I have a new one for everyone, something I can honestly say has never happened before. After visiting the neurologist and being given the usual scripts for medication for the boys, I took them to my pharmacy to get filled. Now, there has never been a problem with getting the scripts filled. Yes, they are given off label medication but that is par for the course with autism. You play with the medications until you find something that works. Often times the types of the meds and/or the dosage is not as prescribed by the powers that be (government), but generally the pharmacists respect the doctors and do as they are asked.
Well, we have a new pharmacist in our town and he decided to not fill the scripts. He decided that the dosage was too high and that the person writing the script, the nurse practitioner, not the doctor, did not know what they were doing. Now, it is common knowledge that a nurse practitioner has the license authority to write scripts, as long as they are supervised by a doctor, which is exactly what happens in the neurologists’ office. My doctor’s office is also one of the most respected in the area and his hospital is one of the best in the country. So I go to pick up the meds…
The pharmacist did not call me, the pharmacist did not discuss it with me, he in front of about twenty people decided to yell at me that the dosage was too high and that I was overmedicating my children. When I explained to him that this is the dosage they had been on for years he screamed at me that I was jeopardizing his license and that I could take my business elsewhere. Needless to say as soon as I got home I filed a complaint with the drugstore as did my doctor’s office. What transpired I have no idea, as I have not seen him but the girls behind the counter told me he received a call from management.
So what do you do in a case like that? I actually did end up at another drugstore to get the scripts filled. Luckily I had enough medicine to last until that could be taken care of, but still it was very disconcerting to think that some stranger can decide whether your doctor is adequate. It was not like I had asked his opinion. It was not like I even knew who he was or he knew who I was. The reality is, is that it is basically none of his business. While pharmacists are charged with care to make sure that meds are not contra indicated other than that, they are not doctors and when I have called for information, it seems they go to WebMD.com to find out the answers to my questions, just as I would do.
Now my recalling of the above interaction is not to say that the pharmacists whom I have dealt with over the years have not been professional, courteous and very hard working. I can honestly say in the 15 or so years that we have had to have specialized scripts filled I have never had an unprofessional moment with anyone until now. I just found it well, surreal.
I find it frightening that some faceless bureaucrat can decide if you or yours can have medication or not. I suppose it’s not any different than an insurance company deciding if a type of medication can be listed on your insurance plan. I know that a plan that we had did not cover some of highschoolboy’s medications and I would have had to fight them to pay for it, despite the obvious need, if we had not switched plans. I think the entire healthcare debate frightens me. I lay awake actually terrified as to what will happen in the future. Whether it’s out of control costs, monopolized insurance companies, or inadequate government bureaucrats who decide whether you live or die or what quality of life you are entitled to, I think everyone seems to have missed the boat on this one. Do I have a solution? Of course not, but I know what I would or would not try.
To start with I would lift the anti-trust provision exemption for insurance companies, allow them to compete across state lines (under the Commerce Clause), let people create their own insurance plans (one from column A and one form column B) and I would find a way for people on a sliding economic scale to buy into Medicare. I would also not get rid of Medicare advantage, as it has proven to an effective coverage for my elderly parents, both of whom have survived cancer due to the doctors in their HMO. I would also make sure to include a provision whereby a person can sue the federal and state governments if care is denied, if you are on a government plan. At present you cannot sue the government without the government’s permission (old common law issue).So these people have no recourse, other than administrative appeals if care is denied; again tyranny of the faceless bureaucrat. At least with insurance companies the state can help you fight them through your attorney general’s office. Additionally, I would also not allow the government state or federal, to have access to any medical records. You never know who can get their hands on that and how that information could be used in the future. (Check out the passport debacle and the “Joe the Plumber” incidents during the last Presidential campaign)
But in the meantime, since I have no power beyond my vote, something we can join together to effectively make our voices heard, I am left with the question of what to do with this moron of a new pharmacist. I suppose next month I see if he has learned that he is not the doctor and that he is not the one in charge of my children’s care. If not then this time we take it to a higher authority. I will leave that to the doctor’s office; filing state complaints against pharmacists sounds better from a licensed physician rather than an irate parent anyway.
Oh well, wish me luck.
Until next time,