Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Say What?

With Allegra switching to over-the-counter status recently we've had to inform people of the change as the insurance plans drop it from coverage. I use Allegra and I am more than happy to see it go OTC --- totally simplifies my life. I just walk in and buy it. But one customer the other day was not happy about having to purchase it -- the price being more than her usual copay -- and chirped, "Well, I'll just ask the doctor for something else!"

Uh, no. That's not really the idea. Having the medication go OTC means that we no longer have to involve the doctor --- or the appointment scheduler, or the nurse, or the transcription person, or the pharmacist, or the pharmacy technician, or the insurance company, or the myriad of other people who, in one small way or another, play a role in generating a prescription for a person.

All of those things cost a HECK of a lot more than a box of Allegra. But yeah, try telling that to someone who had an $8 copay and believes that was all it cost.


Anonymous said...

lets talk bandages and wound care supplies.

The Ole' Apothecary said...

"What? It isn't covered? What do you mean, "Not covered!" Well, call the doctor back and tell him to prescribe something that IS covered!"

I heard that over and over again over my years in community pharmacy. It was a slap in the face of everyone in healthcare--I, the pharmacist; the doctor, and anyone else contributing to that mindless patient's care.

Look at that quote. What is it telling you? It tells me that, never mind the health problem: all the person cares about is the perceived threat to his or her ENTITLEMENT. Well, hell's bells, Hortense, some forms of coal tar are covered by your insurance, but that isn't going to do much for your nasal congestion. Should I ask the doctor for coal tar? After all, you said, "something."

It's all pharmaceutical bling, something to put in a handbag or pocket and then let sit on the kitchen bench next to the other entitlement vials. But, it was COVERED!