My Pharmacy Is Stalking Me

I wish it wasn’t so, but my pharmacy is stalking me.

All the time I get these calls from their robots reminding me to refill medications, pick up medications—over and over. I’ve asked them to not call. I’ve asked them not to refill my medications without my express permission. I’ve even shouted at the robot as it reads its creepy, repetitive messages. And yet it keeps happening.

I can’t go to another pharmacy—there are pretty much no others nearby. But I absolutely hate that my pharmacy thinks it should control and know my medications better than I do, which could not be farther from the truth.

I can’t speak for others with chronic conditions like rheumatoid arthritis, but I’ve been managing my health and medications for more than 35 years and pretty much know what I’m doing. I track my medications and sometimes they are altered slightly because of verbal directions from my doctor or I get sick and have to pause them temporarily.

In any case, I really know what I’m doing with my medications. I don’t lose track. I don’t run out in a panic. I know when I need refills and when I don’t. I’m the person responsible. If I don’t take my medications I know there will be consequences and I will feel worse. Plus, I have a backup reminder in the form of a husband who also keeps track of my medications.

The bottom line, is that I know my body and medication needs better than a pharmacy robot.

I know there are reasons—the pharmacy thinks it is making my life easier by telling me what to do, calling me with early reminders and so forth. But I suspect the real reason is that the more I refill my medications, the more money they make (why is it always the most expensive ones that are pushed for auto refill?). If they were really looking out for me, when I tell them to stop, that it is actually wrong and unnecessary because I know my medication schedule better than they—wouldn’t they stop? If my medications are about me and my personal health, don’t I have a say?

In the modern world there can be conveniences in automated reminders and mobile apps that help us keep track and manage our health management. However, it seems that some organizations are trying to write the people out of the equation.

A robot from the pharmacy is supposed to be a helpful tool, not a thing that calls me four times a day and annoys me to the point of screaming at the phone. If health care is about the people, than this person is revolting against the machines.

I’m not giving up my autonomy to the pharmacy or any other robot. I’m at the center of my health and I choose when to refill my medications and how my treatment should be managed on a daily basis. Robots and computers are tools that I will use at my convenience to manage my health and not the other way around.

Who’s with me? Who’s ready to march against the robots and tell them to get out of our business and stand back to wait for our commands?

It’s not reasonable. In fact, it’s impossible to cut people out of their health care management. Just because the robot calls, does not mean I’m going to take the medication. I have to be the one who decides, who takes control of my own health.

I’m going to figure it out. The pharmacy robot will not defeat me. In the meantime, I’m no longer taking his calls and I’m taking charge of my own medications.

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The RheumatoidArthritis.net team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

Comments

View Comments (8)
  • sebie973
    4 years ago

    OMG, I am right there with you! The pharmacy is stalking me, lol! I have asked REPEATEDLY and politely for them to take me off of the call list but it does not work. I switched the number to my home number and now have to delete the messages off the machine once a week so it can start over again next week. I can see how this could be a service but with so many calls it is just an annoyance to me. Really how hard would it be to make an opt out button? If you no longer want to receive these calls press 7 to opt out -777777777!!!!

  • Kelly Mack moderator author
    3 years ago

    Ugh! So aggravating! I had to ask the pharmacy manager for information on how to get my number removed. It’s a huge pain, but has finally worked! Hope you find a solution that works for you. Best, Kelly

  • Norreen Clark
    4 years ago

    Sorry, I do not seem to have the problems your having. I call my pharmacy for a refill and they call when it is filled. If I call and there are no refills they take the time to call my doctor. So sorry to hear that your pharmacy is giving you problems. This way I’m not standing at the pharmacy for that refill.

  • Kelly Mack moderator author
    3 years ago

    Awesome Norreen! Sounds like you have a really good pharmacy! It is quite amazing how a quality provider can help make our lives easier. Best, Kelly

  • jcoco67
    4 years ago

    I truly don’t think the “evil machine” is out to annoy any of us. For some people the automated reminders and refills are a Godsend. I have a friend who along with her chronic condition, suffers from severe depression. Like you, she knows her body and the medications she needs but without the automated refills she would have a hard time getting them. Sometimes she just can’t make that call, even when she knows she’s almost out of X, Y, or Z and she is so grateful to know that her pharmacy has already filled it for her and will even call her doctor if it needs another authorization.

    While it may be an annoyance to you, it is a huge help to many others. What you may see as someone thinking you can’t do something for yourself, is actually very welcomed by a lot of people; me included. This service – and it is a service – can be ended, and done more successfully if in person. If you have already tried that and had it not work, I would go in and politely ask for the Manager. A calm chat, explaining how you feel and letting him/her know of your past cancellation attempts will do wonders. Good luck.

  • Kelly Mack moderator author
    3 years ago

    Thanks! Glad to hear this is a useful service for some folks. Best, Kelly

  • rhonda
    4 years ago

    You are not alone. I know when my home phone rings there is a 90% chance it is the pharmacy,it is driving me crazy!! I also have asked them to stop the robot calls yet they are calling me daily. Not only am i getting the robot calls from my regular pharmacy i also get them from the specialty pharmacy. Refill Reminders they call it. I like to call it a daily reminder that i have this awful disease and every call is more $$$ they want that i really don’t have. I am totally on board with a march against the pharmacy robots. Good luck:-)

  • Kelly Mack moderator author
    3 years ago

    Thanks Rhonda!

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