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Help In Getting Non-formulary Real Zocor


RockyA1911

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Hey all,

A little history. Back in Feb 2006 my VA PCP wanted me to take ZOCOR (The real stuff by brand name, not just simvistatin). My cholesterol at that time was 205. In March of 2006 I decided to go ahead and try the medication as I was encouraged to by other VA doctors including the neurologist. I called the VA Clinic and asked the doctor to go ahead and prescibe the Zocor. In late March of 2006 I received the brand named ZOCOR, small triangle pink pills with ZOCOR embedded on them. I was to take 1/2 a tablet (10 mg) daily. So the last week of March of 2006 I was taking them faithfully.

In May of 2006 I had another fasting blood draw of which my total cholesterol was 147. I felt good and didn't experience any adverse side effects from the ZOCOR. In August of 2006 I had another VA Clinic visit but they did not tell me that I was going to have blood drawn so I did not fast. The lab result was total cholesterol of 171, but I had eaten a big breakfast such as bacon, pancakes, scrambled eggs, orange juice, and whole milk. The Dr said it was ok.

I continued to take the Zocor and in October of 2006 and my fasting total cholesterol was 158. At this point I was taking Zocor for over a year up until June of 2007. I still had not experienced any muscle weakness, joint pain, etc. All was well.

In the middle of June 2007 I noticed my second refill was not the brand name ZOCOR and had no name on them except 93 on one side and 7154 on the other and instead of being triangle shaped they where round and pink. It was a generic form of Simvistatin.

The first week in July I started getting cramps, and a stiff neck. Then my wrists hurt while riding a motorcycle. The last week in August I could not bear taking the generic crap anymore. I could not feel my left hand and couldn't squeeze the clutch or even feel it. My left foot got numb etc., so I quit taking the crap. I also had a blood draw on 17 August 2007 and my cholesterol was up to 191 with triglycerides up to 387 from previous 147.

Not only did the generic cause me harm, but it raised my cholesterol instead of lowering it. Point it doesn't work as it should and it is also harmful to me. I had no problems with the previous over a year long taking of brand named Zocor that was previously furnished by the VA.

I complained via IRIS and requested I be prescribed the now non-formulary ZOCOR due to the problems and adverse reactions I had with the generic. My VA PCP put in a non-formulary prescription request for the ZOCOR. I received a letter from the Director of the VAMC which was written by the VAMC Pharmacist. The Pharmacist denied any problems with the generic and stated it was equivalent and also got her way and denied my doctors non-formulary request for ZOCOR. I wrote them and tole them they should not be messing around with statins and that I had been ok with the ZOCOR for over a year, no side effect, cholesteral well below normal and don't understand why they will not go out and buy it for me as the regs state there must be a procedure to request non-formulary drugs within each VAMC.

The Pharmacist then recommended I try some of their other generic statins that were in the formulary and also stated that my cholesterol has been fluctuating but not mentioning that the 205 was before I had even taken any statins.

I am a believer of if it ain't broke don't fix it. Since the generic simvistatin hurt me and scared the crap out of me I am more than hesitant to try any more generic statins period. I was lucky this time and have my feeling back after almost a couple of months without any statin drug. I have been without medicine since middle of August.

I refuse to be a guinea pig so I guess I can't get the ZOCOR unless I buy it myself I was told at the clinic.

I happened to recall the last line of the letter from the Director in Iowa City stating "The VA strives to provide the highest quality of healthcare and medicines to our veterans".

Kind of an oxymoron isn't it? Yet, top shelf medicines and brand named medicines are not even made available to veterans at all.

What do I need to do the get the VA to give me back the ZOCOR I had been taking for over a year with no problems?

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Rocky, sorry you're having a problem getting the medicine that works for you. We had the same problem with my husband's Neurontin for peripheral neuropathy, we tried but they would never let him have the brand name. The brand name costs us about $250 mo. Dr. Bash told me that the effects of generics average 20%, plus or minus, compared to brand name drugs.

I suggest that you go see your patient advocate and see if you can get help there. But in suggesting that, I hope yours is better than the one here, he is totally useless.

