Thursday, March 08, 2007

The Generic Drug Caper

I'm sorry to tell you that my wife is sick right now. Big ol' bronchial / sinus infection with a low-grade fever. She saw the doctor and got a prescription for a generic antibiotic.

Now, we just recently got health insurance through my employer, so we're not listed as being covered at any pharmacies yet. No matter, as my wife took her 'script to WAL*MART "because their generic drugs are only $4!" (Under my drug plan, generics are a $10 co-pay, so why even go there, right?)

She had to run off to work, so she asked me to pick up her pills for her.

After dinner, I bundled up the "Li'l One" and headed out to the evil big-box store's pharmacy.

Egads, what a line at the pick-up counter! I ran over to the toy department and pulled a Baby Einstein puppet off the rack so as to amuse Mariel during our wait.

We get up to the counter and the exchange went something like this:

Me: I'm here to pick up a prescription for Davison.

Clerk: Here it is. That'll be $60.54, Mr. Davison.

Me: Um, aren't your generic drugs only $4?

Clerk: I'm sorry, not all our generic drugs are $4. Here's a formulary of the ones that are. Do you want this prescription?

Me: Well, let's see. My wife is sick and needs them, so if I don't get them, that's bad. On the other hand, she brought the script here specifically because of the alleged $4 price tag and if I overpay by 1,500%, that's bad, too. Aw, hell, here's my debit card - I don't want my wife to suffer!

Clerk: All righty (rings up transaction). Sorry about that, Mr. Davison.

Me: Ah, well, what can you do? (A blinding flash of the obvious strikes.) Hey, wait a minute! I HAVE HEALTH INSURANCE - HERE'S MY CARD!

Clerk: Oh, great! Here, let me enter your info and we can re-do the transaction. (Enters info into evil pharmacy computer.) There we go! That'll be $10, Mr. Davison.

Me: What about the $60.54 we just debited to my account?

Clerk: I can refund that amount in cash. The system won't let me credit debit accounts. (Hands over $60.54 in cash.)


I deposited the $60.00 at the ATM the next morning.

All's well that ends well, but I keep having the nagging feeling that this shouldn't have been so danged complicated!

Kudos, by the way, to the pharmacy clerk for working with me to iron this out.

6 Comments:

Blogger Bardouble29 said...

They just don'r make anything easy these days!

March 08, 2007 12:30 PM  
Blogger Wizened Wizard said...

Hope your wife is feeling better. No, it shouldn't be so danged complicated.

Just think: if we took all the money being spent on the war in Iraq and divided it up among the good citizens of the U.S.of A., everyone could afford prescriptions... and probably a lot more...

March 08, 2007 8:45 PM  
Blogger Craig D said...

Well, a certain amount of the complexity came from blindly trusting that "all" generic drugs would be $4 at WAL*MART and not simply going to the closest, most convenient pharmacy to use the medical plan in the first place. If my brain synapes had been firing I'd have not paid the $60 outside of the plan.

wiz: Sad to say, not only is the wife still really, really sick, but now my daughter is getting it as well. Arrgh.

My blog seems to have a subtext of generic drugs, generic food and generic music lately. What's up with that?!?!?

March 08, 2007 9:44 PM  
Blogger whimsicalnbrainpan said...

Nothing involving drugs or insurance is ever easy.

I'm so sorry your wife is ill and that your daughter seems to be catching it too. They are in my thoughts. I hope they get well soon (and you stay healthy).

March 08, 2007 10:12 PM  
Blogger Dorky Dad said...

You know, the thing is, if you paid that full $60 to Wal-Mart, at least $40 of that would have been pure profit for the company. Ick. Drugs are nasty business.

March 08, 2007 11:35 PM  
Blogger Craig D said...

My wife stayed home from work today, and she only does that when she's r-e-a-l-l-y sick! Chills, racking cough, sinus and ear infection, the whole nine yards, people!

The Li'l One, so far, just has a runny nose and a cranky disposition. They're both napping right now. I'll let them know you kind folks send your best wishes.

I'm still feeling OK, but I think I may have already had what's been going around. At least I'll use that as my denial mechanism...

March 09, 2007 2:56 PM  

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