Have you ever had to go a day or more with no your prescription medication?
Do you know the physical soreness and anxiousness of waiting to obtain the medication reordered?
Have you spent hrs on the phone with the doctor’s office, insurance company or pharmacy waiting for your own ADHD medications to be filled?
If you are, you, like me, have been trapped within the medication maze.
For years I have took in as clients told me about their difficulties to be diagnosed, only to have their expectations dashed when they find themselves trapped in the ADHD medication maze. What is the ADHD medication maze? It is that tangled cycle of trying to get ADHD medicines refilled. Prescriptions not relayed in order to local pharmacies or faxes getting lost to online medication mailing systems. Suspicious looks from pharmacists when picking up medications. Refusals by insurance companies to pay for prescribed medications. The numerous dead ends, backtracking, twists and turns of getting a written prescribed through the process and have it filled up. The ADHD medication maze is a frustrating web where so many people along with ADHD find themselves stuck not knowing which usually way to turn and unfortunately a lot of give up and never get a chance to go through the possible benefits of ADHD medications.
In theory, filling medication prescriptions is supposed to become easy work. In reality, it hardly ever goes smoothly. Let me tell you about my own recent experience with trying to get my medications filled. I know many of you will associate.
I called to make an appointment and also a month later got in to observe my doctor who, after a 25-minute wait and a 10-minute appointment, prescribed me my medications. As I left the clinic, I was told the 14-day short-term prescription would be called to my local pharmacy and an email/fax would be sent to Express Scripts, my mail-order pharmacy. Okey dokey.
Not so bad. Except (you noticed this coming, didn’t you? ) a plan is only as good as its performance.
The following day my local pharmacy auto responder called (nice function by the way) to let me know the short-term interim medications were prepared to be picked up. I was pleasantly treated and somewhat surprised it had been that will uncomplicated. Easy peazy, I thought. I am going to pick them up on my way to the particular airport and just to be sure, allow a quarter-hour extra.
You see where this is going, right?
I arrived at the pharmacy with plenty of time, trying to have trust and confidence in the system… after all they had confirmed my prescription had been ready for pick up, right? I waited patiently in line for the two people prior to me to pick up their prescriptions and also have a pharmacy consult… do dee do… no worries, plenty of time.
My convert. I stepped up, gave the pharmacist my name and they overturn to reach for my prescription. The pharmacist placed two bags around the counter, rang me up… my cost was under $10 bucks… Yay! Woo Hoo… happy dance. I even scolded myself with regard to doubting all would work out.
And after that…
Wait a minute. I had three medications. “Uh hello Mr. Pharmacy Guy, I’m supposed to have three medicines filled today… there are only 2. ”
At this point I was still hopeful… wanting to trust in this “fill the pill system” and then I heard those fated words… “The physician reordered three medications, but the XYZase is not covered by your insurance till the first of next month. ”
Wait exactly what?
And then, in a nanosecond, my abdomen dropped, my pulse quickened and I began to see red. I was annoyed by the whole system. Frustrated because We trusted everyone to do their work. Angry with the realization that so many people get stuck in this medication maze with little support or chart to find their way out…
Side notice: I’ll admit it… I have a real problem with the way medications are dispensed in this country. It’s a crazy system, full of twists and turns we are expected to navigate in order to get prescriptions loaded. It’s complicated by monetarily inspired insurance companies who decide what medical care I receive and what I have a tendency. Last time I checked, insurance firms do not have a medical license; imply have the training to decide whether We continue on a medication or not. The doctor with the advanced M. G. degree should be the one to decide medically what is in the best interest of my health.
So where was I… oh yes, standing at the pick-up counter at the pharmacy…
Mustering our courage and trying very hard never to be rude, I told the pharmacist that “the insurance company failed to get to decide my medical care, my doctor did and I would spend on that prescription out of my own wallet if needed… thank you. ” After that, I was asked to step out from the line and told my prescription would be filled as soon as possible.
So I anxiously waited… I don’t mind waiting… in fact I had allowed an extra 15 minutes in case. So I waited while the pharmacist stuffed other prescriptions, answered three telephone calls… and a half hour later and 7 people less in line, the pharmacy assistant grabbed the coveted white bag, looked at me and mentioned “it’s ready. ”
Not relying myself to say a word, fuming with the needless half hour wait, the senselessness of our insurance companies dictating our medical care and the realization of so many other people going through similar encounters… I paid the $25 for my medication and left.
Two weeks later, my interim medication containers were almost empty, but my Express script online mail prescriptions were scheduled to arrive. (Insert laugh track. )
Yep… you guessed it… no white plastic handbag with jingling pill bottles experienced yet graced my mailbox. I used to be a day away from my medications working out a second time that month.
Curses… here we go once again! Who knew what had occurred this time? So once again I was within the phone calling my mail-order pharmacy to see if they had received the refill order from my doc… nope they hadn’t received it. I called the doctor’s office again… “oops”… they had emailed my local pharmacy the short-term refill (we all know how that went), yet “sorry” the email/fax with the prescribed to my mail-order pharmacy hadn’t already been sent.
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Do I need them to do it?
People! Work with me here! I am just doing all I can… I need you to follow through. Who in their right mind would ever go through this craziness over and over again if their medication wasn’t essential?
The fact is I know so many of you go through this confusing, exhausting medicine maze… month after month, every year. You bravely and boldly take on the process where you almost need a healthcare degree yourself to get prescriptions filled up. It is ineffective, inefficient, and, sadly, it is what we are left to utilize.
We cannot escape it… so if you have found yourself in the medication maze, here are some tools to sustain a person when you find yourself in this labyrinth:
Remember — you and your doctor get to decide your own medical treatment.
Your insurance company refusing to cover a medication doesn’t mean weight loss pay for it out of your own pocket. I realize some medications are costly, nevertheless , you might be surprised at how inexpensive some really are. Always ask.
Always double and triple check to ensure emails/faxes/phone calls have been made/sent and received so the delivery of your medicines goes as smoothly as possible. Specifically call the pharmacy and your medication-mailing service to confirm they received the particular prescription orders… if not, call your doctor’s office to make sure they were delivered. Don’t assume.
Keep the doctor’s office, pharmacy and mail delivery systems numbers where they can be easily found.
Don’t give up. Remember the benefits of your medication far outweigh the annoyance to get them.
The confusing, exhausting medication maze is an all too typical problem those with ADHD face. I am aware your frustrations and admire your courage to go forth despite the insanity of it all! I’ll bet you might have some “medication maze” stories of your… I’d love to hear them!