Thursday, June 28, 2007

A Benefit that is not Beneficial

An open letter (sent to NMCSD, UT...):

I realize that the armed services are very busy and that many of the pharmacy employees have been deployed.

However, it is unacceptable and causes HEALTH PROBLEMS when patients cannot get their refills completed in a timely fashion.

As directed, I refill my prescriptions through the computer system, which tells me the earliest possible day I can make a request. Refills are not authorized until I have less than 10 days of medication left. I note the date go through the system on the day the computer allows me to enter the request and then wait for the bottle to come in the mail. Unfortunately, my medication runs out before the new bottle arrives.

I use the mail system because I am tired of waiting between one and three hours in line at the pharmacy at the Naval Medical Center of any of its ancillary sites to get my medication. The cost of the co-pay is going to be an additional hardship, but seems necessary.

I finally was able to speak with a Navy pharmacist assistant after trying for two days and being told by a computer that the hold time would be 45-60 minutes, and was told to try calling the pharmacy if the computer did not let me make the request when I had only ten days of medication left. This completely defeats the purpose of using the computer system, as I would have to wait on hold for almost an hour and still go to the Medical Center and wait for hours to get the medications.

My husband is a retired USMC DISABLED VETERAN amputee and we deserve better treatment than this substandard service, given all that we have sacrificed for this country. Despite the additional cost, I will have to transfer my prescriptions to a private pharmacist so that I can facilitate care for our medical needs and not risk running out of crucial medications. I am very disappointed and expected better from the Navy.

Thank you for your consideration,

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