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Morgan,

I did start with the patient's advocate at the VAMC Iowa City. He is the one that stirred the pot and the pharmacy contacted my VA Dr at the clinic and told him to submit a non-formulary request for Zocor since I had adverse reactions with the generic. Later after I received a letter from the Director I called the advocate and told him what had happened. He said he was appealling it and would have a meeting with the chief of staff at the VAMC. Apparently the pharmacist overrides everybody, including my PCP and everyone else when it comes to administration of medications.

Even the President wrote that 30% and above veterans are the United States very best citizens. They all claim to give us the very best there is in health care and medicines. Yet brand name drugs or drugs in the top 5 best to treat conditions are not even made available to veterans.

I plan on taking that letter from the Director and going to both Congressman Phil Hare's and Senator Barrack Obama's offices in Moline, IL and file a complaint and that the VA is a fraud and since we are America's very best citizens and will be given priority health care, why are we treated like this over necessary medicines.

The VA claims now that the generics are "equivalent", notice before they used to say the "same" as the brand name. But research proves on the Consumer's reports that the generics must have the same amount of active ingredient but have many differences as far as fillers and inactive ingredients used to form the pills or tablets and make the active ingredient stick to it. There are many forms of niacin and it may not have to be the same exact form of niacin used in Zocor and of course the fillers are definitely not the same. The consumers report also states that it is not recommended to switch from a brand name statin to a generic as your body is used to the brand name.

Oh well, just another hill to fight to the top.

What is strange is that I do get non-formulary Aciphex from the VA and they approved that one. I have been getting the brand name Aciphex for over a year now. I had adverse reactions to the formulary stuff the VA had so my Dr put in a non-formulary request and my private gastro guy also wrote a letter that I must have Aciphex as I tolerate it well. They still turned me down and I went on IRIS and filed a complaint over that. A week letter the Aciphex was delivered to my door by FedEx.

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  • HadIt.com Elder

>I started getting cramps, and a stiff neck. Then my wrists hurt

Hello Rocky,

Thanks for this post warning all of us.

I'm taking the same crap and having the same reaction.

Correction, I was taking the same crap. It's going in the garbage when I find the bottle.

Thanks again. I would never put it together that it was this generic Zocor. My wife says I've been taking this for a few months. It was recently increased, so has these same side effects. Colesteral levels are still running high.

I continue to pay for all my chronic pain medication each month. VA refuses to provide it, even though I'm intolerant to what they offer.

Health care through the VA is allot like ring toss at a carnival. It will usually leave you feeling very disapointed and it doesn't take long to figure out just how rigged the game is.

Allan

Edited by allan
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Hey all,

A little history. Back in Feb 2006 my VA PCP wanted me to take ZOCOR (The real stuff by brand name, not just simvistatin). My cholesterol at that time was 205. In March of 2006 I decided to go ahead and try the medication as I was encouraged to by other VA doctors including the neurologist. I called the VA Clinic and asked the doctor to go ahead and prescibe the Zocor. In late March of 2006 I received the brand named ZOCOR, small triangle pink pills with ZOCOR embedded on them. I was to take 1/2 a tablet (10 mg) daily. So the last week of March of 2006 I was taking them faithfully.

In May of 2006 I had another fasting blood draw of which my total cholesterol was 147. I felt good and didn't experience any adverse side effects from the ZOCOR. In August of 2006 I had another VA Clinic visit but they did not tell me that I was going to have blood drawn so I did not fast. The lab result was total cholesterol of 171, but I had eaten a big breakfast such as bacon, pancakes, scrambled eggs, orange juice, and whole milk. The Dr said it was ok.

I continued to take the Zocor and in October of 2006 and my fasting total cholesterol was 158. At this point I was taking Zocor for over a year up until June of 2007. I still had not experienced any muscle weakness, joint pain, etc. All was well.

In the middle of June 2007 I noticed my second refill was not the brand name ZOCOR and had no name on them except 93 on one side and 7154 on the other and instead of being triangle shaped they where round and pink. It was a generic form of Simvistatin.

