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Pharmacy Incompetence & General Frustrations with Rx

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#1 CDW


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Posted 15 August 2011 - 07:37 AM

it's not often i come on here to have a vent, but today is the day. My pharmacy is so incompetent it's just not funny. I ordered my Tasigna for refil a week ago last friday and on friday it still wasn't there. after informing them i run out of drugs on monday, the response was, "oh well it should be here on monday". In my most calm and polite voice i informed staff that this isn't M&Ms i'm getting, this is medication for Leukemia! without it, there is a strong chance i will fall out of remission - do you understand the gravity of this? so today is the day we see if they've sorted their game out. 7 days I ask? i successfully ship stuff to the UK (from USA) on standard mail in less time than that!

they're also not in my good books as they once stored my Tasigna in the fridge - anyone who gets it, knows the large label on the box clearly stating the temp range.

I know we all struggle with co-pays, insurance worries as well as the general health and well being thing. 

anyone else got any pharmacy or insurance annoyances they wish to share on this wonderful grey monday?


#2 MDeRosia


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Posted 15 August 2011 - 07:46 AM

Chris - I was recently diagnosed and put on Tasigna (July 2011).  The Dr wanted to make it convenient for me so ordered to my local Pharmacy - they were a week late - and because "you are the only person on this drug" made a big deal about "how are you going to pay".  I have a high deductible insurance so the first 5K I had to foot the bill - I spoke to my nurse in the Oncology department and she basically said lets change you tot he hospital outpatient pharmacy as we always have it on hand and you have to come in here anyway each month.  So I am ditching the local Pharmacy and going to use the Hospital outpatient pharmacy.  Obviously- if the hospital has on hand, then I wiull not have to hear "you are the only person on this drug" again.

#3 CallMeLucky


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Posted 15 August 2011 - 09:18 AM

I do not feel comfortable dealing with a local pharmacy or a chain to handle this type of med.  I deal with a specialty mail order pharmacy.  They contact me when it is time to refill, We speak over the phone for 5 minutes and then they FedEx it to me within a day or two.  It is always packaged appropriately for the season and I have not had any issues with them.  You amy want to consider if you can use a specialty mail order with your insurance plan.  I use CuraScripts which is the specialty division of ExpressScripts.

Sorry you are having a bad day with them, retail service these days is horrible and sadly, most people just don't care enough about anything beyond themselves - sadly it shows in their work.  This morning I needed to send something from UPS store.  Store hours were clearly written on the door 8AM - 6PM.  I was that at 8:02, waited until 8:30 and then left because I was late for work.  I guess whoever was opening wasn't to concerned about being there on time.

