Medco Makes My Blood Boil!

By Type1Lou Latest Reply 2014-06-12 13:09:54 -0500
Started 2011-09-16 13:42:08 -0500

I'm SOOO MAD, I could spit! While I feel lucky to have prescription insurance, dealing with Medco has been an ordeal. Here's an account of my latest run-in with them:
My endo wrote a new RX for my Novolog since I started on an insulin pump on August 16 and needed to change from the NovoLog Flexpens to the vials. He wrote it for 3 vials of NovoLog which constitutes a 90-day supply. He also noted that I was initially using 15u of Novolog per day in my pump. (It has gone up to nearly 20u/day since then because we are still tweaking the pump settings to get better BG numbers. Also, the bolus amounts will vary based on how many carbs I'm eating. ) I received a call earlier this week from Medco to confirm that I wanted the vials and not the Flexpens. I explained that the change was being made because I had just begun using an insulin pump. I also inquired about obtaining infusion sets and pump reservoir replacements through Medco. The Medco rep confirmed that the RX was written for 3 vials. At no time did the Medco rep ask me how many units I was using per day. Yesterday, I received 2 vials of NovoLog, not 3 as ordered by my doctor. When I called them and escalated my inquiry to a “Medco pharmacist” , he explained that the reduction was made because my doctor wrote that I was not to take more than 15u per day. (!? Had they bothered to call my doctor prior to making this reduction, he would have educated them!) Also, when I asked the “Medco pharmacist” to explain how this reduction complies with Novo Nordisk's instructions to “Throw away an opened vial after 28 days of use, even if there is insulin left in the vial,” he indicated that this would not apply in my case and that was only to avoid the risk of infection. (!????) Since we were getting nowhere and I was getting more frustrated, I asked that he seek a review of the decision to provide me with 2 vials as a 90-day supply when, in fact, it will only cover 60-days. I followed up with an e-mail to a Medco Diabetes Specialist. So far, I've received a “canned” e-mail acknowledgment of my inquiry/complaint. I do not intend to drop this but am biding my time, giving them the opportunity to correct their error. It has been more than 24 hours since my telecon with the Medco pharmacist. Based on past experience, I am not optimistic that this will be resolved satisfactorily.

Have any of you out there had similar experiences with Medco? (I've read kdroberts post from last December.) I can't be the only patient they've jerked around. I plan to let my retirement plan administrators know of my ongoing problems with Medco and may contemplate an insurance department complaint as well, depending on the outcome. (Sorry this is so long…thanks for staying with me if you've gotten this far.)

12 replies

Type1Lou 2011-09-23 11:55:22 -0500 Report

OK! I received my 3rd vial of insulin from Medco Sept 22…and they didn't even mess up the charges for it. (Maybe they can fix this problem????) Now, I'm waiting for them to correct the original RX refill amount. Medco advised my endo's office on Sept 23 that they had done so, but when I check my 90-day prescription records on line, my insulin refill amount right now shows 1 vial with 3 refills when it should be 3 vials with 2 refills. On Sept 30, I spoke with a Medco rep who called me back in response to my letter to David Snow, Medco's CEO. She assured me that my refills would consist of 3 vials of NovoLog. So, Medco actually exceeded my expectations in correcting their blunder…but I had very low expectations. It pays to be a "squeaky wheel."

Jan8 2014-06-12 11:55:09 -0500 Report

Thanks to your experience I know it will help my problem with Medco. Sorry you had to go through that experience. How aggravating !!!

Type1Lou 2011-09-19 14:10:11 -0500 Report

Update to my disagreement with Medco. They advised me today that they will be sending me the 3rd vial of NovoLog as initially written by my doctor. I also asked the rep whether they were correcting the prescription to reflect 3 vials so that future refills will be correct. She advised that they would (it had not yet been done.) We'll see… (I did dash off a letter on Saturday, 9/17 to David Snow, CEO of Medco outlining the problem I encountered and mailed a copy of this letter to the retirement benefits administrator through which I have the Medco insurance.) It pays to be persistent…at least in this case!

sister - 15457
sister - 15457 2011-09-18 22:40:17 -0500 Report

Anyone that is on Medicare Part D should check in to a company called Well Care. The prescriptions cost nothing for generic that's if you get them at a pharmacy or mail order. I had my husband with Medco for many years but last year he went in to the donut hole in november and it cost him a fortune for is prescriptions. This year we will probably will not get into the donut hole. The way Medco changed their formularys and premiums we would have been in the donut hole in July. Please check it out the premiums are less than medco and better coverage.

Jan8 2014-06-12 13:09:54 -0500 Report

medicare won't even notice me because my husband is still working and his ins. is primary ! Thanks for your concern.