The first week in July I started getting cramps, and a stiff neck. Then my wrists hurt while riding a motorcycle. The last week in August I could not bear taking the generic crap anymore. I could not feel my left hand and couldn't squeeze the clutch or even feel it. My left foot got numb etc., so I quit taking the crap. I also had a blood draw on 17 August 2007 and my cholesterol was up to 191 with triglycerides up to 387 from previous 147.

Not only did the generic cause me harm, but it raised my cholesterol instead of lowering it. Point it doesn't work as it should and it is also harmful to me. I had no problems with the previous over a year long taking of brand named Zocor that was previously furnished by the VA.

I complained via IRIS and requested I be prescribed the now non-formulary ZOCOR due to the problems and adverse reactions I had with the generic. My VA PCP put in a non-formulary prescription request for the ZOCOR. I received a letter from the Director of the VAMC which was written by the VAMC Pharmacist. The Pharmacist denied any problems with the generic and stated it was equivalent and also got her way and denied my doctors non-formulary request for ZOCOR. I wrote them and tole them they should not be messing around with statins and that I had been ok with the ZOCOR for over a year, no side effect, cholesteral well below normal and don't understand why they will not go out and buy it for me as the regs state there must be a procedure to request non-formulary drugs within each VAMC.

The Pharmacist then recommended I try some of their other generic statins that were in the formulary and also stated that my cholesterol has been fluctuating but not mentioning that the 205 was before I had even taken any statins.

I am a believer of if it ain't broke don't fix it. Since the generic simvistatin hurt me and scared the crap out of me I am more than hesitant to try any more generic statins period. I was lucky this time and have my feeling back after almost a couple of months without any statin drug. I have been without medicine since middle of August.

I refuse to be a guinea pig so I guess I can't get the ZOCOR unless I buy it myself I was told at the clinic.

I happened to recall the last line of the letter from the Director in Iowa City stating "The VA strives to provide the highest quality of healthcare and medicines to our veterans".

Kind of an oxymoron isn't it? Yet, top shelf medicines and brand named medicines are not even made available to veterans at all.

What do I need to do the get the VA to give me back the ZOCOR I had been taking for over a year with no problems?

Rocky;

I kind of experienced the same with the VA, so I lost trust in the medicine that they have there. Do you see an outside provider? Are you RETIRED military? If the answer to especially the latter, and you have at

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Hey all,

A little history. Back in Feb 2006 my VA PCP wanted me to take ZOCOR (The real stuff by brand name, not just simvistatin). My cholesterol at that time was 205. In March of 2006 I decided to go ahead and try the medication as I was encouraged to by other VA doctors including the neurologist. I called the VA Clinic and asked the doctor to go ahead and prescibe the Zocor. In late March of 2006 I received the brand named ZOCOR, small triangle pink pills with ZOCOR embedded on them. I was to take 1/2 a tablet (10 mg) daily. So the last week of March of 2006 I was taking them faithfully.

In May of 2006 I had another fasting blood draw of which my total cholesterol was 147. I felt good and didn't experience any adverse side effects from the ZOCOR. In August of 2006 I had another VA Clinic visit but they did not tell me that I was going to have blood drawn so I did not fast. The lab result was total cholesterol of 171, but I had eaten a big breakfast such as bacon, pancakes, scrambled eggs, orange juice, and whole milk. The Dr said it was ok.

I continued to take the Zocor and in October of 2006 and my fasting total cholesterol was 158. At this point I was taking Zocor for over a year up until June of 2007. I still had not experienced any muscle weakness, joint pain, etc. All was well.

In the middle of June 2007 I noticed my second refill was not the brand name ZOCOR and had no name on them except 93 on one side and 7154 on the other and instead of being triangle shaped they where round and pink. It was a generic form of Simvistatin.

The first week in July I started getting cramps, and a stiff neck. Then my wrists hurt while riding a motorcycle. The last week in August I could not bear taking the generic crap anymore. I could not feel my left hand and couldn't squeeze the clutch or even feel it. My left foot got numb etc., so I quit taking the crap. I also had a blood draw on 17 August 2007 and my cholesterol was up to 191 with triglycerides up to 387 from previous 147.