Date  -  Lab  -  Scale  -  Drug  -  Dosage MG  - PCR
2010/Jul -  MSKCC  -  Non-IS  -  Gleevec  - 400 - 1.2%
2010/Oct -  MSKCC  -  Non-IS  -  Gleevec  - 400 - 0.25%
2010/Dec -  MSKCC  -  Non-IS  -  Gleevec  - 400 - 0.367%
2011/Mar -  MSKCC  -  Non-IS  -  Gleevec  - 400 - 0.0081%
2011/Jun -  MSKCC  -  Non-IS  -  Gleevec  - 400 - 0%
2011/Sep -  MSKCC  -  Non-IS  -  Gleevec  - 400 - 0.00084%
2011/Dec -  MSKCC  -  Non-IS  -  Gleevec  - 400 - 0%
2012/Mar -  MSKCC  -  Non-IS  -  Gleevec  - 400 - 0.004%
2012/Jun -  MSKCC  -  Non-IS  -  Gleevec  - 400 - 0%
2012/Sep -  MSKCC  -  Non-IS  -  Gleevec  - 400 - 0%
2012/Dec -  MSKCC  -  Non-IS  -  Sprycel  - 100 - 0%
2013/Jan -  Quest  -  IS  -  Sprycel  -  50-60-70  - 0%
2013/Mar -  Quest  -  IS  -  Sprycel  -  60-70  - 0%
2013/Apr -  CUMC  -  Non-IS  -  Sprycel  - 50 - 0.036%
2013/May -  CUMC  -  Non-IS  -  Sprycel  - 50 - 0.046%
2013/Jun -  Genoptix  -  IS  -  Sprycel  - 50 - 0.0239%
2013/Jul -  Genoptix  -  IS  -  Sprycel  - 70 - 0.0192%
2013/Jul -  Genoptix  -  IS  -  Sprycel  - 70 - 0.0034%
2013/Oct -  Genoptix  -  IS  -  Sprycel  - 70 - 0.0054%
2014/Jan -  Genoptix  -  IS  -  Sprycel  - 70 - 0.0093%
2014/Mar -  Genoptix  -  IS  -  Sprycel  - 100 - 0.013%
2014/Apr -  Genoptix  -  IS  -  Sprycel  - 100 - 0.0048%
2014/Jul -  Genoptix  -  IS  -  Sprycel  - 100 - 0%
2014/Nov -  Genoptix  -  IS  -  Sprycel  - 100 - 0.047%
2014/Dec -  Genoptix  -  IS  -  Sprycel  - 100 - 0%
2015/Mar -  Genoptix  -  IS  -  Sprycel  - 100 - 0%
2015/Jun -  Genoptix  -  IS  -  Sprycel  - 100 - 0%
2015/Sep -  Genoptix  -  IS  -  Sprycel  - 100 - 0%
2015/Dec -  Genoptix  -  IS  -  Sprycel  - 100 - 0%
2016/Mar -  Genoptix  -  IS  -  Sprycel  - 100 - 0.0228%
2016/Jun -  Genoptix  -  IS  -  Sprycel  - 100 - 0%
2016/Sep -  Genoptix  -  IS  -  Sprycel  - 100 - 0%
2016/Dec -  Genoptix  -  IS  -  Sprycel  - 100 - 0%
2017/Mar -  Genoptix  -  IS  -  Sprycel  - 100 - 0%
2017/Jun -  Genoptix  -  IS  -  Sprycel  - 100 - 0%
2017/Sep -  Genoptix  -  IS  -  Sprycel  - 100 - 0%
2017/Dec - Genoptix  -  IS  -  Sprycel  -  100 - 0%


#4 SunNsand



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Posted 15 August 2011 - 10:24 AM

  CDW - Did you choose this pharmacy or did your insurance request you use them?  I have had three different health ins. plans since my diagnosis and they all directed me to Curascripts specialty pharmacy for my Gleevec. They do a good job, they call me every mth. to set up a delivery date, if for some reason I need it asap, they overnight the shipment. I really appreciate them calling me because my memory is bad. Maybe you could change pharmacies?

Hope things work out for you!

#5 hannibellemo


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Posted 15 August 2011 - 10:33 AM


I've just switched to a local phamacy for my Sprycel and I am going to switch back to a specialty pharmacy. I've not had problems with delivery (yet) with the pharmacy but the drug costs $500 more per month from the local pharmacy than with the specialty pharmacy. Since we are self-insured switching back seems to be the responsible thing to do.

Good luck!




"You can't change the direction of the wind but you can adjust your sails."

DX 12/08; Gleevec 400mg; liver toxicity; Sprycel 100mg.; CCyR 4/10; MMR 8/10; Pleural Effusion 2/12; Sprycel 50mg. Maintaining MMR; 2/15 PCRU; 8/16 drifting in and out of undetected like a wave meeting the shore. Retired 12/23/2016! 18 months of PCRU, most recent at Mayo on 7/25/17 was negative at their new sensitivity reporting of 0.003.<p>

#6 LivingWellWithCML


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Posted 15 August 2011 - 05:59 PM

I am also using Curascript for Gleevec - and they've been outstanding.  Using a specialty pharmacy was new to me, but it's turned out to be easier than driving to my neighborhood pharmacy!

