At the time of writing this, I am currently without my normal hormones because my pharmacy is refusing to refill my prescription (I am filling the gap with my personal DIY stockpile). While this is irritating, it is made worse by the fact that this is not the first time. This pharmacy delayed my last refill by a week, leaving me without hormones for 5 days. I have never had an issue with this pharmacy until getting on hormones, but every time since then it has delay my refills and made it difficult.
My issues started the first time I tried to fill my estrogen prescription. The clinic had called the prescription in and on the long drive home, I got a call saying it was ready to be picked up. Normally, I would have used the drive through, but since this was my first time getting the prescription, I had to go inside. That was when the problems started. The pharmacist kept asking me questions: “is this for you? Do you know what the effects are? Are you sure this is correct? And this is for you, not anyone else? Are you sure you understand the effects?” Round and round it went until eventually they tell me to go wait at a closed register. After maybe 5-10 minutes, a different pharmacist comes to the new register and starts asking me the same questions! After all this, they tell me that they made a mistake with the attached packet and that they would need to fix and reprint it before giving it to me. By this point it had been close to half an hour and now they were telling me to leave and come back later over a printing error. I told them that I would wait in the pharmacy and 5 minutes later it was ready. Finally, I was able to pay and leave with my hormones. All in all, it took almost 40 minutes to pick up a prescription that was ready. It is hard for me to these events and the questions as being unrelated to me being transgender.
The second time trying to fill the prescription is a simpler story. The pharmacy delayed refilling my prescription again and again but could never give me a reason why. I called in my prescription on a Monday and get told it will be done by close of business Wednesday. On Wednesday, I hadn’t heard anything so I call and get told it will be done by end of day. It isn’t. I call Thursday and am told that their was an unexpected delay and that they are still trying to refill it. They won’t give an expected date. Friday, I get the same thing, it isn’t ready and we don’t known it will be. Saturday, Sunday, and Monday, I get told the same thing. Only on Tuesday, almost a week from the original quoted date, is it refilled and ready to be picked up. I had run out of my prescribed hormones on Friday, so if I had not had my own stockpile, I would have be out of estrogen for 4 days.
I am now at my third time filling this prescription and am having the same problem. It was supposed to be ready 3 days ago and I “ran out” this morning. Currently, the pharmacy is predicting that it will be at least 2 more days before they can refill it. If that is accurate, my hormone prescription refill will be 5 days late. This would be unacceptable for any other prescription. Could you imagine a pharmacy delaying blood pressure or heart medication for a week? Yet so far, I have experienced this twice in two refills.
It is ridiculous that this continues to happen to me for a medication that is fairly commonplace. I am hesitant to declare as fact that this keeps happening because I am trans, but the frequency and repetitiveness makes it hard to say that it is a coincidence. I don’t know what I can do about this situation either. Unfortunately, I am limited by my insurance to either this pharmacy or one that is much more inconvenient. I also don’t want to switch if this is just a coincidence and after this it won’t happen again. (we are in a pandemic after all). I am fortunate that these delays do not impact my access to hormones, since I have most own stockpile to draw from. Others in this situation would be left without hormones. We will see how long it takes for me to actually get this prescription refilled. If it goes much past when they are currently predicting, I will have to look into a different pharmacy.