for local include:
CVS.
My insurance approved pharmacies for mail order include:
CVS.

I have so much choice, it's hard to make a decision. </sarcasm>
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StevieG72
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Re: what local pharmacy?

Post by StevieG72 » Fri Jan 13, 2017 8:55 am

I got stuck with RiteAid due to insurance changes.

REALLY do not like RiteAid, hoping to change back to Walgreens.

As far as major chains go I would say Walgreens is the best with CVS coming in a distant 2nd place.

If you are on routine maintenance medications your doctor may write you a 90 day script for the local pharmacy. It doesn't have to be mail order to get 90 days. Mine has done this and it saves me trips to the pharmacy and I am less likely to run out of my medications.
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Rupert
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Re: what local pharmacy?

Post by Rupert » Fri Jan 13, 2017 10:01 am

What part of the country are you in? In my region, Southeastern US, I'd highly recommend Publix. They go out of their way to help you get the lowest price via coupons, etc., for your prescriptions.

pochax
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Re: what local pharmacy?

Post by pochax » Fri Jan 13, 2017 10:09 am

if you have access to a Costco, try to use them - on average, they will be among the most inexpensive pharmacies....even if they are not right around the corner. the savings could be substantial over time.

Broken Man 1999
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Re: what local pharmacy?

Post by Broken Man 1999 » Fri Jan 13, 2017 10:18 am

Another vote for Publix.

I use mail-order for all my long-term RXs, but the odd ones that pop up occasionally are filled at Publix.

Sometimes the RX is free, as they offer a few drugs for free; they don't even want your insurance info. I always feel a tad guilty as I have great insurance and I feel taking free drugs just takes them from the hands of someone who has no insurance.

Great place to get flu shots, also.

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Watty
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Re: what local pharmacy?

Post by Watty » Fri Jan 13, 2017 10:33 am

Be sure to check with your insurance company to see if they have preferred pharmacies. With some plans you can get a better price if you go to a pharmacy chain that they have a special agreement with.

My wife went on Medicare last year and by far the best drug plan for her was once that uses Walmart as a preferred pharmacy. We had not used them and my wife is not a big fan of Walmart but we have actually be pleasantly surprised by the service they have given. It may help that we are retired and can go there during weekdays and not in the evening or weekend.

Also check out your drugs on this website.

https://www.goodrx.com/

For generic drugs and some others it is not uncommon to be able to pay cash for them someplace else for less than you are paying under your insurance plan.

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Doom&Gloom
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Re: what local pharmacy?

Post by Doom&Gloom » Fri Jan 13, 2017 1:59 pm

kenschmidt wrote:We use Kroger.
+1

Very happy with them. We are there once a week or so anyway, and our pharmacy purchases get coded a "groceries" on our AMEX BCP credit cards for 6% cash-back.

Dottie57
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Re: what local pharmacy?

Post by Dottie57 » Fri Jan 13, 2017 2:12 pm

Been going to walgreens for 30 years. Am very happy with their service.

Mudpuppy
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Re: what local pharmacy?

Post by Mudpuppy » Fri Jan 13, 2017 3:45 pm

mouses wrote:RiteAid has gone from really good to annoying over the past several years. The problem is their Not In Time inventory system. If I need a refill authorized for something they don't stock in the local pharmacy, and most of my meds they don't stock, that means a day or two for the refill authorization, then a day or three for the order to come in, the latter if it's near a weekend. And occasionally something is back ordered for a week or more. This means I can run out.
mouses wrote:In another thread, people are complaining about CVS autorefilling when they don't want autorefills.
In the scenario you've given, the autofill policy at CVS might work in your favor. The CVS autofill policy tries to refill as soon as the insurance will pay for a refill. So if your insurance will pay for a refill of a 30-day prescription after 23 days, then autofill would start the refill process 7 days before you run out. That should give enough time for all of the above steps to happen before you run out.

Now, if your insurance approves a week or more before the month runs out and the medication is in stock and already has authorized refills, this policy will result in getting your refills too frequently. But since you have time delays with authorizations and getting the medication in stock, this policy can work in your favor. You can always refuse an autofill if you don't need it at the moment.

