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Medco - Bad Bad Bad
Posted by Mustvent on 11/15/2007
Where do I start. I have had the unfortunate opportunity to have Medco as my Prescriptions provider for years. As with many of the other reviewers, I have had my fair share of BAD experiences with the company. Lost prescriptions, incorrect prescriptions, prescriptions that just don't ever get filled. I'm still reeling from the last one. I had my doctor fax a refill (as they did just 90 days earlier). Medco online showed that they received the fax and that the prescription was in process. After about a week, I checked back STUPIDLY thinking that the prescription would be "in the mail". The notes indicated that they were in contact with the doctor's office and waiting for more information. Rather than bother my already overloaded doctor, I called Medco. The first IDIOT told me that they weren't allowed to tell me what information they were waiting on the doctor to provide. After asking "for a supervisor", I was told that there was an issue with the quantity and that they had contacted the doctor's office (they even gave me dates that they had left messages).

When I spoke with the nurse at my doctor's office, she was surprised. She had NO messages from Medco. Funny, but I believe her! When she called them, they admitted to her that they had not really tried to contact her. The issue with the quantity was that she put 90 instead of ninety on the Rx. While she was on the phone, they agreed to go ahead and fill the Rx. TWO days later, I called Medco back STUPIDLY thinking that it was being processed (whatever that means). The first line IDIOT told me that according to the status, they were waiting on the doctor to MAIL the prescription as they could not accept a Fax for this particular pill (Ambien CR). I informed her that this was the first that I had heard this and asked "to speak to a supervisor". After 30 minutes and elevated blood pressure, they finally agreed to overnight my medication!

I ask the question WHY? WHY does it have to be so difficult? Like others, I have been informed that I must use Medco for any medications that I take over 90 days. I have issues with Walgreens too, but gees! At least I have a choice to use them. IDIOTS like Michael Moore and Hilary Clinton want socialized medicine. Obviously, they have not had the pleasure of MEDCO!

Thanks, I feel better...

