How to get generic meds when doc said "no substitutions"?
October 20, 2013 5:15 PM Subscribe
In California, is there a simple way to get the pharmacy to fill my "no substitutions" name-brand prescription with a generic instead? I am temporarily without health insurance and can't afford the very expensive name-brand drug; I can't ask the prescribing doctor to change the scrip because they're no longer my doctor and I'm in a different state.
posted by unreadyhero to health & fitness (8 answers total)
Background: I take Keppra to control seizures, and it works very well for me. My former neurologist explained that name-brand anti-epilepsy drugs often work better than their generic equivalents, and he always prescribed "no substitutions." My old health insurance covered it, and in a few months I'll have new insurance that is apparently very good and will cover the name-brand. But at the moment, I'm without insurance. I am trying to get some kind of gap-filler insurance to cover catastrophic stuff for the next few months, but I'm finding the application process very confusing. (If only Obamacare had kicked in six months earlier!)
So I don't have a neurologist or a primary care doctor at the moment, and I'm looking at having to refill my three-month prescription in about a month. I know the name brand is very expensive (like $1,000 for three months), and I'm willing to try the generic. But from what I can tell, pharmacists aren't allowed to dispense generic when the doctor specified "no substitutions." Is there a way around this? Or should I be fast-tracking my search for a stopgap insurance policy? (My work would help with the cost of insurance.)