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Pfizer / rx pathways patient assistance program

1 New York, NY, United States Review updated:

Jan 1, 2016 thru April 25, 2016:

I've been taking Lyrica for years for nerve pain. Last year the cost went from $25 per month to $70 per month. I could barely afford it, but had no choice other than to pay for the product. I thought the price might go down after Jan. 1; however, my co-pay increased to $125. I applied to the RX Assist program with Pfizer. My Application was approved and the product was shipped on or about 2/4/2016.

I have been out of Lyrica since approximately 3/4/2016. Today is April 25, meaning I have been out of Lyrica for almost 2 months. My doctor's office has faxed a refill to Pfizer every way possible, and I've been lied too many times to count. I have begged. I have pleaded. I have cried. I have screamed. My doctor's office has called while I stood in their office and listened to the conversation, yet the company denies ever receiving those calls. I'm told it takes "24 to 48 hours" for Pfizer to receive those faxes and begin processing the refill, but nobody can tell my why it takes that long, or why nobody takes the faxes off the machine as they come in and verifies that the prescription is complete so the patient doesn't run out of medication.

My doctor's office (or I) has been given alternative fax numbers and "attention to" names on several occasions.

During my doctor's appointment on April 4, the staff called to find out why I hadn't gotten my refill. The Pfizer representative told my doctor's office that I should call after 48 hours to check progress. When I did, their automated information line indicated the refill was in process. This left me waiting for my medicine to arrive. Of course it never came.

On April 14 my doctor's office was contacted to (allegedly) determine that the refill order had come from his office. According to Pfizer, "Tim Y (at my doctor's office) was unable to verify that the prescription refill was faxed from the doctor's office. Basically the process started over, and I was told to check with them later. Again, their automated line indicated the refill was in process.

My doctor was told that his electronic signature was not sufficient. I have no idea what that means, but the doctor's office got the doctor's signature and faxed the refill again.

On April 20, 2016 my doctor's office called and was given a specific fax number and name and specific instruction as to what had to be included for the refill. The refill, containing the doctor's actual signature, the banner, and all other requirements was sent.

On Friday, April 22, I called Pfizer again, and the automated system said my refill was "in process." I waited and spoke with a representative and was told that Pfizer still had not received a fax from my doctor's office and the refill was not "in process."

Lyrica is not a medication that a patient should just quit taking. The pain is unbearable...much worse than if no nerve pain medication had ever been prescribed. I'm was (and still am) at the end of my rope in trying to deal with all this while also trying to deal with my pain. I asked to speak to a supervisor. I was transferred to "Justin" whose vocabulary consists of only sentences that begin "I DO apologize for that..." I totally went off on him, (and I do NOT apologize for that.) He finally assured me that he would contact my doctor's office and call me back. After two hours he still had not contacted my doctor's office. I called back and got his voice mail. I asked that he please let me know if I need to make other arrangements to get my medication (it was, after all Friday afternoon and my doctor's office would be closed over the weekend). By three I called back and spoke with his supervisor. She wanted to give me her name and another fax number, and start the process all over. Since we had tried this method numerous times, I asked her to reach out to my doctor, but she refused. She only offered her fax number again.

Pain and frustration mixed with the lack of one's medication can be a volatile situation. I was frustrated. I was angry. I was in more pain than I can describe. I angrily asked if she would call my doctor's office and she flatly refused.

I angrily stated, "That's all I want...I just needed to know if I need to do something else, and that's the answer. You are not going to help me!" I hung up.

Why, after starting over so many times, would anybody expect that doing the same procedure again would produce a different outcome? No two phone calls ever resulted in the same information more than once. It's as if the company doesn't keep records on the contacts made by me or my doctor. They don't care about the patient. They made it impossible for me to do anything other than wait for them to not do anything,

I can't afford Lyrica. My doctor's office has made arrangements for me to get it through Optum RX at a discounted price ($25 month), and I have no choice but to find a way to pay for it. I would have done that before ever applying to Lyrica for help had I known the company would leave me suffering for all these months.

Ph
Apr 24, 2016
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Comments

  • Ph
      24th of Apr, 2016
    +1 Votes

    Pfizer RX Pathways is a complete joke. I enrolled and was accepted and given one month of medication over a period of 5 months. The pain I have experienced because of their cruel mismanagement of this program is unbelievable.

