Over the past several years I’ve been diagnosed with four autoimmune conditions:
Type 1 Diabetes
B12 deficiency from atrophic gastritis
These are all permanent conditions that require prescription medication on a regular basis. The problem I want addressed is not with the prescription refill process (though it could use some tuning), but with the prescription RENEWAL process. All of the medications, from insulin to injectable vitamin B12 expire after about a year and have to be re-issued by a prescribing doctor. Usually the process takes a work day or two, so if you run out of insulin on a Friday and realize your prescription expired a week ago, you’re in serious trouble. Something similar happens when you cross state lines. Pharmacies only allow you to transfer about one refill of medication across state lines in my experience, which forces you to call for a new prescription yet again in your new location. I go to college out of state, and I split my time across three states throughout the year. I understand the need for prescriptions to expire in the case of controlled substances, and temporary illness conditions, but it’s a huge problem for those of us that will be taking the same medication for the rest of our lives.
1. Alter the rules for prescriptions tied to a chronic condition so that they can remain valid indefinitely. I understand that this would not work for controlled substances, and there would have to be some authority with the ability to cancel prescriptions so that insurance coverage isn’t abused.
2. Fix the rules regarding travel from state to state. I’m sure there’s a reason why the issue was created in the first place, but I’m also sure that it can be solved.
Location: Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York