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[IP] Merck-Medco - Similar story
Here is what I experienced this September:
I called Merck Medco to complain because I received 5 bottles of Humalog
insulin that was left on my doorstep. The insulin was unrefrigerated. The
pharmacist told me that their Standard Operating Procedure states that you
follow the same procedures that Eli Lilly uses when sending you the insulin.
I called Eli Lilly to find out their operating procedure for delivering
insulin. The gentleman I spoke to told me that they have two procedures.
1. The first one is to send certain items in refrigerated trucks.
2. The other is to send items that need refrigeration by UPS or Fed Ex and
guarantee that they arrive within 24 hours and that the temperature does not
exceed 86 degrees. He also said that they assume that when you receive the
item such as insulin, that it is refrigerated at your pharmacy.
The 5 bottles I received were sent by UPS in an unrefrigerated package that
was left on my doorstep. I used the Internet to track the UPS number. The
package was originally scanned on Sept 5, 2000 at 12:00 PM. The package was
left on my front doorstep on Sept 6, 2000 at 9:16 AM. Unfortunately, I did
not arrive home from work until 4:45 PM which was past the 24 hour time
span. The temperature that day was 80 degrees. I did not know what day
they were going to deliver the insulin. I also could not reliably predict
what the temperature would be for that day. The week before the heat index
in St. Louis was 114 degrees several days in a row.
Eli Lilly told me that once insulin is opened or has been out over the 24
hour time period, the insulin must be used within 28 days. I received a
three month supply so there was no way I could use all 5 bottles within this
I was told by the Merck Medco pharmacist, to try the insulin out and see if
my blood sugar readings seemed accurate. I didn't feel I should have to
experiment with my own body to see if the insulin was okay. I have enough
factors that affect my blood sugar control as it is. I did not need another
factor such as bad insulin to worry about for the next three months.
I use mail order service because it saves me a lot of money over the course
of the year. This is why I prefer NOT to go to the pharmacy for a one month
supply and pay what I would for a three month supply through the mail order
service. But in the future, if it is not a time of the year when the
weather is suitable, I guess I will have to get it at the local pharmacy.
Sorry this was so long.
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