It's also possible RiteAid has a similar autofill policy. You can ask them about that. If you like the pharmacy other than the timing of the refills, an autofill policy may be the best solution.

You also asked about Walgreens. My experience with the local Walgreens is that they are not sufficiently staffed for the number of prescriptions they are filling. This may just be an issue with this region, but I always have to wait in line for ages just to pick up prescriptions that are already ready. Even calling on the phone means waiting for 10-20 minutes on hold before speaking to someone at the pharmacy. They could use an extra person or two on staff to handle the demand and lower waiting times.

Edit: Fixed quotes

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dm200
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Re: what local pharmacy?

Post by dm200 » Fri Jan 13, 2017 4:02 pm

I don't get meds by mail order, because I am concerned about temperature extremes (yes, I know that can happen on the way to the pharmacy, but I think there's less of a chance that way), plus I like knowing the people in the pharmacy.
The one prescription I have now is generic Synthroid and I order 90 day refills by US mail. That is the most convenient and lowest cost (Kaiser Washington DC area). Objectively, how likely might there be any significant (medically) degradation of the effectiveness in sending US mail due to heat or cold?

sport
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Re: what local pharmacy?

Post by sport » Fri Jan 13, 2017 4:14 pm

dm200 wrote:
I don't get meds by mail order, because I am concerned about temperature extremes (yes, I know that can happen on the way to the pharmacy, but I think there's less of a chance that way), plus I like knowing the people in the pharmacy.
The one prescription I have now is generic Synthroid and I order 90 day refills by US mail. That is the most convenient and lowest cost (Kaiser Washington DC area). Objectively, how likely might there be any significant (medically) degradation of the effectiveness in sending US mail due to heat or cold?
If you take a look at the package of your Rx, it may show a storage temperature range. If the range is narrow, degradation would be more of a problem than if the range is wide.

DetroitRick
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Re: what local pharmacy?

Post by DetroitRick » Fri Jan 13, 2017 4:23 pm

I"m reasonably happy with Walgreens, while wife has a preference for Kroger and Meijer. As an earlier poster mentioned, I think half the experience relates to the store pharmacist and pharmacy employees themselves. I notice at Walgreens that some are far better than others, and they are the ones that enhance the experience more than the store branding. Website and text alerts for Walgreens have also been decent. Plus, they win on proximity for us (actually all 3 are within one mile of house).

My prescriptions are few in number and are all common drugs, but I do notice that my local Walgreens often has to order to fill. It's never taken more than one business day and I can plan around it just fine, but that is the one black mark I would give them. It's the one thing I wouldn't expect from a big box store. But I suppose they want to minimize inventory like everybody else.

We also have one really cool local, independent pharmacy located about 7 miles away. I've used them on some rare occasions and loved them. Really popular, and really well-liked around town. I may eventually switch there, but the closer Walgreens is just too convenient. All of these 4 choices are accepted by my insurer, so no difference in my pricing.

We also use GoodRx for one otherwise expensive pet medication. On that particular drug with GoodRx discount, Walgreen's is massively cheaper for us. But that experience would vary by drug.

Edited to add: I also checked mail order, which my insurer encourages. Temperature control would sometimes be an issue for one med. But regardless, the price difference with the exact drugs we use was minimal in our case anyway (that could vary by drug and insurer, of course).
Last edited by DetroitRick on Fri Jan 13, 2017 4:27 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Aptenodytes
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Re: what local pharmacy?

Post by Aptenodytes » Fri Jan 13, 2017 4:23 pm

It was my doctor who recommend a local mom and pop pharmacy in my town. A local doctor in general practice should have well founded opinions on the local pharmacies.

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Toons
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Re: what local pharmacy?

Post by Toons » Fri Jan 13, 2017 4:34 pm

Cvs,Walmart
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heartwood
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Re: what local pharmacy?

Post by heartwood » Fri Jan 13, 2017 4:48 pm

While we order most of our maintenance meds through Express Scripts as mandated by our coverage (lower copay/90 day supply), the plan also allows for use of local pharms for immediate needs or any reason at a higher copay (30 day supply). We're fortunate to have an excellent local independent pharm that we've used for over 30 years, even through changes in ownership. We know the main pharmacist by his first name and he knows us. He and the staff are helpful to us in so many ways. I guess its partly the owners and their ability to truly provide service.

mouses
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Re: what local pharmacy?