     
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Posted by GWbiker on 2007-11-15:
There have been reported problems with some people overusing Ambien CR and falling asleep next day while operating a motor vehicle. Medco might have found it unusual that your Doctor would prescribe a three month supply refill of Ambien CR. I've used Medco mail order prescription for several years without any problems.
Posted by Anonymous on 2007-11-15:
Mustvent, GWbiker, I know this one well, its not Medco Health it is your insurance provider. They have taking apron themselves to decide what you get, how much you get and when you will get it. They do it to me all the time and I take Ambien too. They first said they would not pay for them unless I got generics at the time there was no generic for ambien. Then when they came out with generics they all of a sudden decided they I could only have 20 a month even know my script was for 30. I only take them when it gets real bad anyway but that is what’s its come to. They do the same thing with my other heart meds as well.
Posted by Suusan B. on 2007-11-15:
Ditto what Lidman said. In addition, most insurance companies will not authorize payment for branded meds (such as AmbienCR) without your doctor going through hoops in terms of submitting statements that you have tried generic Ambien and why it didn't work. The days of a doctor writing a script and having it filled without question are over.
Posted by GWbiker on 2007-11-15:
Well I stand corrected on this! I was bound to using generic meds with a few of my past prescriptions, but my state pension plan is rather liberal in deciding how many pills Medco Health is allowed to dispense with a doctor's OK. I've never used Ambien CR but have been given Sonata in a 90 day supply.
Posted by beenwrongedbymedco on 2008-12-20:
They have now denied me coverage on being treated for HCV after frist saying they would pay! I'm devestated! 5 days before Christmas I get to tell my family I might die since Medco is playing God to decide what RX I can or cannot have? This Co. needs a lawsuit or put out of business!
Posted by telly on 2009-04-27:
Hello beenwrongedbymedco, as a Medco employee I can tell you that Medco does not "play God". When your group decided to use Medco, some representatives set down with reps from Medco and created a formulary and decided what would be covered and what would not. Medco has to enforce the decisions made by your group in regards to what is covered. Most groups have an appeals or greivance process set in place where you can appeal to have a medication covered. This means that your case will be looked at on an individual basis and the company doing the appeal will re-evaluate coverage of that medication. Medco also has to follow the state laws that are set in regards to certain medications...for example New York's state laws are some of the strictest. They do not allow faxing of prescriptions for controlled medications, the quantity must be written in numerical form as well as written out, and they limit the quantity and days supply of medication that we can send through mail order. I must admit that Medco is not perfection, nor is any company. There will always be a complaint from someone. Suggestions and complaints sent to Medco are actually read and noted by the higher ups within the company. I have personally been to focus groups on what we can do to make the mail order process easier for the member and our CEO even takes into consideration what customer service reps like myself hear from the member on a daily basis. There are employees at Medco that actually care about the member and the members concerns and I hope that knowing that will at least make your Medco experience a bit more pleasant.
Posted by treatmebetter on 2011-02-23:
Dear telly, Medco is not only "playing God" but "socialist dictator" as well! Your explanation of what Medco does is very nice but with thousands of employees the bad ones are going to be in the pool too! Unlike you, there are many customer service reps that could care less at Medco. Reading other posts about Medco shows that they lie and bully the consumer saying things that would have NEVER BEEN SAID by a customer service rep years ago! Even the respectful ones give out fasle information (because it is humanly impossible to be 100% error-proof with the lengthy list of regulations from ea state & the 100s of mouths the information is being passed through--didn't you ever play the "telephone game" as a child?).
MEDCO WILL NEVER WORK because there are "too many cooks in the kitchen" & because we ALL sin by disrepecting one another at some point in every day. Here's the scenario as I imagine it: the patient calls the doctor's receptionist, then the script request goes to maybe 2-5 others b4 it ends up on the doc's desk (probably without the chart for reference). Then another employee phones the Rx into Medco where there it goes through how many other employees b4 it ends up in the patient's mailbox! Now, because of department of Health regulations, the untraceable boo-boo is payed for by FORCE FROM MEDCO by the patient! THIS WOULD HAVE NEVER HAPPENED AT THE PATIENT'S LOCAL PHARMACY!!! Where the name has a face and a life, is respected and the drug could have been simply put back on the shelf!!! THIS MAIL-ORDER SYSTEM WILL NEVER WORK, unless, POSSIBLY, if the patient where to be contacted EACH AND EVERY TIME b4 a Rx was mailed.
Then the appeals process has MANY MORE people at the patient's Insurance Co looking over a subjective interpretation of the complaint written by a FALLIBLE HUMAN BEING. This process removes the control and the rights of the patient even further, reducing them to "PEON" status in a pool of millions!! Finally the patient gets a letter from Betsy Earnest--doesn't that sound like a made-up name for a Director of Customer Service that NO CUSTOMER EVER IS ALLOWED TO HAVE ACCESS TO?? Meanwhile MEDCO REPORTS RECORD EARNINGS!!!
Telly, you seem like a respectful person, maybe you should re-evaluate the respect level of the company you work for a a whole. It seems your kindness would be better utilized elsewhere!
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From an employee
Posted by Medco emplyee on 06/18/2007
NATIONWIDE, NEW JERSEY -- I am an employee of Medco heath, and where most of the reviews I have read are the error of the user, the overall idea they generate is correct.
The company is not a nonprofit organization, they are in business for the profit. However, somewhere in the process of trying to increase profit the management sold the moral compass of the company.
I am a customer service rep, and have been with the company over seven years and I am disgusted by the procedures that we are given to deal with members calling in. They tell us to say we understand, and be compassionate but the procedures are not. It is all about profit. I would suggest to anyone reading this if your company is thinking about contracting with Medco health, oppose this. I have had coverage with express scripts and they are much more caring, and customer friendly. If you are in the situation were your coverage is already through Medco and need to call in, the process is give the rep your id number to access your account, when they have it ask for a sup, when the person comes on they are not a sup just senior rep, so ask for a sup again. Have them help you, you may have to hold, but in the long run it will help fix the problem. to those looking for a job, don't, the company treats its employees as bad as members, I stay to pay the bills.