    Pfizer doesn't care about their patients. They only care about getting outrageous amounts of money for products people can't be without.

  • Id
      16th of Mar, 2017
    +1 Votes

    @Phyllis Henderson I have found that they must not scan any paperwork into their system as the only response I get is: "nothing on file for a new prescription from your doctor" (when it was faxed and refaxed with the "reenrollment information" to an Emergency Fax and specific person-which they say was received.) The physicians office gets very tired of faxing and refaxing information, and making phone calls-they have better things to do.

  • Au
      2nd of Aug, 2017
    0 Votes

    @Phyllis Henderson More than 1 year after your post not one thing has changed. The only difference in our experiences is that I am saddled with a Med Part D drug plan, so my monthly cost is roughly $350.

  • Gl
      27th of Mar, 2017
    -1 Votes

    I was approved for Chantix in January of 2017 it is now just about April I still have not received any medication. They say they filed the paperwork without filling the prescription. so please have my physician resend the whole application which was done. They say they never received it. All well and good to offer free or low-cost medications but then when you don't deliver them. That is just flat-out fraud! I really wish that something could be done about this.

  • Sa
      12th of Apr, 2018
    0 Votes

    I was referred by a Cancer Specialty Infusion Center to apply for Pfizer's patient assistance program for Inflectra IV biologic. Pfizer determined that I did not qualify for the Patient Assistance Co-Pay program because I receive Medicare. However, I was told by a Pfizer Representative that I did financially qualify for their "Patient Assistance Program with Hardship." Allegedly, Pfizer would ship Inflectra vials to an infusion provider. Good Luck with trying to FIND an Infusion Facility that will accept "outside vials." There is not even ONE place in all of Tampa, Florida and/or Hillsborough County FL where it can be performed (Population 1.3 million). When I recontacted the Pfizer program, they stated that they did not keep any info on places that assist with their program. So, overall, they have a financial assistance program on paper that gives the impression of helping but that does not actually exist; especially if no one can use it! Smoke and Mirrors.

  • An
      16th of Jul, 2018
    +1 Votes

    Pfizer's Patient Assistance Program is a FARSE!!! I was approved in March of 2018 for 1 medication. I was approved in March or April of 2018 for a second medication. I have yet to receive ANY MEDICATION from this program. Only 1 supervisor has gone above and beyond to even begin to try to assist me, help me figure out a resolution or anything. Today, I have been on hold off and in with a message that just keeps repeating, all medicine activists are on the phone w/ other customers. The approximate hold time is 20 minutes, you can either hold to speak to someone or press 1 for a call back. The first time today I asked for a call back. After an hour and a half, I gave up and called back. Now, I have been on hold for 1 hour and 30 minutes and still holding. Still receiving same recorded message. I want to SCREAM at his point!!! I have had about enough of this program. I can't afford my medications so I guess at this point I will simply do the only thing I can and just do without!!! Thank you for NOTHING PFIZER!!!

  • Tw
      18th of Jul, 2018
    0 Votes

    I am in the same situation as the first post ! My doctors office is frustrated and so am I. In also on Medicare. My copay will be $425. I am in so much pain and quite frankly I am tired of sitting at home waiting in hopes to receive my medication.

  • Tr
      4th of Aug, 2018
    0 Votes

    I got on the PAP back in March for Lyrica. Until July I didn't have too much of a problem with it. I've been happy and so grateful for the program because I suffer from chronic pain all over my body. I have no insurance and the cost out of pocket for a months script would be roughly $750.00 I think, not 100% on that. Anyway, when I first got going with this program I called in to verify everything and get a tracking number for the delivery. When I asked the rep how this all works and what the best way is to get fastest servicerefills and whatnot, she told me that e-script was best for when there weren't any refills left AND to call in at least one week prior to running out of medication. I've been calling in to the automated system for refills and had been receiving them in no more than 5 days after calling in. Back in May I think it was, something told me to call in to check on the status of the refill request I made a few days prior. I was glad I did that because there wasn't any request in the system. I got a human on the line who went ahead and put in for the refill and in just a few days, I had medication in hand. When I asked the rep how many refills were left she told me 3. So, to me, that means July, August and September were covered before I had to bother my doctor to call in a new script. Right? Wrong!!! I did get a refill to cover me for July but, on July 20th when I called in, the nightmare began.

