Customer Service at Specialty Pharmacies May Be an Issue for Some Patients

As business practices across the board evolve, so does the pharmacy industry. And with brick-and-mortar pharmacies requiring high month-to-month operating costs, mail-order pharmacies are becoming more common as a way for some patients to save money on their costly prescriptions. With the increase in popularity of mail-order pharmacies, more and more people are getting experience dealing with these companies, which do not present any opportunity for face-to-face interaction.

The truth of the matter is that pharmacies – regardless of where they are based – have a duty to their patients to accurately fill all prescriptions. And if a mail-order pharmacy can save customers money on prescriptions by not needing to pay real-estate or rental costs, that is fine, but pharmacies should not cut corners when it comes to staffing or customer service. However, that is exactly what one woman experienced when trying to secure her husband’s necessary daily medications from one mail-order pharmacy.

According to a recent article by Forbes, customer service at some mail-order pharmacies may be so poor that it puts patients in danger of running out of necessary medication. The article details the plight of a woman whose husband had recently been diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease. Aside from dealing with the life-changing realizations the diagnosis brought, the couple also had to find a way to ensure a steady supply of the husband’s extremely expensive day-to-day medications.

The woman describes this task as a “second job,” taking up over four hours per month, or what equates to over a full work-week lost each year. In the article, she explains that the drug manufacturer switched from a retail-based distribution network to a mail-order model. Initially, she noted that this decreased costs to her husband and her, but they later found out that the trade-off may not be worth it.

The first shipment of her husband’s medication didn’t arrive at all. When the woman tried to find anyone to speak with at the mail-order pharmacy, she was met by “shrugged shoulders” on the other end. She was told no one could help her, with her husband’s pill supply shrinking each day. Eventually, she was able to get the medication shipped overnight. However, she explained that a few months later, the same problem arose again when the drug manufacturer switched distribution networks again.

Problems Filling Specialty Prescriptions

Some prescriptions are less common than others and require certain authorizations each time a patient wants to refill the order. These are often filled by specialty pharmacies that deal in these high-cost drugs. However, just like regular pharmacies, these specialty pharmacies have a duty to their patients to ensure the timely delivery of necessary medication. When a pharmacy fails to see this and implements poor processes to save money, patients are the ones who pay the price.

Have You Been the Victim of a Pharmacy’s Negligence?

Whether individual or institutional, if you have been the victim of a pharmacist’s negligence, you may be entitled to monetary compensation. The skilled pharmacy error attorneys at the Maryland and Washington, D.C. personal injury law firm of Lebowitz & Mzhen Personal Injury Lawyers have decades of experience holding responsible parties liable for their actions. Call 410-654-3600 today to set up a free consultation.

More Blog Posts:

Pharmacists Try New Approach to Reduce Medication Errors, Focusing on Increased Communication, Pharmacy Error Injury Lawyer Blog, May 13, 2016.

$3 Million Verdict Upheld in Topamax Birth Injury Lawsuit, Pharmacy Error Injury Lawyer Blog, June 8, 2016.

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