Today something extraordinary happened. One of the different pills I take is being produced in Japan. When a doctor in Berlin prescribed it to me in 2017 for the first time, he was able to order it within five days. In Austria, however, it was very difficult to get the approval of the insurance (Chefarzt GKK)(it is kind of expensive). Further the pharmacy didn’t know where to get the medication from. Weeks had gone by and still the medication hadn’t arrived. I only had some pills left from the first packet the doctor in Berlin had given me and then it happened: I took the last pill and had no more. For a patient with my condition (basically any condition though) this can result in serious health problems. In my case all the good effects of the previous weeks were suddenly reversed and I fainted, felt weak, couldn’t get up etc. and this drastic response appeared although I had only started the medication some weeks ago.

Today my doctor sent me the denied application for 3 packets of my medication from my insurance. Since the first order I have gotten some packets but as we changed doses I didn’t have to worry about running short again. Now that I have to take more again it means I need more packets. Last month the insurance granted me another packet. Usually the delivery time is around four weeks. The time varies though as I am probably the only person in the whole city to order it and they don’t really have experience with it. (Once it took three months) Last week the pharmacist told me that they had problems getting my medication (the one I ordered in February) and it would take another three weeks. I was worried because when I started counting in my head how many pills there were left in my drawer, I knew there weren’t many. Yesterday I asked my doctor’s assistant to apply for another packet as the delivery time is now at least 7 weeks. She tried and they denied it today. After all this struggle I was so furious that I started to make a detailed calculation in days and „pills“ that I want to share with you too. I take 100mg 3x a day. One pill is 200mg though because it is cheaper this way, so I take 1.5 pills a day. The packet contains 100 pills this means that a packet lasts for around 66 days. The delivery time is now around 50! days in “pills” this means: 75 pills of a packet of 100!

Can you see why I was upset?

I called the insurance and talked to the person in charge and explained my calculations to her. She listened and told me that they never know when a pharmacy has problems ordering a medication and so on (Although we had included a note saying exactly that in the last application) She was understanding but told me that they usually don’t grant more packets just to have a buffer. However, I should ask my doctor to apply again and attach the same explanation I had just given her. The assistant applied again and it came back positive after three hours. She instantly called me and to my surprise they had not only approved one but three packets!

What a success!

Still I had spent all morning with this stupid calculation and instead of preparing for my French class I had to fight for a vital part of my wellbeing.

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