Not only did the generic cause me harm, but it raised my cholesterol instead of lowering it. Point it doesn't work as it should and it is also harmful to me. I had no problems with the previous over a year long taking of brand named Zocor that was previously furnished by the VA.

I complained via IRIS and requested I be prescribed the now non-formulary ZOCOR due to the problems and adverse reactions I had with the generic. My VA PCP put in a non-formulary prescription request for the ZOCOR. I received a letter from the Director of the VAMC which was written by the VAMC Pharmacist. The Pharmacist denied any problems with the generic and stated it was equivalent and also got her way and denied my doctors non-formulary request for ZOCOR. I wrote them and tole them they should not be messing around with statins and that I had been ok with the ZOCOR for over a year, no side effect, cholesteral well below normal and don't understand why they will not go out and buy it for me as the regs state there must be a procedure to request non-formulary drugs within each VAMC.

The Pharmacist then recommended I try some of their other generic statins that were in the formulary and also stated that my cholesterol has been fluctuating but not mentioning that the 205 was before I had even taken any statins.

I am a believer of if it ain't broke don't fix it. Since the generic simvistatin hurt me and scared the crap out of me I am more than hesitant to try any more generic statins period. I was lucky this time and have my feeling back after almost a couple of months without any statin drug. I have been without medicine since middle of August.

I refuse to be a guinea pig so I guess I can't get the ZOCOR unless I buy it myself I was told at the clinic.

I happened to recall the last line of the letter from the Director in Iowa City stating "The VA strives to provide the highest quality of healthcare and medicines to our veterans".

Kind of an oxymoron isn't it? Yet, top shelf medicines and brand named medicines are not even made available to veterans at all.

What do I need to do the get the VA to give me back the ZOCOR I had been taking for over a year with no problems?

Rocky:

I am hesitant as well taking some of the generic medicines that in the VA formulary. So allow me to ask you this. Are you RETIRED mililtary and enrolled in at least Tricare Prime? Do you have an outside provider? If so ask your provider to give you a prescription for the medicine that YOU prefer that works best for YOU. You can also see if your VA doc will give you a "hard script" so you can take to your local pharmacy. I used to take zocor for my cholesterol but now I take Lipitor, it works best for ME. I get all my prescriptions both from my VA doc and my outside providers from CVS, my local pharmacy. Hope this helps, and good luck.

jmack

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OK, maybe I am being just stupid here and if so I am sorry. My problem here is that generic medication that is a generic of a brand name have EXACTLY the same active ingredients, at the same dosage. Now, sometime a doctor will prescribe a generic that is NOT a match for the brand name. For example, they will prescribe vytorin, which is not the same drug a simvistatin/zocor... but has simvastatin as an active ingredient along with others. Now if you'd like I can provide the entire chemical formula for each drug, its effects etc.

However, a generic, which is a generic substitute for a brand name drug is the same drug. Neurontin/gabapentin are EXACTLY the same chemically... in fact their chemical formulas are:

Gabapentin is described as 1-(aminomethyl)cyclohex-aneacetic acid with a molecular formula of C 9 H 17 NO 2 and a molecular weight of 171.24.

Now it doesnt matter if you buy the generic or the brand name, the chenical formula is the same.

So, I am confused as to how a generic can cause different effects than a brand name. I used to take Neurontin when it was non-formulary and they still paid for it, but when the generic became available, (gabapentine) I was switched over and have notice no difference.

Now.. the reason a drug is only available in brand name for a while is because there is a law that any new drug introduced can ONLY be produced in a brand name for 5 (I think thats the amount, but am not 100% sure) years. This is to allow the drug creators to recoup their expenses in research and development etc. Personally I think it's stupid, and is just a law that was passed due to intense lobbying by the drug manufacturers in America...

So, after 5 years generics can be produced by other drug companies, and the VA formulary is almost ALL generic. However, generic or brand name, the chenical formula of the drug is the same if it is THE exact generic. Again, often doctors prescribe drugs that have some of the same chemicals, but also include others....

