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Refills require several calls to pharmacy and Dr. I am alone, both require 48 hrs to fill. Weekends, vacations, holidays, forget it. One can't be done more than 2 days before expiring. I am 84 with no back up, where do I turn?

I've been dealing with a nightmare I was not aware of until my dad moved to assisted living 1-1/2 months ago. We have always gotten his prescriptions mail-order through is insurance and only pay $3 per prescription. When he was moved directly from the hospital to assisted living, they ordered a full round of his drugs from their own service (pillow packs required in our state). Just got the bill. Over $980! We cannot use mail order in the bottle anymore and his company does not due the packs. I'm fighting with the insurance company (was on the phone for over 2 hours yesterday) and am getting nowhere so we will be forced to pay but I need to figure out something for future. If we want to pay an extra $200 per month at the care facility, I believe I can order the drugs elsewhere but they have to be in pillow packs. This might be a cheaper option.
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Reply to Babs75
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my2cents Oct 30, 2019
Call the pharmacy you previously used to see if they do the pill packs for free. CVS does it for price of what you were paying on copays. There is company called pillpack.com that does this, too. I would start with pharmacy you previously used and then do some comparison shopping.
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Pillpack was the answer for my mother similar concerns. All The pills arrive once a month in a dispenser. each day has that days medication organized in small packets by the time of day you take them. They accept Medicare and her drugs cost the same. There is no charge for the service or to sign up. So...all pills at once, organized for you and at no extra cost. Mom says she even knows what day and date it is now by reading her packaging!
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Reply to Simp7029
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As I recall, when I was picking up prescriptions for my mom, she was on Medicaid and could only get a 30 day supply at a time. I usually had to make a couple trips each month and in between if she needed anything for an illness. It is hard on older people if you have no one that can help. This may not be the problem in your case. I hope you can work something out.
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Reply to Sharonheart1942
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You should also consider a 90 mail order with your pharmacy and drug insurance. Do you get extra help from Social Security for your medications? You could pay the same copay amount for a 90 day supply as for a 30 day supply.

Do you have a family member who could help you sort this situation out?
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Reply to Ricky6
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I take a lot of prescriptions. I have entered into my computer every detail about every medication. On the first day of the month I order a supply for all of them which will cover a certain number of days, for example: 60 pills at one a day would last me for 60 days. The beginning of each month I see if that RX needs to be ordered. That way all of them would be used up on the same day and all would be ordered at the same time. I have been doing this for years and it has worked out fantastically for me. Of course, someone has to maintain those records and make the calls to the pharmacy. I take them when and as prescribed and have never had a problem. And it helps me budget more easily too.
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Reply to Riley2166
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I agree with a few others here. Go to the drug store with your list of drugs, how many times per day, and how many you have left of each one. Tell them it is too difficult to make multiple trips to pick up drugs with varying end dates. They can get them lined up for you - they did it for me.

Once you get that done, select a date about 5 days prior to when you will run out of pills again. On that date, call in all refills.

When you pick up meds, check each bottle to see if there are any refills remaining. If you have any that show -0- refills, ask drug store to go ahead and request refills on the day you make the drug pick up. You can also request access to your doctors websites and send msg to doctor as followup reminder that you will be needing a new prescription for the next month.
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my2cents Oct 23, 2019
Meant to add - if cost is an issue to pick them all up at one time, then tell pharmacy that, too. You might be able to get 90 day supplies and alternate them by price to get part one month, part another month, and part a 3rd month.

If you are good at finding things on the computer, you might also look up drug discount programs (there are many of them). You can find the cheapest price for the drugs you use and get a coupon reflecting that price. It might save you quite a bit of $$ to use those coupons instead of your insurance.
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One caveat with the pharmacy chains. They have supplier contracts, and sometimes their wholesaler doesn’t have the medication you are supposed to get by auto refill. The Walgreens and CVS chains are known for just pending your prescription, and not telling you it didn’t come in, maybe it will come in several days to a week later. Maybe not. They are so greedy to keep you from transferring your prescriptions to another pharmacy, they won’t tell you. Or, when you arrive, they’ve given you only 30 days and not the 90 days, but notified you via text or email the prescription is ready. Publix and the independents are much better at filling the entire quantity without this chain game. Been there, FL and GA.
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Reply to Girlsaylor
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Go through your medication list with your Dr and get him to issue either a prescription to match the quantities up, or a completely new one and return the unused to the Pharmacy for destruction.
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Reply to TaylorUK
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First check other pharmacies. It should not take all these telephone calls. I use Safeway grocery pharmacy. They call the Dr on my behalf. The pharmacy should be able to work with your Dr to set this up so they are filled at the same time. You can also call you insurance and get 90 day prescriptions and possibly get them mailed to you.

If your using this forum your Internet savvy. Go on line and look for alterantives as well.
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Reply to lacyisland
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Strohdg Oct 23, 2019
I also use a grocery store pharmacy. They are good to work with!
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Usually you have a few doses over/under the 30-day period, and you said you had a 2-day grace period of sorts to renew?