Post by mouses » Fri Jan 13, 2017 4:50 pm

I do wish there were an independent pharmacy here. There was one where I lived before, and they were great.

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dm200
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Re: what local pharmacy?

Post by dm200 » Fri Jan 13, 2017 4:55 pm

Years ago, under several employer health plans, the prescription filling and refilling requirements were very narrow. You had to wait until you were almost out before you could get a refill and then, sometimes, the pharmacy had to order the drug. While it required going back for the rest, the pharmacy we used could usually provide 3 or 4 pills then so you would not actually run out.

What I really like about our current Kaiser drug coverage is that you can get (either in person or by mail) a refill several weeks before you run out.

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Doom&Gloom
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Re: what local pharmacy?

Post by Doom&Gloom » Fri Jan 13, 2017 5:03 pm

Aptenodytes wrote:It was my doctor who recommend a local mom and pop pharmacy in my town. A local doctor in general practice should have well founded opinions on the local pharmacies.
Perhaps. Perhaps not.

In some places I have lived, particularly smaller towns, local doctors owned some of the smaller pharmacies--and it was usually not apparent to patients/customers.

I don't know if there are current regulations regarding this or if there may be differences depending upon the state.

RudyS
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Re: what local pharmacy?

Post by RudyS » Fri Jan 13, 2017 5:31 pm

You have to check your specific policy, but we have Medicare Part D with Humana Walmart, but we can actually get our prescriptions at Walgreens instead of Walmart at essentially the same price. But you MUST verify this for your specific policy and medications. Also verify cost o0f pick up versus mail order, that varies a lot too. It's a dollar or two cheaper to pick up insulin than have it mailed.

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friar1610
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Re: what local pharmacy?

Post by friar1610 » Fri Jan 13, 2017 9:45 pm

heartwood wrote:While we order most of our maintenance meds through Express Scripts as mandated by our coverage (lower copay/90 day supply), the plan also allows for use of local pharms for immediate needs or any reason at a higher copay (30 day supply). We're fortunate to have an excellent local independent pharm that we've used for over 30 years, even through changes in ownership. We know the main pharmacist by his first name and he knows us. He and the staff are helpful to us in so many ways. I guess its partly the owners and their ability to truly provide service.
I use several maintenance meds that I get through Express Scripts, the contractor for TRICARE. I get a 90 day supply for a reasonable (but always increasing) co-pay. I have been very happy with that arrangement. For short-term needs I can either have them sent from Express Scripts if I don't need to start them immediately or use Walgreens. CVS had the TRICARE contract until the first of the year when they switched to Walgreens. I never liked our local CVS. Here's hoping I will like Walgreens more.
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heartwood
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Re: what local pharmacy?

Post by heartwood » Fri Jan 13, 2017 9:52 pm

Doom&Gloom wrote:
Aptenodytes wrote:It was my doctor who recommend a local mom and pop pharmacy in my town. A local doctor in general practice should have well founded opinions on the local pharmacies.
Perhaps. Perhaps not.
wine
In some places I have lived, particularly smaller towns, local doctors owned some of the smaller pharmacies--and it was usually not apparent to patients/customers.

I don't know if there are current regulations regarding this or if there may be differences depending upon the state.
Thirty years ago our local independent pharm was owned by the local wine store across the street. The monthly store charges for both came billed under the name of the pharmacy, broken out, but the check was to the pharmacy. The liquor store eventually sold the business to two pharmacists and that ended.

mdba73
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Re: what local pharmacy?

Post by mdba73 » Fri Jan 13, 2017 10:38 pm

pochax wrote:if you have access to a Costco, try to use them - on average, they will be among the most inexpensive pharmacies....even if they are not right around the corner. the savings could be substantial over time.

+1 for Costco, Samsclub or Publix.
Good thing for the warehouse stores - you don't need to be a club member to access the pharmacy (at least here in GA).

