Question on refilling prescriptions

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MrMojoRisin
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Question on refilling prescriptions

Post by MrMojoRisin » Wed Nov 06, 2019 8:44 pm

All my adult life I have had all my prescriptions at one pharmacy at a time. However we are going to a different health plan and I will need to shop each prescription for the best price. I am also going to have my doctor write the Rx for twice the dosage so I can cut pills. One med I take the cost is the same for a 90 day supply regardless if they are the 10mg or 20mg.

The question I have is that when on Rx begins to run out I will do a comparison, which means I may be getting my refill from another pharmacy. I take it all I have to do is drop off the old bottle and if the label show that there are refills still available they will refill the Rx. Am I correct in this?

I know, dumb question....

Grt2bOutdoors
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Re: Question on refilling prescriptions

Post by Grt2bOutdoors » Wed Nov 06, 2019 8:48 pm

MrMojoRisin wrote:
Wed Nov 06, 2019 8:44 pm
All my adult life I have had all my prescriptions at one pharmacy at a time. However we are going to a different health plan and I will need to shop each prescription for the best price. I am also going to have my doctor write the Rx for twice the dosage so I can cut pills. One med I take the cost is the same for a 90 day supply regardless if they are the 10mg or 20mg.

The question I have is that when on Rx begins to run out I will do a comparison, which means I may be getting my refill from another pharmacy. I take it all I have to do is drop off the old bottle and if the label show that there are refills still available they will refill the Rx. Am I correct in this?

I know, dumb question....
Shouldn't you ask the pharmacy? As in, do a dry run, ask the pharmacy if you bring them the prescription bottle showing X number of refills left will they fill it? I'm not a pharmacist, but am thinking no. They might want the original RX script for safety purposes, to ensure you are the patient and they have a valid original on file in paper or electronic format. Then again, they might take the bottle, call the physician for verification and then fill it. It's best to check with the pharmacy first though.
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Bigfish
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Re: Question on refilling prescriptions

Post by Bigfish » Wed Nov 06, 2019 9:03 pm

Retired pharmacist here. You will have to have your meds transferred. Take your bottles to the new pharmacy and they will be happy to handle the transfer for you as long as everything is in date, no need to call the physician.
Last edited by Bigfish on Wed Nov 06, 2019 9:05 pm, edited 1 time in total.

orhkaf
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Re: Question on refilling prescriptions

Post by orhkaf » Wed Nov 06, 2019 9:04 pm

All you need to do is call the pharmacy you’d like to transfer to and give them your info and your original pharmacy’s info. They will call and get the Rx transferred for you.

WanderingPothos
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Re: Question on refilling prescriptions

Post by WanderingPothos » Wed Nov 06, 2019 10:18 pm

MrMojoRisin wrote:
Wed Nov 06, 2019 8:44 pm
I am also going to have my doctor write the Rx for twice the dosage so I can cut pills. One med I take the cost is the same for a 90 day supply regardless if they are the 10mg or 20mg.
I know this is not the question, but just to note: doctor may not agree to do this. Prescribing a medication one way and having the patient take it another is insurance fraud. For example, if doc prescribes 20 mg for 90 days when you only need 10 mg, then the quantity dispensed will be half and the co-pay would probably be the same. I think that idea works when people are paying cash and buy half the quantity of pills of a higher strength.

BuddyJet
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Re: Question on refilling prescriptions

Post by BuddyJet » Wed Nov 06, 2019 11:46 pm

MrMojoRisin wrote:
Wed Nov 06, 2019 8:44 pm
All my adult life I have had all my prescriptions at one pharmacy at a time. However we are going to a different health plan and I will need to shop each prescription for the best price. I am also going to have my doctor write the Rx for twice the dosage so I can cut pills. One med I take the cost is the same for a 90 day supply regardless if they are the 10mg or 20mg.

The question I have is that when on Rx begins to run out I will do a comparison, which means I may be getting my refill from another pharmacy. I take it all I have to do is drop off the old bottle and if the label show that there are refills still available they will refill the Rx. Am I correct in this?

I know, dumb question....
I have cut pills in half to save money but before deciding to do this ask your doctor a couple questions.

Is this prescription OK to cut in half? Some pills are time release or have coatings that affect absorption if cut.
Is the exact dosage critical? When you cut pill, it is usually not an exact half cut. I took the cut halves on consecutive days rather than cutting the entire prescription at once to minimize effect of cut variance.

I used GoodRX.com to shop the prescription at each refill to see where to fill. Also, if moving pharmacies, allow an extra couple days to allow time for the transfer process.