Perhaps this is the problem. I am unsure. I am not trying to be critical, or say that anyone is wrong... I just dont understand how two drugs that are chemically exactly the same, and only differ in color and shape of pill or capsule can cause differing side effects - unless they simply are not the same drug....

All drugs have active and inactive ingredients... but the inactive ones are simply the coloring, or dye, the stabalizing compound etc. They shouldn't have ANY effect... but maybe this is what is causing the problems... I simply dont know, and don't understand.

I do know that the generic neurontin (gabapentine) supplied by the VA, and the brand name are made in the same plant, by Parke-Davis. So I dont really see how they could be different... since by law they cant be...

Anyway, I hope I didn't upset anyone... I am sure that what you are feeling is real, I just dont understand why, and that DOES worry me.

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  • HadIt.com Elder

I think your problem may be that the dose is to low. I take the Zocar and Neurontin using the generics and my cholesterol reading was 124. However, I take 40 mgs instead of 10.

For me the generics pretty much work.

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Its all about money :) They stopped my plavix after a year VA said I didnt need it. Yes I do I have a coated stent in my heart so I need to take it the rest of my life. I went to the non VA doc who did my heart cath and he said I need it. I took my RX to CVS and used my tricare and got it for $9. I LOVE MY RX TRICARE COVERAGE I get most my drugs from the VA, well all except plavix. They just started me on the round generic for zocor also, I take half of a 40mg. I all ready have those symptoms but my non VA PCP says my liver function is good. But dam do my joints hurt and go numb. ITS ALL ABOUT THE $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$ Maybe I will ask my non VA PCP for a rx for real zocor. If its available in generic then it will only be $3.

THANK YOU FOR PUTTING MY EDIT BUTTON BACK

Edited by BETRAYED
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Sixcents,

Yes, please furnish the breakdowns of each if you would since you have access to that information. Zocor (Simvistatin) is made by Merck. The current generic product is made by TEVA/IVAX. Would like both the active and inactive ingredients for a 20 mg tablet.

The Consumer Guide to Generic Drugs by the National Consumers League with grant provided by Merck-Medco states "the inactive ingredients may be different. Inactive ingredients are used to keep a tablet from crumbling, add bulk to a tablet to make it large enough to handle, and/or provide a pleasant taste or color. Differences in inactive ingredients are generally harmless, but SOME PEOPLE MAY HAVE A REACTION

TO THEM."

I must be one of those people and so is Allan and Betrayed it appears so far on this site, along with me. So that is three of us in just one afternoon since I posted. I am sure there are a lot of other vets with the same adverse reactions besides us. Maybe we need to do a survey confined to ZOCOR/SIMVISTATIN users and see just how many in a week. Of course the VA stated they have had no instances or reports of any of the symptoms I experienced with the generic simvistatin. It's not in my head. I have never had a generic anything work for me. I needed CIPRO one time and was given CIPROFLAXIN instead, the generic and it didn't do crap for my sinus infection, took them all as prescribed. I finally got the brand named CIPRO and boom within 20 minutes the congestion broke loose and it worked.

I had another kind of generic antibiotic that gave me a severe fever and headache and actually made me feel worse, and another that gave me a rash and almost hives.

No! I'd bet a dollar to a donut that the generic stuff is not EXACTLY the same exact ingredients and exact forms of the chemicals within each. I know a lot more people that the generics haven't worked for them than I do that have. As you know there are many forms of Niacin and so is with the others but it is still Niacin, but the question is- - - Is the Niacin in the form of Hexatonic Nicotinate or one of the other multiple forms of Niacin? Niacin in the form of HN is flush free whereas a lot of the multiple other forms of Niacin are not and produce "Flushing".

Oh, the patent time is 10 years. Zocor's had expired and from what I have read a judge decided which two generic makers could produce the generic and that no one else could produce the generics until after the two generic producers have been in production for 6 months. I believe the two generic makers are from India or something like that.

I see on the news every few months where a generic medicine caused high blood pressure, stroke, heart attack, and even deaths. I've lived long enough to see many of them taken from the market because of the adverse effects. There is a reason that more people than not fear the generic medicines either by experience or media reports.

