Why have policies and procedures … if no one follows them ?

Bottom story from two years ago about how inflexible some of CVS’ employees/Pharmacists are when it comes to patients and their life saving medications.  This FB post is very recent…just more of the same old denial of care and the consequences to the pt seem to be of little concern to the CVS’ employees/Pharmacists…. Pharmacists are suppose to be HEALTHCARE PROVIDERS… some apparently did not get that message during their education process.

CVS Pharmacy changes prescription policy after death of Vegas man


LAS VEGAS (KSNV & MyNews3) — Drug store chain CVS is changing its policy because of one Las Vegas father’s actions following the death of his son who couldn’t afford an expensive prescription.

Mitchel Marcus will never know for certain if that medication would have stopped Joshua’s fatal seizure, but the fact that he will spend his entire life wondering is a painful sentence that he wants to spare others.

Joshua began suffering from grand mal seizures six years ago. The loss of consciousness and violent muscle contractions plagued his life. “Some of the seizures are so bad that the brain gets so scrambled and the heart goes into an arrhythmia that they just can’t come out of it,” said Mitchel.

Mitchel says a cocktail of prescriptive medicines controlled the frequency. On January 15, Joshua went in for a refill at a CVS branch outside of San Diego, but came up short.

“His medication came out to about $700,” said Mitchel.

Mitchel — who lives in Centennial Hills — tried to pay for it with a card over the phone, but was told it was against CVS’ policy.

“I was not sure what to do,” said Mitchel. “Joshua wasn’t sure what to do and he said, ‘Dad don’t worry about it, I will just go home and I will take it easy. I won’t do anything, I will just lay low.”

It was too late.

“He had passed away in the night from a seizure,” said Mitchel. “Joshua suffered partially from suffocation, but they also ruled it as sudden unexpected death due to epilepsy.”

At 26 years old, Mitchel said goodbye to his son.

“Just started crying. I was devastated,” said Mitchel. “If Joshua had had his medication he more than likely would not have had the seizure and would still be alive today.”

What Joshua and Mitchel didn’t know at the time was that CVS offers a bridge supply — a partial dosage at no cost to the patient until payment arrangements are made.

“I wanted CVS to set up a policy where, number one, their pharmacy techs would say ok you don’t have enough money at this time, let me give you a partial supply,” said Mitchel.

For Mitchel, it isn’t Joshua’s death — but how he lived his life — that has been his inspiration for others.

“Josh has a lot of perseverance and a lot of inner strength,” said Mitchel. “I want to be able to do some good. I want to be able to help in some way. I wanted a legacy for Josh.”

As a result of Mitchel’s persistence with CVS — months of emails and phone calls that reached the vice president — the chain is now finalizing a policy requiring pharmacists at all locations nationwide to offer a bridge supply for patients in an urgent medical need like Joshua’s.

2 Responses

  1. They still charge you for those pills that bridge your gap, so if they didn’t want to take his info over the phone, I don’t think it would have helped still!! People these days just don’t give a crap! I have military insurance Tricare and they don’t want to pay for brand medication no matter what!! I have Afib, a serious heart condition that if not taking blood thinners it throws clots and can cause a massive stroke and I can die!! I had already been on two drugs for this unsuccessfully before being put on Eliquis. But, because that is brand Tricare didn’t want to fill it and some person with NO medical training wanted to tell me and my doctor to get me on a generic drug well there really isn’t a generic drug to put me on in the first place but because they aren’t medically trained they didn’t even know that. The cost to fill at CVS was close to $400.00 we didn’t have at the end of the month. We are retired! Fixed income! Tricare people didn’t care that I could die!! CVS didn’t care!! My husband ran to the doctor’s office for samples and thank God they had some!! My doctor had to write several letters and had several first phone calls with TriCare phone representative trying to get it through their thick heads that I had to have this medication it was essential to my living breathing health. It’s nuts that an insurance company has this much control over your very LIFE!! Some idiot over the phone who has no medical training whatsoever can cause you to die!! What is wrong with this picture, EVERYTHING!!

    • Suggest you read this https://www.drugwatch.com/eliquis/ you start bleeding internally … there is abt 10%-20% chance that you will BLEED TO DEATH… because these NOCA (New Oral Anticoagulants) do not have a antidote/reversal available. Whereas the old standby – Warfarin – DOES.. it is easily obtained Vit K.
      A few years ago my wife had to go on a anti-coagulant because of A-Fib – when the NOCA’s were pretty new… I refused to have her put on one of those because of no antidote… our PCP tried to convince me on the safety of these NOCA’s but I would not give… last May, I had to be put on a anti-coagulant and that same PCP did bring up the NOCA’s but is no longer recommending it…because of all the uncontrollable bleeding issues that the “TV COMMERCIALS” are not mentioning….but all the “bad drug attorneys” are talking about and suing the drug companies on. Personally, I would not touch one of those NOAC unless I had some CYP450 enzyme metabolism issue with Warfarin that I could not reach the appropriate INR value or there was some very specific disease issue in which Warfarin would not do the job… In my professional opinion, those NOAC are really not “new and approved” over the old standard Warfarin therapy, is appearing to be causing more harm to some pts than good.

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