Pfizer / rx pathways patient assistance program
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.
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