I have BC/BS Federal Employee health insurance, but even they try to pawn off on you the generic brand even though your doctor writes the prescription for the brand name but doesn't state "No Generics" on the prescription.

I still stand by that our veterans should have the same brand named drugs in the top 5 sellers made available to us just like the regular public and our so called representatives have. To give us AB medicine instead of the A list medicine. Come on now! That's like telling us "Thank you for your service and we honor you by feeding you a grade B steak instead of a Grade A Angus Beef steak.......and then insult us by telling us it is the same. Yeah it is both beef and remnants but we all know there is a big difference in taste and quality with the first bite without having to cut through the gristle.

Grade A medicines is the least they should do for us, we are supposed to have the best health care there is under the VA, afterall the sport that slogan at least once a week. This country should be ashamed, no appalled to find that after all the sacrifices we vets have endured to be furnished second rate medicines only.....So after all we have done in the line of duty for out country we are denied top shelf or within the top five ranked medicines.

Edited by RockyA1911
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Sure will but I will have to do it as an attachment... If anyone is wondering I use "Physician's Desk Reference, 2007". It's a great program that covers all the drugs, and updates from the internet for new ones daily. It's very comprehensive. I'll try and get er donr tonight.

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OK, as I stated....

All drugs have active and inactive ingredients... but the inactive ones are simply the coloring, or dye, the stabalizing compound etc. They shouldn't have ANY effect... but maybe this is what is causing the problems... I simply dont know, and don't understand.

so like you said Rocky this could be the problem I just dont know, but the inactive ingredients shouldnt make any difference...

attached is the ZOCOR monograph... its kinda big. Will attach generic next. Thanks for the clarification on the 10 years by the way. Like I said I wasnt sure, but that sounds really excessive to me... and I thought 5 years was too long.

ZOCOR.doc

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OK, there's a bunch more making it than TIVA/IVAX... this is going to take a bit, my registration keeps saying wrong user name. I'll figure it out. Sorry for the delay.

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  • HadIt.com Elder

There is an arguement among cardiologists to the effect that Zocor is not as effective as one of the other statins. It seems that one statin can/does reverse rather than just reduce the accumulation of deposits. Naturally the cost is even higher than Zocor, so the statin in question will never make the VA formulary list. I've taken statins for many years, starting when "lovestat" was only available for "research" in the US.

Hey all,

A little history. Back in Feb 2006 my VA PCP wanted me to take ZOCOR (The real stuff by brand name, not just simvistatin). My cholesterol at that time was 205. In March of 2006 I decided to go ahead and try the medication as I was encouraged to by other VA doctors including the neurologist. I called the VA Clinic and asked the doctor to go ahead and prescibe the Zocor. In late March of 2006 I received the brand named ZOCOR, small triangle pink pills with ZOCOR embedded on them. I was to take 1/2 a tablet (10 mg) daily. So the last week of March of 2006 I was taking them faithfully.

In May of 2006 I had another fasting blood draw of which my total cholesterol was 147. I felt good and didn't experience any adverse side effects from the ZOCOR. In August of 2006 I had another VA Clinic visit but they did not tell me that I was going to have blood drawn so I did not fast. The lab result was total cholesterol of 171, but I had eaten a big breakfast such as bacon, pancakes, scrambled eggs, orange juice, and whole milk. The Dr said it was ok.

I continued to take the Zocor and in October of 2006 and my fasting total cholesterol was 158. At this point I was taking Zocor for over a year up until June of 2007. I still had not experienced any muscle weakness, joint pain, etc. All was well.

In the middle of June 2007 I noticed my second refill was not the brand name ZOCOR and had no name on them except 93 on one side and 7154 on the other and instead of being triangle shaped they where round and pink. It was a generic form of Simvistatin.

The first week in July I started getting cramps, and a stiff neck. Then my wrists hurt while riding a motorcycle. The last week in August I could not bear taking the generic crap anymore. I could not feel my left hand and couldn't squeeze the clutch or even feel it. My left foot got numb etc., so I quit taking the crap. I also had a blood draw on 17 August 2007 and my cholesterol was up to 191 with triglycerides up to 387 from previous 147.

