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Old 03-06-2009, 08:37 PM   #1
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Why can't I refill meds early if I pay for them?

I received a script for Ambien with three refills. I took the script in and had it filled. My insurance covered it. I then decided I was going to switch pharmacies and wanted to get my other refill earlier than what insurance would pay for it. It was like 2 weeks later. The original fill was for a month, and I had plenty left, but I wanted to get the other filled prior to moving pharmacies. I called to get it filled and they told me it was too early and insurance would not pay for it. I told them that was OK, I would pay for it. She asked me to hold (teenage phamacy assistance kill me) and she would be right back. She came back on and said they could not fill it until the month out from the first fill as it is a CII med and it would be to early to fill. I don't really get it. If the DR wants you to have 90 pills total over 3 months, why can't they trust you to buy them all and use them in the manner is was prescribed? I just think it is weird that you have to wait like a child for the time to go back and get the rest of your meds. If you are given 30 pills and 3 refills, you should be able to buy all the meds and refills at one time if you want to pay with your own money. Now I know some of you might want to beat me up, but I am possing a question. I am not an addict, just wanted to get my refill and put in in my safe with the others. I hate wasting the gas to go back each month to buy the refill. What say you?

 
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Old 03-06-2009, 08:49 PM   #2
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Re: Why can't I refill meds early if I pay for them?

Legally speaking, the script is valid and you should be able to pay cash. Not everyone has insurance for example. However, with that being said, a pharmacist can deny any script for any reason....Even if you offer to pay cash. Personally, if I was denied, I would ask to speak to the pharmacist and tell them why I wanted it filled and remind them that it was a valid script and I was offering to pay cash. If they wouldn't fill it, then I'd change pharmacies.

Beware however, that once you get a controlled script transferred, you cannot get it transferred again. However, if you transferred it from pharmacy A to pharmacy B, and B wouldn't fill it, then they should not accept the transfer and permit you to transfer it to somewhere else.

Best of luck with this.

Regards,

Ex

 
Old 03-06-2009, 11:08 PM   #3
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Re: Why can't I refill meds early if I pay for them?

Unfortunately many rules are made because of the abusers, and misusers.... Since there are so many other folks who choose not to follow doctors orders, it becomes the job of doctors and pharmacists to protect these type patients from themselves.

I am certainly no expert, just watching a friend killing himself popping pills, doctor shopping, pharmacy hopping, and nodding off every few minutes. He has even convinced a doctor that he needs a third back surgery just to get even more pain medication.

I wish you well...

 
Old 03-07-2009, 08:56 AM   #4
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Re: Why can't I refill meds early if I pay for them?

i am just kind of curious as to just when the drug ambien actually became a class II med?? if you can get refills on it, it is most definitely NOT an actual class II med.

the reasons i am thinking they denied this was number one, it IS at a different pharm, and # 2 you should not have run out by that time frame in their eyes, despite what you told them, you know what i mean? they simply do not 'know' you, or your overall drug usage either. i do know with my ins co, once you go past the halfway mark with anything that is not strictly overseen like class II meds, i have been able to get everything else refilled with no problems from my ins or my pharm. but i have been using this particular pharm since they opened like ten years ago too. it could be any number of actual reasons why they decided to do this. but personally,i do think that just doing this at a different pharm,is kind of a red flag to them even tho you are planning to eventually move your scripts there? and it simply being early too.

i would just accept it right now,then wait til its aroud the time for that fill and either go back to them if that is what you really need/want to do,or stay where you are and wait. but i would not make too many waves with any pharm, it just could come back to bite you later,ya know? good luck with this,Marcia
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Old 03-07-2009, 11:58 AM   #5
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Re: Why can't I refill meds early if I pay for them?

Ambien isn't a class 2, like feelbad said if it was you would have to get a written prescription from your Dr every month, same as our pain medications, at least the CII ones.
It is Federal Law, I am pretty sure, that keeps you from getting certain controlled medications only once a month. You can have your refills transferred to the new pharmacy. It's what we all must do, go to the pharmacy every month, so I'm not sure what your problem is. Even non-controlled medications can only be filled when you have 5 days left. feelbad is right if you make noise about this you will get pegged as a drug seeker. you have enough medicine to last the month so just take it to the new pharmacy when you have a couple days left and the pharmacy will call and make the transfer for you.

 
Old 03-07-2009, 02:26 PM   #6
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Re: Why can't I refill meds early if I pay for them?

I have no problem. I have been on CII meds since I was 16 due to an auto immune disease that killed my bones and body. I am now 37. I have a great amount of trust with my Dr and I am not drug seeking. First, the pharmace I am at now I have been with a few years. I am just saying it is weird that I need them to be my police officer. I did not think Ambien was a CII, but I asked her again when I went to pick up my fill and they said it was right to me. I though to myself, there is no way, but I did not want to argue. My thought is if I am given 3 refills for 3 months, I should be able to pick all of them up right then and pay out of my pocket. Then 3 months later when I need more or go to my dr and get a script, I will be back to get it filled. I don't know, but I just hated the fact that I had the money and wanted to pick them up, but the wanted me to come back in 2 weeks. I don't live that close to a pharmacy, so I really just wanted to save time and lock them up in my own safe. No biggie as I have been doing it by the book for over 21 years. Just a question. I like how some of you get so judgemental, like you are the god of medicine and you have never did or had a question about medication. That is why I put in the original post, don't beat me up as I was just asking a question.