Due to exorbitant costs of medication - I have become too price sensitive; service takes a back seat.
I prefer to drive a mile or two extra to get the lowest cost prescription fill - not just to save some money but to force my insurance to see that people are not buying overpriced generic medications.

If you are not aware - Publix has a free antibiotics program; if you have one nearby and if there is a need for an antibiotic prescription keep the list handy and "ask your doctor" if anyone on the list can be prescribed.
http://www.publix.com/pharmacy-wellness ... on-program

Loik098
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Re: what local pharmacy?

Post by Loik098 » Sat Jan 14, 2017 2:48 am

DetroitRick wrote:I think half the experience relates to the store pharmacist and pharmacy employees themselves. I notice at Walgreens that some are far better than others, and they are the ones that enhance the experience more than the store branding.
Nailed it. Good service is not chain-specific. You need to find a pharmacy that believes in giving its pharmacists an adequate number of supportive staff, and you need to observe how well those staff deal with problems and multi-tasking. Here are some things I'd look for:

1) Are the techs/clerks getting to the counter to help you within a minute or two? If not, are they at least verbally recognizing you?
2) Are the staff able to quickly input your insurance information and explain any delays in coverage to you so that you can easily understand them?
3) Does the pharmacy offer to call other pharmacies to find your medication when it's not in stock? Do they call when there is any sort of delay with your prescription?
4) If available, do the staff offer to walk you to the location of the OTC product you're looking for?
5) Are the pharmacists on duty engaged in helping their teams? In other words, are they doing a good job of directing their staff where to go and what to do, and jumping in to help the lines when needed?
6) When you call your pharmacy, is your call answered within 2-3 minutes? Or are you consistently on hold for 5-10 minutes every time?

It also wouldn't hurt to ask how many prescriptions the pharmacy fills on a weekly basis. If you're visiting a pharmacy that fills 3,000 prescriptions a week while staffing 2 pharmacists and 4 techs, your service WILL suffer, no matter how good the staff is.

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celia
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Re: what local pharmacy?

Post by celia » Sat Jan 14, 2017 3:38 am

We talked to our WalMart pharmacist recently to see why we have to wait several days for the med to come in. She said if the prescription says to also give refills, their computer will automatically have it sent to the store when the next refill is due. But if the prescription is already on the last refill or the doctor didn't authorize refills, then we have to wait for a new request to be sent in, then wait for the meds to come in.

One doctor we have doesn't like to give auto refills since he needs/wants the patient to see him each time. Many patients only come in when they are out of meds. But since we are regulars at that clinic, he gives us auto refills. So a conversation with your doctor describing your refill difficulties may help. Also talk to the pharmacist to see if they automatically send it to the store when you are low if refills were authorized up front.

Caduceus
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Re: what local pharmacy?

Post by Caduceus » Sat Jan 14, 2017 11:56 am

I don't think it's the local pharmacy brand you should be looking at, but the local pharmacist. There's no reason that CVS pharmacists are all better than Rite-Aid ones, or vice versa.

I go to the pharmacy I do because the pharmacist on duty is extremely anal, which is a huge selling point for this type of service. She double-checks and triple-checks everything, and when one of the folks who was there for a vaccine ended up waiting a tad bit too long because another of the pharmacists just left the solution out of the refrigerator for some unspecified time, she insisted on throwing out the old vaccine and taking out a new one. I was totally sold.

Find a pharmacist who's detail-oriented and annoyingly anal, regardless of which chain it is.

Loik098
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Re: what local pharmacy?

Post by Loik098 » Sat Jan 14, 2017 12:44 pm

Caduceus wrote: Find a pharmacist who's detail-oriented and annoyingly anal, regardless of which chain it is.
Most pharmacists are, by nature, detail-oriented. If we weren't, we'd hate our jobs and move on to something else. But this doesn't stop even the best of us from making mistakes....mostly due to distractions. If I were you, I'd spend more time on finding a detail-oriented doctor's office. We spend much of our time correcting their mistakes (or clarifying their chicken scratch)....not our own :D

For most people, chances are good that you're not going to know whether your pharmacist is "anal" until your own prescriptions start to be held up due to an issue he/she has with how they're written, why you're taking it, or the fact that you're trying to fill it early. Also....don't most pharmacies employ more than one pharmacist?