Not only did the generic cause me harm, but it raised my cholesterol instead of lowering it. Point it doesn't work as it should and it is also harmful to me. I had no problems with the previous over a year long taking of brand named Zocor that was previously furnished by the VA.

I complained via IRIS and requested I be prescribed the now non-formulary ZOCOR due to the problems and adverse reactions I had with the generic. My VA PCP put in a non-formulary prescription request for the ZOCOR. I received a letter from the Director of the VAMC which was written by the VAMC Pharmacist. The Pharmacist denied any problems with the generic and stated it was equivalent and also got her way and denied my doctors non-formulary request for ZOCOR. I wrote them and tole them they should not be messing around with statins and that I had been ok with the ZOCOR for over a year, no side effect, cholesteral well below normal and don't understand why they will not go out and buy it for me as the regs state there must be a procedure to request non-formulary drugs within each VAMC.

The Pharmacist then recommended I try some of their other generic statins that were in the formulary and also stated that my cholesterol has been fluctuating but not mentioning that the 205 was before I had even taken any statins.

I am a believer of if it ain't broke don't fix it. Since the generic simvistatin hurt me and scared the crap out of me I am more than hesitant to try any more generic statins period. I was lucky this time and have my feeling back after almost a couple of months without any statin drug. I have been without medicine since middle of August.

I refuse to be a guinea pig so I guess I can't get the ZOCOR unless I buy it myself I was told at the clinic.

I happened to recall the last line of the letter from the Director in Iowa City stating "The VA strives to provide the highest quality of healthcare and medicines to our veterans".

Kind of an oxymoron isn't it? Yet, top shelf medicines and brand named medicines are not even made available to veterans at all.

What do I need to do the get the VA to give me back the ZOCOR I had been taking for over a year with no problems?

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Rocky- did the original prescribed Simvastatin cause you any ratable problems that continue to affect you?

Ceratinly racial groups cannot take statins or at least have to be mintored for bad side affects- African Americans, Hispanics and American Indians as I recall- can have bad reaction to certain statins.

My neighbor-I mentioened here before-developed a serious limp and it got so bad the VA said it was a hip problem and they wanted to do hip replacement.

But his primary care doctor asked him one day if he was of Mid Eastern descent- he is very dark skinned, dark hair etc- by the way- a WWII vet who occupied Japan after the A bomb dropped.

No-he said I am half Cherokee.

Immediately the doc took him off the statin and gave him something else and -although he still has a limp-it is taking time but getting better and the VA could have performed unnecessary surgety on him due to the wrong med.

He didnt want to file 1151 claim-he wqants to see if the limp gets better and it seems to be-

You might have basis for 1151 claim if the statin caused you serious problems.

Also one question- how are your glucose readings?

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NO Berta, I had no problems whatsoever with the brand named Zocor and was taking it over a year. The problems started shortly after being switched to the Generic simvistatin manufactured by TIVA/IVAX and it got so bad I stopped taking it and took the remainder of it to the Pharmacy at the VAMC IC and told them to dispose of it that I did not want it at all and I told them how it had harmed me. They contacted my PCP right away and he emailed them the non-formulary request right away. The same Pharmacist that said they needed the non-formulary request is the same one that denied it. Go figure.

JUst because it is the law that the generics must contain the same active ingredients etc and the same dosage still doesn't mean it is so or is always done. Take for example our Federal Immigration laws that state it is illegal to enter the US illegally. Well there you have it, they can't even enforce that so to me the laws mean nothing because no one will enforce them.

By the way, I am Scotch-Irish, Indian, Swedish, and Dutch. The Indian in me is Cherokee.

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Thanks sixscents!

I am only concerned with the TIVA/IVAX manufacturer of the generic simvistatin that is in the VA formulary and what has been prescribed to me and other veterans. The pill is labeled just 93 on one side and 7154 on the other. TIVA/IVAX is the manufacture of the generic simvistating that the VA prescribed to me. The VA Pharmacist provided me with the manufacture of it and it is definitely TIVA/IVAX. So please just look that one up. That is the one I want to compare to the Merck ZOCOR. Thank for researching the ZOCOR and providing the info.

