Like probably many health insurers, my health insurance company encourages me to use a mail order pharmacy for my maintenance drugs. As encouragement to use it, with the mail order pharmacy, I can order a 90 day supply, but only pay a co-pay for 60 days. Most of my maintenance drugs are actually generic, and I get generic drugs for free, so the only real advantage to me using the mail order pharmacy is laziness. I admit it is kind of nice just to log onto the website, hit refill, and have the drugs sent to me. At the beginning of the year, my insurance company switched to a different mail order pharmacy, so for most of my prescriptions, I have had to submit requests to my doctors for new prescriptions. Annoying, but no big deal, until I started getting them filled. I have rosacea, and I take one oral medication for it as well as using two face creams and one face wash, all prescriptions for it. I had my dermatologist call in a new prescription for the oral medication, and when it came from the mail order pharmacy, they only sent 34 pills with a note saying they had reduced the amount for my safety. The pill (Oracea) is designed and approved by the FDA as a maintenance drug for rosacea. It is supposed to be taken everyday. It is a low dose antibiotic taken for its anti-inflammatory properties. I don’t know of any way to get high off of it, not that I have tried. After a long conversation with the pharmacy trying to ascertain why they deemed this not safe enough to send me more than 34 pills, even though I have been taking this pill for well over a year, or for that matter why they sent me the strange amount of 34 pills, as opposed to 30, the pharmacy stated it was my insurer who decided this was not a maintenance drug. A call to my insurer resulted in me being told I would essentially need to petition them to recognize what the FDA calls a maintenance drug, as a maintenance drug. They also said I could go to my retail pharmacy and get the same deal they offer through the mail order pharmacy of a 90 day supply for the cost of 60. Why they offer this deal through the retail and thus what is the point of trying to get me to use the mail order pharmacy is not something I could understand, and if I continued to try to talk to them, I was going to need a drink. I gave up.
Now, however, my health insurer’s and the mail order pharmacy’s concern for my safety has gone to comical levels. As I said above, I also use a prescription face wash for my rosacea. It is a cleanser with sodium sulfacetamide and sulfur in it. It is an old formula and has been used by rosacea sufferers and people with other skin issues for decades. I have used it for at least two years, and I think it helps a bit. Because it is such an old formula, there are of course generics, to which my insurer automatically switches my prescription. I don’t care, and I get the face wash for free because it is generic. I had my dermatologist send in a new prescription to the mail order pharmacy, and it arrived today. Just in case you can’t guess, enclosed with the 12 oz bottle of face wash, was a note that reads as follows.
“Enclosed is a reduced quantity of your prescription drug. Your prescription drug coverage has quantity limits for certain drugs. This is a type of drug coverage review that limits how many doses you can receive. The goal is to make sure you get a safe amount of your drug.”
That’s right, they sent me a reduced quantity of my sulfur face wash for my safety. Thank goodness because otherwise I might wash my face too many times. It’s true. Washing your face with sulfur can get quite addictive. I love the smell of sulfur. (It actually does have a slight smell of sulfur but nothing repulsive.) I get in the shower and just keep washing my face knowing that the wash is free. Of course, it bears pointing out that they sent me a 12 oz bottle. The earliest I can refill it according to the label is in three weeks. This 12 oz bottle will probably last me three months or more. I don’t really count. I just reorder when I need it. I really don’t know what my pharmacy and insurer thinks I do with this stuff. Maybe they think I have a really dirty face. I have no idea. I can’t fantom how someone misuses sulfur face wash. I don’t think I want to know. Maybe they are afraid I am going to drink the stuff. All I know is that if my health insurer and mail order pharmacy think they have to protect me from too large an order of sulfur face wash then there probably is no hope for humanity. As an engineer, I have stated on many occasions, I have to design for the stupid. Not even I thought people were this stupid. I guess I overestimate people.