I know I am going to talk about prescriptions for one of my three dogs. But every time we get this out of stock message, I wonder what people who need this same drug do.
Monthly Prescription Scare
It may not be monthly but it seems that way. In truth, this has only happened two times since August of 2018. That is twice in almost a year’s time. But it is scary. We buy one of Scout’s, our almost 18 month old Saint Bernard mix, prescriptions for epilepsy online. It is truly the only way we can afford to keep her medicated enough so she doesn’t have cluster seizures.
Twice since she started on the generic form of the anti-convulsant drug Keppra we have gotten a message from the online pharmacy that they are out of stock and will not have more in for at least half a month. Actually, the first time we got this message it was followed by a we do not know when we will get more in.
Dog Takes Human Drugs
Scout takes two different prescriptions for epilepsy. She is a Saint Bernard mix and so weighs between 70 and 80 pounds. She started out just taking one prescription. Then, about a month after that started, she had a 24 hour period where she had six seizures. These, because they come in a cluster, are called cluster seizures. We took her to the emergency vet hospital and ended up leaving her overnight. This is where she started on the generic Keppra in addition to her other drug. We did have the neurologist check the script and she adjusted it for Scout’s size. We went without a seizure for eight months. The neurologist told us upfront that the medication would not totally stop the seizures but would make them not as long – so less scary for us and for Scout – and less frequent. We could expect a seizure every four to six weeks. To have gone eight months was fantastic.
But we still had that time where I was drug store shopping. I had picked up a script from the vet. I had been to Wal-Mart who entered the script, therefore taking it out of my hands, and then didn’t have the drugs. I finally found the script at CVS but at a cost of almost $50 more than we pay online for only 15 days.
What Do Humans Do?
I have had the pharmacy out of my statin, which sort of cracks me up as it is a fairly common one, but never for more than two days. What would a human do that is on Keppra – a drug that the name brand version can cost upwards of $800 for a month – if the generic version has a nationwide shortage? From all anyone could tell us the first time this happened, it was a shortage from the manufacturer. And, yes, after the shortage, the cost per pill doubled.
I love my dog. Eventually, though, there has to be a point where I cannot afford to get her the drugs she needs.
What would you do if your pharmacist told you that your prescription was unavailable for 15 to 30 days when you tried to renew?