Fclevz
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Re: Question on refilling prescriptions

Post by Fclevz » Thu Nov 07, 2019 12:50 am

Does your insurance have a mail-order pharmacy option?
If so, I've found it to be much cheaper than any retail pharmacy. Convenient too.

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HueyLD
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Re: Question on refilling prescriptions

Post by HueyLD » Thu Nov 07, 2019 5:28 am

If you live in a hot climate, mail order is a very bad idea because your prescription meds will likely melt in your hot mailbox. And high temps during mail transit can also cause the medicine to degenerate.

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RickBoglehead
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Re: Question on refilling prescriptions

Post by RickBoglehead » Thu Nov 07, 2019 6:22 am

HueyLD wrote:
Thu Nov 07, 2019 5:28 am
If you live in a hot climate, mail order is a very bad idea because your prescription meds will likely melt in your hot mailbox. And high temps during mail transit can also cause the medicine to degenerate.
A bit alarmist.

Mail-order in high heat MIGHT impact a few drugs. Most are fine. https://www.consumerreports.org/cro/new ... /index.htm

How do you think the wholesale chain ships pills during the summer, in refrigerated trucks?
BuddyJet wrote:
Wed Nov 06, 2019 11:46 pm

I have cut pills in half to save money but before deciding to do this ask your doctor a couple questions.

Is this prescription OK to cut in half? Some pills are time release or have coatings that affect absorption if cut.
Is the exact dosage critical? When you cut pill, it is usually not an exact half cut. I took the cut halves on consecutive days rather than cutting the entire prescription at once to minimize effect of cut variance.

I used GoodRX.com to shop the prescription at each refill to see where to fill. Also, if moving pharmacies, allow an extra couple days to allow time for the transfer process.
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awval999
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Re: Question on refilling prescriptions

Post by awval999 » Thu Nov 07, 2019 6:45 am

Pharmacist here.

Since this is Bogleheads, I do want to point out some risks here. And in addition discuss how Rx billing works / prescription plans work since I really don't understand why you'd have to use different pharmacies.

Let's start with risk management. I need to point out, if you are on many different medications, and get medications added / subtracted often, if you go to different pharmacies you are giving up the very last and real "check" of your medications before you take it, and that is the pharmacist' computer system DUR (drug utilization review). Simply the computer spits out all interactions (minor to severe) and the pharmacist has to determine if any of them are significant enough to alert the provider. I work in specialty pharmacy with high cost medications and every single day there is at least once where I have to email the provider with a severe drug interaction and how we need to manage it (reduce dose, change to another similar medication in same class, etc.) Now this can be monitored if you keep a detailed list of your medications and often go to a pharmacist and have them run the list of all your medications. "Hi Sally, I'm picking up this medication today, but I go to other pharmacies, can you please run a drug interaction check on my whole list, thank you".

Let's discuss how Rx billing works. If you are billing through a prescription insurance, it is very unlikely that the price will be different from one pharmacy to another. Even if you have a HDHP, the prescription insurance will adjudicate the claim from the made up fantasy "cash" price to a realistic price that is typically cost + $10 or so. If you have regular health plan, the medications are typically put on tiers where generic is $x, preferred brand is $y, and non-preferred brand is $z. In my cases than not, it's the same cost wherever you go. You may get 3 months of medications for 2 months of copay by going mail order. But that's the only typical difference. Are you absolutely sure you need to shop pharmacies? Because of the risks of that, health plans typically don't make the patient do that.

McDougal
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Re: Question on refilling prescriptions

Post by McDougal » Thu Nov 07, 2019 6:46 am

BuddyJet wrote:
Wed Nov 06, 2019 11:46 pm
MrMojoRisin wrote:
Wed Nov 06, 2019 8:44 pm
All my adult life I have had all my prescriptions at one pharmacy at a time. However we are going to a different health plan and I will need to shop each prescription for the best price. I am also going to have my doctor write the Rx for twice the dosage so I can cut pills. One med I take the cost is the same for a 90 day supply regardless if they are the 10mg or 20mg.

The question I have is that when on Rx begins to run out I will do a comparison, which means I may be getting my refill from another pharmacy. I take it all I have to do is drop off the old bottle and if the label show that there are refills still available they will refill the Rx. Am I correct in this?

I know, dumb question....
I have cut pills in half to save money but before deciding to do this ask your doctor a couple questions.

Is this prescription OK to cut in half? Some pills are time release or have coatings that affect absorption if cut.
Is the exact dosage critical? When you cut pill, it is usually not an exact half cut. I took the cut halves on consecutive days rather than cutting the entire prescription at once to minimize effect of cut variance.

