Endless Idiocy at Group Health

Endless idiocy at Group Health...it makes me feel so...safe, and cared for, and secure. Ahem.

So I FINALLY have my six little pens of Levemir (yay!!!!) but the endless idiocy at the Group Health pharmacy continues:

After spending HOURS on the phone, in person and with e-mail to my doctor, the pharmacy and customer service last week trying to cope with their INSANE price increase in my insulins, I showed up at the counter at the Group Health pharmacy (with much trepidation about what stunt they were going to pull next) and the clerk says, "OK, I have six vials and six pens of Levemir for you."

...banging head on desk...

Me: "No, I was never supposed to get the vials. They were filled in error at the other GHC pharmacy, not this one. Y'all were supposed to CANCEL the erroneous order for six vials at the OTHER pharmacy and FILL the six pens at THIS pharmacy. I spoke with a clerk AND the manager about it on Friday -- at length."

Clerk: "Well it says in the system that your doctor wants you to have both."

Me: "You system is wrong. I am NOT getting vials. I am getting pens. The vials are an error. I am NOT paying for an 120 day supply of Levemir in vials, OK?"

Clerk: "Blather...blather...you are supposed to have...blather..."

Me: "No."

What do you want to bet that the next time I refill my Levemir they will STILL have that order for six vials of Levemir floating like a poltergeist in their freaking system? I asked them to take it out and they said, "We can't because it's already been filled." I said, "It's an error. It was never filled, I've never used it, I don't want it. Why can't you just reverse it or cancel it or delete it?" More blather, blather, blather.

I swear someone at GHC will be trying to force me to buy six vials of Levemir at some point in the not too distant future.

To compound matters, Customer Service lied to me about the cost of the Levemir pens. They were TWICE the price he quoted me: $95 instead of $45 -- so I could have stayed on the Lantus and not bothered with all this IDIOCY in the first place.

Just another Red Queen day at Group Health:


Gosh, Jean! You're doing a fabulous job of maintaining your perspective and humour through all of this!

You are correct. Insulin prices are insane! (For that matter, many medication prices are insane.)

I feel your pain. I have had similar conversations with my pharmacy, doctor, and insurance provider. On the upside, while pens are much easier, using a vial and syringe is something that every insulin dependent diabetic should know how to do. I take Apidra and there has been a problem with their being able to supply Apidra in pens. I had to get a vial and get help from a fellow diabetic to learn how to use a syringe. When I was given the vial because there were no pens to be had, I simply asked the pharmacist: "the vial is fine, but how am I to get this stuff into me?" They fixed me up with syringes.

Now, thankfully, I have a pump, and that must be filled with a vial. Vial and syringe is not all bad, and you will have a good supply of insulin for your use.

Thanks, Brian. I have used vials before -- for years, in fact. I even lived in Paris, France for most of a year and bought vials of Lantus in French pharmacies. No prob. But the thing about the pens is that they are much more portable and "invisible" out in public, e.g. in a restaurant or at my desk at work. If I have to bolus with my Novolog pen in a restaurant, only the most nosy neighbor will even notice what I'm doing. My objection to the SIX vials of Levemir was primarily that they were trying to force me to buy a 120-day supply in vials on top of the 30-day supply of the pens, which would have taxed my limited monthly budget. When I have work again, I might go back to buying a larger supply of insulin, but I am being very careful with my money right now.