     
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Posted by Noneill on 2007-06-18:
Sad but helpful.
Posted by HASABRAIN2SMART on 2008-08-03:
i work for medco as well but i love medco it is a great company that not only pays it's employee's well but also encourages them to excel! You stay at medco b/c u know there is no other call center that will pay you as much as medco and put up with as much b/s. and yes were a non-profit company were here to make money... were a business, just like express scripts and caremark! our policies and procedures are in place so that you can keep your job! Look on the bright side, medco still employs americans and buys and sells american made products to americans! At least you still have a job and medco is not sending its business to china!
Posted by LenaSunShine on 2010-09-14:
Thanks for your post.
Posted by Akuma on 2010-10-19:
Lol, Had a brain, you do know that Medco contracts a good portion of it's customer service and pharmacy service to the Philippines and India, right? I'll agree, to a very limited extent, it was a decent place to work. However, they do treat their employees like crap. For instance, we had a manager, not just line sup, who was VERY into the childish games and cliques. And he took great pleasure in the "power" he had. I remember the day his incessant badgering got a newly divorced single mother fired, right before the holidays, and all he had to say about it was (and to another inconsiderate sup) "High five!! Alright, bout time we got SO and So outta here! Good Job!" Is that really how a MANAGER, who has more than 5 supervisors and 50 CSRs reporting to him should act???? Heck, a CSR shouldn't even act that way! The truth is, if you are in the "elite inner circle" clique (or married to one of them) you can go very far in that company. If not, then you might as well consider your chair just a temporary job, regardless of how many "WoW awards" and compliments you get. With Medco, it's about who you know and how good you are at polishing a knob, than what you know. Worse yet, even when we have to tell customers "sorry, that's not covered" or "you've reached your CAP", we're allowed to give them any outside suggestions that may help them pay for their meds like AFAN, or PPRX.org... because they think if the customers don't have options, they'll be forced to pay what ever Medco charges.. that's not customer care.. that's extortion.
Posted by not dead yet on 2012-10-04:
Medco denies chemo drugs for my cancer. Your preferred treatment is that I should die or have to beg charities for help after paying health insurance for 25 years. My sincere hope is that you find yourself in my position and have to deal with employees as horrible as you are.
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Pan
Posted by Mahlon99! on 12/14/2010
Medco sucks. I work there, I know. I call to get a prescription fax sent to my doctor, and I go through 3 reps, all of whom tell me Medco can't send the fax because the drug is "controlled." But it is a C3, and so it can be faxed. I send faxes for all controlled meds other than C1 and C2, unless state law forbids it.

And 2 of the 3 I spoke with hardly spoke English.

     
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Posted by ticia232 on 2010-12-14:
Ummmm......why would you have a prescription faxed to your doctor?

Is it for a refill? Sometimes even for prescriptions that are NOT a "controlled" medication, the doctor will like to SEE the patient first before prescribing medication, in case the patient does not need the medication anymore or needs a lower dose.

Posted by trmn8r on 2010-12-14:
I used Medco for 3 years, and I didn't work there. I thought it was the best place I ever dealt with for prescriptions, but I never needed them to fax the doctor back one of his prescriptions (?).

A few years later, I invested in their stock because I was so impressed, and it did very well.
Posted by Mrs. Clean on 2011-01-07:
If you work there then you would know that medco doesn't initiate faxes to drs on controlled meds, it's against medco's policy. You stated that you request for faxes on controlled meds for customers but are you sure the faxes even went out? Have you actually followed up on the account? The state guidelines your referring to is the guidelines for physicians that prescribe medications.
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Not happy with their new prices.
Posted by Tikatakawitha on 09/28/2009
DALLAS, TEXAS -- I went to my doctor and received 3 prescriptions refills for my asthma medications (Singulair, Flovent and Proventil HFA). They are for 90 day supplies and it will cost over $250.00 for me to get these filled because they are "name brand." The kicker, there are no generics for these three so I have to pay the higher cost if I want them.

I had switched one of my medications once from one I trusted to a different brand because of Medco.