I used GoodRX.com to shop the prescription at each refill to see where to fill. Also, if moving pharmacies, allow an extra couple days to allow time for the transfer process.
Agree with the above, but I suggest asking the pharmacist instead of the doctor. regarding the physical characteristics of any particular dosage form. Sometimes the active ingredient may not be uniformly distributed in certain medications.

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HueyLD
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Re: Question on refilling prescriptions

Post by HueyLD » Thu Nov 07, 2019 7:07 am

RickBoglehead wrote:
Thu Nov 07, 2019 6:22 am
HueyLD wrote:
Thu Nov 07, 2019 5:28 am
If you live in a hot climate, mail order is a very bad idea because your prescription meds will likely melt in your hot mailbox. And high temps during mail transit can also cause the medicine to degenerate.
A bit alarmist.

Mail-order in high heat MIGHT impact a few drugs. Most are fine. https://www.consumerreports.org/cro/new ... /index.htm

How do you think the wholesale chain ships pills during the summer, in refrigerated trucks?
No, it is not sensational. Apparently you don’t live in an area where the temps can be 110F+ outside and at least 150F inside a closed mailbox sitting outside under 100% sunlight.

After you have pills melted a few times, you get the message.

In another thread, a professional pharmacist indicated that they have a much better system shipping medication for pharmacies.

My post was meant to be helpful, not to be sensational or alarmist.

v7yubih
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Re: Question on refilling prescriptions

Post by v7yubih » Thu Nov 07, 2019 8:06 am

Young pharmacist practicing in a hospital setting here - I think this topic may violate the spirit of the ban on medical advice?

OP - consumer reports has some good guides on pharmacy shopping. Ideally you want to find docs and pharmacists that you can trust and build a rapport with - think of it as a low-cost investment that will have large dividends when something goes wrong in the future. Care coordination is a huge hurdle in the U.S. and you definitely want some folks knowledgeable about you to quarterback your care team.

We don't know what medications or health issues you have, so I would frankly stay away from soliciting advice from well-intentioned people without the full picture of your health.

CR link to pharmacy buying guide: https://www.consumerreports.org/cro/pha ... /index.htm
CR link to secret shopper pharmacy guide: https://www.consumerreports.org/drug-pr ... ug-prices/

Both should be viewable without having to register/login.

All the best,
Dave

fru-gal
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Re: Question on refilling prescriptions

Post by fru-gal » Thu Nov 07, 2019 8:32 am

awval999 wrote:
Thu Nov 07, 2019 6:45 am
Pharmacist here.

Since this is Bogleheads, I do want to point out some risks here. And in addition discuss how Rx billing works / prescription plans work since I really don't understand why you'd have to use different pharmacies.

Let's start with risk management. I need to point out, if you are on many different medications, and get medications added / subtracted often, if you go to different pharmacies you are giving up the very last and real "check" of your medications before you take it, and that is the pharmacist' computer system DUR (drug utilization review). Simply the computer spits out all interactions (minor to severe) and the pharmacist has to determine if any of them are significant enough to alert the provider. I work in specialty pharmacy with high cost medications and every single day there is at least once where I have to email the provider with a severe drug interaction and how we need to manage it (reduce dose, change to another similar medication in same class, etc.) Now this can be monitored if you keep a detailed list of your medications and often go to a pharmacist and have them run the list of all your medications. "Hi Sally, I'm picking up this medication today, but I go to other pharmacies, can you please run a drug interaction check on my whole list, thank you".

Let's discuss how Rx billing works. If you are billing through a prescription insurance, it is very unlikely that the price will be different from one pharmacy to another. Even if you have a HDHP, the prescription insurance will adjudicate the claim from the made up fantasy "cash" price to a realistic price that is typically cost + $10 or so. If you have regular health plan, the medications are typically put on tiers where generic is $x, preferred brand is $y, and non-preferred brand is $z. In my cases than not, it's the same cost wherever you go. You may get 3 months of medications for 2 months of copay by going mail order. But that's the only typical difference. Are you absolutely sure you need to shop pharmacies? Because of the risks of that, health plans typically don't make the patient do that.
When my local RiteAid was taken over by Walgreen's, some manufacturer's meds stopped being available. Even though theoretically the manufacturer shouldn't matter, I have a side effect from one med that I don't have from another manufacturer's version. Hence I now buy that from CVS. Similarly, another med now only available from Walgreen's from manufacturer A, disintegrates immediately when I put it in my mouth, so its effect is initially quite large but does not last as long. I had to call around and find that not CVS but Stop & Shop carries the old manufacturer's B.

