One Way or Another

E very month I get a new prescription for Adderall and every month I jump through hoops to get the prescription filled. The latest set of hoops was provided by the mom-and-pop pharmacy.

“It’s too expensive to keep it in stock,” Pop said.

He keeps a small quantity on hand, gives me enough for one week, and then orders the remainder required to fill the prescription. Last month he had trouble getting the remainder. Each weekend I went to the pharmacy and each time he gave me a week’s worth of pills. After the third trip in a row, I lost my patience.

“You know I can get heroin a lot easier than this.”

Pop replied, “I know.”

In the past I tried getting the prescription filled at a big chain pharmacy.

“We don’t stock it.”

I knew what was coming next.

“We can order it but it takes up to seven business days to get it.”

I’ve heard this speech before. Sometimes I can wait seven days but, when my backup supply is running low, I can’t wait. Then I have no choice but to use the mom-and-pop pharmacy.

* * * * *

Heroin is starting to look like a good alternate drug. It’s easy to get on Long Island. No doctor visit required. No health insurance needed. If you got the cash, you can get the heroin. Alcohol is another option. It’s plentiful, legal, and I don’t have to stand in an alleyway to buy it. There is, of course, another solution to the prescription problem.

I’ve fantasized about walking into the pharmacy with a shotgun. I don’t want to hurt or kill anyone. I just want to be put in jail. I would then get a public defender who could legally compel the State to provide me with Adderall.

I wonder if I could get a cell with a view.

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  • Gina Pera

    Yep, it’s a problem, especially with generic Adderall (if that’s what you mean).

    Do you have the option of a 60- or 90-day mail-order supply? That’s so much easier. You have to get it filled only 4 times a year instead of 12, and the large fulfillment companies don’t have these supply problems.

    But in general, the generic stimulants are in severe shortage, especially at local pharmacies. It’s an DEA thing.

    I’ve been writing about the new generics for Concerta. What a mess.

    • Jeffs ADD Mind

      I’ll have to find out if I can do it by mail. Usually the drug insurance tells you to do it by mail. The insurer was recently changed and I can only get generics because, ready for this, I’m over 18 years old. Even if I wanted/needed non-generics, the insurance won’t cover it.

      • Yukon Cornelius

        When I was first diagnosed, my psychiatrist initially prescribed amphetamine salts (adderall), and thanks to a helpful pharmacist at Walgreens, I was indoctrinated into the complex world of production limitations by the DEA upon generic amphetamine production … that producers are only allowed “so much” per calendar year per drug, and these limits are set all the way down to strength per pill. So by the end of the calendar year, as prescription demand rises with society’s recognition of our very real condition, the supply of generic drugs sharply decreases with no ability to increase production without the DEA’s intervention.

        The real & obvious answer was to switch to name-brands, and in my case, Vyvanse, the wonderful same drug as amphetamine salts, only patented as a new delivery mechanism. So besides the difference of $10 vs. $500 for my 30-day supply, it still has 3 benefits over straight generics for me …
        1) supply is readily available, since as a name-brand, it’s not tightly controlled by the DEA.
        2) the formulation of amphetamine salts into BEADS allows the drug to pass from intestines to bloodstream intact, allowing its full potential to be absorbed … contrasted to straight salts which are quickly broken down by the stomach & intestines, leading to much faster absorption & depletion, if any gets to your bloodstream at all.
        3) Vyvanse’s manufacturer (Shire), along with many other Rx companies, have savings cards that will bring your co-pay down to $10-$20, or at least some reasonable amount. Although you must often re-apply to receive updated cards (since they usually have a 12-month or less expiration), the difference between a $500 Rx and a $20 co-pay (even for those lacking insurance) is fantastic, even if I know these pills barely cost $0.10 per pill to make.

        If this info has helped anyone, just do a web-search for your pill’s brand-name, along with the words “savings card”, to see if this might help on the financial side, or at least finding inventory. :-)

        • Jeffs ADD Mind

          Hmmm..interesting idea. Go back to the name brand. I’d probably have to go out of pocket on that since there’s gotta be a good reason that can convince the insurance company to pay for it. Before I tackle that problem, I need to find a new doctor. I found out that the one I’ve been seeing for the past few years has decided to retire. Finding a doctor who accepts insurance and can meet me at a normal time (as opposed to the middle of the work day) is a bit of a challenge.

          I’m thinking that maybe it’s time to get some cartridges for that shotgun. [hehehe]

  • docbets

    Oh good lord. In years past, I walked away from the pharmacy counter in tears more than a few times. A grown woman, 40-plus, undone by the prospect of telling my child she was going to have to just get along without adequate brain function because the system really doesn’t give a hot damn about how she or anyone gets from age eight to adulthood.

    • Jeffs ADD Mind

      And this is the treatment we get when we live in the greatest country in the world.

      • docbets

        Where we have the best health care system in the world. Though if we were in the UK, we wouldn’t even get the diagnosis.

        • Jeffs ADD Mind

          “If we were in the UK, we wouldn’t even get the diagnosis.” – I’ve heard about those horror stories.