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dm200
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Re: what local pharmacy?

Post by dm200 » Sat Jan 14, 2017 12:50 pm

In my opinion, "quality" is very important as well. This includes:
1. No errors in filling the prescription. Such an error could be fatal. In most cases, as I observe, this is usually done by a technician of some sort and not the actual pharmacist.
2. "system" for catching drug interactions. This usually means all prescriptions at the same pharmacy.
3. Availability of the drug when needed
4. Ability to communicate with prescribing physician when various issues come up. It may be, for example, that the prescribing physician may have made some kind of error and the Pharmacist caught it.
5. Ability to answer patient questions or other patient issues

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dm200
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Re: what local pharmacy?

Post by dm200 » Sat Jan 14, 2017 12:52 pm

I don't think it's the local pharmacy brand you should be looking at, but the local pharmacist. There's no reason that CVS pharmacists are all better than Rite-Aid ones, or vice versa
.

I agree, but when I dealt with various chain pharmacies, the Pharmacists on duty were in a rotation such that you never knew which pharmacist you would deal with.

Broken Man 1999
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Re: what local pharmacy?

Post by Broken Man 1999 » Sat Jan 14, 2017 5:36 pm

dm200 wrote:
I don't get meds by mail order, because I am concerned about temperature extremes (yes, I know that can happen on the way to the pharmacy, but I think there's less of a chance that way), plus I like knowing the people in the pharmacy.
The one prescription I have now is generic Synthroid and I order 90 day refills by US mail. That is the most convenient and lowest cost (Kaiser Washington DC area). Objectively, how likely might there be any significant (medically) degradation of the effectiveness in sending US mail due to heat or cold?
I receive insulin via mail-order. Until my last shipment, it came in a dandy small Styrofoam ice chest with gel/ice packs. My last shipment came in a heavy-duty cold bag with the same gel/ice packs. Thus far, over a few years time, I've never had an issue.

Though, I do miss the mini-ice chests as they were perfect for day trips.

Broken Man 1999
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dopamineagonist
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Re: what local pharmacy?

Post by dopamineagonist » Sat Jan 14, 2017 5:50 pm

I'm surprise that there's isn't many people that go to Walmart. Depends on your area, but I think they are a hidden gem. Some time with common medications you cAn save a lot even through insurance. My Neighbor use to go to cvs and I mentioned to them about walmart and they gave it a tried and saved a lot of money. They had 5 medications that they were paying 10 dollars monthly for each medication, after switching over to Walmart they payed 10 dollars for 3 months on each medication. They were so thankful. It all depends on the medications you're on but it's worth a tried.

Nate79
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Re: what local pharmacy?

Post by Nate79 » Sat Jan 14, 2017 5:55 pm

The original premise of the OP concerning worry about temperature extreme from mail order vs local pharmacy should be false. The drugs have to get to the pharmacy the same way they are getting to your door, thru the various transport companies and/or postal service.

Much ado about nothing.

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dm200
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Re: what local pharmacy?

Post by dm200 » Sat Jan 14, 2017 5:58 pm

dopamineagonist wrote:I'm surprise that there's isn't many people that go to Walmart. Depends on your area, but I think they are a hidden gem. Some time with common medications you cAn save a lot even through insurance. My Neighbor use to go to cvs and I mentioned to them about walmart and they gave it a tried and saved a lot of money. They had 5 medications that they were paying 10 dollars monthly for each medication, after switching over to Walmart they payed 10 dollars for 3 months on each medication. They were so thankful. It all depends on the medications you're on but it's worth a tried.
Yes. A cost conscious friend is on multiple prescriptions and gets them filled/refilled at several places, wherever she gets the best price. She tells me she saves a lot by getting some at Walmart. One is the same medication I take and she pays somewhat less (I am on Kaiser medicare plan), but I prefer the convenience and centralized record/refill of having my medications in one place, fully accessible to all my Physicians.I only pay about $30 for a 90 day supply.

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dm200
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Re: what local pharmacy?

