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Old 07-25-2009, 11:25 AM   #1
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Forteo - refridgeration

HI - I am new here and newly diagnozed with osteoporosis. I was able to get a prescription and only have a copay of $25 (it is now $1000 a month)! I really had no info on it until I picked up the script, brought it home and read the info, searched online etc. The forteo is to be refrigerated but I had no idea - I picked it up at the ******** Drug drive through, and it was in a large bad with the needles etc. I did not open the bag or look at it until I got home and it was labeled "Refrigerate." It had been in my car while I shopped for 1.5 hours and it was 90 degress outside. Walgreens tells me this is my fault and won't replace. I feel like an idiot but I am not on a lot of meds and have never been prescribed any that need to be put in a refrigerator immediately. So I am out my copay and cannot take forteo this month (and because they prescribe for 2 years only, I am only going to be able to take it for 23 months). Has this happened to anyone else? I told Walgreens that they should tell a customer this when they pick up - especially when it is a new script. I cannot imagine how I would feel if I had paid $1000 for this. They say it is my fault and will not replace.

 
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Old 07-25-2009, 08:52 PM   #2
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Mel52 HB UserMel52 HB UserMel52 HB UserMel52 HB UserMel52 HB UserMel52 HB UserMel52 HB UserMel52 HB UserMel52 HB User
Re: Forteo - refridgeration

have you tried contacting the manufacturer and asking them their opinion? Maybe they can give you a discount or a trial dose

 
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Old 07-26-2009, 09:23 AM   #3
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Re: Forteo - refridgeration

Connie...I finished my 2 years of Forteo in March. I had a few challenges with my CVS Pharmacy also during this time period.

My first question is...did the cashier take your prescription from the refrigerator when you picked it up? Did it feel cold? If they simply went to "the bins" and took it out and handed it to you...THEY did not handle it correctly!

My opinion is that you should have definately been made aware this expensive drug has to be kept cold. They were aware you were just starting Forteo...and are required to ask you if you have any questions about it...certainly (if it had been refrigerated) they would mention this!

One time my husband picked up mine...he came right home and I noticed it wasn't cold when I opened it. I called them back, mentioned it seemed room temp. and they said to bring it right back...THEY had not refrigerated it! Two months later, after picking up a month's supply...I saw the seal had been broken on the box...called 'em again...and even THEY wondered if it was the same box I'd returned before! Took that one back also!

Interesting!

I was also very surprised, after going in every month for almost 2 years with my co-pay (thank goodness for that!)...when I only had 3 months left on my prescription...they banded a 3-month supply together, and charged me only 2 month co-pay! Seems I could have been doing that all along, but they had not told me! Make sure you check into this.

I did have positive results from the Forteo...am back on Evista like before.

Don't accept what they tell you at the location you picked it up...I've found you often get someone who gives answers without actually checking. Believe me...with a drug this $$$, they do not want to loose your business!

Good luck....keep us posted......Pam

Last edited by petal*pusher; 07-26-2009 at 09:29 AM. Reason: added info

 
Old 07-26-2009, 02:16 PM   #4
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Re: Forteo - refridgeration

Is the Forteo no longer effective if it's let unrefrigerated for a period of time? Or does it become harmful?

I left mine out overnight! Should I not use it?

I feel stupid.

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Old 07-26-2009, 04:48 PM   #5
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Re: Forteo - refridgeration

Forteo is supposed to be kept in the refridgerator and should be at 36-46 degrees. Instructions say to minimize time out of the refrigerator. I found this info online and would suggest you call the 800 number to inquire. If I left it out all night, I don't know if I would use it:

Representatives from Eli Lilly, the makers of Forteo, say that keeping Forteo out of the refrigerator does hurt the drug and could potentially lead to ineffectiveness. They recommend calling 1-866-4FORTEO (1-866-436-7836) with each event that a Forteo is kept outside of the recommended storage conditions of refrigeration at 2-8 degrees C (36 to 46 degrees F). When you call this number, they are able to calculate Forteo's stability depending on the time spent outside the refrigerator and the temperature the drug was in. [/B]
When giving them the scenario of a Forteo at room temperature (74 degrees F) for 1.5 hours, Eli Lilly said that they expect minimal effect on the product and that it would still be effective. Again, this is a case by case decision, depending on the time spent outside of the refrigerator and at what temperature. Each time spent outside of the refrigerator also accumulates; so even though the Forteo maybe ok at room temperature at 1.5 hours, this may not be the case if it is the 2nd time this happened. [/I]

 
Old 07-26-2009, 05:55 PM   #6
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Re: Forteo - refridgeration

That's very interesting Connie1179 because when I had a disagreement of sorts with my employer about whether they would provide me a reasonable accommodation (motel room with refrigerator), they claimed that the doctor checked with Eli Lilly and the pen could be in 74 degree temperatures for a period of hours. I guess that's the outer limits of safety with the medication.

