My Struggle Getting Injections Delivered
Starting injections at home
This past January I started a new biologic, which has done wonders for my skin. When I first started treatment I was required to inject my first two dosages at the doctor's office, so I could learn how to properly administer to myself at home. After the instructional visit with my doctor, from that point forth I had to contact my specialty pharmacy to set up delivery for my medicine to my home and give myself a shot once a month.
When the company sends the injection, they overnight it. This particular medicine has to stay refrigerated and arrives in a large box which has a Styrofoam cooler inside, packed tightly with ice packs, and deep down inside is what I call my liquid gold... my injection. This particular medicine has to be refrigerated upon arrival. Now, thus far anytime I've received the package the ice packs are still solid and have not melted.
The shot is around $8,000. Packages under $10,000 don't require a signature, but due to the fact it's imperative this medicine is refrigerated, I require a signature. It also states in the notes for the delivery service (which shall not be named) to deliver the package directly to my door. Since the end of January, every month I've received my package with no issues...until this past April.
Scheduling my delivery
I called the pharmacy like I do every month to set up delivery. I was told it would be delivered on a Friday and to be sure I was at home. I stayed home for most of the day without ever receiving a knock on the door, but figured maybe the route was different and I would receive my package later in the day. Deliveries can go as late as 8pm, so I was trying to be patient.
Tracking down my medication
Once the evening arrived I still had no package. I attempted to call the pharmacy to receive an update, but at this point, it was after hours and they were closed until Monday. On Monday I called the pharmacy who advised that my package had been delivered on Friday at 9:38 am and gave me the name of the person who signed for it, which I realized was the person at my front office. I went to the front office, and there sat my package in a back room, unrefrigerated for 72 hours. As you can imagine I was extremely upset.
I opened the box, the ice packs were melted and at room temperature. I confirmed with my pharmacist the medicine was unusable. Not only could I not use the medicine, in order for me to get a replacement I was required to pay another co-pay and I had to use a refill.
Determining what went wrong
I attempted to call the delivery service who has done nothing but given me the runaround. They blamed everyone as opposed to taking responsibility for the mishap. So far the excuses I have been given are: there was no apartment number (which is false) and the notes didn't tell him to deliver to the door (not true). It is possible the delivery driver didn't read the notes or maybe it was a new driver. All of these excuses could be feasible had I not received my other 3 packages before without any issues. Oh, I forgot to mention that there was no slip left at my door or in my mailbox stating that the package had arrived. So I had no idea the package had been delivered until I called the pharmacy Monday morning.
Then on the other end of the spectrum, I'm not sure why the office didn't call me to say there was a package. They normally don't do that, but the fact that the box says "perishable refrigerate upon arrival" you would think they would have had the courtesy to do so.
I don't want this to happen to you so here are some quick tips on remaining proactive about receiving your injections by mail.
1. Request a tracking number from the pharmacy
I never did this because I have never had trouble getting my package before, but had I had a tracking number I would have known the package had been delivered, thus it wouldn't have sat in a back room for 3 days.
2. Avoid having your delivery day be on a Friday
Since my delivery was on a weekend, I had to wait 2 days before getting in contact with someone from the pharmacy. It may be best to have the package delivered between Monday-Thursday so if there are any issues you can take care of them asap.
3. If you can, have the package delivered to your doctor's office
The staff at your doctor's office will know exactly what to do with the medicine and will take good care of it. Typically these medicines are delivered in the morning during traditionally busy hours. Be sure to call your doctor to confirm this is an option at that particular practice because some doctors will not accept it.
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