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Ask for fluivistatin..it is the most expensive prescription drug for high cholesterol for a reason...all people can tolerate it..with minimal side affects! They don't like to prescribe it because of the higher cost..but it is better than adverse side affects...by the way..U dropped your numbers dramatically..I wish!

A little history. Back in Feb 2006 my VA PCP wanted me to take ZOCOR (The real stuff by brand name, not just simvistatin). My cholesterol at that time was 205. In March of 2006 I decided to go ahead and try the medication as I was encouraged to by other VA doctors including the neurologist. I called the VA Clinic and asked the doctor to go ahead and prescibe the Zocor. In late March of 2006 I received the brand named ZOCOR, small triangle pink pills with ZOCOR embedded on them. I was to take 1/2 a tablet (10 mg) daily. So the last week of March of 2006 I was taking them faithfully.

In May of 2006 I had another fasting blood draw of which my total cholesterol was 147. I felt good and didn't experience any adverse side effects from the ZOCOR. In August of 2006 I had another VA Clinic visit but they did not tell me that I was going to have blood drawn so I did not fast. The lab result was total cholesterol of 171, but I had eaten a big breakfast such as bacon, pancakes, scrambled eggs, orange juice, and whole milk. The Dr said it was ok.

I continued to take the Zocor and in October of 2006 and my fasting total cholesterol was 158. At this point I was taking Zocor for over a year up until June of 2007. I still had not experienced any muscle weakness, joint pain, etc. All was well.

In the middle of June 2007 I noticed my second refill was not the brand name ZOCOR and had no name on them except 93 on one side and 7154 on the other and instead of being triangle shaped they where round and pink. It was a generic form of Simvistatin.

The first week in July I started getting cramps, and a stiff neck. Then my wrists hurt while riding a motorcycle. The last week in August I could not bear taking the generic crap anymore. I could not feel my left hand and couldn't squeeze the clutch or even feel it. My left foot got numb etc., so I quit taking the crap. I also had a blood draw on 17 August 2007 and my cholesterol was up to 191 with triglycerides up to 387 from previous 147.

Not only did the generic cause me harm, but it raised my cholesterol instead of lowering it. Point it doesn't work as it should and it is also harmful to me. I had no problems with the previous over a year long taking of brand named Zocor that was previously furnished by the VA.

I complained via IRIS and requested I be prescribed the now non-formulary ZOCOR due to the problems and adverse reactions I had with the generic. My VA PCP put in a non-formulary prescription request for the ZOCOR. I received a letter from the Director of the VAMC which was written by the VAMC Pharmacist. The Pharmacist denied any problems with the generic and stated it was equivalent and also got her way and denied my doctors non-formulary request for ZOCOR. I wrote them and tole them they should not be messing around with statins and that I had been ok with the ZOCOR for over a year, no side effect, cholesteral well below normal and don't understand why they will not go out and buy it for me as the regs state there must be a procedure to request non-formulary drugs within each VAMC.

The Pharmacist then recommended I try some of their other generic statins that were in the formulary and also stated that my cholesterol has been fluctuating but not mentioning that the 205 was before I had even taken any statins.

I am a believer of if it ain't broke don't fix it. Since the generic simvistatin hurt me and scared the crap out of me I am more than hesitant to try any more generic statins period. I was lucky this time and have my feeling back after almost a couple of months without any statin drug. I have been without medicine since middle of August.

I refuse to be a guinea pig so I guess I can't get the ZOCOR unless I buy it myself I was told at the clinic.

I happened to recall the last line of the letter from the Director in Iowa City stating "The VA strives to provide the highest quality of healthcare and medicines to our veterans".

Kind of an oxymoron isn't it? Yet, top shelf medicines and brand named medicines are not even made available to veterans at all.

What do I need to do the get the VA to give me back the ZOCOR I had been taking for over a year with no problems?

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