ADHD Medication and Pharmacy Policy: Maintaining Your Sanity While Playing by the Rules
We Are Not Criminals
One of the most difficult and humiliating experiences I've had to go through several times was simply trying to refill my children's prescriptions. No one should be made to feel like a criminal for simply taking care of their child.
It is a common fact that some people have chosen to abuse ADHD medications, using them for unintended and illegal purposes. However, as a parent of a child with ADHD, I should not be looked upon suspiciously because of the behavior of others. However, as parents, most of us are willing to "bear that cross" for the well-being of our children.
There are many national pharmacy chains, which will remain unnamed, that will not refill a prescription for ADHD even one day early, which leaves us parents fretful that we'll run out of medication for our child.
Let's not forget that ADHD medications are commonly out of stock, so when you are forced to request a refill the same day your child has taken their last pill, there is a chance that the pharmacy will not have the medication.
So now you're in the worst situation, as now your child has no meds for tomorrow morning. And since this medication is highly sought out by drug dealers, it's understandable pharmacies that don’t want to set themselves up to be robbed, so when you call other pharmacies to inquire if they have the medication, you are told, “We cannot give you that information over the phone”. So now you're fuming mad because you have to tote a slip of paper with you across town to every pharmacy with hopes that they have the prescription that you need. In one instance, I went to four pharmacies before I was able to get my son's prescription filled.
Fast forward a few years, and I now have a daughter. At around four-years-old, I figured that she too had ADHD. Now I have two prescriptions that I must refill each month—lucky me. Believe it or not, on a few occasions, I had pharmacists refuse to refill my children’s prescriptions. You can't even begin to understand how angry and humiliated I was made to feel for just trying to care for my children.
At each medication management appointment with my children's physician, she will write out three separate prescriptions with a note stating “do not fill” prior to a certain date. My guess is that there are rules that prohibit physicians from writing these types of medications with a refill option. So in an effort to be proactive and avoid a tour of local pharmacies, I started submitting all three prescriptions to the pharmacy at the same time. My thinking was that if they had these written scripts “on hold,” they would be sure to have my children's medication on hand when I needed it. They're smart people, right?
Wrong again. That worked for about two months. When I requested the refill in the third month, they didn't have it in stock. They handed the prescription back to me and off I went on a Pharmacy Tour Du Jour.
Two Tips to Help Maintain Your Sanity
If you are reading this article, chances are you are a strong advocate for your child and will do what is needed to help them to be successful. Here are a couple of tips to help you keep your sanity while raising a healthy child.
Tip #1: If there is a pharmacy at the hospital where you take your child, if at all possible, use that pharmacy. You are less likely to get treated unfairly because the pharmacy staff are familiar with your physician
Tip #2: If you live in a big city like I do, try visiting a smaller pharmacy just outside of town. Being located outside of the city, they may have what you need due to a lower demand.
I know I am not alone on this "journey of love" for our children. Being a strong advocate for our children is one of the biggest responsibilities we have as parents. I'd love to hear about some of your experiences. Let this be your sounding board and maybe we can learn a thing or two from each other.
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