If these generics weren't being made in someone's bathtub in a third world country, we might not have this problem.

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MrMojoRisin
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Re: Question on refilling prescriptions

Post by MrMojoRisin » Thu Nov 07, 2019 9:22 am

I thank all of you for your input.

The HDHP we are looking at has a miserable Rx policy. We will be cost comparing on Rx's using GoodRX, which another poster has mentioned.

The drugs I am taking are all generic versions of medications that have been around for ages, I'm your typical late middle age boomer. I did not consider the time release factor or the suspension of active ingredient in the pill may make a difference.

The reason for using more than one pharmacy is that that between Costo and WallMart we would save a considerable amount but for some meds even those two have large differences.

Seems I need to research which medications can be halved and which cannot and also to find a good online medication contraindications data base.

It was mentioned that doing the pill splitting may create an insurance fraud situation. I will check into this.

clip651
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Re: Question on refilling prescriptions

Post by clip651 » Thu Nov 07, 2019 10:18 am

MrMojoRisin wrote:
Thu Nov 07, 2019 9:22 am

Seems I need to research which medications can be halved and which cannot and also to find a good online medication contraindications data base.
No, you need to find a good pharmacist and discuss all your meds at once, and any changes to meds in the future. Not everything in life is a do it yourself project.

It's fine to do a bit of online searching to get oriented and have informed questions to ask. But don't make the mistake that a bit of searching will correctly answer technical medical questions. Pharmacists have extensive training for good reason.

best wishes,
cj

flyingaway
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Re: Question on refilling prescriptions

Post by flyingaway » Thu Nov 07, 2019 10:51 am

MrMojoRisin wrote:
Wed Nov 06, 2019 8:44 pm
All my adult life I have had all my prescriptions at one pharmacy at a time. However we are going to a different health plan and I will need to shop each prescription for the best price. I am also going to have my doctor write the Rx for twice the dosage so I can cut pills. One med I take the cost is the same for a 90 day supply regardless if they are the 10mg or 20mg.

The question I have is that when on Rx begins to run out I will do a comparison, which means I may be getting my refill from another pharmacy. I take it all I have to do is drop off the old bottle and if the label show that there are refills still available they will refill the Rx. Am I correct in this?

I know, dumb question....
I think you are correct. My regular pharmacy is Kroger, which I had my prescription filled out there. Then I found the drug is cheaper at Walmart. So, the next month, I went there (Walmart) with my refill label or bottle and told them I want to have my prescription filled out there, they just did the transfer and filled out my prescription.

flyingaway
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Re: Question on refilling prescriptions

Post by flyingaway » Thu Nov 07, 2019 10:52 am

I just used GoodRx to compare prices.

BuddyJet
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Re: Question on refilling prescriptions

Post by BuddyJet » Thu Nov 07, 2019 1:30 pm

MrMojoRisin wrote:
Thu Nov 07, 2019 9:22 am
I thank all of you for your input.

The HDHP we are looking at has a miserable Rx policy. We will be cost comparing on Rx's using GoodRX, which another poster has mentioned.

The drugs I am taking are all generic versions of medications that have been around for ages, I'm your typical late middle age boomer. I did not consider the time release factor or the suspension of active ingredient in the pill may make a difference.

The reason for using more than one pharmacy is that that between Costo and WallMart we would save a considerable amount but for some meds even those two have large differences.

Seems I need to research which medications can be halved and which cannot and also to find a good online medication contraindications data base.

It was mentioned that doing the pill splitting may create an insurance fraud situation. I will check into this.
If you have a samsclub nearby, also look at this program for potential cheap generic.

https://www.samsclub.com/content/prescription-savings

I wouldn't expect this to be an insurance fraud issue since you are not claiming for more than you paid. If anything, the insurance company should be happy with lower cost.

I did the pill cutting for the same reason you are> Boomer, healthy but with one $600 /90 day prescription and a $6.5k deductible. I cut the Crestor until it turned generic at $20 / 90 day. If the generics are cheap enough, I wouldn't bother cutting or filing against deductible.

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samsoes
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Re: Question on refilling prescriptions

Post by samsoes » Thu Nov 07, 2019 1:37 pm

I did the pill-splitting thing once, with a cholesterol med. It wasn't time released or coated, etc., so splitting theoretically worked. Bought a pill-splitter from CVS. Even though the pills were scored, they hardly ever split 50/50. Most of the time it was 60/40 or worse. Oftentimes, the pills crumbled, and I would try to sort-out the crumbs/chunks to reasonably split the pill evenly. Not worth the time and effort.
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Watty
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Re: Question on refilling prescriptions

Post by Watty » Thu Nov 07, 2019 1:48 pm

If you have any prescriptions that might be considered narcotics then there may be special requirements to transfer the prescription.

