One of the keys to effective diabetes self-care is keeping yourself well-stocked in diabetes supplies. Studies have found that it’s easier to stay on top of prescriptions and supplies if ordering by mail order.
With that in mind, here are five questions to consider before signing up with a medical mail order service:
1. How easy will it be to place and track an order?
Google “home supply diabetes” or something similar and browse the websites that come up. At the very least, there should be an online ordering option which you can test drive by filling in the fields and stopping short of placing the order. The site should have information in banners or links or in a Q&A menu to point you to shipping and payment options, and offer notification when your order is on its way, with an order tracking code to use if you experience a delay.
2. Does the supplier carry my familiar brands and generics? And what about cost?
The answer to the first question has to be “yes.” Avoid suppliers who limit your choices or, even worse, offer only “limited” quantities of your preferred products and steer you to order unfamiliar or in-house brands with claims of mega-reduced pricing. In considering cost savings, have in mind that your time has a value, as does the ability to avoid a trip to the pharmacy. Home suppliers employ volume purchasing and order fulfillment agreements with pharmaceutical companies which, when the savings are factored into your order cost, can be substantial. Free delivery to you can provide major savings, so look for that as well.
3. How about availability of related products?
Since your decision is probably based as much on convenience as efficiency, look for the widest selections. The best of the home delivery services feature health and nutrition products, comfortable apparel and footwear, lifestyle publications, exercise videos, and even cookbooks and dietetic guides.
4. How easy will it be to re-route an order?
You may have a seasonal home to go to, or be called away on business for a week, or your grandchild might arrive a week early, or you might decide to stay on vacation another week. How nice will it be not to have the hassle of running to the pharmacy on the way to the airport, or looking for one in paradise, or waiting on hold with your insurance carrier for authorization for an advance refill or a refill at an unfamiliar pharmacy?
5. Is the service reputable? Is my privacy protected?