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PBMs: Medco settles state complaints, but pretty cheaply

Medco today settled its ongoing lawsuit with several state attorneys-general at the relatively modest cost of $30m. The stock rose slightly on the news, although there is an another ongoing Federal lawsuit, that TCHB has covered before. While this looks like a kind of business as usual story of “company gests caught with hand in taxpayer cookie jar, company pays fine, stock goes up as investors are happy fine isn’t bigger”, some of my more jaded readers have been poking into the details. Matt Quinn writes about a different Medco settlement with Massachusetts:

    Maybe I’m missing something, but it appears that Medco only had to pay back part of what it stole from the state of Mass:

    “Medco Health Solutions will pay Massachusetts $5.5 million to settle allegations that the company cheated the state while it managed prescription drug benefits for nearly 200,000 state employees and retirees, according to documents expected to be filed in US District Court today.”

    “Over the course of the contract, Medco passed along about $9 million in rebates, but kept another $10 million, the state alleges.” So, steal $10, pay back $5.5… Not a bad deal.

    And, of course, this plot to make Medco millions of dollars was dreamt up and executed by a few “rogue employees”:
    “Medco officials have acknowledged that the company had isolated problems with “rogue employees” at a mail-order pharmacy in Tampa, but said those problems were quickly corrected and did not affect drug costs.”

Of course this is nothing to the “business opportunities” those PBMs and their rogue employees will be looking at when they get to run the Medicare drug program after 2006.

I suspect the lawyers, state AGs and the DOJ have jobs for life.

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pissed-offDispute @ MEDCOBernard WJulie S.Another Medco Victim Recent comment authors
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pissed-off
Guest
pissed-off

Medco wants us to do things there way well I am sick and tired of the bull shit we all need to get together and do not accept mail order so we can save money like the so call say. Its a way for them to save money not for the customers to save. We need to make them pay for the way they have ripped us off. Everyone needs to get out of mail order and find out how much it costs if you would have to pay regular price for medication not co-pay example Wal-mart one of your… Read more »

Dispute @ MEDCO
Guest
Dispute @ MEDCO

I hear from an excellent source that MEDCO has a dispute on it’s hands, they require the Pharmacists to process an Rx in under thirty seconds. One of them has blown the whistle.

Bernard W
Guest
Bernard W

MEDCO is an un-ethical company, due to miss-information a months premium was over paid, after many calls (all promising to refund)they refused the repayment. I appealed they then stated that the mistake had been made by others not MEDCO, so they would not refund.

Julie S.
Guest
Julie S.

INCOMPETENT THIEVES!! My Dr. wrote a Rx for me. I told him the generic caused more drowsiness and irritability so he crossed out “generic allowed” and signed his name above “Dispense As Written” AND circled it. Although I normally get generics to save money, I should not have to suffer increased drowsiness from a generic medicine that does not work the same as the brand. Medco sent me the generic. When I called, and was transfered FIVE times, (re-telling the same story) I was told by the Pharmacist that the Dr. had not signed for Brand. This is a blatant… Read more »

Another Medco Victim
Guest
Another Medco Victim

Oh my gosh. This company is terrible. Watch out for the little disclaimer at the bottom of emails confirming that they are sending you the medication that it will be automatically refilled in 90 days. I called in and told them I did not want anything automatically refilled and low and behold 90 days later a package showed up on my door. I called them and told them I would send the unopened package back to them and that I wanted a refund. They refused. So they can send you RX without your permission and if they have a credit… Read more »

over1861
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over1861

I have sent Medco only one prescription. It was for eye medication. I was new to their service on 1-1-10. I sent them a check for $15.00 to cover three months supply. They sent a brand name when a generic was available. I talked to their Tampa office and they said they would send a mailer for me to return it. They did not. I went back to the doctor and got another prescription which I took to a local pharmacy. They filled it with the generic brand. The generic only costs $5.00 per month while the brand name would… Read more »

Medco Victim?
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Medco Victim?

You must read this board if experience or evaluating Medco (hence, the following are key words that I hope will help those who google medco find this page: medco review medco complaint medco frustration medco problem medco reviews medco experience medco vs. cvs caremark

Large company
Guest
Large company

AVOID AVOID AVOID AVOID AVOID What a completely poor customer satisfaction and order process this company has. They act like they are fulfilling widgets, not personal health products. Their employees and pharm techs are less than empathetic(to put it mildly) when addressing their opportunistic process to take advantage of their clients by just tapping their medical reimbursement cards. I would be embarrassed to work it this company.

Mike
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Mike

I called the corporate office and would not get off the phone until my problem was resolved. Forget customer service.
Phone: 201-269-3400, tell them you have a problem you cannot get solved through normal channels.
I couldn’t care less if I make someone’s day miserable by calling and calling and calling. I’m paying my premiums, I am entitled to whatever my plan says.

Kate
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Kate

I’m writing another in a series of letters to Medco today for being inappropriately billed for medication that I did in fact have prior authorization for and now has been rejected on 4 different occasions – each time for a different reason (even the claim rejections are inconsistent!) I echo all of your frustrations and glad I found this site; did not know about the legal issues Medco had prior to this but it does not surprise me…does anyone know of any still pending? And does anyone even know who to complain to “properly” in this organization? Whenever I call… Read more »

Jax
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Jax

I am not surprised to see this webpage with all the comments and story about MEDCO being sued. MEDCO is now the #1 worst experience I have had with healthcare organizations! While the people i deal with on the phone are always sweet and try to be helpful. they have bungled every step in getting my prescription filled! The first fax my doctor sent mysteriously “went missing” – I saw him fax it! Then the second one i had to call three times before someone found it registered in the system. then it took two weeks for the meds to… Read more »

Tara
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Tara

I have never used this company for my prescriptions, yet they sent a letter to my doctor telling him i was getting a controlled substance from another doctor, a doctor that i have never been to, and now I am being droped by my pain specialist because of this letter.
How did they get my name? I have been told they fill prescriptions for 90 days at a time, I have never received prescriptions for more than a months supply.
I am afraid someone has stolen my identity,

Dave
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Dave

My doctor subscribed Chantix to stop smoking. I went to Walgreens to get the first script filled and then sent it to Medco for the refills. Walgreen gave me a lot of literature on the meds including dosages and schedules. You increase the dose over several days to full dose. When it was time for refills Medco sent me the first day dose at one tab per day. It was 1/4the the perscribed dose. They told me to take 4 tabs at a time and they would send the correct dosage. Instead of the correct dosage I got a letter… Read more »

Alice
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Alice

I too have had a run-in with a witless wonder from Medco. When she called, she told me in no uncertain terms that I was going to have to pay a new fee of $50 instead of the $25 I was co-paying for my diabetes insulin. She actually told me I was being penalized for not taking their ‘offer’ of perscriptions by mail. AND that I needed to ‘avail’ myself of Medco’s on site pharmacist to manage my perscriptions and educate me about my use of Lantus and how to manage my diabetes. Like my doctor hasn’t got a say… Read more »

sarah
Guest
sarah

I have had continuous problems with Medco and my current prescription. My Dr got prior authorization with a faxed letter from Medco for my prescription. It’s a hormone treatment to prevent preterm labor, as I had PTL at 26 weeks for the first three pregnancies and it kept me from going into labor with my fourth child. I am now pregnant with my fifth and the dr prescribed this to keep the baby in to term. This saves the insurance company lots of money, as preemies in the NICU are quite expensive. However, when I went to get the script… Read more »