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Pegasus

UPDATE - Prescription refill - bottle says "1" and pharmacy says "0"

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I have a prescription originally filled in February for a 90 day supply and the bottle states 1 refill by February 2020.  I went to the same pharmacy today to get the refill and they insist that there are no refills available on this prescription. I didn't have the bottle with me at the time.

Is it worth going back tomorrow with the bottle in hand?  Will the label allow them to override their system?  I'm thinking not since people probably pull all sorts of stunts to get additional refills.  This one is not for pain or anything else that would be sought illicitly. 

I wasn't planning on scheduling a doctor visit this week but looks like I may have no choice. 

[SEE UPDATE POSTED ON MAY 26, 2019]

 

Edited by Pegasus

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Can you call the doctor's office, explain the situation, and get them to call in a refill to the pharmacy?

 

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I would go back with the bottle and ask what happened.  Although I don't know what happened, I would guess that they didn't do any research into it to figure out WHY what they have is different than what you have.  Having the printed label there will likely make them delve deeper to see what actually happened.  It may still mean calling the doc, but at least you will know where the mistake was.  

As for calling the doc, if the label says 1 refill, then it might be possible for the doc to just call it in without having to actually into the office for a visit.  

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I would simply ask them to pull the original script and check it against their records.  CVS does this a lot in my area, and the original script always solves the issue.

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Do you know what your doctor ordered?

I have four drugs which was to be issued 6 times. Somehow I didn’t get my second refill from Safeway pharmacy so my oncologist just requested the drug to be fulfilled by a different pharmacy (CVS). The CVS pharmacy didn’t do the insurance processing so we paid without insurance instead of wait. Safeway refilled the rest and when I check all the bottles for the same drug, it was labeled 6, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1.  The one was for last refill.

So once the bottle says 1, it would be the last refill on current prescription for my case. My other drugs bottles were labeled  6,5,4,3,2,1.

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I'd think it would easier to call your doctor's office and have them call in refill. 

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I always call in to renew.   the pharmacy should be able to call the drs office to renew a regular prescription.  one-offs will not be renewed.

I had one dr that required me to come in every three months to renew a regular scrip... (that's viewing the patient as a cash cow.) I found a new dr.  (it's one that normally only requires blood work once a year once stable.)

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54 minutes ago, Arcadia said:

Do you know what your doctor ordered?

I have four drugs which was to be issued 6 times. Somehow I didn’t get my second refill from Safeway pharmacy so my oncologist just requested the drug to be fulfilled by a different pharmacy (CVS). The CVS pharmacy didn’t do the insurance processing so we paid without insurance instead of wait. Safeway refilled the rest and when I check all the bottles for the same drug, it was labeled 6, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1.  The one was for last refill.

So once the bottle says 1, it would be the last refill on current prescription for my case. My other drugs bottles were labeled  6,5,4,3,2,1.

here, under "refills" it is how many refills are left.  so, if there are no refills - it says 0 refills.

maybe it varies by state.

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Could it be an insurance issue?  Our insurance company won't allow us to refill sooner than a few days before the previous prescription is due to be used up.  So, if I have a 30 day prescription, and I try to refill it on the 25th day, they'll tell me I can't.

Or, is it possible that someone else in your family has already renewed the prescription?  

I agree you should take the bottle in and ask them to explain the problem.  

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22 minutes ago, Suzanne in ABQ said:

Could it be an insurance issue?  Our insurance company won't allow us to refill sooner than a few days before the previous prescription is due to be used up.  So, if I have a 30 day prescription, and I try to refill it on the 25th day, they'll tell me I can't.

Or, is it possible that someone else in your family has already renewed the prescription?  

I agree you should take the bottle in and ask them to explain the problem.  

I’m wondering the same thing. My insurance absolutely won’t let me refill until  a couple days before my one prescription expires. I always refill ASAP in case I’m traveling at some point in the future so I make sure I’ll have enough to get through. 

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Ime, the 90 day thing can create an issue.  Sometimes one refill equals one month and when they go to fill three months worth the computer says nope, kwim?

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IME, it's always quicker to have the pharmacist call the doctor's office for refills.  So I would take the bottle in, have them check the refill status again and then if there is still a discrepancy, they can call the doctor's office.

