So I’m really REALLY frustrated right now. Over the weekend I tried three bottles of insulin and could not get my sugars down so I finally on Monday gave in and called CVS/Caremark and told them my insulin had gone bad and I needed new insulin. I spent almost an hour on the phone with them and explained my problem to four different people before a pharmacist approved my request for a reshipment and said she’d send it overnight. Ok, so fine. Except that it didn’t get here Tuesday, or Wednesday… so I call again today and turns out they tried to ship it but it was denied! Something about my taking too long to request a reshipment. Now we all know that insulin degrades slowly and that if it was exposed to temperatures during shipping and then re-refrigerated it might take a month to two to really start degrading. But anyway, so now I’m sitting here with 7 (yes 7!) bottles of insulin that aren’t working at anywhere near full strength and they’re offering to try to go up the ladder again and get me approval to ship AGAIN. But they did mention that I can refill my prescription later this month and surely going without for less than a month can’t be too bad?! I’m super frustrated for a couple of reasons. 1) They shipped it improperly to begin with without and icepack so it ended up going bad 2) It took me an hour on Monday to get a new shipment approved 3) No one thought to call me when they changed their minds about my new shipment and 4) They think I can go without insulin for a couple of weeks. I’m so upset about the insulin that I’m not even worried about the 3 pods I went through before I realized that it was insulin problems and not pod problems. People who handle life sustaining drugs should have more responsibility and understanding of what they’re doing. This is just entirely unacceptable but at this point I don’t know what else I can do. So I don’t really expect anyone to have anything to say about this but I needed someplace to get it all off my chest. If you’ve read this far then thanks for listening.
Are you simply being denied or is this still subject to further approval? Can you get to a local CVS or are you stuck to the mail-order system. I really think they should be doing whatever it takes to get you, as you aptly put it, “the life sustaining drugs” that you need.
Good luck. I hope it gets resolved soon.
That is TERRIBLE Rebecca! Outside of definitely identifying with your frustration, I’m not sure exactly who you should call to report something like this.
I think your best course of action to get some new insulin asap would be to call your endo (or even a primary care physician if you have one)–any doctor really who would have access to samples. After even explaining a brief description of what has happened, I’d bet they would be more than happy to let you have a few bottles.
As far as problems with insurance companies and pharmacies, I grew up with diabetes from age 11 to age 24 without insurance, so the pharmacy never understood what I wanted or how I wanted to pay out of pocket (especially picking up 3 months of insulin at a nearly $900 bill).
I’m really sorry to hear about your situation. Please keep us updated as you work through this horrible misunderstanding between your the ideologies of paperpushers who do not understand or comprehend the severe consequences for their actions and your health back in reality.
They were willing to try to push it through the same channels I went through on Monday to get it reapproved, the problem is that on Tuesday morning I’m flying to Florida for a week and they say there’s no way they can get it here until Wednesday. I’m not allowed to go to a local CVS and they can’t even sync with the local ones so that they can share my prescription info. I’m going to my doc to get a new prescription for the 3 bottles I’ll need for the trip and then paying for them out of pocket. They have offered to keep pushing it and to “try” to replace the bottles when I get back which I might persue. They even offered to ship to me in Florida but they could only ship all 7 and there’s no way I can keep them all cold while in in Florida and traveling back. I understand that now their hands are pretty much tied too but what I don’t understand was why I wasn’t notified when they decided they couldn’t reship it the first time. At that point I could have made them push it up the ladder again and insisted. Now there’s not much we can do. Hopefully my endo will have some spare bottles I can have but otherwise I’m just gonna suck it up and pay the $300+ so I can survive.
The Diabetes Mine blog talked about this issue with CVS/Caremark recently: http://www.diabetesmine.com/2009/05/shout-out-against-insurers-cost-cutting-skimping-on-insulin-packs.html
I can’t wait to read about the first lawsuit that is filed against them because of this policy change. I wonder how many cold-packs it takes to save enough money to cover the legal costs that they will inevitably incur…
You might try telling your story to Amy at DiabetesMine - she might be collecting them and have some contacts that could actually do something about it.
Great job expressing the situation and your frustration, Rebecca. Send this to anyone you can think of…your doc, insurance co, CVS customer service. I’m sorry you had to go through it. Good luck.
Rebecca I can identify with your problem. What I find that works is getting the CEO of the company telephone number and email address, you can google for the info, and contact that person with the problem. Usually the problem will be resolve that same day. It has worked with me on numerous occasions. I would send an email and then telephone the person and explain to them your situation and tell them you want it resolve ASAP.
It’s sad that no one understands or cares that they are dealing with someone’s life.
So an update for everyone. On Thursday, July 2nd at about 4:00pm they called back and the customer service rep. had pushed it through all the required channels and managed to get me approval but because of the 4th of July weekend their shipment couldn’t get to my house until Tuesday, July 7th. Well, on Tuesday July 7th at 4:30am I was leaving my house to fly to Florida for a week. They offered to ship it to Florida but there was no way I could keep 7 bottles of insulin cold on my return trip so I did end up buying my own insulin (which isn’t cheap) for my trip. So they promised to tag it so that when I got back they could ship it. I got back from Florida on Wednesday, July 15 and called them to have them ship the order. After speaking with at least 3 representatives I got them to agree to ship it and they told me it would take 7-10 business days. Needless to say I flipped out on them and asked them if there was any way they could rush it as it was supposed to be sent overnight. I was told that this was being sent overnight but processing took time. I was really frustrated but there was nothing I could do at that point. Fortunately I guess my urgency message got through to them because it was shipped Thursday, July 16th and arrived today, Friday, July 17th. I thought I’d finally gotten this all fixed only to find that I had not 7 bottles of insulin but just 2 instead. I was furious. I’m currently being told that because it had taken time for my insulin to go bad they could not ship the whole order and the two bottles they did ship were practically a gift. I’m on the phone with a “Resolution Specialist” who is trying to get me the rest of my insulin but she’s made it clear that she has no confidence she’ll be able to. She’s also having trouble understanding that insulin does not just "go bad’ but it loses it’s potency over time so I have been able to get 4-6 days out of the bottles after taking them out of the fridge. Her final conclusion was that she has no idea what’s going on because if they couldn’t replace them then I shouldn’t have gotten any but if they could then I should have received all 7. She’s sent an email to the pharmacy department asking for clarification and has promised to call me as soon as she hears back. I’ve currently got my insurance company looking into the possibility of my getting my insulin from a local pharmacy but I’ve had it shipped for 3 years now and have never had problems like this before. Does anyone know of any FDA or Pharmacy Regulation organization that I can contact with the details of my case?