Post by dm200 » Sat Jan 14, 2017 6:00 pm

Nate79 wrote:The original premise of the OP concerning worry about temperature extreme from mail order vs local pharmacy should be false. The drugs have to get to the pharmacy the same way they are getting to your door, thru the various transport companies and/or postal service.
Much ado about nothing.
Yes, probably true for most drugs.

mouses
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Re: what local pharmacy?

Post by mouses » Mon Jan 16, 2017 7:26 am

dm200 wrote:
dopamineagonist wrote:I'm surprise that there's isn't many people that go to Walmart. Depends on your area, but I think they are a hidden gem. Some time with common medications you cAn save a lot even through insurance. My Neighbor use to go to cvs and I mentioned to them about walmart and they gave it a tried and saved a lot of money. They had 5 medications that they were paying 10 dollars monthly for each medication, after switching over to Walmart they payed 10 dollars for 3 months on each medication. They were so thankful. It all depends on the medications you're on but it's worth a tried.
Yes. A cost conscious friend is on multiple prescriptions and gets them filled/refilled at several places, wherever she gets the best price. She tells me she saves a lot by getting some at Walmart. One is the same medication I take and she pays somewhat less (I am on Kaiser medicare plan), but I prefer the convenience and centralized record/refill of having my medications in one place, fully accessible to all my Physicians.I only pay about $30 for a 90 day supply.

I could tell you why I don't buy anything at Walmart, but it would get booted for being political. Gem is not the right word for them.

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Re: what local pharmacy?

Post by jlawrence01 » Mon Jan 16, 2017 8:55 am

dopamineagonist wrote:I'm surprise that there's isn't many people that go to Walmart. Depends on your area, but I think they are a hidden gem. Some time with common medications you cAn save a lot even through insurance. My Neighbor use to go to cvs and I mentioned to them about walmart and they gave it a tried and saved a lot of money. They had 5 medications that they were paying 10 dollars monthly for each medication, after switching over to Walmart they payed 10 dollars for 3 months on each medication. They were so thankful. It all depends on the medications you're on but it's worth a tried.

I moved all of my pharmacy business to Walmart when I lived in Chicago. They did an EXCELLENT job and the pharmacist caught a couple of prescription errors that led me to change physicians. They were substantially cheaper than the competitors including Costco ($50 per month on my monthly prescriptions). Unlike Costco and Sam's Club, Walmart, being a high volume pharmacy, had all of my medications IN STOCK so that I did not have to make MULTIPLE trips to the pharmacy each month.

In the past five years, I have been required to use CVS Caremark mail order for my subscriptions. I have few complaints about the service BUT if I allow the auto-refill function, I will start to build up a large inventory. I have a six to twelve month supply of most of my prescriptions which is less than ideal.

I know that some people like my sister poo-poo using Walmart as I was "ONLY" saving $50 a month BUT that equates to $600 that I can stick in my pockets.

As for using "local independents," I have yet to have a pharmacy plan since 1994 that has allowed me free choice of which pharmacy to use.

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Re: what local pharmacy?

Post by dm200 » Mon Jan 16, 2017 9:42 am

I could tell you why I don't buy anything at Walmart, but it would get booted for being political. Gem is not the right word for them.
Yes, I see and appreciate that point of view.

Whatever the pharmacy, I wonder about the risks of errors in filling prescriptions and whether there are significant differences in such risks from one pharmacy to another? They might just put the wrong pills on the bottle. The prescribing physician might have made a mistake and an "on the ball" pharmacist might catch it. There might be drug interactions that some pharmacies or pharmacists are better at catching. It might also be that the patient filling the prescription (in person) may show signs of likely improper use of such prescriptions (many types).

Wherever I get prescriptions, I always look at the pills and do what I can to make sure they are correct. I always read all the inserts and warnings. Most folks don't do that, though. When I have gotten prescriptions in person, my observations are that, in many/most cases, a technician (not the Pharmacist) actually puts the pills in the bottle I get. In almost all cases, it is a technician (not the Pharmacist) that I interact with to be handed the medications.

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Re: what local pharmacy?

