Have you ever had to go a day or more with no your prescription medication?
Do you know the physical irritation and anxiousness of waiting to get the medication reordered?
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Have you spent hrs on the phone with the doctor’s workplace, insurance company or pharmacy waiting for your own ADHD medications to be filled?
In that case, you, like me, have been trapped within the medication maze.
For years I have listened as clients told me about their issues to be diagnosed, only to have their hopes dashed when they find themselves trapped within the ADHD medication maze. What is the ADHD medication maze? It is that twisted cycle of trying to get ADHD medications 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 plus turns of getting a written prescribed through the process and have it packed. The ADHD medication maze is a frustrating web where so many people with ADHD find themselves stuck not knowing which usually way to turn and unfortunately many give up and never get a chance to experience the possible benefits of ADHD medications.
Theoretically, filling medication prescriptions is supposed to end up being 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 connect.
I called to make an appointment and a month later got in to see my doctor who, after a 25-minute wait and a 10-minute appointment, recommended me my medications. As I still left the clinic, I was told a 14-day short-term prescription would be known as to my local pharmacy and a good email/fax would be sent to Express Scripts, my mail-order pharmacy. Okey dokey.
Not so bad. Except (you saw this coming, didn’t you? ) a plan is only as good as its execution.
The following day my local pharmacy auto responder called (nice feature by the way) to let me know our short-term interim medications were prepared to be picked up. I was pleasantly relieved and somewhat surprised it had been that uncomplicated. Easy peazy, I thought. I will 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 heading, right?
I arrived at the pharmacy with plenty of time, trying to have belief and confidence in the system… in fact they had confirmed my prescription was ready for pick up, right? I waited patiently in line for the two people before me to pick up their prescriptions and also have a pharmacy consult… do dee do… no worries, plenty of time.
My switch. I stepped up, gave the particular pharmacist my name and they overturn to reach for my prescription. The pharmacist placed two bags on the counter, rang me up… the cost was under $10 dollars… Yay! Woo Hoo… happy dance. I even scolded myself intended for doubting all would work out.
Wait a minute. I had three prescription medications. “Uh hello Mr. Pharmacy Man, 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 a pill system” and then I noticed those fated words… “The physician reordered three medications, but the XYZase is not covered by your insurance until the first of next month. ”
Wait exactly what?
And then, in a nanosecond, my abdomen dropped, my pulse quickened and am began to see red. I was frustrated 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 map to find their way out…
Side notice: I’ll admit it… I have a genuine problem with the way medications are dispensed in this country. It’s a crazy program, full of twists and turns we are expected to navigate in order to get prescriptions packed. It’s complicated by monetarily inspired insurance companies who decide what health care I receive and what I have a tendency. Last time I checked, insurance firms do not have a medical license; they will not have the training to decide whether I actually 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 actually… oh yes, standing at the pick-up counter at the pharmacy…
Mustering our courage and trying very hard not to be rude, I told the particular pharmacist that “the insurance company did not get to decide my medical care, the doctor did and I would spend on that prescription out of my own pocket if needed… thank you. ” Then, I was asked to step out from the line and told my prescribed would be filled as soon as possible.
So I waited… I don’t mind waiting… all things considered I had allowed an extra 15 minutes in case. So I waited while the pharmacist stuffed other prescriptions, answered three calls… and a half hour later and 7 people less in line, the pharmacy assistant grabbed the coveted white-colored bag, looked at me and stated “it’s ready. ”
Not trusting 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 associated with so many other people going through similar experiences… I paid the $25 to get my medication and left.
Two weeks later, my interim medication bottles were almost empty, but the Express script online mail medications were scheduled to arrive. (Insert giggle track. )
Yep… you guessed it… no white plastic handbag with jingling pill bottles experienced yet graced my mailbox. I was a day away from my medications operating out a second time that month.
Curses… here we go 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 this. I called the doctor’s office again… “oops”… they had emailed my nearby pharmacy the short-term refill (we all know how that went), but “sorry” the email/fax with the doctor prescribed to my mail-order pharmacy hadn’t already been sent. Do I need them to do it now?
People! Work with me here! I am doing all I can… I need you to follow through. Who in their right mind would ever go through this insanity over and over again if their medication wasn’t essential?
The fact is I know so many of you decide to go through this confusing, exhausting medicine maze… month after month, every year. You bravely and boldly step into the process where you almost need a healthcare degree yourself to get prescriptions loaded. It is ineffective, inefficient, and, regrettably, it is what we are left to work alongside.
We cannot escape it… 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 pay for a medication doesn’t mean you can’t pay for it out of your own pocket. I am aware some medications are costly, however , you might be surprised at how inexpensive some really are. Always ask.
Usually double and triple check to make sure emails/faxes/phone calls have been made/sent plus 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 own 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 own 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 craziness of it all! I’ll bet you might have some “medication maze” stories of your… I’d love to hear them!