Controls MUST be in place because of drug abuse. I get it. I truly and honestly get it. Having said that there has got to be a better way to ensure that those who REALLY need their prescribed medication can get what they need when they need it. I desperately hope you have not had an experience like mine.
Deep breath… Let me walk you through my yesterday. It started with a phone call from the pharmacy telling me Matthias’ Adderall prescription could not be faxed to them by the psychiatrist because the psychiatrist was away (Matthias has a complex diagnosis including ADHD, in-utero stroke, prenatal drug exposure, and autism). I then asked if they could please authorize four pills because that would be enough to get Matthias through to Monday when the psychiatrist would return. They do this all the time for our other medications. It was Wednesday and we only had one pill left! Their answer: it is a controlled substance; we cannot do that. Yup… their hands are tied. It gets worse. I spent majority of the day trying to fill this prescription.
This is what I did:
- Called our family doctor. Guess what? He is gone until Monday. Where have all our doctors gone? The staff suggested pleading my case to the pharmacist since pharmacists can use their discretion when filling prescriptions.
- Called the pharmacist back. I laid it all out. I was crying. I was desperate… I was frightened…
- My son has finally been stabilized on meds and is doing well. Really well.
- Off meds he is violent.
- Off meds the police have been called
- Off meds multiple trips to emergency have happened
- My house has multiple fist and foot holes from when he has not been stabilized because he is off medications.
- My safety and my other two kids’ safety are in jeopardy. Seriously in jeopardy!
- All I need is 4 PILLS!
- After my detailed explanation, the answer was, “NO”. Even though this medication has consistently been filled at this pharmacy. Even though, this is the real kicker, because this medication is a controlled substance, I cannot renew it until 1 or 2 days before he is scheduled to run out. Not great when the doctors are away for a WEEK! I was NOT calm!
3. Thought about going to different walk-in clinic. This was suggested by the pharmacist to see if ONE walk-in would prescribe Adderall. That was a long shot… all of the walk- in clinics I have gone to do not prescribe narcotics. It is posted CLEAR AS DAY on their walls. Not going to happen.
4. Went to Emergency at our local hospital. At check-in a nurse also said that the doctor might not prescribe my son the medication that he NEEDS to maintain stability, because—you guessed it—it is a controlled substance! Shortly after signing my son into Emergency I realized that I should try his pediatrician (thankfully Matthias is 17, not 18, and still has a pediatrician).
5. Called the pediatrician’s office. They said the doctor probably could do it and the pharmacist should fax over the request. I called the pharmacist …
After a 3½-hour Emergency wait, one failed fax attempt, multiple phone calls, way too many automated voice messages, when we were next in line to see the emergency doctor, the pediatrician came through. Matthias got the prescription! I about did my happy dance right there in the hospital. I refrained. Intense relief. We all are going to be safe.
And then… several minutes later I got a call from the pharmacist. They were only able to give me 20 of the 90 pills that were authorized. I laughed! 20! Dang! I only wanted 4! I will take 20!
After all that…as I was leaving the store an employee came running after me asking if I had left a prescription at the self-checkout. Seriously? How does one forget necessary medication after this crazy fiasco? I chalk it up to stress.
As I said, there has got to be an easier way to get the medication that someone absolutely needs and has an ongoing prescription for when their doctors are away. At least this time I had a pediatrician I could turn to. Not everyone does. I do not know how it is in other countries, but this story is a reality in mine. If this is an experience you have had I definitely feel your pain and frustration.