     
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Posted by spiderman2 on 2009-09-28:
Talk to the Benefits Administrator at your place of employment. Medco only provides the service contracted to them through your insurance company, which in turn has a contract with whomever provides your medical insurance, typically your employer. Your coverage is determined by what your employer choses. I pay similar prices for my sons asthma meds every 90 days too and we have good insurance coverage.
Posted by goduke on 2009-09-29:
You might want to talk to your doctor and see if there is another drug in the same class that's either on the preferred brand list or that has a generic alternative. Get a copy of the formulary from Medco (or print it from their website) and take it to your doc so that he/she has it when prescribing.
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Medco - Awful Customer Service and Policies
Posted by Missyfer on 06/27/2007
SAN DIEGO, CALIFORNIA -- My first experience with Medco has been nothing but unpleasant. I wish that I had read all of the reviews out there before I made the decision to utilize medco's mail-in prescription services.

My doctor wrote my birth control prescription and I mailed it into Medco along with all the correct forms. I waited over 3 weeks for the prescription. I checked the status of the order online as well as called in to medco in search of a delivery date. The prescription was delivered 5 days later than the stated date. In the mean time, I had to go to the local pharmacy in order to receive a one month prescription because I was out of my birth control and they had to deal with medco via phone to have permission to give me the prescription.

When my prescription did arrive in the mail it was completely incorrect. I called customer service and they were absolutely AWEFUL! After a lot of searching he came back on the line to tell me that Medco was not responsible if the prescription was incorrect. My doctor had not written "brand only" next to the prescription so they chose to give me the generic brand of the drug. I asked if I could speak with his supervisor and after being put on hold for ten minutes I hung up and called back to get someone different. This gentleman was at least more understanding, but still could not help the situation. He called the pharmacist and had the pharmacist speak with me. The pharmacist stated the same answer...no "brand only" written on the prescription. I asked her how she, as a pharmacist, could change someone's birth control prescription without the person's, or their doctor's, permission.

Bottom line...I have to pay for three months worth of a prescription that I will never use AND I am STILL waiting for the correct prescription in the mail (over a week and counting thus far). Medco should think about either taking responsibility for issues like this or notify the doctor/patient of these policies (IN LARGE PRINT or VIA PHONE). We'll see if I stick with using Medco's mail-order method after this experience. AND, I've talked with others who have had nightmares with mail-ordering prescriptions.
     
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Posted by Hugh_Jorgen on 2007-06-27:
Almost all drug plans will substitute generic drugs for name brand drugs unless your doctor writes something to the effect of "no substitutes" on the script. It's perfectly legal and harmless.
Posted by spiderman2 on 2007-06-27:
My plan does this all the time. Be prepared to pay a much higher price for your brand name prescription too. Generics are used to keep the price down.I have used generic birth control pills for years and they work just the same.
Posted by rhondam718732 on 2007-06-27:
Did you ask your doctor if you could just use the other brand? If you have a certain allergy I can see that it might matter, but otherwise, I can't imagine that a generic burth control pill can't be used. It's still supposed to be the same ingredients.
Posted by ejack053824 on 2007-06-27:
Always use a reputable pharmacy when dealing with medicine. This is your life your talking about. :)
Posted by CrazyRedHead on 2007-06-29:
I use Medco and I have never had a problem with them. I understand about the generic thing and have gotten my meds within 3 days.
Posted by telly on 2009-04-27:
You should also take into consideration that most prescription pads have two lines that you can sign on. one that says brand only and one that says substitutions allowed. Other prescription pads have a box the doctor can just check indicating that only the brand is to be sent. Physicians are well aware that medications that have a generic are automatically substituted unless noted otherwise. As a Medco employee I can tell you that the turnaround time for new mailed in prescriptions is 11-14 days. We always advise our members to get a local supply while the 90 day prescription is in processing. The turnaround time would greatly increase if we were to second guess every incoming prescription and had to contact the physician to see if they meant to mark (DAW) dispense as written on the prescription or not. We get thousands of prescriptions a day and we all know how busy pharmacists and physicians are. Even if we did have a process like this in place, who is to say the physician would get back to us right away? Basically, someone is always disappointed. We get yelled out when the physician does write brand only and we send the brand at the brand name price, but the member wants generic. We get yelled at when the physician doesn't specify brand only and we send the generic, because the member wants brand. Its a no win situation.
Posted by Akuma on 2010-10-19:
Lol, and people like this are the reasons I thank God I left Medco. Yes, I understand that when you don't get your way, it's frustrating. However stomping your feet and screaming like a 2 year old doesn't fix anything. You ask "how can they do this with out notifying every one first about their policy"? Quite simple: It's not Medco's policy, it is the policy of the entire pharmaceutical world. Thus why there is an additional box on all prescription pads that says "brand Only".. Because otherwise it is given knowledge that the generic will be dispensed if one is available UNLESS that box is checked. Your doctor knew this, and obviously didn't care enough to check the box. Nor did you include a slip of paper saying that you want brand only. Some how you expected the pharmacist to be a mind reader and know that you wanted your own set of rules outside of the general practice in the medical world. I understand that, we all like to feel special. In the future, before sending in prescriptions, or even walking them over to a local pharmacy, do your due diligence and make sure your prescription is written correctly. If some one gave you incorrect driving directions and you passed them on to some one else, who used them and got lost, would you really be mad at the party who is lost on the road? No? Well, that's what you're doing by blaming Medco here.
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StarEmpty StarEmpty StarEmpty StarEmpty Star
Medco Crooks & Liars
Posted by Confed2001 on 09/18/2012
COVINGTON, LOUISIANA -- Medco Health is a RIP OFF & a bunch of liars! I was “forced” to use them via my health plan, but will drop both Medco & Benefit Management Services. My doc gave me a script for 10 pills @ 25 mg each, but these people would only give me 6 pills one month & 4 the next. When asked why I was told they only give out 150 mg a month.