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onthecusp
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Re: Question on refilling prescriptions

Post by onthecusp » Thu Nov 07, 2019 1:49 pm

I do pill splitting on a take as needed Rx for acid reflux. I take about 50mg at a time but the pills start out as 800mg. Split, split, split, split. I use scissors. It is a generic, also available as over the counter, in the 50mg dose. After the $10 copay for a large bottle of 800s, the resulting dose is nearly free. They are uneven but for my purpose it works just fine.

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Re: Question on refilling prescriptions

Post by Dottie57 » Thu Nov 07, 2019 1:51 pm

clip651 wrote:
Thu Nov 07, 2019 10:18 am
MrMojoRisin wrote:
Thu Nov 07, 2019 9:22 am

Seems I need to research which medications can be halved and which cannot and also to find a good online medication contraindications data base.
No, you need to find a good pharmacist and discuss all your meds at once, and any changes to meds in the future. Not everything in life is a do it yourself project.

It's fine to do a bit of online searching to get oriented and have informed questions to ask. But don't make the mistake that a bit of searching will correctly answer technical medical questions. Pharmacists have extensive training for good reason.

best wishes,
cj
Agree whole heartedly. I stick with one pharmacy which has fairly good prices. The techncians know me and I am able to get good info about the drugs and interactions. I’ve be happy with them for 20 + years.

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Watty
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Re: Question on refilling prescriptions

Post by Watty » Thu Nov 07, 2019 2:18 pm

RickBoglehead wrote:
Thu Nov 07, 2019 6:22 am
How do you think the wholesale chain ships pills during the summer, in refrigerated trucks?
Yup.

Or at least in packages that are packed with the chilled blue gel-packs.

Before I retired I worked in "temperature controlled logistics" which is the buzzword for this. The company I worked for handled mostly food but there are companies that specialize in the distribution of pharmaceuticals that not only require temperature control but also have a lot of special regulations and tracking requirements for liability.

This is really common and even companies like Fed Ex will do temperature controlled shipping.


http://www.fedex.com/us/healthcare/temp ... video.html

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Phineas J. Whoopee
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Re: Question on refilling prescriptions

Post by Phineas J. Whoopee » Thu Nov 07, 2019 4:18 pm

On a more general note, it's worth asking a pharmacy if their price for the medication, ignoring insurance, is less than the copay or coinsurance. Many are contractually blocked (by the wholesalers on which they depend) from volunteering the information, but are in the clear if they truthfully respond to a customer's question.
PJW

Lalamimi
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Re: Question on refilling prescriptions

Post by Lalamimi » Thu Nov 07, 2019 5:11 pm

The new health plan should provide a website for the Rx company. You can then just look up the drugs and see the preferred pharmacy. Try to stick with one if you take a lot of meds. Also, don't try to cut pills- as set out above, that can be dangerous. BUT, my doctor will write a prescription for 10 mg, taken twice a day (rather than once as actually prescribed). That way is best. And, check in to mail order as stated above.

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Re: Question on refilling prescriptions

Post by abuss368 » Thu Nov 07, 2019 8:11 pm

Many years ago because of a change in health benefits with an employer I purchased a lot of subscriptions with Health Warehouse. They do not take insurance but the direct costs was often lower.
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sport
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Re: Question on refilling prescriptions

Post by sport » Thu Nov 07, 2019 9:35 pm

awval999 wrote:
Thu Nov 07, 2019 6:45 am
Let's discuss how Rx billing works. If you are billing through a prescription insurance, it is very unlikely that the price will be different from one pharmacy to another.
My insurance has three categories for pharmacies:
1. In network, preferred.
2. In network, not preferred.
3. Out of network.
I know that I would pay an extra $10 per refill if I do not use a preferred pharmacy. I never tried an out of network, they might not pay anything for those.

