By: Revanche

Convenience behooves thee: mail ordering prescriptions

August 6, 2011

After nearly three weeks of frustrations, run arounds, failed attempts and unanswered requests, I finally managed to get a prescription filled at my local Kaiser pharmacy.

To add insult to injury, it cost an extra $10.  I nearly said something but before I could, the clerk ringing up my order mentioned casually, “you know, it’s cheaper if you order online.”

Wait, what?

“Yes, I noticed that this was more expensive and was just about to ask about that since I normally always order online. This was just thanks to all the trouble I’ve been having in getting this particular order filled.”

Not in the mood to explain the whole thing, even though he asked to hear the story, I glossed over the details and got to the good part: why exactly was the online order cheaper??

He explained: to encourage people to use the mail order service, when they order a 3 month supply, one month of the regular co-pay of $10/month is discounted.

!! You mean to tell me that the price I’ve been getting when I ordered online wasn’t a regular price, it was a discount??  (You had better not tell me that they’re going to take it away at some point, either.)


I’m happy that my busy life + laziness has been saving me at least $20/every three months for the past couple of years but if they wanted to change behavior shouldn’t they have been trumpeting this little detail from the rooftops instead of handing out tote bags when people say they’ll try ordering with mail delivery?

Would a 33% discount plus the added convenience of having your medication delivered by mail be incentive enough to convert you if you normally physically pick up your own prescriptions?

And in this day and age of having groceries, baked goods, and just about anything else you can think of delivered, why on earth would you need to be incentivized to have your medication delivered?

Who LIKES sitting in a creepy pharmacy smelling of astringent and urine waiting for their prescriptions to be filled?  (Maybe that’s just mine. But still. Every pharmacy feels slightly creepy.)

4 Responses to “Convenience behooves thee: mail ordering prescriptions”

  1. mOOm says:

    I usually go to another store or something while they fill the prescription.

  2. I’ve been doing mail-order prescriptions for awhile. I think I had heard they were cheaper, but besides that, it’s definitely more convenient.

    Also, apparently our prescription plan “punishes” you if you get your refill at the pharmacy instead of starting up the mail order system. I forget what the punishment is, but I think they might just not give you the meds (which seems wrong) or maybe it just costs you more (which I guess is kind of like thinking of it as “without the discount”)

  3. so… uh… did you still buy it? or go home and bought online? ^_^;

  4. Kellen says:

    Huh. I’ve never tried doing mine online. Not sure if my pharmacy even has that.

    I hate waiting, even just in line if it’s already filled. Last time I got stuck behind these two old men that were getting like a billion prescriptions, and whose accents the pharmacist couldn’t understand well, so it took forever, even though I had remembered to call ahead.

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