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Re: [IP] Merck-Medco mail order

I wanted to share my story of Merck-Medco with everyone.

I received my first order from them yesterday, which included 5 vials of
Humalog. Before I ever placed this order I called to see what there shipping
procedure was for insulin. I was told that it is sent Next Day Air via UPS
on ice. The order I received was sent Next Day Air, but not on ice. It was
shipped out on a Friday which means their Next Day Air turned into 3 days.
All this time I have been reading all associated e-mails and gathering up
the info to use as back-up if/when I had a problem. So I called Merck
yesterday afternoon.

I first attempted to go through my insurance company which is United
Healthcare, but I was told that they do not handle any prescription related
stuff. So, I then called Merck, I spoke to someone named Esther. I first
asked her why was I charged a $9 shipping fee, when I was told that Next Day
Air is how the insulin was supposed to be shipped. She could not find the $9
fee at first, but after she looked more closely at the invoice she realized
that one part of it was for $19.00 when the medication was only $10.00. She
then said that I should not have been charged that fee and that she would
take care of it. She then transfer me to a pharmacist, since she could not
answer my insulin questions. The pharmacist was Joe at the Columbus, OH
branch. I explained my story to him again. He went on to tell me that they
do not send insulin on ice. They do not receive it on ice, that is not
manufacturers suggested procedure. I find that kind of funny since the
package insert on the Humalog and an information letter about the insulin
from Merck say to keep it below 86 degree F. He said that they are started
new operating procedures for temperature sensitive items including insulin.
Every month of the year they are sent Next Day Air only on Mondays through
Thursdays. They do not ship it on Fridays so it doesn't sit around for the
weekend. It is bubble wrapped and sent in Styrofoam. You see the Styrofoam
prevents it from reaching the high temperatures. If this is true why did my
vials feel warm to the touch when it was only 70 degrees outside. Joe then
asked if the insulin was cloudy or if they was any clumps in it. There
wasn't, he said that it should be fine to use. I wasn't satisfied however. I
really don't care how they receive it, when it comes to me I want it to on
ice. After all these vials hold my well being in their hands, well sorta of.
He then put two and two together and figured out that my shipment was sent
on a Friday, oops that ain't supposed to happen. He told me again about the
new operating procedure and made sure that it was in effect for his branch,
where my insulin came from. He said that it is just being started, so it may
not be in practice at all their locations. He then said that even though he
thought my insulin would be safe that he would have them send me out a new
batch, since they didn't follow procedure. After all of this he was trying
to sneak away without answering my ice question. I don't think so. I asked
him if I write on the papers that I send in the next time I need to order
that I want it sent on ice would that happen. He said he thinks so. What I
heard however was the quickest answer he could come up with. He then said
that it should happen, but he couldn't guarantee it. Trying to get himself
out of the corner he painted himself into I believe. So, he said that since
I would be requesting a refill that if I called it in I could "verbalize"
with the person that I want it shipped on iced. That way they could put it
on the screen. OK, so I will try this in July when I need that refill, since
it will be probably close to 100 degrees here in Kansas by then. If it
doesn't come on ice I will have them send for a return and I will be off to
my neighborhood drugstore. I guess it doesn't occur to them that in the long
run it would be cheaper to put ice in with the insulin as opposed to having
to replace it. 

I know as with everything YMMV. I hope this helps and I will let you know
what happens in July.

Jennifer Meyer
10561 Barkley Street Suite 602
Overland Park, KS 66212
email @ redacted
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