I had a bad reaction to this med so my doc gave me something else 30 pills @ 5 mg each (or 150mg total). Medco would only give me 15 pills & DENIED ever stating a 150 mg rule. Told me to get the other 15 pills in 15 days. On day 16 I returned to get the rest of the pills as I was told to do but these lying a-holes at Medco told me that I could not get the rest of the pills for 30 days & denied the 15 pills per 15 day rule and said that I could only get 15 pills every 30 days or 30 pills every 60 days!

To top it off these crooks change that right in the middle of the conversation to 15 pills every 60 days or 30 pills every 120 days! Needless to say I told Medco to stick it where the sun doesn’t shine & stopped ALL payments to them! If your health provider is forcing you to use Medco drop them NOW because these people will take your money & deny you the service that YOU paid for & when you really need it they will let you die!
     
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Posted by trmn8r on 2012-09-19:
We used Medco for several years and loved them. We never ran into an issue with pill limits across maybe 5 different medications.

In a case like yours, getting the doctor to communicate with Medco is what is needed. It should be fairly easy to get to the bottom of what is going on and get them on the same page.

I don't understand why you state Medco is a "crook".

When issues arise, it can be a little more challenging to resolve them since this is a mail order pharmacy. However, for many people Medco fits their needs well. The majority of the posts here are negative, because people satisfied with their pharmacy aren't that likely to post about it online.
Posted by fast327 on 2012-09-19:
If Medco (I like to call them MUDCO)are not liars and crooks, then they will fill the bill until better ones get there! In my experience with them, I could fill volumes with lies, half-truths, and misrepresentations. First of all, they can not read a calendar. They think every month has 33 or 34 days. They love to play doctor and tell you what they think you need rather than what your doctor prescribes. I don't know how many times my doctors have had to waste time with prior authorizations. I use expensive eye drops for glaucoma and many times they have delayed authorizing refills for one or two days because they say I'm using too many drops per day! Get this now--ONE OR TWO DAYS! They always bug me about mail prescriptions when my pharmacy is five minutes away.Everybody knows how unpredictable the mail delivery is. I could go on and on. I agree with the poster-I only use them because they are the administrator of my health plan. If I had a choice, I'd drop them in a minute!
Posted by CowboyFan on 2012-09-19:
If it is such a hassle, consider just buying the pills yourself. Nothing says you have to use the insurance pharmacy.
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Medco is ABSURD!
Posted by Ordinary on 03/04/2008
They mailed me a prescription that I didn't ask for nor do I use. Now they are billing me for it and say I cannot get any more prescriptions for my Depression UNTIL I pay them for the one they mailed to me.
     
