Some More Medicine

Dogs were given heartworm and tapeworm medicine.

I’ve got enough Lantus for about 5 more days, but it was time to get more blood pressure medicine.  I go to the pharmacy, bringing my photo ID with me, and the old blood pressure medicine container with the script on it.  They had the original script.  So, when I go to pay, they start telling me, that in order for them to process my order, their system required that I verbally answer certain questions.  I refuse, and after the store manager, the pharmacist, and a couple of pharmacy clerks discuss the situation and refuse to give me the medicine without answering these unrelated questions, I leave.  I’m furious, because I think that it is not only illegal to do this to someone, but also unethical.

So, basically, there is a population of people who in order to gain access to the same level of health as everyone else is being made to jump through arbitrary hoops, to say “uncle” if you will.

I’m starting to look for alternatives to dealing with the pharmacy.  Yoga obviously won’t be enough, but I’d like to have something else that would work, if they deny me my medicine.

With my gas shortage, I stop for a free consult with a local lawyer.  He was pretty cool, and he agreed to FAX a letter pro bono for me to the pharmacy.  I thought it was a pretty good letter – and he gave me a copy of it.



So, I go back to the pharmacy with the letter in hand in my car with almost no gas, and almost no tread on one tire on the wheel with 3 studs in the middle of a blizzard.  It’s not a very heavy car.  Arriving at the pharmacy, I give the letter to the clerk telling her that my lawyer said that she could not ask me to give any more information than presenting my identification  (and signing their electronic signature system).  She calls the lawyer, and (through his clerk) asks him what statute of the law he was referencing.

After everything was said and done, we worked it out, agreeing that if they needed to, the people at the pharmacy themselves could transfer information internally to satisfy their system’s requirement, but that they could not force me to say anything, or answer questions.  She verified with the lawyer, that they had a copy of my ID, and I got my medicine.

I think the letter is a victory for the little guy – an injustice that is addressed.  The system coming together to solve a problem locally.

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