 
Old 03-07-2009, 04:18 PM   #7
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Re: Why can't I refill meds early if I pay for them?

I don't think there was any intentional judgment going on here, no "god of medicine", or any effort to "beat you up". Everyone has vast differences in their personal experiences here, that we try to share without prejudice. Just keep in mind that we are all from different parts of the country, have very different viewpoints, experiences, and conclusions. Asking and answering questions are what we are all about....cetainly not intending to beat anyone up! I wish you well!

 
Old 03-07-2009, 05:04 PM   #8
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Re: Why can't I refill meds early if I pay for them?

DJCHRIS -- If you're not using insurance, you should be able to get refills at your convenience (not after some insurance mandated time period). Some pharmacies have rules that require otherwise, and it seems like you ended up at one of those. I suggest that you follow whatever their policy is for now until you finish up your prescription and then get a new pharmacy. Also, for non-schedule II prescriptions, I would suggest that you ask your doctor to write for 90 day supplies rather than one month at a time. (For ex., instead of 30 ambien with 5 refills, your doctor should be writing 90 ambien with 1 refill). Not only is this more convenient, but insurance will usually pay, and it can be even more convenient if you go with mailorder. Finally, I don't think it was anyone's intention to be judgmental. That said, I certainly sympathize with you. This is probably for another thread, but you're right that it isn't the job of the government, pharmacies, etc... to police this kind of stuff. Addicts and abusers are not the reason we have to go through this; politics and uneducated/uninformed/puritanical attitudes are.

 
Old 03-07-2009, 07:49 PM   #9
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Re: Why can't I refill meds early if I pay for them?

Quote:
Originally Posted by mark76 View Post

I would suggest that you ask your doctor to write for 90 day supplies rather than one month at a time. (For ex., instead of 30 ambien with 5 refills, your doctor should be writing 90 ambien with 1 refill). Not only is this more convenient, but insurance will usually pay, and it can be even more convenient if you go with mailorder.

An excellent idea.....

Also, just as an fyi, Ambien is a schedule IV med, or very low potential for abuse.

Regards,

Ex

 
Old 03-07-2009, 08:32 PM   #10
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Re: Why can't I refill meds early if I pay for them?

One word Overdose!

 
Old 03-08-2009, 06:45 AM   #11
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Re: Why can't I refill meds early if I pay for them?

Quote:
Originally Posted by djchris View Post
I have no problem. I like how some of you get so judgemental, like you are the god of medicine and you have never did or had a question about medication. That is why I put in the original post, don't beat me up as I was just asking a question.
I don't see anyone getting judgmental or beating you up. It isn't just the insurance that will only pay for one month at a time, but certain laws about controlled medication. It is a pain to have to go every month to get our meds, just like we have to go and see the Dr. every 8-10 weeks for our CII meds. there are certain that can exceptions where you can get a 90 day supply, but I am not sure which meds. CIII's and below you can get I think 6 refills, but you can only get a month at a time. Again there are certain instances where you can get early refills, vacation, stolen, lost (if your Dr. trusts you). Next time you go to your Dr' just ask him if he would write you a script for a couple months, he may, but you probably have to pay cash.

 
Old 03-08-2009, 07:50 AM   #12
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Re: Why can't I refill meds early if I pay for them?

While the laws do vary state by state, in most states (including California, I believe -- where DJChris seems to live), you can up to a 6 month supply of any med that is in schedule III-V (i.e., vicodin, ambien, valium, etc...). The doctor can also write 90 day supplies with refills, as long as the total amount of medication in the prescription does not exceed 6 months (if insurance is not an issue, I think the doctor could even write a 180 day supply but I'm not sure about that). So for DJChris, it seems like having the doctor write the prescription for 90-day supplies with refills could be helpful. Doctors frequently have no idea what would be the most convenient option for the patient; that's why as a patient, it's necessary to let your doctor know what could be helpful to you (i.e, do you use insurance or do you pay cash, if you use insurance what medications are advantageous under your insurance plan, how you want the medications to be written, etc.)

Last edited by mark76; 03-08-2009 at 07:52 AM.

 
Old 03-08-2009, 10:35 AM   #13
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Re: Why can't I refill meds early if I pay for them?

believe me chris, no one is judging you here. you simply asked the question as to 'why' this could have occured and we explained any possible reasons, thats it. trust me, i don't judge people. i am an imperfect person who has made many stupid mistakes in my life, so judging others is not what i am about. i just simply answered the question you posed, looking at this from the 'pharms' point of view, thats all. i am sorry if this came across in any other way other than just giving you possible reasons you asked for. marcia
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