Travelogue: Medication Refills
Some day I will leave town without writing a post about my adventures. My latest vacation wasn’t that trip, I’ll try to be better prepared next time. In late September I headed out on a road trip to Charlotte, NC. I packed up all the usual asthma suspects: daily medications, rescue inhalers, and my spacer. However, as I was sifting through the medication pile I noted that I didn’t have a spare rescue inhaler.
On average I come home from the pharmacy with two rescue inhalers a year. It is not uncommon for them to be disposed of due to expiration date rather than being empty. My plans for this trip made having a second inhaler more important. I was spending a few days biking with a friend before heading out on my own to camp and hike in the Great Smokey Mountains. This trip might as well be written into my day planner as adventures in “asthma triggers”.
I did what any tech savvy asthmatic would do. I hopped on my insurance website and plugged in the zip code for Charolette into the pharmacy finder. I copied the information for an in-network pharmacy with hours that suited my travel plans. Next I logged into the patient portal for my asthma doctor. I clicked through the “request a medication refill” form. I made sure to remove my default pharmacy from the request and put in the information for the pharmacy in North Carolina. I also added a note to the entry explaining that I was traveling and thus the request for a far away pharmacy.
The next part was probably optional and did require picking up the phone and talking to an actual human. I gave the pharmacy a quick call to give them my information so that they could run my insurance ahead of time and give me a call when the script was ready. I rather not make extra trips to the pharmacy or have to make multiple calls to see if something is ready, especially on vacation!
From there I triple checked that I really had my remaining rescue inhaler with me in my travels. I really did not want to explain to my asthma doctor how I ended up in the Emergency Room because I’d lost all my albuterol inhalers and went on outdoor adventures anyway. I went on my merry way road tripping over the Eastern Continental divide into North Carolina.
Monday of my trip I got the call from the pharmacy that they had received my prescription for an albuterol inhaler and would have it filled within the hour. As expected my script was waiting for me when I turned up at the pharmacy later that day. No muss no fuss just like picking up at my regular pharmacy back home.
I might have had an easy go of this if I used a chain pharmacy instead of a local independent pharmacy. I really like the service I get at my local independent pharmacy but it is convenient to be able to walk into any branch of a national chain of pharmacies and get your medication. Overall it was significantly less trouble than one might expect to get medications on vacation. Have you had to replace medication on a trip?
Does cold weather impact your asthma?