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Other => Off Topic => Topic started by: Captain Cactus on November 29, 2021, 07:54:50 PM

Title: Buying extra prescription medications
Post by: Captain Cactus on November 29, 2021, 07:54:50 PM
I have a question about prescription medications...I suspect someone here knows the answer.

Currently I get my life-saving pills (addison's disease...) at the pharmacy and the insurance company covers most of the cost and I pay a co-pay.  None of the meds are controlled substances.  Pretty boring, generic meds.

Is there anything keeping me from buying larger amounts than the 3 months at a time that I currently get?  Is the limitation an insurance thing, or a doctor thing?  And if I pay cash (ie I don't go through the insurance company), can I buy, say, 12 month's worth at a time?

For context, I'm just thinking ahead to possible supply chain issues, etc... just being extra cautious. 
Title: Re: Buying extra prescription medications
Post by: SimpleCycle on November 29, 2021, 08:14:40 PM
So, at its root, the limitation is an insurance limitation.  They won't pay for more than 3 months at a time, and they won't refill more than X days before you are scheduled to run out.  Sometimes you can get an extra month with a one time waiver, but that's about it.

You are also limited to how much your doctor is willing to prescribe, but I seriously doubt if you said to your doc "I'd like a backup supply of my lifesaving medication" they'd be unwilling to prescribe it.  The biggest practical issue is storage and rotating your stock so that the pills don't expire before you can use them.
Title: Re: Buying extra prescription medications
Post by: secondcor521 on November 29, 2021, 10:19:56 PM
If you want insurance to pay, it's an insurance limitation, as PP mentioned.

If you're willing to pay, and the doctor has given you enough refills, then it will be up to the pharmacy as to whether they will dispense early.  I know for my son's ADHD medications, which were controlled substances with street value, they were *very* tight on early refills.  But since this isn't true in your case, the pharmacy might be willing to refill early for you.

I'd ask your pharmacy.
Title: Re: Buying extra prescription medications
Post by: evme on November 30, 2021, 01:52:05 AM
Have you checked the cheapest price for the meds with GoodRx? If your doctor is willing to write a prescription for 1-2 years worth and it's not too expensive, it might be worth it to pay out of pocket for the piece of mind.
Title: Re: Buying extra prescription medications
Post by: BikeFanatic on November 30, 2021, 08:48:42 AM
I am not aware/familiar with your medications but I do know that some retiree's get  a years supply of med when they travel to Mexico. I do not know if they get a prescription or if the meds are over the counter there. I am on meds some of which are cheaper without using my insurance as they have been generic for years, good RX is a great place to start med shopping and Walmart also has some pretty good prices.
Title: Re: Buying extra prescription medications
Post by: Financial.Velociraptor on November 30, 2021, 02:08:02 PM
I keep roughly 180 days supply.  To get the extra 90 day supply, you have to visit the dr and get a fresh script shortly after filling your regular supply.  With a fresh scrip (even if it is identical to the previous order) it is no trouble.  My dr. fortunately, will write for 4 refills of 90 day meds.  Note, all non-controlled substances.  SSRI meds and blood pressure.
Title: Re: Buying extra prescription medications
Post by: scottish on November 30, 2021, 03:05:45 PM
I like to have a 90 to 180 day supply of everything.    Insurance provides for a 90 day supply on renewal, however their tracking doesn't seem to be very accurate, so I'm able to accumulate a few extra months supply over a couple of years.
Title: Re: Buying extra prescription medications
Post by: Captain Cactus on December 02, 2021, 07:45:24 PM
Thank you to everyone who replied with their experience.  For some reason it makes me feel nervous to ask for a full year from my doctor, like it's somehow wrong.  I'll keep you posted!
Title: Re: Buying extra prescription medications
Post by: Dee18 on December 03, 2021, 05:32:10 AM
Don't worry about expiration dates for most drugs.  There have been many studies showing that most drugs are good for years, even decades, after their expiration dates.  Here's one article:
"There is so much wastage of drugs as they are not used in time. Medications are expensive, and in the Asian and African continents, where many have the problem of affordability the debate is to see if the medication could be used even after the expiry date without losing the efficacy. Most of drug expiration dates information is from the study conducted by the Food and Drug Administration at the request of the military. With a large and expensive stockpile of drugs, the military faced tossing out and replacing its drugs every few years. What they found from the study is 90% of more than 100 drugs, both prescription and over-the-counter, were perfectly good to use even 15 years after the expiration date."
Title: Re: Buying extra prescription medications
Post by: soccerluvof4 on December 03, 2021, 05:38:30 AM
I take a "Controlled Substance" a Benzo for 30 years now and Get 6 months subscribed at a time. I have to visit my Doctor once every 6 months by law to have renewed but he makes me just see him once a year. So i would ask your Doctor because I also take Omeprezole which is basically Pepicid and that too I get 6 months worth. So perhaps its a Insurance vs Insurance situation? I have Humana which in some cases is good an others not so much. Another option would be to have your doctor subscribe a higher dosage per month and build up a supply for a bit and then have him put back to normal pill count. I did that on my own for awhile with my BENZ because I was worried if I missed a day I could have a seizure or worse. So I have an extra half a month I rotate in and keep that extra on hand.