Last year, my friend with hemophilia started working for a specialty pharmacy. Since then, he’s been pressuring me to switch from my current pharmacy to his. Initially, he was polite and nice, taking me to lunch and then dinner to ask for my business. Each time, I told him I am content with my pharmacy because they meet my needs and are extremely reliable. Initially, he said he understood, but recently he’s become rather hostile that I am not switching. How can I keep both my friend and my pharmacy?
Pressured Over Plasma
Obviously you are under no obligation to use your friend’s specialty pharmacy, and he should take “no” as your answer. Since he continues to pressure you, here are a few things you may want to discuss with him the next time he pressures you.
What Pharmacies Are Covered by Your Plan?
More and more insurance plans are limiting the specialty pharmacies that bleeding disorders patients can use. While this has put many patients in a bind it may give you a valid reason for not switching; in other words, the switching is not only your call to make as your insurer precludes you from switching. Check with your insurer to see to what specialty pharmacies you have access.
What Care/Benefits Are You Getting?
With so many specialty pharmacies around the country today, there are a variety of different approaches to delivering products and care. Some companies provide in-home nursing support, others will break up shipments (so you don’t have to accept up to 3 months’ worth of factor at a time), and others only carry certain assays; the list goes on. Your comfort level with your specialty pharmacy is tantamount to your health and quality of life; if you like them, keep them. If there are services offered by your specialty pharmacy that your friend’s doesn’t provide, explain to him how you’re worried about switching because your pharmacy meets your needs.
Bottom line, it may be time to sit down with your friend and explain how you feel. Let your friend know that his aggressive stance is making you uncomfortable. Tell him that you’re concerned that he values your business more than your friendship and that you don’t want this to ruin the friendship you have.
At the end of the day, if he is a true friend, he should realize that his pressure tactics are good for neither business nor friendship and should respect your decision.
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HFA frequently receives questions from the bleeding disorders community related to advocacy issues. The questions often impact the entire community. In an effort to reach the largest audience possible with our responses to these widely applicable questions, HFA developed “Dear Addy.” Questions submitted to this column are edited in order to protect privacy and should be considered educational only, not individual guidance.