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Posted by Anonymous on 2008-03-04:
Did you mail it back to them?
Posted by Ordinary on 2008-03-04:
NO, I did not...LOL. They wrote me an email and said I cannot mail it back to them and my bill has risen from $50 earlier today to a whopping $130.00!!!
But LQQK what I found out about them on the BBB site>
Customer Experience
Back To Top

The BBB has sent two requests for basic information to this company but, as of today, has received no reply. Based on BBB files, this company previously had an unsatisfactory record with the BBB due to unanswered complaints.The company has recenty demonstrated improvement by resolving complaints.
Posted by Noneill on 2008-03-05:
Have they told you why it was sent to you? Take your complaint to a supervisor.
Posted by Ordinary on 2008-05-03:
Just a follow up: After the BBB contacted Medco, they took away the bill for the drug I did not ask for. Now they have double charged me for my Cymbalta...LOL
Posted by screwed by Medco on 2008-06-17:
This exact same thing has happened to me and my drug coverage is also on hold until I pay for a very expensive prescription I do not take. I had no idea this could happen! However, I did (foolishly) send the prescription back. In their defense they told me not to do this as it would not matter. Funny enough, they say they didn't receive the returned drugs. Yea, right. I guess I need to consider the BBB!
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RX problems and poor customer service
Posted by Peregrin on 05/08/2007
OMAHA, NEBRASKA -- About a week into January of 2007, I received a letter from United Health Care that they would no longer cover long-term medicines that were bought at any pharmacy other than Medco by Mail. This letter included instructions on how to make purchases from that company. I gave the fax number of Medco, along with my relevant insurance information, to my doctor's office and asked them to send my wife's prescriptions.

A week later we received the prescriptions, but there were problems. First and foremost, one of the medicines was incorrect. My wife needs Metformin Extended Release, but she received plain Metformin. Secondly, the amounts on two of the prescriptions was incorrect. Rather than a 90-day supply, we were sent 90 pills. On one of the drugs this would last 45 days, on another of them it would only last 15 days.

The customer service representative of Medco was supremely unhelpful, claiming that they filled exactly what the prescriptions called for, and disavowed any responsibility to make things right. My doctor's office has agreed to cover the cost of the incorrect prescription, but if they had not stepped forward I would have been obliged to pay for medicines which we could not use.

I have occasionally experienced similar situations with Walgreens, but have never had to accept the wrong medicines, nor incorrect amounts. They always corrected mistakes on the spot.

To make matters worse, there seems to be no middle ground when it comes to daytime telephone calls from Medco. They will either call about every inconsequential step of filling the prescription, or they will not call at all. "Only call if I am needed to authorize something" does not seem to be an option. As a 3rd-shift worker, I find this completely unacceptable.

The company I work for has taken away all choice of medical coverage with the exception of United Health Care (or "none," which is of course not a viable option in today's world). And UHC has taken away all choice of pharmacy other than Medco. When you add to this the fact that the pharmacy from which I am being forced to buy pills is costing more than I was paying before, this amounts to yet another effective pay cut for me, and very likely many other employees. This is certainly not what I expected after "upgrading" to a UHC policy with premiums more than twice the levels of the plan I previously had.

Early in April I had to re-order medicines from Medco. When they arrived I learned that two of them had been replaced with generics without my permission. The accompanying letter stated that the change had been authorized by my wife's doctor.

The doctor's office told a different story. They remembered the call from Medco. The office staff spoke to the Medco caller, and deferred the decision to the patient (my wife).

No one from Medco ever spoke to my wife about this, nor to her doctor, nor to me. If they had, then they would have learned that my wife has had serious side-effects from past attempts to substitute another medicine for that which was prescribed.

Once again resolution of the problem proved to be difficult. Medco claimed that they could only replace one prescription at a time. pending payment, blaming the cost of the pills for this decision. After much debate and negotiation, my wife decided, against my advice, to try the generic brands, on the condition that they would be replaced should any problems ensue.

I remember when this company offered multiple choices for health care coverage. It was part of the cafeteria plan which was touted as an excellent employee benefit at the time. I also remember that each different plan carried a different level of employee contribution. When I was forced to choose between United Health Care or no group health coverage at all, my personal contribution to health insurance premiums increased dramatically as level of service decreased reciprocally, although the company claims that lower costs for employees was the reason for the change. Perhaps the company is saving money, but with my costs increasing fourfold, I hope to be forgiven if I am skeptical that this change in employee benefits was in the best interest of the employees.