    I called the automated system and tried to put in for a refill and noticed the prompts were very different. When I fed it my information, it had no idea who I was. I was like, "oh no!!! holys@#t!!! I hope I won't have to do without because my body is now addicted to this stuff and when I've tried not taking any because I wasn't in pain, I wound up feeling like total crap. Nauseous, hot sweats, cold sweats, shaking, severe mood swings, you name it, I feel it." It took around an hour to get a human on the phone and I got a very sweet sounding lady who told me all of what happened and how to remedy the situation quickly. Once again, I was told now by a second rep at the PAP to have a new script e-scripted in by my doctor as many patients files had been lost due to a system upgrade. This, to me, made perfect sense because of the new prompts on the automated portion of the calls made to them AND the system not knowing who I was. My doctor uses an electronic form of communication and I immediately sent all of the information to her office asking to have a new script sent to Pfizer because of system upgrade issues. Her staff made a mistake and faxed it. So, I got right back with them and asked to have it e-scripted to Medvantx in Sioux Falls, SD per my conversation with the rep on the 20th. The doctors office did just that on the 24th (because there was a weekend in there). So, now seeing how it was sent electronically and going by past performances of the PAP, I expected to get a tracking number in just a day or so like normal. Nope! Nothing! So, being the partial detective I am, I got Medvantx on the phone who told me the script has been filled and is ready to go and I should have a tracking number next day. I felt relieved because I'm getting very close to running out of medication at this point and me being without it is not good. I physically hurt all over, have stomach problems, shake a lot, etc.

    To try to shorten this nightmare, everyday for the next week, I was trying to speak to someone at PAP to find out what's going on and get a tracking number. It seemed very clear to me that no one at PAP had any idea what was going on because every call I made to them, I got a different story, told they'd call me back but never did and no tracking info received. I did call Medvantx a few times during the week and all they could tell me was, "it's here ready to go but, you have to talk to Pfizer to find out what the hold up is because that's what's noted on it." I want you all here on this board to know that some of the reps at both PAP and Medvantx are just the nastiest people I've ever talked to and they were NOT willing to do their jobs and help like they were supposed to. Over the last few days now I got to the point where I had to forcefully ask to speak to a supervisor at PAP explaining to the rep it's not them but the corporation, in the nicest way possible. One time I was supposedly transferred to a 'supervisor line' and was hung up on. Another time I got a supposed supervisor who swore he'd call me back with whatever information he got to let me know what was going on. The last time I got a supervisor named April who started off giving me the same lines of crap each and every rep gave me before and she did this immediately after I told her I was fed up hearing all of the same crap and was tired of getting nowhere. Note, this was Thursday evening around 6:10 pm when I started talking to her.

    So, I had a one way conversation with this woman for about 20 minutes and my whole problem at this point is, "why is it that the script is sitting at the pharmacy or distribution center for the last 9 days now and it hasn't even been assigned a tracking number?" This makes absolutely no sense to me whatsoever. She had no answer to that. All she did was supposedly look at everything and came to the conclusion that everything 'looks fine' just like all of the reps before her did. She also told me that scripts take 7 to 10 days to process and mine is at day 6. This just pissed me off even more. So, I first told her what I had been told and had experienced with all scripts prior to this one which, was they always go through in just a few days and that I was told e-script is best and takes 3 - 5 days to process. I then asked her, "why can't you just call Medvantx now while I wait and you can get the script moving so I get it tomorrow or Saturday?" She said she cannot do that because it has to wait until tomorrow. I explained to her again, just like I did everyone else, that I'm now out of medication and I'm going through withdrawals. All she said was she'll look into it all in the morning and get it set up to be delivered Saturday AND she'll call me and let me know the tracking number. Needless to say, come Friday evening, I received a call from no one, have no tracking number and no medication.

    Here we are now, Saturday morningafternoon. I just called the automated system and low and behold, I have tracking info finally. Going by UPS's website, they received the shipping info on Thursday and began processing it around 4:30 pm which, is before I spoke to April. So, now the question is, "if PAP has a means to communicate with Medvantx, why didn't anyone have it to give to me when I called in Thursday evening?" If they had done that, I would've been fine with it. Obviously, I wouldn't have been fine with having to wait until Monday evening to be able to get my system straightened out but, I would've at least known what to expect and that's been one of my main problems from the get go.

