I went to the Sanford Health Clinic in Dickinson, North Dakota to get a prescription for an allergy medication. Because the Sanford Health Clinic had a pharmacy there, I chose to have the prescription filled there. I was surprised at both the high price, and the small quantity of the Pataday prescription eye drops. For 2.5 ml of Pataday eye drops, smaller than the amount of liquid in a tea spoon, it was $191. That is $76 per ml.
I looked on the internet when I got home to see if I could get the Pataday eye drops anywhere else for less money, and in Canada they sell it for less than $7 per ml. In Canada they sell 7.5 ml bottles for $48, and they ship to the United States. I wanted to have more than 2.5 ml because I have severe allergy attacks about four times per year.
I completed my on-line order form, and I e-mailed the Canadian drug store a copy of my prescription. I then called the Canadian drug store on the telephone, and they would not process my order because I only had my prescription information from the Sanford Health Clinic pharmacy. I didn’t have the original doctor’s prescription slip, I never got it from the doctor, she just e-mailed it to the Sanford Health Clinic pharmacy.
I called a second Canadian on-line drug store, and they would not process my order without an original prescription slip from a medical doctor. They would not accept the prescription label from the Sanford Health Clinic pharmacy that showed I had 1 refill allowed. The Canadian drug stores that I spoke to said that they did not think that I would have a problem getting the medical doctor to write me a new prescription slip.
What I should have done, and what I recommend that the readers of this blog post do, is to always get a physical prescription slip from a medical doctor before you leave their office. This will give you the chance to go home and compare prices at different pharmacies. Once a pharmacy gets your prescription slip, it will be very difficult if not impossible to get your prescription refills at a different pharmacy.
Two days after I had my Pataday eye drop prescription filled at the Sanford Health Clinic pharmacy, I delivered a letter to the Sanford Health walk-in clinic addressed to the medical doctor that had examined me and had prescribed the Pataday eye drops with one refill allowed. In the letter, I explained that I could order the Pataday eye drops from a drug store in Canada for $7 per ml, versus $76 per ml that I paid at the Sanford Health Clinic pharmacy. I asked if she could write a prescription slip for my one refill of Pataday, so that I could get this refill for less money in Canada.
I received a telephone call from a woman at Sanford Health, denying my request for a prescription slip, even though I explained to her that I had one refill allowed.
My Sanford Health walk-in clinic visit will probably cost more than $200, and my prescription for Pataday and Prednisone cost more than $200. This is enough medication to make it through one allergy attack. If I buy one refill of Pataday for $191, I can make it through a second allergy attack. On my third allergy attack, I would have to go back to the Sanford Health walk-in clinic and pay over $400 again. I wanted a solution to my allergy problem, not to be a continuing on-going source of revenue for Sanford Health.
I hope that the readers of this blog post will now know that they should request enough refills on their prescriptions for recurring health problems like allergies. so that they don’t have to keep going back for expensive doctor visits. I also hope that the readers begin looking on the internet at on-line Canadian drug stores who mail prescription medications to the United States.
I looked for international drug stores that would sell and ship prescription medications to the United States without a prescription, and I found one company based in Gibraltar that does this. However this particular company in Gibraltar has several complaints against it from people who placed an order, paid for their order, but never received their shipment. Other people claim that they have received the orders that they placed from this company in Gibraltar.
In my situation, I will continue to look for a way to buy Pataday eye drops for as little money as possible, in the quantity that I expect that I will need, without a prescription and having to pay a medical doctor over and over again.