Why not delay filling one or more so it 'nudges' closer to another drug's renew date? Then take that second drug and order it a day or so later, keep this cycle until they're together and synced. Once date-matched, you can use the magic of auto-renewal and they won't be separated from that point. Then do the same with the other drugs to match that set-date. Of course you can map this technique out on a paper and within a few fills they're all within 2-day of each other?

Just a thought. Sometimes I overthink/over engineer things ...
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Reply to KBEllison
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qattah Oct 23, 2019
This is what I did. It took a couple of months for some to "catch up" but I only get them all filled once a month now at the same time!
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Mummsie... 84 years old,.... Go to pharmacy... Start simple, ask them... go from there.

You are doing great, was going to ask who is helping you, but you run a computer better than I do.. :)

Start simple... use your local pharmacy who knows you.... You will be fine :)

They know you and will take care of you... Kinda surprised they didn't ask this of you first. Synchronize your prescriptions, it should be that easy....
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Reply to MAYDAY
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ask the pharmacy if they can contact your doctor, and ask if they can get all prescriptions prescribed at the same time? Some pharmacies will do this, and coincide with the insurance companies to get them at the same time, which means someone, pharmacy, doctor, or insurance will make sure you do not go a day without the necessary prescriptions... and ask if they can deliver them to your door, with your prepaid prescriptions, they may be able to do this for you.

Just ask everyone involved, starting with pharmacy, and see what needs to be done on your end... Doesn't hurt to ask.....
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Reply to MAYDAY
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Mummsie I read your intro and could you be in need of someone helping you get your presciptions synched and put in daily pill box? It's overwhelming too. I do hope you can find someone for the tasks that need to be done. Maybe a neighbor could help or let your doctors know that it is getting confusing for you. Also, it might be helpful to have someone write down the schedules of taking the medicine as well. Try to get 3 months supply-it is cheaper.
If you can manage call your pharmacy and talk with them, ask them to help you with connecting with your doctor. Most pharmacies in my opinion are very helpful in this area. If you can't get them to do that, then another pharmacy might be needed. Someone mentioned Publix and I have found they are helpful, friendly and professional.
Another thought would be find a local family run pharmacy and get to know them. That is what I have done with my Mom's pharmacy. She has used them for years. take care.
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Reply to RBuser1
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Another reason to use mail order: a price break. I have had 2 different Medicare Part D plans and now a Medicare Advantage plan, and all of them give a discount for 90-day mail-order prescription compared to my local preferred pharmacy. I use the local pharmacy only for 30-day prescriptions; I could do that by mail-order also if I preferred to.
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needtowashhair Oct 22, 2019
A slight advantage to mail order is a small cost savings. A HUGE disadvantage to mail order is that if meds are needed right now, you are screwed. It's not uncommon, particularly with the elderly, to burn through pills faster than scheduled. They tend to spit them out a lot. So what was a 90 day supply runs out in 70 days for example. Or they can simply open up the container spill them all over a wet sink rendering them all useless. In this case, you need replacement pills today. How do you get that done through mail order. What if it's a Saturday and you can't get a doctor to write you a replacement script to go to a local pharmacy? If you have a existing relationship with a local pharmacy, they will simply loan you a few pills to get you through a few days to sort it out. They know that you have/had a prescription and will work with you. Basically they loan you pills. My pharmacy does this and doesn't even charge for the loan. They reconcile everything on the next full refill. It's been a life saver on more than a few occasions. We used to do mail order. No more. Not worth it.
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See 2 more replies
- Auto refill.
- Mail rxs.
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Reply to Llamalover47
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I put my dads medications on automatic refill with his mail order pharmacy and that has helped with this a lot. There is one that can't be auto refilled so I just have on my calendar as to when to order.
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Reply to Babs75
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Bdette144 Oct 22, 2019
Yes, auto fill is great. Retail pharmacies also offer auto fill. I find it extremely helpful.
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Prefilled by your pharmacy might be a good idea, and have them delivered. Check to see if free delivery is an option.
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Reply to earlybird
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I use to have 2 meds that the pharmacy would not fill until day 30! I got my doctor to call in another that I paid for for about 10 tablets to use throughout the year since some months have 31 days instead of 30. Those were name brand drugs with no generic. They have changed that now on my particular drug which was (Nexium). The OTC did not work. So that is how I managed.
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Reply to elaineSC
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ASK PHARMACY TO BE ON AUTOMATED REFILL LIST, IT'LL LET YOU KNOW WHEN MEDS ARE READY TO BE PICKED, SIMPLE
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Reply to Gardena
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coincidently, I got a phone call from one of the major drug chains were I have my own meds (I have only three for myself) where they are offering to time these so you only have to go once a month. I suppose any pharmacy will do it.