    Look y'all, I AM very grateful for being able to get a medication that works for me for free and gets me to a point where I can function OK in this life. I really am grateful BUT, to be given the runaround, treated like I'm an addict, talked down to and just basically treated like a POS, to me, isn't very professional to say the least. It seems to me this is the only place I've come across where I can vent my grievances and be heard. To see that I'm not the only one that's been treated so poorly, helps me feel better. NO! It's not OK to be treated this way and I'm NOT making light of the way you may have been treated. I'm just simply saying that it's good to know I'm not alone in this boat. I tend to believe though that in 2018, with all that's going on in the world where people are striving for change in the way they're treated, I believe there's got to be a way to get this fixed and made better so we're no longer treated like we're scum of the earth because we're working with a major corporation to get something from them for free. My problem with that is, I have found nothing much out there to be able to get this message and all of the others to the executives of Pfizer.

    It has to be about 85% of the reps I spoke to at PAP treated me poorly and I ALWAYS started off in a kind and gentle manner with them. This one lady named Tracy, OMG!!! If I just questioned one thing during the conversation, she snapped back at me. She seemed very knowledgeable too, as if she's been working there for a long time. I do a similar job as these people but, it doesn't pay much at all. Hence the reason I'm in the program. So, I know what it's like to be working with extremely high call volume and people that call in aggravated that they've been waiting for an hour to speak to someone for problem resolution. I get it but, no one should be taking out their crap on another the way most of them have and the company ought to arm these reps with more information and abilities. This is clearly a communication issue between the main corporation, the distributors and pharmacies. Again, like most issues in this world, it's a money problem where they don't want to spend any more then they have to on a free program to help people in need. I get that too. It simply has to be resolved and cannot continue the way it is. The way the PAP is right now, doesn't help the people in need. I don't want to be in this program any longer then I have to. I'm working on getting out of it and being without the drug I need to function, doesn't help me get out of the program. It prolongs it. I really wish the corporations would put on a new set of glasses to be able to better see what they're doing. Or is it that y'all want us to stay on this program because it's some sort of write-off for you? When I say that I know too that there are many people out there that will always need help from assistance programs like this one. I get that too and I'm not trying to make it seem like we're all the same. We're not and that's a fact. What I'm saying is there's a number of us out there that are using this program as a stepping stone or some sort of temporary thing to help us get by until we get the next job with insurance or start making enough to be able to afford the drug we need t function.

    Bottom-line is this, I think the companies involved with the PAP, really need to look at how the people are being treated and how that has a great effect on how long the people will need to be in the program. I think treating people much better and providing more ways to help them get back on their feet would be much more lucrative then treating people like crap. As the old saying goes, "You catch more flies with honey than you do with vinegar." I AM somewhat guilty of treating a few reps I've talked to over the last 2 weeks poorly but, again, in my own defense, I ALWAYS started off talking to them in a kind and gentle manner. It was when someone tried to feed me the same old crap or they talked down to me as if I'm any less of a human than they are, that's when I got defensive.

    Who knows, maybe someone from Pfizer or some other company involved will see this and use it to make changes in the PAP. It sure would be nice BUT, I have many doubts.

  • Li
      20th of Aug, 2018
    0 Votes

    I am so glad i found this website they have been doing my daughter the same way she has been out of her Lyrica told her lie upon lie that its being processed or numerous other lies.This company needs to be stopped my daughter has bad withdrawal.We all need to get together and sue this company

  • Tr
      21st of Aug, 2018
    0 Votes

    Linda,

    I totally understand what you're saying but, I'm not so sure about a lawsuit. I believe there's been constant unethical treatment with many people going by what I'm reading. I'm just not sure about it because we get expensive medication for free. Can a company be sued for providing something for free and treating people poorly? I'm not a lawyer. So, I don't know. What I'm trying to say is, lawsuit against a company providing expensive medication for free just doesn't add up in my head. On the other hand though, I believe no one should be treated in an unethical manner.

  • Tr
      21st of Aug, 2018
    0 Votes

    Oh, I forgot to mention that I'm putting in for my refill here soon. Let's see what I deal with this go around. I'll post the results when I have them.

  • Bu
      27th of Aug, 2018
    +1 Votes

    I, too, have had an ongoing issue with Pfizer. I got a new script on June 19, 2018. Today is August 27, 2018 and I STILL Don't have my meds. The withdraw is totally disabling although I have lost some weight because I CAN'T EAT!!! If

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