Recently Express Scripts purchased MEDCO and the new company will be called Express Scripts. I have already written about my difficulties with Medco in the past few years. See “Medco Update – Good News!”; “MEDCO – Another Hassle to Update Dad’s Account”; “MEDCO AGAIN! Frustrating Experiences Caring for Dad” and “MEDCO, Phone calls and Letters – the Other Part of Caregiving”
So, you can imagine I was not overjoyed when I got a letter from MEDCO this past week stating they had been purchased by Express Scripts and over time the new company name – “Express Scripts” would appear on communications instead of MEDCO.
Now I only recently got things finally straightened out so that I could access dad’s account online and order or check on his prescriptions. Over the past 2 years I had sent in no less than a half-dozen “personal representative” forms only to be told that none were ever received. I was overjoyed when I finally got both the record keepers and the web page straightened out so that I could talk to MEDCO about dad’s prescriptions and obtain information from them without major hassles.
Now I never mentioned that I have experience with Express Scripts. In fact, the only mail order pharmacy I dislike working with more than MEDCO is Express Scripts! I had a bad experience with them over 5 years ago when my employer’s insurance used them for our mail order pharmacy.
When I ordered my first prescriptions with them, I wrote all over the order blank – “NO GENERICS!” I have my own reasons, but wanted to stick with name brands for the prescriptions I was ordering that day. Sometimes for other medications, I do use generics, but some generics are not effective for me. In any case, Express Scripts sent generic medications anyway. I telephoned them to complain and get an explanation of why they ignored my wishes.
I spoke with an Express Scripts representative who lied to me and said he was a manager when he wasn’t. He told me he had called my physician – which he hadn’t and insisted it was OK to substitute in that case. I said it was NOT OK by me and I was returning the product and not paying for it. I would not be sending them any more of my prescriptions. I would pay slightly more and get them at my local pharmacy.
After Express Scripts received my order back with my demand for a return of my money, they called. This time it was supposedly a real manager who apologized and offered to send me coupons for $10 off on my next few prescriptions. I said no thanks. I was done with Express Scripts. I never worked with them again.
Now dad will have no other options. His Blue Cross Insurance doesn’t pay for prescriptions at any local pharmacy except for one time orders. Any medication that he takes on an ongoing basis – 90 days or more can only be purchased at MEDCO. Now it appears that starting in 2013 I will be dealing with Express Scripts or paying more.
Perhaps I should presume that they will make a smooth transition from MEDCO to Express Scripts and that I will be able to continue online access and telephone access to dad’s account. However past experience leaves me with that sense of dread. I fear they will start all over with multiple requests to prove I have Power of Attorney and refuse to talk to me about his account starting in January (when I plan to be away from home again for awhile).
Some fear that this merger will be anticompetitive and hurt small pharmacies. I agree with those fears, but mostly right now I am afraid I will have to spend countless more hours to get back to where I am right now with MEDCO. I guess the best I can do is to wait and see!