Blue Cross Blue Shield of GA (BC) required me to go with Curascript, and they offered me a discount for purchasing a 90-day supply, so I've been going that route.  Everything has been smooth; packaging for weather/temperature/fragility, shipping/arrived as expected, they take my SkyMiles AMEX <smile>, etc.  Outstanding service.

With that said, do folks have the option to choose neighborhood vs.specialty?  BC told me (for example) that Sprycel would be through a regular pharmacy.  Not sure why this is, but I was left with the impression that I didn't have an option either way.

I'm guessing that BC has negotiated a discount with Curascript on the G (hence the requirement), but the invoice that I see in the package is an eye-popping ~$16,000 90-day supply billed to the insurance carrier.  Is this really what they're paying, or have these large insurance carriers negotiated impressive discounts that we just don't see?

Dan - Atlanta, GA

CML CP Diagnosed March 2011

Gleevec 400mg

#7 Happycat


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Posted 15 August 2011 - 07:08 PM

I use the pharmacy on the hematology floor in the hospital.  I can pick it up at my appointment, or call in and they'll express mail it to me.  They actually called me up last month to see if I needed it!  I had gotten it early the month before because we were going on vacation.  But to them, it had been nearly 4 wks since my last order and they wanted to make sure I didn't miss a dose.  Pretty nice, huh?  Good to know they're looking out for me, too.

Anyway, sounds like you need to change pharmacies to me.  I would think a cancer-centered pharmacy would understand how important it is that you get your meds when you need them.  When I was doing IVF, I used a mail-order pharmacy that did fertility drugs as a specialty, so again, they knew how critical the timing is to the process and made sure I got what I needed on time.

Definitely recommend a specialty pharmacy if one is covered under your insurance.  If it isn't, call your insurance company and complain about the service.  And make sure your employer knows, too, if your coverage is through them.  We've had plenty of people complaining at work about our pharmacy options, that the company has changed providers a few times in response.   Let's face it, the insurers don't want your disease to progress because it will cost them more to treat you, so I'm sure they'd want you to get your drugs on time, too.


P.S.  The options with my employer's health care are so sub-par that I don't use it.  I go with my dh's insurance, much better all around.

#8 CDW


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Posted 16 August 2011 - 12:04 PM

thanks all for the suggestions; fortunately it all worked out yesterday and i had a lengthy chat with the pharmacist on this issue - we came to a new good solution which involves me collecting meds from an alternate location. unfortunately I don't get any choice on the pharmacy due to the branch of government i work for. 

I appreciate all the advice on specialist pharmacies and when i change jobs that is very handy to know. thanks for letting me vent.


#9 mark1963


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Posted 16 August 2011 - 07:23 PM

while dealing with my ex-employer's benefits admin I was having trouble getting the cobra up and running. there was no problem cashing the check for 2 months premium that i sent out. 2 weeks after the check cleared was told all is well. aetna says i don't have insurance and need to call my employer. my rite aid pharmacist Dave gave me 5 gleevec till we could get these idiots to comply. on the 18th day after my check cleared on the last day of the month they ended up doing an emergency turn on so i could get my gleevec. the next best thing was i had to pay for the last two days of octobers premium ,a saturday and sunday since i was laid off on the 29th of the month.

now new company brings new insurance and a mail order company called accredo. i hope it's not like cvs's caremark mail order.


#10 Lizzybee


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Posted 02 October 2011 - 10:35 AM

I use a cancer specialty pharmacy called Biologics. They call me every month to arrange shipment, and the Tasigna comes to my house via Fed Ex. The box is marked medical necessity so that Fed Ex knows that the box absolutely has to be delivered on time.

#11 Stevo


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Posted 02 October 2011 - 09:39 PM


I've been using Acreddo for 9 months with no issues.  Very easy to work with.


Yes, I indeed wonder if our insurance companies pay the supposed retail price of these drugs.  Honestly, I hope they don't have to.  As thankful as I am for Sprycel (and its 2 competitors), I wonder a) how long can our health system support such expensive medication? and B) should I be worried my insurance company sending over a hitman to take me out?  I mean am I really worth $261 a day to keep alive?

Only a select few in my life would say yes to that question...

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