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From Long Island, New York, USA:

I'm not so sure if any of you can help me with this one, but any advice you can give would be greatly appreciated. A little history first: my mother (age 53), myself (age 33), and my two daughters {ages nine and two), have type 1 diabetes. We are all currently on two injections of insulin a day, and we all use the same types of supplies for the sake of reordering ease. Now, here's the problem/question: My mother's health insurance utilizes a mail order prescription plan which sent her the wrong syringes. We all use the 30 unit (3/10 cc) syringes, and they sent her 100 unit (1cc) syringes, six boxes of them (total: 600 syringes). The mail order company is telling us that they cannot exchange these supplies. I would like to know if there is any way I could exchange them. My mother's health insurance is significantly better than mine, and I hate to see perfectly good supplies go to waste. I could really use the financial break, it is incredibly expensive to have three people with diabetes under one roof. I know this sounds cheap and frugal, but if you ever had to scrape together loose change to try to come up with the money to meet a co-pay at the pharmacy, or beg the pharmacist to hold a post-dated check for a week in order to get the needed supplies, you would understand why this is driving me crazy. I can use the syringes, but even at that, I have gotten so used to the accuracy of the 3/10cc syringe, I am a bit frightened to use these.


I do not see any reason why they will not take back unopened boxes. Have you talked with a supervisory person?


Additional comments from Dr. Stuart Brink:

It doesn't make sense that the mail order pharmacy can not correct an error. I would suggest you call the pharmacy and speak to the pharmacy director. The first question is, who made the error? Did the doctor write the prescription incorrectly? If so, then the doctor's office should reissue a new prescription for the type of syringes that your mother desires. The insurance company and the pharmacy do not have the authority to decide which size syringes you require; you (and your mom) do. If your mom forgot to mention which size syringes, then there's not much you can do. Perhaps a local pharmacy will exchange the unopened syringes for the size you want.


[Editor's comment: I agree that these supplies can be very expensive, but I'd suggest that your mom's physician should be very careful that he/she doesn't mislead the insurance company by misstating the facts of what supplies are really needed for your mom's care. I doubt if her insurance company would be happy to discover that they are paying for other people's supplies when the other people have insurance of their own! WWQ]

Original posting 28 Aug 2000
Posted to Social Issues: Insurance/Costs


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Last Updated: Tuesday April 06, 2010 15:09:14
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