In 2005 I was working for a former employer who encouraged us to use Caremark for our prescriptions on a mail-order basis. At that time I had been taking Zocor for high cholesterol for nearly 10 years with very
excellent results. What had attracted me to Caremark's mail-order system was the savings and convenience that the 90-day supplies by mail afforded me, and in truth, I believe I had experienced at least 3 or 4 successful and
uneventful transactions with them prior to the problems I will describe below.
I believe that around September 2005 I called Caremark to reorder my prescription of Zocor 80mg tablets and I did provide them my credit card information in order to process the request. When the package of medicine
arrived I did not even open it immediately because my previous 90-day supply was still sufficient, but upon taking the last of that I opened the box to find that they had switched me from Zocor to Crestor. Upon finding the presumed error we called Caremark and they told me that my doctor had requested the change in medicine, however, upon questioning the doctor I was told that Caremark had contacted him and told him that I had requested the change... (with some comment on cost savings or something.) Further research with my employers brother (who is a pharmacist in the St. Louis area) informed me that Zocor was going to be generically available very soon, before my 90-day supply would have run out.
In short, I decided not to take the Crestor, and it took many calls to Caremark in order to force the issue and get my required Zocor medication sent to me. Obviously, I went without cholesterol medication for over two
weeks while the whole situation was worked out. Also obviously, they had taken the payment for medication on my credit card and I was informed of no additional payments that were required to facilitate the exchange, they even sent a prepaid mailing box to return the incorrect medicine.
Shortly after the above, I was scheduled to visit my doctor for my yearly blood tests required to monitor my cholesterol levels. Because of the lack of medicine during the whole mess my cholesterol levels had shot up once again and the doctor placed me back into a 3-month testing scheme instead of the yearly one I had been allowed to maintain previously. I did have my
insurance at this time but even with that I had to pay the co-pays and such resulting in at least 90.00 of additional payments over the next year.
At any rate, as far as I was concerned my nightmare was over... I would simply not deal with Caremark any longer and started returning to Walgreen's for my medicine.
Caremark never solicited my business again, they never sent a bill to me, nothing... I assumed the nightmare was over.
Then, amazingly, in November 2007, I got a notice from a collection agency that claimed I owed Caremark 50.00. I did, of course, dispute the claim and insisted on proof from the collection agency of the debt. After my dispute,
I received a printed bill from Caremark (not from the original notifying collection agency) that was so cryptic it simply told me nothing. Then on 3/3/2008 I wrote a very explanatory letter to Caremark and explained the final transaction(s) I had had with their company, assuming that this simply had to be the whole problem. I assumed the debt would be cleared, after all,
they had charged my credit card when sending me the Crestor... why should I have to pay again?
A few weeks later I received a call on my answering machine from them and at my earliest convenience I returned that call... I believe I spoke with someone named Kathy, and she explained to me that upon the Crestor return they had credited my credit card and since they did that, I had to pay the 50.00 they still showed me owing. I told this woman that I would try to
ascertain the truth of her claim and if confirmed I would pay the bill.
The problem is, I can't find all this paperwork now to ascertain that Caremark's claims are accurate and I truly believe I don't owe them a cent more than I already paid them. In discussing it with my wife I have
vacillated between the ideas of just ignoring their constant bills (constant since 3/3/08 or so anyway) and the idea of just paying the amount requested because it's not worth my time to defend myself from the presumed unworthy claims.
Additionally, please recognize that Caremark was sued by many states because of exactly the same behavior... settlements on that suit evidently require them to pay any medical costs incurred because of their switching of medications. So by my estimation, they owe me money... and yet, the harrassment continues.
In short, I heartily recommend to everyone that they avoid doing business with Caremark... I truly believe they are trying this and assuming that the time they waited to even bill me will result in me giving up and paying the bill just to make it all go away.