Pharmacy "Loopholes"

Another month-or-so, another set of prescription refills. More often than not, I get off-sync with refilling more than one month of meds at a time and end up having to go through this process more frequently than I could. Essentially, if I refill only 1 of each prescription, the computer system remembers this and sets it to my default—if I want more, I can call and speak to a pharmacist but come on… actual humans?

Today, I tried something different, the new-ish online prescription refill service (that previously, in the old iteration, I was never able to remember my login information for!). Despite having to totally guess at my “insurance or provincial health number” since none of the multiple-choice options that popped up matched my Manitoba Health number, I was able to verify my identity and get logged in.

Pharmacy website magic… for a moment

It was like nirvana. I got logged in—I mean, I had to reset my password, but I do that like three times a day despite using LastPass.
And then, on both of my prescriptions, it said Ready for Refill… and then beside it “This prescription is currently on hold.” The information bubble read “Your pharmacist has put this prescription on hold for you to fill at a later date. You are not eligible to submit this prescription for a refill.”
Um, says who? I am two days early, and I will be out of town the day I am eligible. I would get it if this were for my ADHD meds, but it was not.

Finding the loophole

Mind boggled, I hit the shortcut for the pharmacy on my phone. (You know you’re a chronic patient when you have the pharmacy in your favorite contacts…). I hit 1-1 and proceeded with the automated refill process by phone, thinking I would get transferred to the pharmacy.

Except, go figure, it worked. I hit the button to request my meds for pickup between 5 and 10 pm today and that was that.
Without even talking to a human. Without the nonsensical restrictions on the web-based system, which is ALL THE SAME SYSTEM.

No, I know this does not make any sense. It’s like the time I needed to withdraw exactly $37 from the bank for a FedEx delivery and they told me I could not withdraw from my childhood bank account at a teller—I proceeded to respond “So you’re telling me, though, I can take this exact debit card out there and withdraw the cash from the machine, and come back in here and get change to get my $37?”
…They responded yes, and I responded by rolling my eyes and probably too-loudly saying “That is the stupidest thing I have ever heard.”

But, you know, just like I got my $37 that day in 2009, I managed to get my meds refilled today. Well, I hope, at least. We’ll see what happens when I get to the pharmacy!


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