Time to vent. It's all I can do when you're up against the corporate health industrial complex.
Express Scripts (@ExpressScripts)/Accredo (formerly Medco) handles my prescription insurance. These companies suck; don't ask me, just follow the hashtag #accredo or #medco. My local pharmacy is the reliable CVS, but my health plan, Blue Cross/Blue Shield, uses Accredo/Express Scripts as my primary delivery system for my chronic condition meds (I have rheumatoid arthritis, fibromyalgia, and insulin-dependent diabetes). I'm able to get a 3-month supply of most drugs at the cost of one script at CVS, but it's mail-order.
Orencia, a once-a-week injectible that is a biologic. These drugs aren't delivered in 3-months supplies or auto-refill (these are expensive drugs, at $20K/yr.) by the company; you get a month at a time. In fact, Accredo won't fill it unless you're practically out of it. I told them last Thursday when I arranged for delivery the following week that I was taking my last dose the following day (that Friday) and I'd need the Orencia delivered before the following Friday. They arranged to have it arrive yesterday.
I need to take the Orencia to be able to work without being in excruciating joint pain the following Monday after taking it on Friday afternoons. This class of drugs come with a lot of bad side effects (fever, chills, body aches, extreme fatigue, nausea and more), that last for a couple of days, so that's why I take it on the weekend -- so I can be in the best shape as possible during the rest of the week. It's hard to focus when you're in a lot of pain, so Orencia (and alternatively, Enbrel), have been my lifeline to being able to be effective. It has come at a cost -- I lose my weekends to these drugs. But as I said, it has allowed me to not be out of work, sick and writhing in pain.
The Thursday delivery that never happens
So yesterday comes and goes; I'm supposed to take My Orencia this afternoon. Still doesn't arrive. I call them up and the nurse says THEY WERE OUT OF STOCK AND JUST CANCELLED MY ORDER.
I asked, well then why didn't you call earlier in the week to see if a local pharmacy might fill it (even one dose). No answer. Get put on hold several times to see if they can find it.
She says it's now in stock and doesn't know why someone didn't contact me. I told her that I needed this med to take over the weekend (so I can deal with the bad side effects and be effective at work).
She puts me on hold again. Then she says "They do have it in stock; the soonest delivery date they have is NEXT TUESDAY. That means I don't have it today, of course, and that means going a week without it because I cannot take it when it gets here; it put me off schedule for dealing with the side effects.
And since it's Friday at 5 PM, it's too late to reach my doctor about whether to go without for a week (this isn't considered a medical emergency since I won't die without it, in corporate speak), or to take my remaining dose of Enbrel (another RA med I switched from to try Orencia) that I have in the fridge.
Guess I'm just f*cked either way.
Since I'm only working 3 days next week because of the new year holiday, my inclination is to suffer through the week until next Friday rather than use the last dose of Enbrel today. I don't know if Express Scripts/Accredo is going to F up like this again, so I'm loathe to leave myself with nothing.
She ends the call, "Have a happy holiday/happy new year" I had been polite during the entire call. I just could no longer hold it together so I just hung up.
Update (12/31): ExpressScripts released it for delivery today according to the ExpressScripts web site; that means I won't receive it until at the earliest on Thursday (unless UPS is delivering on New Year's Day). I tried the tracking number given, but the UPS site gives the reassuring message "UPS could not locate the shipment details for your request. Please verify your information and try again later."
And then it did arrive later in the evening -- via FedEx! No wonder their site had the tracking screwed up. But I have a month's supply for now, in a couple of weeks I have to go through this all again, since I have to order it a month at a time -- by phone -- you cannot use their web site to re-order.