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I work in pharmacy....

Take your bottle by the pharmacy and ask them about it. Lots of things come to mind that can cause this. Please realize that pharmacy computer systems aren't always easy to understand.  Some technicians just believe what is on the screen and don't investigate further. People tell us all. the. time that they have a bottle that says one thing but our system says something different. The vast majority of the time the patient is looking at an old bottle. So, if the staff was uninterested in investigating it without the bottle in front of them, this is likely why. Not that it was a correct thing to do, just not surprising. Another idea: Patients quite often mistake the expiration date of the pills, for the rx expiration date.  Maybe read the bottle again just to make sure. If you go back in, you can also ask the pharmacy when they show you filled it last in their system. Sometimes that will show the error. If they say you filled it since February, ask them to see a print out of the pick up signature. Maybe you or another family member picked it up and it is at home already (but forgotten about) or maybe there is a signature you don't recognize....and needs to be investigated further. 

Just a few other ideas.

The doctor wrote for a 4 month supply. You got a 3 months supply, so there is one month remaining (hence the the 1). They are trying to run another 3 month supply and they system is telling them that there are not enough refills remaining to fill it. If this is the situation, there may be 1 month left....and you could get that, just not another 90. 

If the medicine is a controlled medicine (not always obvious) the script is good for 6 months (and a max of 5 individual refills ran through the computer system) from they day it was written. This  is kinda complicated to explain briefly.  so I will give an example.  An Rx was written in August for 60 pills, and the doctor gave 1 refill.  Patient doesn't want 60 pills at a time, only 10. The patient fills 10 pills, twice a month. Once the patient fills it 6 times, even if there are pills remaining on the script, it would be void and no longer have refills. This would explain the date and the "1 refill remaining" on the bottle, but the pharmacy saying that there were no more refills remaining. The max number of times it could be refilled had been met...not the max number of pills filled. A technician reading the computer screen may just be reading the screen and not explaining the 'why' part of the equation. Controlled meds aren't always obvious. Some hormones are controlled substances like EEMT and testosterone. Some pain nerve pain meds like Lyrica. GI med Loperimide with diphenoxlate. Allergy meds with pseudoephedrine. Some butalbital combinations....etc Controlled meds aren't just narcotics. 

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Our pharmacy always does the work for us here.  So, they'll call the doctor to get approval on a refill if necessary, they'll call insurance company with any questions, etc.  Could you ask the pharmacy to do that?  Otherwise, I'd start at the other end and call your clinic, asking to speak with your doctor's nurse.

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16 hours ago, Pegasus said:

I have a prescription originally filled in February for a 90 day supply and the bottle states 1 refill by February 2020.  I went to the same pharmacy today to get the refill and they insist that there are no refills available on this prescription. 

 

Do you have access to an online health account? I could see my prescriptions online and I could see what are the instructions for each prescription. I can also click on the “request renewal” button on my account to request for refills.

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On 5/19/2019 at 10:34 PM, Tap said:

I work in pharmacy....

The doctor wrote for a 4 month supply. You got a 3 months supply, so there is one month remaining (hence the the 1). They are trying to run another 3 month supply and they system is telling them that there are not enough refills remaining to fill it. If this is the situation, there may be 1 month left....and you could get that, just not another 90. 

 

You are a genius. This is EXACTLY what it turned out to be. I now have another 30 pills and an appointment to see the doctor.

Thank you everyone for your input and experiences!  My insurance requires that I go through a specific pharmacy for any long-term medications and I built up a good relationship with the pharmacist that i saw there.  Unfortunately, I haven't seen her in a few months and I keep seeing new faces every time I go in.  Some are more helpful than others.

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I guessed it too!  Threads like this always feel like puzzles to solve.  Thanks for updating!

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6 minutes ago, happi duck said:

I guessed it too!  Threads like this always feel like puzzles to solve.  Thanks for updating!

I should have acknowledged your genius as well!  I agree with the puzzle solving aspect so I do try to provide updates.  I'm often left hanging on threads where we don't get an update/resolution and then months later it'll pop into my head "I wonder if WTM101 ever managed to return the new purse with the torn lining when she'd misplaced the receipt?"  ha!

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