In any case, lower costs mean nothing if the level of service is worth nothing. If Medco cannot be trusted to gain proper authorization before making changes to prescriptions, then they cannot be trusted to fill prescriptions at all. Lack of competition - and regulation - has made these providers lax and uncaring. Because we cannot take our business elsewhere, Medco feels no pressure to improve customer service.

     
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Posted by Pomona Guy on 2007-05-08:
Does your company know what is going on? Is there anyway the employees can band together and complain? I have a feeling that there is not much you can do. Healthcare is becoming a big issue because so many companies are cutting back or eliminating health benefits.
Posted by rhondam718732 on 2007-05-08:
Whenever I get a prescription from my doctor, he hands it to me and I go and fill it. Seems like you are complicating issues by having your doctors' office fill it. Why don't you send it in and that way Medco should be calling you/your wife about generic vs brand name, etc and not your doctor. Also, your doctor should indicate on your prescription that your wife CANNOT have generic. If they are calling this in they are missing steps.
Posted by LeeSee on 2007-05-08:
I guess I lucked out in my dealings with Medco. My company does give us our choice of vendors, but after comparing costs, Medco ended up being the best.

I received a 3 month supply for the price of one. It did take about 2 weeks to arrive from start to finish, so if you need the medication immediately you are a bit out of luck.

It worked great for my ongoing prescription.
Posted by DigitalHighlander on 2008-07-15:
You make it sound like you want Medco to alter your DR's RX. if the DR sends in a script for a quantity of 90, then that is what you are going to recieve. Why should Medco pay for your DR's Mistake? That would be like you ordering a pizza, which was made wrong, then expecting the delivery guy to pay for it, not the Pizza place. The rising cost of health care is always to blame, but do you honestly think your DR is immune from blame? It is easy to blame Medco.... but I think the real issue here is the fact that your Company is cutting costs by decimating your insurance benefits. UHC.... now there's a scary set of letters.
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Generic/brand-name medications
Posted by Ekc on 05/04/2007
NORTH CAROLINA -- I mailed in a prescription for a brand-name drug. A few weeks later, I received the generic in the mail. I called Medco and asked what it would take for me to get the brand-name version. The pharmacist said to get a new prescription from my doctor with her signature on the "dispense as written" line. (I was told I couldn't return the unwanted generic medication for a refund -- I was stuck with a huge supply of unused pills). I jumped through the hoops, got the new prescription, and mailed it off. They received it, were processing it, then one day I checked the order status and noticed that it had been switched BACK to the generic AGAIN and was going to take ten days to process. I called them AGAIN and was told that because my insurance has a lower copay with the generic, they switched AFTER my doctor and I requested brand-name as being medically necessary. Finally after 45 minutes on the phone, five different customer service representatives, and 20 minutes on hold, I think I might actually get what I requested over a month ago -- but I'm not assuming anything until the brand-name medication arrives at my door. (Also, the one helpful person I spoke to also contradicted my earlier phone call and said that I COULD send back the unused medication for a refund.) It's worth the extra money to simply drive to a local pharmacist -- don't waste your time with Medco.
     
