I Accidentally Froze $6,000 of Medication
Recently, when I needed room in my fridge to store leftover mac and cheese, I pushed my two boxes of Dupixent (I had extra since starting to take it less often) back further into the fridge from their usual place at the front of the middle shelf.
The next day, when I went to grab some strawberries that I had pushed back along with the Dupixent, they were rock solid, completely frozen. Immediately I felt my chest tighten, realizing that my Dupixent, which I needed to take soon and which is expensive and was already paid for (thankfully with the help of a copay card) would most likely also be frozen.
Dupixent can't be used if it was frozen
I remembered from my pre-first-dose thoroughly reading of the medication packet and all the information I could find about it (I am very fun), and from seeing the stickers on the boxes that read DO NOT FREEZE that, well, it can’t be frozen. Great. $6,000+ of medicine sitting in my fridge, unusable.
Calling the Dupixent MyWay phone line
I first called Dupixent MyWay’s phone line, which has been incredibly helpful in the past when I’ve had questions about injection site bumps, bruises, leaking, bleeding, being able to take it when sick, cost, insurance coverage, and much more. (They also sent me a free Dupixent-specific travel case with ice packs - I still haven’t used it but I love anyone who gives me swag - and this thing is legit.)
Anyway, the nurse I spoke to verified that you can’t take it once it’s been frozen, and said my next steps should be to call my pharmacy - for me, BriovaRX/OptumRX.
Calling the pharmacy
So I call the pharmacy and wait on hold a few times as they figure out what to do and who to connect me with. I get transferred to one of their pharmacists who says I’ll need to contact Sanofi, the manufacturer, and (thankfully) gives me the number to call.
Getting replacement Dupixent from Sanofi
So I call Sanofi and get transferred around there a few times. Eventually, I get someone who verifies they can call my pharmacy and get me set up with a manufacturer replacement but says they can only do one month, though I froze two months' worth (4 syringes in total). It takes extra time, after I gently push for both months (hey, they were paid for and this drug is $3,000+/month), for them to check with their manager to make sure they can replace both boxes. They say yes, and that they’ll set it all up right away with my pharmacy, who will then reach out to me. (They also make me say “Yes” to “Please verbally confirm that you will DESTROY the frozen medication.”)
Waiting for my replacement Dupixent
A week later, no news. At this point, my dose is days late. I call the pharmacy again. They have nothing from Sanofi. I give them the case number Sanofi had given me and they say they’ll call and figure it out.
Days later, nothing. I call the pharmacy yet again and stay on the line as they reach out to Sanofi. They say everything is figured out and I will get my medication on Tuesday. I verify my shipping address.
Wednesday. Nothing. Another call to the pharmacy. A few calls back and forth and they finally verify that they have the medication, but have not shipped it. And only. one. box. Well, I need it ASAP for my skipped dose so I give them an address for the one box, and they tell me I have to call Sanofi again if I need the second, since they know nothing about it.
More calls to Sanofi. More calls to the pharmacy. Eventually, I experience this all again with the second box, and finally, receive it. Just in time for… my dermatologist and I to decide that I’ll be taking a break from Dupixent (for other reasons). Sigh.
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