and mine anyway can be auto refilled, for a few months anyway
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Reply to Karsten
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Let the pharmacy do the auto refill. They fax the MD the refill request and he sends the approval. For the one that is a 2 day window ; they should refill that too. Let them know and they should be able to schedule that also. A lot of pharmacies will deliver like CVS. This really shouldn't be a major issue. I always put our pills in a daily pill holder on Sundays for the whole week. I called in the ones that were close to being out by phone (automated or on Monday if preferred. Hope this helps. Makes life easier.
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Reply to Strohdg
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Make an appointment with the druggist at you drug store - that's part of their job & partly paid for with each & every time you get a Rx filled so should have no charge

If you never ask the question you never get a 'yes' - so ask that it be not 2 days but 4 days on that particular one - set it up that they automatically fill all of the Rx at the same time for a set period of time - if possible they should email or call that they are ready -

Make sure you use only 1 drug store [I was told this by a druggist] so that they can double check about inter reactions between the drugs which safe guards you even more - make sure it is one that is open week-ends & holidays - also set up with your dr that the drug store can call for 1 refill if the refills are used up - ask dr for enough refills to get you through a few months

My drug store has a free service with a 'dosette' which the drug store sets up all you meds for the week including vitamins [you provide] & will do a few weeks at a time - it is 10 X 12 inches so big enough not to loose or misplace, is acceptable by customs as it is done by the druggist, there are 4 clear pods per day & the 7 days so 28 pods that will hold several meds at a time - you just push on the pod & the pressure breaks tin foil & pills pop out into your hand [otherwise do it over a plate] - you then will notice if/when you miss a dose
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Reply to moecam
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I had the same problem but Walgreen's told me that they could work with the Doctor and Insurance Company to get them all on the same refill schedule. This way I only have to go once a month to pick up my Dad and my Hubby's Rx's. It took a few weeks for them to sync but it was so worth it in the end. They can also put them in an automatic refill status. This eliminates the worries on your end to getting them called in on time. I hope this information helps.
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Reply to Caregiver2all
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elaineSC Oct 22, 2019
I did this too but they would just get messed up again. Same pharmacy so I have mine on auto refill and I just go get them anyway at different times. I gave up! LOL We only live 2 1/2 miles from the pharmacy so it is not a headache and I just use the drive thru.
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Contact your pharmacist and ask to have them refilled all at the same time. That's what happened with my mom's upteen prescriptions. I gave the pharmacist an exact count of what I had on hand. The pharmacist adjusted the amount of each prescription so that when they were refilled the next time, they bottles contained an odd number of pills, but they all ended up running out at the same time. After that, they all refilled automatically at the same time.

Some medicines, such as an inhaler or insulin box, can not be adjusted though.

Bliss!
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Reply to MountainMoose
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Ask your pharmacist for assistance. Some places can consolidate your refills. Some can mail your medications to you. Some places will also package your pills in little packets for each day.
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Reply to Taarna
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As others have said, mail order with auto refills is the way to go. I have heard many good things about Pill Pak, which is advertised on TV all the time. All of the day's meds are pre packaged into doses to be given at the right time each day. This service should simplify your life immensely. Good luck!
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LizO66 Oct 22, 2019
Pill Pack is really helpful, particularly if the meds don't change very much. They are super helpful and immediately responsive!!
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The AL homes near me all use a prepackaged daily dose that is delivered directly to the home on a monthly basis. I see those services offered on the TV, might want to give one a call. It is Medicare approved.
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Reply to DollyMe
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As others have said, ask to talk to the pharmacist. And make sure it is a pharmacist and not a clerk or "manager." Can the Rx's be consolidated to one pharmacy and synchronized? Can they do automatic refills? Delivery may be an $ option or a mail-order pharmacy might help.

Also, talk to your Dr.'s office. You may see different doctors, but sometimes a primary care doctor can coordinate things. It is worth asking.

Now, be sure you are taking care of yourself.
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Reply to Foleydaughter
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I find that using a 90 day mail order prescription service saves me time, money and the hassle of running to the local pharmacy every 30 days for a one month refill supply. You could check with your prescription insurance company to see if you can do the 90 day mail order service with your meds. It would make ordering your meds online and receiving them in the mail a much easier and simpler process of getting your meds. I hope this helps you. Good luck!
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NancyInSc Oct 22, 2019
Amen to mail order. The three waiting lines for every prescription refill at WalMart was too much. Some of my medicines are now free because they can ship them with my eye drops (Travatan Z). In warmer weather, the eye drops are sent in a cooler. My expensive eye drops are cheaper for three months worth than they were for one month from WalMart. Email reminders are great. My dad used the VA mail order option, and my 94-year-old mother now uses OptumRX thru the insurance company just like me. And a big plus, there are no waiting lines at my mailbox.
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i was using CVS for years and felt that I was always picking up a prescription. Then her insurance wouldn't take CVS any longer and moved to Express Scripts. I was leary about online but it's worked out great. They are delivered in the mail on time. They send you reminders on whether you need a refill or want to delay the date to refill. They will contact the doctor's office for you when a new refill sequence is needed.
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