“You tell that doctor to write me a prescription for something affordable!”
My medical assistant glanced up at me with a shocked look on her face. There was no need to repeat the conversation. I had heard every word.
“That does not make any kind of sense. It is a generic medication. It should only cost $40. Max. Call his pharmacy and find out what that med is going to cost him there.”
Later in the day I read the computer message that said it was going to cost $340 for a one month supply. Hell. I wouldn’t even pay that.
I typed out a quick message and routed it back, asking why it was going to cost that much.
It is the brand name. If you want them to fill the generic you have to write for the generic.
Except that I HAD written for the generic. I always write for generic.
I sent back a stongly worded message pointing this out and telling them to fill the frickin’ generic.
This was followed by a string of other patients with similar complaints all from the same pharmacy chain. Insurance companies refusing to cover prescriptions that patients had been getting without issue because the pharmacy chain was filling brand name instead of the generic option. It makes them more money. I would have never known this was occurring if the insurance companies had not denied coverage.
From a drug coverage standpoint we love to hate on insurance companies but pharmaceutical company and pharmacy shenanigans are one of the reasons healthcare costs in the US are skyrocketing out of control.
So I tell patients to be aware of what they and their insurance companies are paying for. If there are significant changes, please ask questions. Shop around to other pharmacies. The variability of cost from one pharmacy chain to the other is astonishing. AND, talk to your doctor. The only way I find out about these kinds of things is from patient complaints.
Just maybe don’t yell at my staff…