What to do as a CVS customer receiving controlled substances.

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CVS is currently unable to fill controlled substance prescriptions from Circle Medical. We understand that this is extremely inconvenient and frustrating, particularly in light of the stimulant shortage.

We ask that you select a new preferred pharmacy in the Circle Medical app in order to have your prescriptions filled.

We are working hard to remedy this situation and ensure our patients receive clinically appropriate care.

In the meantime, here's what you need to know:

1. Why does CVS no longer fill controlled substance prescriptions from Circle Medical?

CVS has modified their policies for filling controlled substance prescriptions from Circle Medical. While we disagree with this decision, we are committed to providing personalized, evidence-based care that ensures the wellness and safety of our patients.

Our system requires all patients with CVS as their preferred pharmacy transition their medications to a new pharmacy location to ensure medication is ordered properly.  While we do not have a timeline for resolution of this matter with CVS, we are doing everything we can to support you through this transition.

2. What is Circle Medical doing about this?

Our commitment is and will always be to practice safe, evidence-based medicine. Despite this change in CVS' policy, we will continue providing our patients with the high-quality, individualized care to which you have become accustomed. To do so, Circle Medical has been advocating to keep the flexibilities of telemedicine in place.  This year, we became a council member of the ATA Action, the American Telemedicine Association’s affiliated trade association which focuses on advocacy. Together, we have been supporting policy changes to ensure that millions of patients may continue to access telehealth for medically necessary, controlled medications beyond the pandemic.

3. How do I change my preferred pharmacy in the app?

Make sure you're logged into the app and your address is updated. Then, tap on the settings button on the top right hand corner to open the "Account" page and scroll down to "Preferred Pharmacy".

For step-by-step instructions, follow along with this article: How do I change my preferred pharmacy?

4. What can I do as a patient to self-advocate against these policy changes?

As a patient, if you have benefited from telehealth services, Circle Medical urges you to communicate with Congress, driving them to act before the end of the year in order to extend the telehealth flexibilities. You can do so by filling out this form with your information. Once filled out and submitted, the letter will automatically be sent to your local Senators and Representatives.

5. What if my CVS pharmacist told me they would fill my prescription?

At this time, Circle Medical is unable to send any controlled substance prescriptions to CVS electronically. Unfortunately, this has impacted our system’s ability to order all controlled medications to CVS locations. Patients with a CVS location as their preferred pharmacy will need to transition their medications to another pharmacy to ensure medication is ordered properly. Thankfully, selecting a new pharmacy is easy, and can be done directly through the Circle Medical app. If you run into any problems, our care team will be here to help you make this change.

6. Why can't I find a pharmacy that has my medication in stock?

Circle Medical is doing all we can to work with pharmacies and advocate for our patients, however, the American Society of Health System Pharmacies (ASHP) has confirmed multiple manufacturers and dosages will be affected due to supply chain issues, resulting in national shortages of many medications (including some ADHD medication) and affecting all pharmacies and providers throughout the country.

7. What do I do when my pharmacy is out of stock of my medication?

Pharmacies are separate entities from our practice, meaning we do not have visibility into their stock levels of medications. Similarly, we have no ability to influence the decisions, operations, or policies set by the pharmacy or pharmacist.

As such, we strongly recommend the following steps to assist with getting your prescription:

  • Start by creating a relationship with your pharmacy by speaking with the pharmacist in person. Let them know that you are transferring your care to their pharmacy and which medications you’ll be filling. A phone call might not yield these results as pharmacists and pharmacy technicians are extremely busy and you may have an extensive hold time.

  • Inquire how long the pharmacy anticipates being out of stock -- it's possible that an order may arrive in the upcoming days and often pharmacies can anticipate these deliveries.

  • Ask your pharmacist if they have another dosage of the same medication. Example, if you are prescribed Adderall 20mg, and that dosage is out of stock, the pharmacy may have Adderall 10mg, in which case your prescriber can send a new prescription to take two 10mg Adderall instead of one 20mg tablet.

8. Will CVS fill non-controlled medications? (e.g., birth control, diabetes medication, hypertension medication, etc)

While Circle Medical is unable to send any controlled substance prescriptions to CVS electronically or via phone, CVS will continue to fill non-controlled medications, however, we recommend you utilize one pharmacy for all your prescriptions in order to streamline your care experience. Use one pharmacy for all your medications. If you regularly use one pharmacy the pharmacy will try their best to keep your medications in stock. If you don’t, then the pharmacies may not always have your medications available. In fact, the pharmacy might have trouble ordering controlled medications for you.

9. Why can I no longer select CVS as a preferred pharmacy for my non-controlled medications?

If you have booked an ADHD appointment type in the past, you will be unable to choose CVS as your preferred pharmacy. If you previously had a CVS as your preferred pharmacy, you will be prompted to choose a new pharmacy.

Have more questions? Feel free to send them via the chat feature in the app.