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Author: MissEdithKeeler Big gold star, 5000 posts Top Recommended Fools Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: of 885008  
Subject: Errrgh. Gotta be vigilent Date: 1/17/2013 9:23 PM
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So I take 2 prescriptions every day. Started taking them last year when I had all my medical stuff, and I had met my max out of pocket for the year.

A few months ago I had one Rx filled. I always check them before I leave, and I noticed that what had always been capsules were now tablets. I verified with the pharmacist that yes, this was the same time release Rx that I'd had before, just in tablet, not capsule form.

So now each time I've gotten them filled, they've been tablets, and because I met my out of pocket for last year, until now I haven't had to pay for anything. I knew the price was high, but I didn't really have any skin in the game, so to speak, so I didn't pay too much attention.

Today, comparing prices, I found out that the capsule form of the drug is only $29, compared to the table form which is well over $100!! Rite Aid changed it to the tablet form to be able to charge more. What a rip off. And this is a generic that's been on the market forever.

I fired off a nasty letter to Rite Aid about why I'm changing my Rx to another store.

So be warned, in case someone tries this with you.
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Author: jrdown Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 870632 of 885008
Subject: Re: Errrgh. Gotta be vigilent Date: 1/17/2013 9:52 PM
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MissEdithKeeler ~

Currently I am on a Medi-cal program and if I get a prescription I have noticed that it always comes in capsule form. Before this program I had tablets dispensed. I was told by the pharmacist, at CVS, that it is much cheaper to make capsules than tablets and I have no problem with that. Unless there is a real reason not to use capsules it might be a good idea to save folks money. I do here what you said about the pharmacy making almost 3.5 times the retail!


Robyn

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Author: zol Three stars, 500 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 870633 of 885008
Subject: Re: Errrgh. Gotta be vigilent Date: 1/17/2013 9:55 PM
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Today, comparing prices, I found out that the capsule form of the drug is only $29, compared to the tablet form which is well over $100!!

I had something similar happen to me. My doctor gave me a 90-day prescription but I only got 30 days worth of the medication from CVS. My copay is only $10. I didn't worry much the first month hoping to get off the med the next time I see the dr. However, I was ask to continue on the med for another 6 weeks so I told her about the 30-day fill. She told me to go to Wal-mart or Kroger (grocery store) instead. I had her send the Rx to Wal-mart and got a 90-day fill for $10. So, shop around!

- zol

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Author: vkg Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 870634 of 885008
Subject: Re: Errrgh. Gotta be vigilent Date: 1/17/2013 10:23 PM
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I do here what you said about the pharmacy making almost 3.5 times the retail!

The pharmacy and other companies are sharing the additional $71. Not all of it goes to the pharmacy, but enough to make it profitable.

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Author: VeeEnn Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 870640 of 885008
Subject: Re: Errrgh. Gotta be vigilent Date: 1/18/2013 7:47 AM
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I had her send the Rx to Wal-mart and got a 90-day fill for $10. So, shop around!

Unless I'm reading it incorrectly, I think the OP's complaint isn't so much the cost to her as the person paying up front but what's being billed to the insurance company.

This is how the Big Box stores manage to do these 90 day refills for $10.....they undercut the competitor on the front end and stick it to Someone Else somewhere else. If it's *The Insurance Company* it's usually hidden from everyone but the most vigilant consumer.....although everyone eventually notices rising healthcare costs or insurance premiums at some point.

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Author: voelkels Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 870641 of 885008
Subject: Re: Errrgh. Gotta be vigilent Date: 1/18/2013 8:02 AM
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Both DW & I are on Medicare with my company’s group medical as our secondary insurance. We get most of our regular meds by mail from Express Scripts and, if we needs something in a rush, Winn Dixie supermarkets. We live an unincorporated area between the village of Folsom and the area called “Blond” (See; http://www.mapquest.com/maps?city=Blond&state=LA ), a bit over 12 miles from the closest chain pharmacy or supermarket and 18 miles from a Wal-Mart. We had a prescription called into the local Walgreens by DW’s doctor for a common drug 9 or 8 years ago. The MD said it should be ready in a hour. We pulls in there about a hour later and were told “Its not ready yet, come back in a hour.” We comes back a hour later and it’s the same story. Four and a half hours after it was called in, we finally got DW’s penicillin pills. The same thing happened a couple of years later. After that, we use only Winn Dixie for our rush meds. We occasionally get automated phone messages from Walgreens saying “Your prescription is ready, please come by and pick it up.”
;-(

