Pharmacy Tech weighing in… you’d be best off calling the number on the back of your prescription insurance card and finding out directly from your insurer what your copay would be for a one (30 day) or three (90 day) month supply. Sometimes, but not always, you will pay less per pill for a three month supply, by a factor as large as a third. Your pharmacy will be happy to dispense any quantity of pills which you ask for, as long as it does not exceed the number of pills written by your doctor. Only your insurance cares how often you fill your medication, and in what quantities.
Narcotics can be different, depending upon state law. Here in Illinois, a controlled substance can only be filled within six months of the written date, with other restrictions. Drugs classified as CII’s, such as Percocet, Oxycontin or Adderall, can only be filled within 7 days of the date the prescription was written, cannot be refilled, and cannot be filled for more than 30 days’ supply, with some other restrictions.
In diggleblop’s case, it’s possible that one or more of the prescriptions had additional written instructions, such as “must last 30 days,” which weren’t immediately apparant. In the case of drugs which may be taken as needed, most prescriptions are written such that you can take the maximum dosage at the maximum frequency allowed and not have difficulty getting refills. However, the doctor can, and often will, compute a different day’s supply, and write this on the prescription, such that the pharmacy cannot dispense your medication early per the doctor’s written instructions. The pharmacy’s power trip, as you described it, is more than likely them covering themselves from audit and denial of reimbursement by insurers.
The other unanswered question is that, in pharmacy, all months have 30 days, and all years have 12 months of only 30 days. A year’s worth of pills amounts to 360. A doctor may circumvent this in Illinois by writing “prn refill,” indicating that the patient may have as many fills of their medication as they desire.