I received a call from Medco, the gigantic prescription drug benefit company. The woman on the other line said she was a pharmacist, and she wanted to review my medications. My ire over the state of healthcare in this country and the ridiculous state of the national debate took over, and I shot back, “I’ve got a major kidney disease, and I’ve got lots of medications that I need to be on, and I’m not going to discuss them with you”. And I hung up.
I found this article online discussing how Medco implemented a “prescription review system” a couple of years ago. The article touts the system as a very beneficial innovation, given that so many patients are harmed each year by medication errors and unintended drug interactions.
Computers flag incoming prescriptions for patients with those conditions – such as diabetes, cancer and infectious diseases – for a specialty pharmacist to review them if necessary. The pharmacists look for dosing errors, interactions with other drugs, whether the patient isn’t refilling prescriptions as directed, or if a new medication would be better.
I have a completely different take, which is that Medco should leave me the hell alone. Given that their bottom-line depends how much money they can save, they are the last people I want to consult about my medications. If I really want to talk to a pharmacist, there are a couple of good ones over at Costco. (Ironic, I know, since both Medco and Costco have similarly evil-sounding names. But I trust Costco).
So I’m thinking that Medco is evil. Am I wrong?