When Picking Up a Prescription Costs More Than Having It Delivered

prescription medsI noticed last week that I was running low on some prescription medications. I typically order the refill online and have them delivered via the Postal Service. The charge for this is $10. Since I had to go to the hospital for a blood test this week, I changed the delivery method to “will call” at the hospital pharmacy. I thought I could save the $10 delivery fee.

I received an email notification that the prescription was ready to pick up. I went to the hospital lab to have my blood drawn and then headed over to the main pharmacy. I handed the pharmacist a copy of the prescription email along with my insurance card. He entered my info into the computer and told me I needed to go to the main hospital pharmacy. I thought this was the main hospital pharmacy. No, this is the main pharmacy. The main hospital pharmacy is on the other side of the farthest building. So off I went in search of the main hospital pharmacy.

I didn’t have any trouble finding the main hospital pharmacy, but it was a long walk to get there. I gave the pharmacist my paperwork and insurance card. She typed on the computer, dug around in a few bins, and came up with a bag containing my medications. I said thank you and was about to leave when she said, “That’ll be $40.”

I know the medications I take cost a lot, but they are covered by my insurance. I asked where the $40 charge came from, since the same meds, delivered to my door, only cost $10. Of course she did not have an answer. She just wanted to know how I would pay the $40. I handed her my credit card.

So much for trying to be frugal and combine my medication pick-up with a visit to the hospital. I will always choose home delivery from now on.

And now we have one more piece of information about  the strange world of arbitrary hospital and pharmacy charges. It makes no sense, but there it is.


4 thoughts on “When Picking Up a Prescription Costs More Than Having It Delivered

  1. Andy has all of his medication mailed. It’s nice because we don’t go to the hospital on a regular basis. I’m not sure about a price difference, as I don’t pay for them.

    Sorry you had to learn that it would cost you $30 more to try and kill two birds with one stone.

    1. Hi Liz, It just seems strange that they tacked on this extra “will call” charge at the main hospital pharmacy. I have picked up meds from the main pharmacy before where I didn’t have to pay anything. My doctor entered the prescription in the computer and said I could pick it up at the pharmacy whenever. I went downstairs to the main pharmacy and they had the meds waiting with no additional charge. I’m now ordering everything by mail.

  2. At least it’s kind of nice that you’ll be able to have it delivered to you for cheaper. Why pick it up (which has an extra cost attached) when it can just be delivered? That is surprising though, I wonder why it’s so much cheaper delivered.

    1. Hi Daisy, Yes, from now on I will always try to have my prescriptions sent to me. I just thought it might be cheaper to pick up at the pharmacy, and since I was at the hospital anyway, why not just get it while there? Unfortunately, I am at the hospital twice each week.

      I was under the delusion that billing by the medical industry would make sense and that saving them the trouble of packaging and shipping my meds would be cheaper. What was I thinking? :-?

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