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Re: Question on refilling prescriptions

Post by WanderingPothos » Fri Nov 08, 2019 9:15 am

Lalamimi wrote:
Thu Nov 07, 2019 5:11 pm
BUT, my doctor will write a prescription for 10 mg, taken twice a day (rather than once as actually prescribed).
This is what I was talking about previously, sorry if unclear. If the doctor writes you a prescription to fill at the pharmacy that is different than what you and your doc have verbally agreed that you will take, this is potentially fraud. What is written and what is taken should be the same. On top of this, pharmacy and medical records are not just used for billing purposes, they can be used to gather information to take care of you. Let's say you go to the hospital and they call your pharmacy to try to get an accurate med list, they may just start all the medications that your doc has prescribed in the last month, thinking that's what you're taking. If that is not accurate, they could be overdosing you. Of course, someone should be talking to you about how you take your meds, but I have worked in a few different hospital/clinic settings in the last 10 years and this does not always happen.

I am a pharmacist too and not naive to what people do to save money. My perspective is to educate the patient as much as possible about their medications but it is ultimately their decision to do whatever they will do. I am definitely not showing up to peoples' houses to force them to take their meds. I second (third, fourth, fifth...) the approach to find a good pharmacist you feel comfortable discussing your concerns with. This person may not have the answers to everything you ask (esp about specific insurances) but have the knowledge to get information to help you figure it out/interpret drug information or the system. Don't be discouraged if you get pharmacists that act like they're too busy to help you, keep looking.

Also, someone else stated that the insurance should be saving money if you cut pills. They may, but chances are slim that they will be passing that cost savings to you if you have a set copay for that medication. I wouldn't expect any special kudos from them for being a savvy shopper.

HoosierJim
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Re: Question on refilling prescriptions

Post by HoosierJim » Fri Nov 08, 2019 9:24 am

Your doctors office should be able to transfer the prescription balances for you once you decide where you want to go.

You should routinely shop the prescriptions since prices vary widely. I looked up a common drug on GOODRX. If you needed this every 30 days it could cost up to $360 more per year at Walgreens vs Walmart.

Image

Here is a 10 mg pill dosage vs 5mg pill dosage - pricing is nearly identical.

Image

Image


Going to a 90 day supply gives you 3 times the pills for only about double the cost.

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Re: Question on refilling prescriptions

Post by niceguy7376 » Fri Nov 08, 2019 9:40 am

awval999 wrote:
Thu Nov 07, 2019 6:45 am
Pharmacist here.
Let's discuss how Rx billing works. If you are billing through a prescription insurance, it is very unlikely that the price will be different from one pharmacy to another.
I am surprised that a Pharmacist said this. Since we are on HDHP plan, we only get paper prescriptions from doctors office and then price shop on goodrx and check with costco/walmart/publix.
Publix has some antibiotics for free while walmart does some 90 day dosages for $10. Costco sometimes has it less on cash basis without insurance. If the amounts are small and we wont hit the limits of HDHP, then I am more inclined to pay cash than run through health ins

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dm200
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Re: Question on refilling prescriptions

Post by dm200 » Fri Nov 08, 2019 9:51 am

MrMojoRisin wrote:
Wed Nov 06, 2019 8:44 pm
All my adult life I have had all my prescriptions at one pharmacy at a time. However we are going to a different health plan and I will need to shop each prescription for the best price. I am also going to have my doctor write the Rx for twice the dosage so I can cut pills. One med I take the cost is the same for a 90 day supply regardless if they are the 10mg or 20mg.
The question I have is that when on Rx begins to run out I will do a comparison, which means I may be getting my refill from another pharmacy. I take it all I have to do is drop off the old bottle and if the label show that there are refills still available they will refill the Rx. Am I correct in this?
I know, dumb question....
How much will you, or might you, save by shopping all your prescriptions for the lowest price? Is that worth the effort vs. staying with one pharmacy - and making a judgment about which pharmacy will have the lowest overall net cost to you? For some folks, it can be very beneficial and helpful to have a Pharmacy with Pharmacists (and other staff) that are most helpful and the most competent - as well as convenient.

No medical credentials here, but as a patient, I would consider the benefits of staying with one pharmacy:
1. That pharmacy may have ways of catching any negative drug interactions.
2. A few (such as Levothyroxine) drugs should not be switched from one manufacturer to another - without Physician's advice or consultation

sawhorse
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Re: Question on refilling prescriptions

Post by sawhorse » Sat Nov 09, 2019 10:40 am

samsoes wrote:
Thu Nov 07, 2019 1:37 pm
I did the pill-splitting thing once, with a cholesterol med. It wasn't time released or coated, etc., so splitting theoretically worked. Bought a pill-splitter from CVS. Even though the pills were scored, they hardly ever split 50/50. Most of the time it was 60/40 or worse. Oftentimes, the pills crumbled, and I would try to sort-out the crumbs/chunks to reasonably split the pill evenly. Not worth the time and effort.
I agree that some pills split badly. My pharmacy changed manufacturers, and I went from being able to split the pills very cleanly to always having stray powder from the splitting process.

