Jump to content

Company "helps" get free drugs!?

Posted

Specializes in ER, Trauma. Has 30 years experience.

Temporarily (I sure hope!) by a fight between my immune system and skeletal muscle, my doctor recommended a rug that works great, but cost more than SS Disability pays per month. "No problem" she said, and gave me information to contact the manufacturer directly. First of a new class of drugs, it works so well the government give them a tax break to provide it to indigent and disabled.

I started the process my Dr instructed. Bounced from 800 number to 800 number, somehow I ended up talking with a company from Austin TX who aggressively promised to advocate for me with drug companies. After several phone conversations I became concerned as they didn't sound like health care people, used long winded obtuse explanations after interrupting me, and were even outright rude. They did charge a $50 membership fee and $35 monthly service fees which they promptly took from my bank account, leaving me $2.04 for food and gas for he following 2 weeks.

Fed up, I am now trying to get my money back, and resume the Dr's original treatment plan.

Has anybody else had experience with companies charging to help patient get free medications? I would like to hear your experiences.

traumaRUs, MSN, APRN, CNS

Specializes in Nephrology, Cardiology, ER, ICU. Has 27 years experience.

For super expensive meds, I have the option to contact the drug manufacturer directly and they usually have a pt assistance program:

1. Enbrel is usually $4000/month cash price - however, my pt pays $450/month.

2. Zyvox is $2000/14 day script but my pts get it free or for a $5/copay.

I would advise never ever working with a third party company - I'm so sorry you got ripped off.

Just look up your med online and go to the manufacturer's website - you can usuallly fill out the form online even.

I hope you feel better soon.

dthfytr, ADN, LPN, RN, EMT-B, EMT-I

Specializes in ER, Trauma. Has 30 years experience.

I started with an 800 number, and was only supposed to deal with Abbot Labs, the manufacturer of Humira. I lost count of how many times one 800 number would refer me to another, but some how I thought the company I ended up with was what was intended. The only red flag was their demeanor on the telephone. It was inappropriate for "people people."

At first contact, the rep exclaimed "do you know how much that costs!?" and cut the call short. Further conversations were more pleasant, but always condescending even though I identified myself as a nurse, and all verbal and written communiations seemed to use 10 words where one would do.

No Stars In My Eyes

Specializes in Med nurse in med-surg., float, HH, and PDN. Has 43 years experience.

I smell a rat!

dthfytr, ADN, LPN, RN, EMT-B, EMT-I

Specializes in ER, Trauma. Has 30 years experience.

A rat is a rat is a scam! They stopped talking to me after I asked for a refund. A friend at Blue Cross Blue Shield suggested a note to the state insurance commission. Have already complained to the BBB. Still don't understand where and when my calls to the great drug company got diverted to maggots in Austin TX. Bad enough with disability pay most days I live on PB&J. Then they steal my money for that!

Thanks for the feedback. Hope my loss helps your patients throught your knowledge.

You are being scamed. None of the companies that I help pt's with require any type of payment for service. You doctors office should give you papers to fill out and send to the company or the company should send them to you either one. I posted a link to the forms that I fill out for pt's.

If you still have trouble with them you can try a company called Healthwell and they will reimburse the pharmacy for the medication. There are a couple of others but I can't remember them right now. I will look them up and post again tomorrow after work.

http://www.needymeds.org/papforms/abbhum0323.pdf

dthfytr, ADN, LPN, RN, EMT-B, EMT-I

Specializes in ER, Trauma. Has 30 years experience.

It's so easy to fall for this when you feel like junk and aren't thinking clearly. There may be lower life forms than those that prey on the sick, but I can't think of any multi-celled one right now. Wish I could publish the name that goes with the initials scbn so others would avoid this company in Austin TX, but against the rules.

linearthinker, DNP, RN

Specializes in FNP. Has 25 years experience.

Call your bank and dispute the charge.

dthfytr, ADN, LPN, RN, EMT-B, EMT-I

Specializes in ER, Trauma. Has 30 years experience.

Many, Many Thanks to all for the support and suggestions.

I talked with their customer service rep, told him how my fellow nurses had never heard of his firm, and told him bluntly how his sales force come across as "a pack of commission driven used car salesmen." Not sure if it was my eloquence, or the fact that this was a topic on the internet, but suddenly he thought he might be able to convince his boss to give me a full refund.

Despite his claims of legitamacy, he's not among your list NRSKarenRN

Because of the holiday weekend my SS Disability pay came this morning, so a refund wont save from all the PB&J's I was eating to conserve pennies, but a sweet victory no less. Looing at my phone records I still can't find where I got sent in the wrong direction. Had I feeling better I hope I'd have caught on sooner.

It has bothered me for years that our healthcare system was more about money than caring for the sick (IMHO) Guess con men would figure it out too.

I used PPARX http://www.pparx.org/ and got free meds for a year, with an option to renew the next. No fees ever, they will work with the drug manufacturer on your behalf to get your meds covered. My meds would have cost me about $1000 a month otherwise. It was a life saver.

My sister's meds cost $1500 a month and she was able to get a grant through them to cover the cost, even though both she and her husband have pretty decent jobs and insurance, which unfortunately has a huge deductible and did not cover the cost of the meds she needed.

Give them a try, they are on the up and up.