Post by sport » Mon Jan 16, 2017 10:17 am

dm200 wrote:Whatever the pharmacy, I wonder about the risks of errors in filling prescriptions and whether there are significant differences in such risks from one pharmacy to another? They might just put the wrong pills on the bottle.
For the Rx's I bought at CVS, the label includes a description of the pill. It would say something like, round white pill, SBS on the front and 123 on the back. My insurance company has induced me to use other stores this year, and they do not show a description on the bottle. I feel that description lets me do an extra verification to make sure the Rx was filled properly. The description is reliable because it is done by computer automatically when the drug name is printed on the label.

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Re: what local pharmacy?

Post by dm200 » Mon Jan 16, 2017 10:21 am

sport wrote:
dm200 wrote:Whatever the pharmacy, I wonder about the risks of errors in filling prescriptions and whether there are significant differences in such risks from one pharmacy to another? They might just put the wrong pills on the bottle.
For the Rx's I bought at CVS, the label includes a description of the pill. It would say something like, round white pill, SBS on the front and 123 on the back. My insurance company has induced me to use other stores this year, and they do not show a description on the bottle. I feel that description lets me do an extra verification to make sure the Rx was filled properly. The description is reliable because it is done by computer automatically when the drug name is printed on the label.
That is a great idea and allows cross checking for errors. There are also books you can buy that has descriptions (and often photos) of what various pills look like. Sometimes I have seen the pill description in the insert.

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Re: what local pharmacy?

Post by mrc » Mon Jan 16, 2017 10:31 am

The drugs.com website has a description and pictures of many drugs. For example, the Bystolic page (a common BP med) shows the trademark blue triangle with rounded edges embossed with the letters "FL" on one side, and the milligrams dose on the other side. This is a good thing to know for a new Rx, and something to check on a refill.

One rub can be a generic that can take multiple forms, depending on the manufacturer. For example, gabapentin (generic for Neurontin) comes in many physical forms.
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Re: what local pharmacy?

Post by coffeehubcap » Mon Jan 16, 2017 10:45 am

I'm also a prisoner of CVS because of my insurance. What's sad is they're the most expensive for drugs of all other pharmacies. Rip off.

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Re: what local pharmacy?

Post by sport » Mon Jan 16, 2017 10:47 am

coffeehubcap wrote:I'm also a prisoner of CVS because of my insurance. What's sad is they're the most expensive for drugs of all other pharmacies. Rip off.
And, my insurance just classified CVS as "non-preferred". So, I have inducement to go elsewhere.

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Re: what local pharmacy?

Post by mouses » Mon Jan 16, 2017 8:06 pm

I always examine the usual prescriptions before I leave the pharmacy. I check that they look right and that the caps are non-safety caps. It just occurred to me that there is a hole in my process, having to do with new meds.

It's unfortunate that generics are often "small white pills."

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Re: what local pharmacy?

Post by nisiprius » Mon Jan 16, 2017 8:36 pm

I've found CVS--the specific CVS I go to--to be perfectly tolerable.

I started the thread about annoying glitches in their refill reminders, and unrequested auto-refills, but that's all it is, annoying. Now that others have confirmed it I can enjoy grumbling about it with a clear conscience--it's not just me.
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Re: what local pharmacy?

Post by dm200 » Mon Jan 16, 2017 9:10 pm

I always examine the usual prescriptions before I leave the pharmacy. I check that they look right .
When I get them in person, I do the very same thing. MUCH easier to get a problem fixed then than later.

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Re: what local pharmacy?

Post by dm200 » Mon Jan 16, 2017 9:12 pm

coffeehubcap wrote:I'm also a prisoner of CVS because of my insurance. What's sad is they're the most expensive for drugs of all other pharmacies. Rip off.
I also recall (can't remember all the details) that under one of my previous insurance plans there was one situation where it was less expensive for me to pay cash the cash price (NOT use the insurance) than doing it with my insurance.

Have you checked the CASH price at other pharmacies?

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Re: what local pharmacy?

Post by Doom&Gloom » Mon Jan 16, 2017 9:34 pm

I've never used Walmart pharmacy, but the ever-present lines at the Walmart closest to us would be enough to dissuade me from giving them a try. On the other hand, that does seem to indicate that it is a popular choice here.

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