I got empty gelatin capsules - available online and in some vitamin stores - and scooped up the stray powder, along with the solidly cut part. It was a pain to do, but it worked well in getting the correct amount each day.

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MrMojoRisin
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Re: Question on refilling prescriptions

Post by MrMojoRisin » Tue Nov 12, 2019 10:11 am

How much will you, or might you, save by shopping all your prescriptions for the lowest price? Is that worth the effort vs. staying with one pharmacy - and making a judgment about which pharmacy will have the lowest overall net cost to you? For some folks, it can be very beneficial and helpful to have a Pharmacy with Pharmacists (and other staff) that are most helpful and the most competent - as well as convenient.
If we can split most of our meds and get 90 day refills we would put some of our Rx's with Costco, the other's with WallMart. By doing it this way we could go about 180 days before refills on most Rx. We go to Costco and WallMart often enough that it would not be inconvenient.
Let's say you go to the hospital and they call your pharmacy to try to get an accurate med list, they may just start all the medications that your doc has prescribed in the last month, thinking that's what you're taking. If that is not accurate, they could be overdosing you.
Had not considered this. Will have to factor this in.

Thank again to everyone for their input.

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dm200
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Re: Question on refilling prescriptions

Post by dm200 » Tue Nov 12, 2019 10:25 am

Let's say you go to the hospital and they call your pharmacy to try to get an accurate med list, they may just start all the medications that your doc has prescribed in the last month, thinking that's what you're taking. If that is not accurate, they could be overdosing you.
Had not considered this. Will have to factor this in.
Prescriptions when hospitalized!! This is one of my "hot buttons" in medical care!! From several of my short hospitalizations, it seems to be totally "forbidden" to being along - and take - any prescription medications you take. You must tell the hospital and your physician(s) what prescriptions you take - and then the hospital will dispense them to you. From my experiences: 1. Sometimes they get the exact drug wrong (happened to me) and 2. they bring the drug to you at the wrong time and/or after a meal when it mus be taken on an empty stomach. To get such things corrected - it was a long, tedious process of the hospital contacting your doctor(s) --- In the one case of the wrong drug (I questioned it when the pill looked different - my having taken the wrong one (it was very close) - it would not have been harmful - but I was very angry and insisted on the right drug.

Other than a way to charge you more money, I don't know why they do this? Why not allow you to bring along all of your prescribed meds - and give them to the nurse, etc. with the times and conditions for you to take?

Has anyone been successful in bringing your own prescription meds to the hospital OR having a friend/relative bring them? Any other ides/suggestions? Fortunately, I have not been hospitalized over night for several years - and hope to keep it that way :)

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dm200
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Re: Question on refilling prescriptions

Post by dm200 » Tue Nov 12, 2019 10:28 am

I do not split pills to save on any of my prescriptions - but I notice, now, that several of the medications I take now are cylindrical shaped pills with a groove in the middle that makes splitting easier and more accurate.

sport
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Re: Question on refilling prescriptions

Post by sport » Tue Nov 12, 2019 11:37 am

dm200 wrote:
Tue Nov 12, 2019 10:25 am
Has anyone been successful in bringing your own prescription meds to the hospital OR having a friend/relative bring them?
I have had similar problems with Rx's at the hospital. However, for one med, the hospital did not have it on hand and they asked that we bring it from home. In the future, I would try to bring my own meds with me, if I was going to be fully conscious the entire time I was there. If they said that I could not, an argument might occur. I know what I need to take, and when to take them.

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dm200
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Re: Question on refilling prescriptions

Post by dm200 » Tue Nov 12, 2019 11:40 am

sport wrote:
Tue Nov 12, 2019 11:37 am
dm200 wrote:
Tue Nov 12, 2019 10:25 am
Has anyone been successful in bringing your own prescription meds to the hospital OR having a friend/relative bring them?
I have had similar problems with Rx's at the hospital. However, for one med, the hospital did not have it on hand and they asked that we bring it from home. In the future, I would try to bring my own meds with me, if I was going to be fully conscious the entire time I was there. If they said that I could not, an argument might occur. I know what I need to take, and when to take them.
Yes - the only issue, though, that I can think of might be that some things might be different if your treatment in the hospital affects your regular drugs.