C.J.V. - fool me once shame on you, fool me twice & I’ll take my business elsewhere, me

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Author: VeeEnn Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 870643 of 885008
Subject: Re: Errrgh. Gotta be vigilent Date: 1/18/2013 8:58 AM
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fool me once shame on you, fool me twice & I’ll take my business elsewhere, me

Where's *elsewhere* going to be when local neighbourhood pharmacies that folk can walk to.....and where they're recognised..... have given up the pharmacy side in favour of Hallmark cards and fancy handbags etc. because of the $10 co-pay for a lifetime hook (I know that's not quite accurate.....but some folk'd see it as a nice promise)

I have no dog in this fight. I'm fortunate not to need any prescription meds. I'm even more fortunate not to have to prescribe prescription meds any longer, but this gets to be a situation of you reap what you sow. I've always tried to support my local neighbourhood pharmacies for random stuff over and above CVS, Walgreens or <<gasp>> Sam's Club......not least because, if I ever needed to call in an emergency prescription (and I only ever did that for an emergency)..... I could be reassured that it was going to be taken care of for the individual appropriately rather than something that was logged into a computer to be spewed out for the consumer

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Author: voelkels Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 870644 of 885008
Subject: Re: Errrgh. Gotta be vigilent Date: 1/18/2013 9:37 AM
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“I had her send the Rx to Wal-mart and got a 90-day fill for $10. So, shop around!”

Unless I'm reading it incorrectly, I think the OP's complaint isn't so much the cost to her as the person paying up front but what's being billed to the insurance company.

This is how the Big Box stores manage to do these 90 day refills for $10.....they undercut the competitor on the front end and stick . . . . .


Axe-u-lee, Wal-Mart & the other big chains can buy generic drugs by the barrel much cheaper than Little Joe’s drugstore can get them by the hundred (or thousand) on a per pill cost. They can offer a 30 day supply for $4.00 or a 90 day supply for 10 bucks and they also make a profit because, while you are waiting for your prescription (along with all the udder old fogies like Sam, Martha & me) you are probably picking up some of their pre-packaged meat, canned goods, salad stuff, fruit, etc., etc. which is a few cents cheaper than at the local IGA or chain supermarket.
;-)

C.J.V. - Coke & Pepsi makes a biig profit selling water, them

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Author: voelkels Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 870645 of 885008
Subject: Re: Errrgh. Gotta be vigilent Date: 1/18/2013 10:04 AM
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"fool me once shame on you, fool me twice & I’ll take my business elsewhere, me"

Where's *elsewhere* going to be when local neighbourhood pharmacies that folk can walk to.....and where they're recognised..... have given up the pharmacy side in favour of Hallmark cards and fancy handbags etc. because of the $10 co-pay for a lifetime hook (I know that's not quite accurate.....but some folk'd see it as a nice promise)


We live 4.75 miles from the closest neighborhood pharmacy, which is about 2 miles further out of our way from any of DW or my doctors. I have a choice of Wal-Mart, Walgreens (2 of them now-a-daze), Winn Dixie, and a couple new chains that I have never used. If I drop off a script at Winn Dixie and, if they don’t have it in stock, Amber or Joe will tell me and not waste my time like Walgreens did. They will, occasionally, call the MD or dentist and ask him or her if there is a substitution or, if there isn’t one they will order it and tell me when to pick it up.
;-)

C.J.V. - if they tell me that it’ll be ready in a hour, It Will Be Ready In A Hour or less, yes

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Author: alstroemeria Big gold star, 5000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 870646 of 885008
Subject: Re: Errrgh. Gotta be vigilent Date: 1/18/2013 10:21 AM
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I've always tried to support my local neighbourhood pharmacies for random stuff over and above CVS, Walgreens or <<gasp>> Sam's Club......not least because, if I ever needed to call in an emergency prescription (and I only ever did that for an emergency)..... I could be reassured that it was going to be taken care of

My health insurance--various over the decades--has never covered mom & pop pharmacies, only big chains, just like not every doctor is in-network. I discovered this to my chagrin when I filled a very expensive antibiotic prescription at a local drug store once. ow.