If I left my pen out of the refrigerator over night I would not inject myself with the medication. There's too much chance of getting an infection from medication where bacteria already started to grow and which you can't see. Don't feel stupid, these things happen.

I would call Eli Lilly and ask whether since this was your first pen that they can replace it. When I had trouble with some pens I called them and was given a card to take to the pharmacy that charged the cost of the pen to Eli Lilly. This happened several times with me and Eli Lilly was very flexible and always provided me with another card so I could get the pen.

My insurance company now requires that I be shipped the pens from a speciality mail order pharmacy which works really well. It arrives at my door in an ice chest and I don't have to worry about whether the pharmacy refrigerated it properly-eliminating the middle person. But when I did pick up pens at the pharmacy sometimes I wasn't sure if the pen was refrigerated properly. Once there was a long line at the pharmacy and I could see one employee take it out of the refrigerator and then set it aside, so I walked to the front of the line to announce that they either put it back in the refrigerator or let me pay.

I really think the pharmacist or pharmacy tech should remind people picking up medication requiring constant refrigeration of this so they go straight home or bring an ice chest to put the pen in until they can get home. ********'s doesn't seem to be very reasonable about this.

Last edited by taape; 07-26-2009 at 05:56 PM.

 
Old 07-27-2009, 12:30 PM   #7
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Re: Forteo - refridgeration

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mel52 View Post
have you tried contacting the manufacturer and asking them their opinion? Maybe they can give you a discount or a trial dose
I called forteo connect today - they say that I can use the forteo as it was only in my car about 1.5 hours and should be fine to use. It certainly did not seem clear in all of the info I read online about it. It was about 95 degrees that day so I was concerned. They did say that the dru store should be very clear with any new patients that they need to refridgerate the meds asap!

 
Old 08-08-2009, 11:02 AM   #8
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Re: Forteo - refridgeration

You could write a letter to the head of the drugstore chain if that would make you feel any better. Might save some other people trouble. $25 copay--lucky you! Mine was $150.

Didn't you get a free pen to start with? Didn't you have a training session on how to do the injection?

You don't always need a refrigerator to travel with Forteo. Last summer we hit 9 different hotels in Alaska and only 1-2 had refrigerators. Even then you have to deal with that refrigerator's temperature--sometimes they are too hot or too cold. I just got ice from the ice machine, put it in doubled baggies, and it kept the pen cool just fine. It lasted about 24 hours. Now if you were in very hot conditions, that might make a difference.

 
Old 08-08-2009, 12:54 PM   #9
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Re: Forteo - refridgeration

I agree about the refrigerators, especially the small ones tend to freeze things and they are really hard to regulate. If I use them I usually put a thermometer in there to check on the temperature first. As long as my pen is in the box I just use the ice packs that were sent to me when the pharmacy ships to me.

 
Old 08-08-2009, 10:13 PM   #10
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Re: Forteo - refridgeration

Please don't think I'm stupid for asking this, but ..... why is refrigeration so important with Forteo? Thanks.
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Old 08-09-2009, 05:16 PM   #11
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Re: Forteo - refridgeration

Because PTH is a synthetic version of a hormone that has to stay at the correct temperature to be effective. If it's too hot it will grow bacteria and can make you sick and if it freezes it kills it. Either way it would do no good in your system, it wouldn't be effective. This why I'll be glad if the PTH patch is FDA approved because it won't require refrigeration.

Sort of like medication past the expiration date, it's not effective and could harm you.

 
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Old 08-10-2009, 07:07 PM   #12
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Re: Forteo - refridgeration

Thank you, taape, for your response. I appreciate that you made it easy for me to understand.

Everyone here is always so helpful.
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Last edited by paprbkrtr; 08-10-2009 at 07:08 PM.

 
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