The last time I was hospitalized (several days for surgery), it seemed that there were all sorts of folks doing things - without a lot of knowledge or coordination. One person brought pills - handed them to you and watched as you took them. Another person came in to change the sheets. And so on throughout the day. On the other hand, when my wife was hospitalized (different hospital), just about everything seemed to be much better coordinated.

Of course, there is no problem if we can stay out of the hospital :)

fru-gal
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Re: Question on refilling prescriptions

Post by fru-gal » Tue Nov 12, 2019 11:50 am

sawhorse wrote:
Sat Nov 09, 2019 10:40 am
samsoes wrote:
Thu Nov 07, 2019 1:37 pm
I did the pill-splitting thing once, with a cholesterol med. It wasn't time released or coated, etc., so splitting theoretically worked. Bought a pill-splitter from CVS. Even though the pills were scored, they hardly ever split 50/50. Most of the time it was 60/40 or worse. Oftentimes, the pills crumbled, and I would try to sort-out the crumbs/chunks to reasonably split the pill evenly. Not worth the time and effort.
I agree that some pills split badly. My pharmacy changed manufacturers, and I went from being able to split the pills very cleanly to always having stray powder from the splitting process.

I got empty gelatin capsules - available online and in some vitamin stores - and scooped up the stray powder, along with the solidly cut part. It was a pain to do, but it worked well in getting the correct amount each day.
I went to splitting when a med dose changed from 50mg to 25mg and I had a bunch of 50mg pills left. Also I have to split twice for my cat's med due to the lowest dose sold being 4 times what he should take. Although my med splits cleanly, I have to throw out about half of his due to size.

The empty gelatin capsules have another use for pet meds. If they take more than one med at a time you may be able to fit them into one capsule (be sure not to get too big a capsule.) Also it is good for giving meds that apparently taste bad to an animal.

fru-gal
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Re: Question on refilling prescriptions

Post by fru-gal » Tue Nov 12, 2019 11:57 am

sport wrote:
Tue Nov 12, 2019 11:37 am
dm200 wrote:
Tue Nov 12, 2019 10:25 am
Has anyone been successful in bringing your own prescription meds to the hospital OR having a friend/relative bring them?
I have had similar problems with Rx's at the hospital. However, for one med, the hospital did not have it on hand and they asked that we bring it from home. In the future, I would try to bring my own meds with me, if I was going to be fully conscious the entire time I was there. If they said that I could not, an argument might occur. I know what I need to take, and when to take them.
Hospital pharmacy aggravations: The hospital was okay with my bringing my meds. What they were not okay with was when I was supposed to take them, even though I had been taking them for years that way with my doctor's knowledge. That was really annoying. Also they didn't approve my 7am meds until mid-afternoon the first day. Then when I was discharged I forgot to get mine from them, and when I phoned in they said if I didn't pick them up in two days they'd discard them. (about $70 of meds, I was still quasi-mobile, and they were 45 minutes away.)

Katietsu
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Re: Question on refilling prescriptions

Post by Katietsu » Tue Nov 12, 2019 12:16 pm

I am curious as to much the OP is expecting to save by splitting pills and shopping around.

DH has a prescription that is $10 for 90 days at Walmart. He does this and chooses not to go through insurance. Insurance cost would be about $15 a month.

He could save $20 a year through pill splitting but I would not consider that to be worth the downsides.

If he had more prescriptions or even one that was more than a nominal cost, I believe we would go through insurance and have it count towards the deductible. I believe I would do this even though I am not planning on meeting the deductible.

I guess I would just say to make sure you have taken all the comments from pharmacists here, done your own research, and quantified your savings before you decide how to proceed.

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dm200
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Re: Question on refilling prescriptions

Post by dm200 » Tue Nov 12, 2019 12:51 pm

Katietsu wrote:
Tue Nov 12, 2019 12:16 pm
I am curious as to much the OP is expecting to save by splitting pills and shopping around.
DH has a prescription that is $10 for 90 days at Walmart. He does this and chooses not to go through insurance. Insurance cost would be about $15 a month.
He could save $20 a year through pill splitting but I would not consider that to be worth the downsides.
If he had more prescriptions or even one that was more than a nominal cost, I believe we would go through insurance and have it count towards the deductible. I believe I would do this even though I am not planning on meeting the deductible.
I guess I would just say to make sure you have taken all the comments from pharmacists here, done your own research, and quantified your savings before you decide how to proceed.
I tend to agree..

On my Medicare plan, my prescription drugs (about 5 or 6) are not that expensive - and I believe there would be certain risks and inconvenience of shopping around and/or splitting pills. By using the one Pharmacy, all records of possible interactions are in one place and my Physicians can see all of what I take.

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