I'm a Poly-Pharmacy Patient and I Hate It

By Ashley Duty posted 04-18-2024 12:52


I was reflecting yesterday that somehow, in the past year, I became a poly-pharmacy patient. How did this happen? A broken system.

It's not a secret that I have allergies, asthma, and eczema. The classic triad has tested my patience more and more over the past several years and, unfortunately, the traditional treatment options have failed. That has led to using newer, novel therapies which are typically considered "specialty" or "third/fourth tier" from insurance. One is even a topical compound.

What does this look like?

- Topical item #1 from Pharmacy A
- Topical item #2 from Pharmacy B
- Topical compound from Pharmacy C
- Nasal spray from Pharmacy D
- Other maintenance medications from Pharmacy E (mail order)
- Short term/new medications from Pharmacy F (local retail pharmacy)

But why are there so many different pharmacies? The physician offices send the prescriptions to pharmacies that the drug companies work with to "make sure they're covered" through your insurance OR have special deals setup with the manufacturer. This makes the process more "convenient" in some ways because you can avoid some of the prior authorization process or even get the medication for $0, but now I'm a poly-pharmacy patient. And I hate it.

As a pharmacist, this is so frustrating. As a patient, this is a nightmare. As a healthcare consumer, I go along with it because healthcare is expensive.

The system is broken.

cross-posted to LinkedIn