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Author: VeeEnn Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 870647 of 885008
Subject: Re: Errrgh. Gotta be vigilent Date: 1/18/2013 10:35 AM
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My health insurance--various over the decades--has never covered mom & pop pharmacies, only big chains, just like not every doctor is in-network...

This might be a mis-perception on your part (depending upon what you mean by "over the decades") The large scale cost-cutting and low price bidding strategies of both pharmacies and health care providers is something of a comparatively recent phenom. If you were prescribed a "very expensive antibiotic" as a dispense as written presciption, it's highly unlikely that you could've gotten it at Sam's Club or wherever for $10 for a 90-day supply.

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Author: vkg Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 870650 of 885008
Subject: Re: Errrgh. Gotta be vigilent Date: 1/18/2013 11:37 AM
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Unless I'm reading it incorrectly, I think the OP's complaint isn't so much the cost to her as the person paying up front but what's being billed to the insurance company.

I believe, you did misread it.

The change occurred late last year, after meeting the out of pocket maximum. Now into the new year, part or all of the cost is out of pocket.

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Author: MetroChick Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 870653 of 885008
Subject: Re: Errrgh. Gotta be vigilent Date: 1/18/2013 2:41 PM
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My insurance - and this seems to be getting more popular - will only fill 90-day prescriptions if you use their mail order pharmacy.

As for the one-form more expensive than another - I think in your case it was weird - since tablets usually are considered harder to swallow than capsules/caplets.

The only time I've seen something similar is with Retin-A Micro. It's available in a tube, but they came out with a pump dispenser. The nice thing about the pump is it keeps the med "fresher" longer than a tube that's exposed to air at the tip. But the pump is more expensive to buy.

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Author: ataloss Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 870676 of 885008
Subject: Re: Errrgh. Gotta be vigilent Date: 1/18/2013 9:08 PM
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too bad that you can't trust the pharmacist who is basically a cog in the corporate machine

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Author: alstroemeria Big gold star, 5000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 870718 of 885008
Subject: Re: Errrgh. Gotta be vigilent Date: 1/20/2013 10:04 AM
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My health insurance--various over the decades--has never covered mom & pop pharmacies, only big chains, just like not every doctor is in-network...
------------------------
This might be a mis-perception on your part (depending upon what you mean by "over the decades") The large scale cost-cutting and low price bidding strategies of both pharmacies and health care providers is something of a comparatively recent phenom. If you were prescribed a "very expensive antibiotic" as a dispense as written presciption, it's highly unlikely that you could've gotten it at Sam's Club or wherever for $10 for a 90-day supply.


That particular incident occurred in 1994. The insurer refused to cover this drug at all becasue I was "out of network" at a Mom & Pop pharmacy. That's when I learned that health insurers have deals with pharmacy chains. When I expressed my surprise to people I knew, they were surprised I didn't know that already. sigh.

Alas, I don't seem to need drugs that cost $10 for 90 days or anything like it. My current insurance has me paying $50/month for the only drug I take (Nasonex, steroid nasal spray for allergies)--$40/month mail order, but I need to read this year's policy, which I haven't done yet. (Yes, I've tried generics & other cheaper versions, but they don't seem to work for me--a couple of them actually stuffed me up worse! So I've been taking the Nasonex every other night for the past year or so, and am trying to get to twice a week now...depending on the allergen load in the air, may or may not work any particular week.)

ASIDE
No, it isn't very good insurance--it's watered-down BCBS for state employees...for some reason <Fox News, I imagine-> people assume that every government employee everywhere gets a great benefit package like big unions in big cities do. Nuh-uh. At least with the ACA, the low lifetime limit was wiped out. Let's hope Congress doesn't turn that back.

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