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Posted by Pomona Guy on 2007-05-04:
What's wrong with a generic brand? I thought they were an identical formulation, just a lot cheaper.
Posted by poppapia on 2007-05-04:
Agree with Pomona Guy: I always request generics due to the cost savings. Please let us know why you are adamant about having name-brand prescription drugs.
Posted by heaven17 on 2007-05-04:
After doing some reading up on the generic vs brand thing, I see no reason why the generic wouldn't work just as well. Have you asked your doctor exactly why he's only prescribing the brand name?
There shouldn't be any difference in ingredients or effectiveness.
Posted by Ponie on 2007-05-04:
heaven, the doc owns stock in the drug company. :) I once saw a doctor on TV--good source, right?--discussing this same thing. If I remember correctly it had something to do with the 'fillers' used to make the pills.
Posted by ekc on 2007-05-04:
In response to these comments on my post, generic brands are not always the same as brand-name. In the case of the medication that I've requested, the generic is less effective, causes horrendous side effects, and has been recalled within the past twelve months. In some cases, generic medications are perfectly fine, but for something that will be taken on a long-term basis, it's important (if you value your health) to make sure you're putting something that does good instead of harm into your system. In all cases, it's important to do some research and educate yourself on the specific drug being filled in case of bad history like the generic that they keep trying to give me. And it's not the doctor's request that I get name-brand -- it has nothing to do with the doctor owning stock anywhere -- it's my request to get something that will actually be effective.
Posted by Twice the Price on 2009-11-19:
ekc, i had a similar problem with reps telling me i could send it back for a refund. don't believe them! refunding is against their policy.
Posted by LenaSunShine on 2010-08-04:
It isn't true that generics are exactly the same as the name brands. The effective ingredient is the same, but the kicker and filler ingredients are different because the company with the name brand already owns the original formula. Generics can't use the exact same formula even after the patent on the name brand drug runs out. Sometimes the kicker and filler ingredients are not tolerated in certain people, and sometimes the combination of the effective ingredient and the kicker ingredient do not work together as effectively.

I helped a friend though a painful surgery aftermath and she was eating the generic narcotic like candy without it getting a handle on her pain. She should have been knocked out cold feeling no pain with the amount of pills she was taking, but didn't come close. I looked it up and discovered reams of complaints over it so I went to three pharmacies trying to get her the name brand and not one of them carried it. The hospital and the three pharmacies all carried and filled the exact same generic because it happened to be the cheapest at the time. That is NOT healthcare choice!

Regardless, why ekc requested a name brand is irrelevant and none of our business. The bottom line is he/she and his/her physician ordered the name brand and the pharmacy took it upon themselves to change it without permission. That is an atrocious business practice, and it is a dangerous healthcare practice.
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Mail Order Service
Posted by Gkurttila on 03/29/2004
SPOKANE,WA -- After waiting one week for my prescription to show up, I get a letter in the mail that they do not manage this benefit for me. This is after some two years of service with them! Well okay,I can find some other source but this is what pushed me over the top: They kept my $40.00 Check
and I had a zero balance on my account. Let this be a lesson, you can see where their priorties are
and it is NOT your well fare! Just try and find an
unautomated number to call for service. Stay away
from these people, they will raise your Blood Pressure!
     
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Posted by LogCabin on 2006-04-14:
After cancelling a prescription order just hours after placing in online I was told they could not cancel it and I would have to pay for it. I was yelled at, denied any appeal process, and told I would have to pay for the order regardless. The order arrived 9 days later...when previous orders arrived within 3 days. Something is fishy here.
The order was "shipped" the day AFTER I cancelled the order. Now my prescription cap will be exceeded by over $500. by these jerks. What an unprofessional, rude, insensitive, defensive, bunch of "customer service reps".
A new oxymoron..."Medco Customer Service".
Posted by Red Dog on 2007-07-06:
I'm just beginning to search for justice for my mother who is 92 and living in a "memory-care" facility in Idaho. I, too, got the letter from Medco that I had to drop her present pharmacy and switch to Medco-By-Mail.

So I had her doctor fax the prescriptions and placed a 90 day order of meds. When I called her present provider to cancel their service, they warned me that I wold have to have the medications bubble-packed as the institution could only administer them if they were so packaged, a fact that I confirmed with my Mom's "Home".

I asked Medco to send the meds bubble packed and they said they don't do that, so I asked the home what I should do. They said it was an issue between me and Medco, but that they could bubble pack them for the tidy sum of $245.

When I called Medco about the dilemma, I was told there was nothing they could do, and that, by-the-way, they had already sent out a 90 day supply, which they would not accept as a return.

I was told that if I wanted to appeal I could only do so in writing (no phones or emails in that department). On the basis of the extra bubble-packing cost, I appealed to go back to her old pharmacy, but the appeal was turned down along with a note that Medco is not subject to typical rules of insurance commissions (whatever that means). So, after 2 months of frustration, I feel like I'm beating a dead horse, but have written the appeals department another letter, less rational and polite that the first.

It's nice to know that I'm not the only one feeling the pinch from Medco.

Am I screwed?

Red Dog

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