When I had my hysterectomy, my oncologist and I discussed whether or not I should go on hormone replacement therapy. We decided that it would be beneficial and I’ve been taking Premarin pills since two days after my surgery. It’s not a cheap prescription and there are no generics available for it, so when Scott and I realized we could get it cheaper through Express Scripts’ mail order pharmacy, we thought it was a no-brainer.
Then we actually started trying to use Express Scripts, and it turns out the no-brainer part is true, but the no-brainer is we’re going back to CVS.
At CVS, my prescription is $70 for a two-month supply of Premarin tablets. When I looked it up at Express Scripts, it said it was $70 for a three-month supply. Great! I entered in my prescription and sat back to wait. The next thing I knew, weeks later, they had shipped my prescription as a three-month supply of Premarin cream at a cost of $140. I called to let them know about the error and see what we could do about it. They told me they called Dr. Firm Handshake for “clarification” because “tablets are an unusual form for this medication” and that he approved the change.
Really? Tablets are an unusual form? Funny that CVS never thought so, but whatever. What can we do about this?
“Well, you can use up the supply of medication and submit a new prescription in two months.”
Uh… no. This is not the correct medication, this is not what my doctor prescribed, and I’m not spending the next three months squirting cream up my lady parts every day. (I didn’t say that last bit out loud.)
Eventually it got escalated up to a supervisor, Steve, who said that, as a courtesy, they would credit me 50% of the price of the cream so that it was the same price as the tablets. That’s not acceptable, I told Steve, because I’m not paying $70 for medication I wasn’t prescribed and won’t use. I got his contact information and said I would call back after calling my doctor.
Dr. Firm Handshake’s PA confirmed that he signed off on their clarification. I don’t know why he approved the change. I do know that he didn’t mean to make the change and I suspect they take advantage of busy doctors in this way to foist more expensive prescriptions on people. While some fault lies with Dr. Firm Handshake, they should never have tried to change my prescription in the first place, and even if they did, they should have contacted me as well as the doctor. I would have set things right before the prescription was ever filled. Instead they opted for trying to gouge me.
The doctor’s office called in the correct prescription and it’s now sitting in the Express Scripts pharmacy, unfilled. They refuse to fill it until we pay the $140 for the incorrect medication. Scott has several calls in to Steve, the supervisor, who hasn’t seen fit to return any of them yet. Now Scott is escalating it to his HR department. I have no idea if they can actually do anything, but at least the whole mess will be logged with them for when they’re considering benefits in the future.
In the meantime, I’m going back to CVS. There are several refills already available for me there and they never gave me this hassle. I’m thinking about sending back the incorrect medication with a cat turd. Not really, but with a very sternly worded letter, at least. I don’t care about the extra cost by not using Express Scripts. I’ll never trust them or use them again, and I plan to spread the word as far and wide as I can, starting with Scott’s HR department this afternoon.