Monday, December 27, 2010

Ohio residents: You can only transfer a prescription ONE time because of new rule that starts Jan. 1, 2010

You can thank the Ohio State Board of Pharmacy (and those who lobbied them for the change they are putting into effect) for making a new rule effective Jan. 1, 2011 that makes it so Ohio residents can:
  • NO LONGER transfer a prescription more than ONE time.
Here's how you reach them:

Call: (614) 466-4143
TTY/TDD Ohio Relay Service: 1-800-750-0750
Fax: (614) 752-4836
William T. Winsley, Executive Director, Ohio State Board of Pharmacy
77 South High Street, Room 1702
Columbus, OH 43215-6126

Although the intent may have been two-fold by those who lobbied for this change:
  • Reduce the number of transfers of prescriptions (as encouraged by Rx coupons commonly available in competitive markets such as Columbus); and to 
  • reduce competition from stores that don't have both a NATIONAL (not just regional presence) and online, sharable, real-time prescription database.
There are many other ways people are negatively impacted.

  • ELDERLY who move to Florida or other warmer areas for the winter (after getting their prescriptions in teh summer) need to be able to transfer them TWICE -- once to move from the pharmacy most convenient to them here in Ohio and then again when Spring arrives and they return to Ohio.  Often these are NOT the same pharmacy (Kmart or Joe's Pharmacy may be most convenient here in Ohio while they use Rite Aid or some other place in Florida or Arizona or wherever).  In order to have it filled in Ohio again, they will have to have their doctor write a new prescription (which often requires they make a new visit and pay a new co-pay).  A work-around for the future would require that the elderly ask their doctor for TWO scripts for every prescription -- one to keep on file for when they come back in Spring and the other to use for the first few months and then transfer with them when they become "snowbirds."  Or else they can give in to being nudged into using the same pharmacy company in both/all locations (something with a national presence ... or at least both/all regions where they visit ... and that have the online, sharable, real-time prescription database as required in the law to allow transfers between stores of the same brand such as CVS after the first transfer is made).
  • Those who go to the pharmacy closest to their doctor/hospital at first and then move it to a pharmacy closer to their home but later in the year move location.  to a different location ... or WANT to move to another pharmacy because they're not happy at that store can NOT do so any more because of this new rule change.
  • Those who may have moved their prescription to a less-convenient location for an incentive -- such as to get a $10 gift card at Target, $30 in free gas at Giant Eagle, or $25 gift card/rewards at Kroger or CVS -- will discover they can NOT move it again after Dec. 31, 2010.  Their prescription will be stranded.

To be posted soon:

  • Those pharmacists and companies that lobbied for this change will be revealed once I am able to peruse the minutes and recordings of meetings that preceded this change voted upon at the December meeting of the Ohio State Board of Pharmacy.

For now, you may want to ask your favorite pharmacist to transfer all of your prescriptions from other pharmacies so s/he can fill them in the new year and you won't have to run around to other locations until you've used up your refills.

    Sunday, May 9, 2010

    Safety tip: Have a PRIMARY pharmacy for all NEW medications

    If you do play "Rx Ping-Pong" -- transferring prescriptions from one pharmacy to another to maximize the number of times you can use Rx Coupons, please take this word of advice:

    * Have a PRIMARY pharmacy -- one where you feel most comfortable, respect the pharmacists the most, and feel they are always vigilant about making sure you understand new drugs and asking about whether you're still taking something (from a year or so ago) that might badly interact with a new drug prescribed.

    * Make sure ALL of your medications have been filled there at least once.

    * Any time you have a NEW MEDICATION prescribed, send it to that PRIMARY or "main/home" pharmacy.


    There are some dangerous interactions that can happen between some drugs. Your own primary care doctor or specialist may not realize you are taking a drug that will badly interact with the new one they are about to give you.

    The pharmacist is the LAST line of defense to protect you from this. But if you're taking your newest drug to a pharmacy that doesn't know about all of your drugs, they may not have a RED FLAG pop up in their system to warn about this dangerous interaction. A person can die as a result. And this has happened at least once in Ohio.

    So, be careful. Getting a $10 or $25 gift card to help you better afford the cost of your medications is certainly not worth endangering your health.

    Sunday, January 10, 2010

    Grocery Coupon Guide tips about finding coupons -- pharmacy rewards & manufacturer discounts

    Read tips from "Grocery Coupon Guide" blog about "Pharmacy Coupon Rewards" and how to find them ... as well as tips about asking doctor for NEW prescriptions more often (vs. one a year with lots of refills) as many of the coupons require purchase to be NEW if you want to avoid having to do the "Rx Ping-Pong" game of transferring your prescriptions from one pharmacy to another and then back to be "transfer eligible." (as described at

    Also, they have another story about finding Prescription Drug Rx Coupons" issued by drug manufacturing companies. Some offer a significant discount on your co-pay (50%). There's a list in the story. They also point to a longer list of some that are available.

    The story mentions that some of these are obtainable by asking your doctor, pharmacist, or visiting the website of the manufacturer of the medication.