Medical care is expensive enough, I don’t need mistakes increasing the cost even more. However, that exact scenario almost happened picking up a prescription for my son last week. Had I not noticed it, not only would have cost me money, but it could have compromised my son’s care.
I walked out of the pharmacy with a small bag holding a refill of my son’s prescription. As my son drove out of the parking lot, I took the bottle out of the bag noting to myself the bottle was much smaller than the last time I had the prescription refilled. I looked at the label verifying it should contain 90 doses, then opened the top and looked in.
“Turn around, we gotta go back,” I said to my son.
“Why, did they get it wrong?” he asked.
“There’s no way there’s 90 pills in this bottle. They have to fix this,” I responded.
I went back into the store, walked up to the pharmacy counter and explained my problem. The pharmacist took the bottle to the back, and returned a few minutes later. She handed me the bottle, apologizing for the mistake as she had mistaken the 9 in 90 for a 4. I had originally been given less than half the doses I had paid for.
Due to the nature of what they do, pharmacists have strict controls over their job. But that doesn’t mean they don’t make mistakes. They are human, after all. But we’re dealing with what is in many case a very expensive product, so it is in the consumer’s best interest to make sure they get what they pay for.
Here are some things to consider when dealing with prescriptions:
Know And Verify Your Prescription
You should know how many doses you’re supposed to get, cross check with what it says on the bottle (as well as the dose size), and then count the pills immediately. Pharmacies normally have a semi-private area where you can talk to the pharmacist. Tell the technician what you’re doing so if there’s a problem it can be corrected without question.
Know Your Insurance
You should be familiar enough with your insurance to know what you are responsible for. Have the technician explain to you the breakdown of the cost and verify your insurance is being correctly applied. Keep your receipt, and write notes about the cost breakdown if you have to. The next time your prescription is filled, ensure the price breakdown is the same. For a given prescription, I once was given three different prices for three exact refills. Being able to recognize errors can save you big time.
Pharmacies are highly regulated, but mistakes can and will happen. By taking a few moments to double check your prescription you can make sure you get the medication you’re supposed to get, and pay what you’re supposed to pay.
How about you, EOD nation, have you ever discovered a major mistake with your prescription?