No Stars In My Eyes

Specializes in Med nurse in med-surg., float, HH, and PDN. Has 43 years experience.

so sorry OP had to go thru all this, but what a bunch of terrific helpful info has resulted from this posting!

cherryames1949

Specializes in Oncology&Homecare. Has 27 years experience.

Your post made me sick to my stomach. This is just the sort of thing that we need protection from. You are in the health care field and you were scammed. What hope for anyone else?

I take issue with your doctor's office. It seems that they could have been slightly more helpful than just giving you and 800 number. They do have connections with drug reps who can be very helpful if asked.

I hope that you are doing better and that you don't have to eat too many more pb&j sandwiches!

dthfytr, ADN, LPN, RN, EMT-B, EMT-I

Specializes in ER, Trauma. Has 30 years experience.

Still waiting for results from the BBB. Thank you all for the support and feedback. I know the doc aimed me in the right direction, don't want to point fingers yet, but would like to get a serious investigation of how I got rerouted. Have a happy 4th!

NRSKarenRN, BSN, RN

Specializes in Vents, Telemetry, Home Care, Home infusion. Has 44 years experience.

does your local tv/radio station have an investigative/consumer reporter?

this is just the type of story they are interested in.

another complaint venue is your states attorney general office.

pa: filing a complaint with the attorney general's bureau of consumer protection

please review the following tips and instructions regarding consumer complaints, to assist our office in addressing your problem.

identifying the problem

the first step in addressing any complaint is to identify the nature of the problem. you should also gather and review your records, including sales receipts, warranties, contracts, repair orders, canceled checks and other documents which will back up your complaint and help the company solve your problem.

after you have gathered specific information about the problem, contact the person who sold you the item or performed the service. calmly and accurately explain the problem and what action you would like to have taken. if that person is not helpful, ask for the supervisor or manager and restate your case. a large percentage of consumer problems are resolved at this level.

if you are dealing with a product that is a national brand, call or write a letter to the person responsible for consumer complaints at the company's headquarters, i.e., the company's public relations representative or president. many companies have toll-free telephone numbers, often printed on the product.

keep records of your efforts and include notes about whom you spoke with any what was done about the problem. save copies of any letters you send to the company as well as letters sent to you.

complaint letters should include your name, address, home and work telephone numbers, and account number, if appropriate. make your letter brief and to the point. specify all the important facts about your purchase, including the date and place you made the purchase and any information you can give about the product, such as the serial or model number. if you are writing to complain about a service you received, describe the service and who performed it.

disputes involving credit card charges

if your claim involves a dispute of charges placed on your credit card or billing statement, or if a merchant has promised to reverse or credit your charge card but has failed to do so, you must act quickly to preserve your right to challenge a charge.

under the federal fair credit billing act, your credit card company must receive a written dispute notice from you with 60 days after the first bill containing the disputed charge was mailed to you. we cannot dispute this charge for you.

your monthly credit card statement will include specific information regarding the procedure for filing your dispute. you must file your dispute with your credit card company; a complaint to the merchant or company that made the charge is not sufficient. even if you file a credit card dispute, you can still file a claim with our office.

contacting the attorney general's bureau of consumer protection

if you have exhausted your efforts to resolve a problem without success, we encourage you to file a formal complaint with the attorney general office as soon as possible.

please note that we cannot give specific legal advice to individuals. if you have questions concerning the specific application or interpretation of the law, you should consult a private attorney. if you do not have an attorney you can call your county lawyer referral service or your county bar association. other agencies may be accessed through the blue pages of your telephone directory.

the complaint process

when we receive your complaint form, it will be reviewed by our staff. the bureau of consumer protection receives more than 50,000 complaints per year, so it may take some time before we can thoroughly review your complaint. we ask for, and appreciate, your patience.

depending on the nature of the complaint, one of the following courses of action may be taken:

  • it may be referred to a local consumer group or to another state or federal agency. when your complaint is referred, you will be notified by mail of the name and address of the referral agency or group, so that you may contact them for information concerning your complaint.
  • if your complaint is appropriate for this office, we will attempt to mediate your dispute through the services of our consumer mediation unit, and you will be sent a letter with your complaint file number. please keep your file number for future reference when contacting this office.
  • if your complaint is suitable for mediation, an agent will contact both you and the business or individuals with whom you are having a dispute and attempt to mediate and resolve your problem. please note that most contact is by letter.
  • if mediation efforts are not successful, you may be advised to seek relief either through a private attorney or through small claims court. the mediation unit cannot act as your private legal counsel or offer legal advice.
  • in certain instances, when there is a compelling public interest or where there are a number of complaints against the same business, the bureau of consumer protection may file a lawsuit in state or federal court seeking relief on behalf of consumers.

when contacting this office, always do so in writing so your file may be kept up to date. it is not necessary to call and check the status of your complaint; you will be notified by mail when we receive information regarding your case. please refrain from calling for "status reports," though we encourage consumers to contact us as soon as possible should they have additional information regarding their complaint.

there are two options for submitting a consumer complaint - either an online electronic complaint form or a printable pdf form, which can be downloaded, completed and mailed to our office along with any attachments or supporting information.

all documents related to consumer complaints should be sent to the following address:

office of attorney general

bureau of consumer protection

14th floor, strawberry square

harrisburg, pa 17120

our office looks at establishing patterns of business practices. even if you have resolved your complaint you can forward a statement regarding your experience with the attached documents for our office to use for future reference.

we hope we can be of assistance to you.