Auburn Bill
Auburn Bill 2011-09-17 14:45:56 -0500 Report

So far I am lucky, I get all my insulin at a local chain grocery store , on a monthly basis! Hoping tis will continue whne going on BCBS Medicare Advantage plan 11/1. I have gotten insulin thru mail, its a pain in th ebutt! I am very fortiunate so far, Grandpa Bill

Jim Edwards
Jim Edwards 2011-09-17 14:13:42 -0500 Report

MEDCO, how can you have the gall to complain about them? Just because they changed the quantity of one of my prescriptions and switched another to the generic (which I had already tried and had a reaction to), failed to send my insulin when they said they would (because they said it was too soon, even though my doctor faxed them the new prescription to double my dosage). Oh, I forgot, when they switched me from Toporal 100mg to Metroporol 50mg and sent me the same quantity of pills. I know there is more but you got me PO'ed now. I hope you are happy! :) Here I thought I had buried that stuff deep down so it would never resurface! By the way, the insulin fiasco took 3 months to get straightened out. I finally sent a certified letter to Medco and to the insurance company.
I wish you the best. I know it is frustrating. Jim

Type1Lou 2011-09-17 18:15:14 -0500 Report

Unfortunately, this is not my first run-in with Medco. I will not belabor the other problems I"ve had with them but some mirror what you've described. I've stopped getting any of my generic meds trhough Medco because I can refill them locally through Sweetbay Supermarket's ScriptSave program for $10 for a 90-day supply, versus Medco charging me $25 for the same drug. Luckily, I've had no problem with the generics for thyroid, blood pressure and cholesterol. While I understand the need for cost-containment of skyrocketing medical costs, it must be done with intelligence and do no harm. The Bozo pharmacist I spoke with at Medco didn't know squat about the use of insulin in treating diabetes and how it functions in a pump…sorry, I'm getting worked up again!…and sorry this discussion brought back memories best left forgotten. How can they stay in business with all this discontent? Now I'm fostering revenge fantasies about how to make them pay…you got any ideas?

MEGriff1950 2011-09-16 15:39:42 -0500 Report

I have similar issues often with Molina Options (A Medicare HMO). I do NOT sit back and wait for a response, I call every day until my issues are settled. The know me and probably flip quarters when I call to see who has to talk with me. When dealing with them I stick to the facts and do not let them interrupt me when I am speaking.
Yesterday I dropped off my prescription bottle at Walmart to refill while I did some shopping. When I returned to the pharmacy they told me that I cannot refill my metformin until Oct 4th. according to Molina. I said what the hell? That prescription is only for a month, I filled it last on August 16th and today is Sept 15th. Now to top that off Molina has not been paying their share on my Metformin, I pay out of pocket. Walmart promised to streighten it out. Being a Christian can be tough at times and this was a big test for me. Finally they said they had my metformin. I paid full price, and went home 18 miles away.
At home I opened my bag. It contains One Touch test strips prescribed to Mr. Richards who lives about 35 miles further from Walmart then I do. First I have to call walmart, oh they will mail them to me to save me driving back, wonderful but I am out of metformin and need 3 for dinner time. Then I call Molina, I asked what was going on. I said you do not even pay for my metformin, I pay out of pocket how can you deny my meds. After about a half hour the issue was resolved. Some computer said that I needed 90 metformin a month, 3 a day. My prescription says clearly 3 in the am and 3 in the pm QTY 180. When my son returned the test strips and got my metformin there was also some cash to make up for the last 2 month I had paid full price.
So Type1 Lou it is not just your insurance company. I imagine that many others here have to fight their insurance companies too. You can call your doctors office too and alert your dr to what is going on. Most doctors will contact the insurance companies too. One typo on a computer can make a lot of misery for us.
Good luck and keep fighting,
God bless you Lou,

Type1Lou 2011-09-16 17:18:21 -0500 Report

I used to fill my generics at Walmart since it is cheaper than using my Medco plan. But, Walmart screwed up my refills too many times, sometimes requiring return trips…but I'm only 5 miles from Walmart. I decided I didn't need the Walmart aggravation any more…it just happened too often. I now use Sweetbay Supermarket's Pharmacy for my generics and they cost a fraction of what Medco would charge me, even with my insurance…go figure! I LOVE my Sweetbay pharmacist and haven't had any problems with them in over a year. So, there are some good guys out there too. Unfortunately, Medco is my only cost-effective option for my diabetes supplies.

MEGriff1950 2011-09-16 17:47:04 -0500 Report

I live in Eastern Washington in a rural area. Walmart is the closest discount pharmacy to me. My next choice would be going to Spokane 60 miles to the city limit the another 60 for getting lost and not stopping to ask directions. I am thankful for the Walmart even though they are not perfect they try to be helpful. I too have made a mistake once or twice. LOL

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