          • Tony ‘erbie’ Dutton

            im in the UK and i got my diagnosis, however it did involve me telling a doctor what was going on then asking to be referred (a 1 year wait ) to a specialist mental health head doctor as adult ADHD / ADD isnt actually dealt with as a normal practice by the normal health service. Even my ritalin prescription can be a bit tricky to get from certain docs or pharmacists as the meds are only normally licensed for AD(H)D children and not for adults.

            • Jeffs ADD Mind

              When my employer switched health insurance companies, the new insurance company sent a list of medications that were covered. I almost flipped out when I saw that they wouldn’t cover Adderall if the patient (which is me!) is over 18 years old. When I read the fine print, it noted that it would only pay for generics for patients older than age 18.

              My backup plan, if they weren’t going to cover my meds at all, involved guns, taking hostages, television news coverage, and stuff like that. (hehehe).

              • Jumpeight

                I can’t get coverage for any ADHD meds at all-generic or not-I’m over 65. I guess I’m not supposed to have it anymore. Just wait, lol, it gets worse with age…

                • Jeffs ADD Mind

                  “I can’t get coverage for any ADHD meds” – That’s where the “walk in with a shotgun” fantasy comes into play. (hehehe)

                  “it gets worse with age.” – If “it” refers to ADHD…I kinda see that already. I was never physically hyperactive until I hit my 50′s.

  • Bonnie

    Big dollars have been a problem for me. Just a few months ago my monthly supply cost $27.35. In July in jumped to $108.47. September’s supply they got me for $128.35. The cost of the visit to the doc to get the script also has gone up. In March, and for the preceding 2 years, the visit was $70. In May it went up to $90. Seems like a lot of money for the 5 minutes I’m there. But not many options.

    • Jeffs ADD Mind

      I switched doctors a number of years ago. It used to cost me $100 for his five minute “How are you?” interview. My copay has gone up but not as much as yours.

  • Kim Kearney Gordon

    I have the same problem and its so frustrating….it does make one think about
    self medicating…..I live in Los Angeles and what I have been told by other
    is that UCLA Hospital pharmacy has it…and they are never short on supply. They have a mental health ward and seemingly stock all ADD meds and every anti depressant known to man. It would be worth you checking at your local hospital.

    • Jeffs ADD Mind

      Hmmm…interesting thought. I don’t think I can walk into the local hospital with a prescription but it may not hurt to find out if they have a pharmacy that serves the public. Another possibility: since the local hospital is part of CHS (Catholic Health Services), maybe I could ask Jesus for help getting my meds, assuming that he hears the prayers of atheists. ;)

  • Kim Kearney Gordon

    I didnt think one could do that either but what I have found out is that most large hospitals ..especially those that have a mental health unit also have a patient pharmacy..and patient can be anyone that has a script written by a dr. Even some of the smaller.hospitals here in Los Angeles have a public pharmacy..St.Johns no longer has a mental health unit but they have a pharmacy open to the public..which is a direct off shoot from the pharmacy the hospital gets the drugs they use..I never knew this until a friend had to calm me down just before going postal.Her shrink told her to not waste time at CVS or the mom and pop shops….she has not once ever had to wait..or be told we just dont have……thats a monthly conversation at my pharmacy.I asked my pharmacy being that ive been going there for 15 years there no way to order know I am going to need this..same time next why not order ..I said I would call and remind them two weeks prior.. “Oh we have to wait for the triplicate to be in our hand.”..great!!!!! urgh!!

    • Jeffs ADD Mind

      I’ve only be going to the same place for nine years so, maybe by the tenth year, there’ll see the pattern and order the meds ahead of time. But…I ain’t holding my breath.

  • Kim Kearney Gordon

    HAHAHA. I was reading the reply on my phone..and either its my eyes or my arms just aren’t long enough to see those tiny little letters.. I am on the computer now and I am here to tell you I would be one happy girl if you could please have a chat with Jesus and if he could perhaps make Adderall rain from the skies above…I will be the one standing, head pointed up …mouth open..

    Now, I have had my fair share of sitting in the house of the holy….Being raised by a father who was going to be a Jusuit Priest and a mother that went to an all girls catholic school.. Sunday was never a day that I looked forward to..and when I was able to run…I did…

    Here is one that will put a smile on your face…Never taking my daughters to church…a friend asked if she could take my then 8 yr old (almost 18 now) to church. My daughters wanted to go I said sure…. Well as communion is being daughter begins to cry…which quickly turns into just this side of hysteria….she kept screaming” call my mom, call my mom now please please” girlfriend asked her whats wrong and she said just call my mom. Phone rings, friend said I dont know whats wrong but I cant get Callen to stop crying and she is insistent that she speak to you. I hear the sniffles..the cracking of her little voice and she said “mom, you need to get me out of this place, do you know that everyone here eats some guys body, and then they drink his blood” ……Need I say more :) Have a great day!!

    • Jeffs ADD Mind

      “eats some guys body, and then they drink his blood” – That’s a great story!!!!

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