I am so miffed! Is anyone taking Ultram ER? Did you know about the generic?

@mentalward (14716)
United States
December 27, 2008 4:34am CST
I have fibromyalgia and was prescribed Ultram ER to help with the pain. I get my prescriptions filled at WalMart and have for years. Ultram ER is VERY expensive! We have insurance but it has a very high copay so I've been paying a $50.00 copay every month for a year and a half now! That's about $900.00 I've shelled out in just copays alone! Well, I was doing a comparison because of an email my husband received about the blown up charges on prescription medications and Costco. THAT's when I found out about the generic of Ultram ER: Tramadol HCL. This stuff is like 8 or 9 times CHEAPER than Ultram ER!!! I could have been paying much less even than our insurance copay! If WalMart had asked me if I wanted a generic substitute, I would have definitely said YES!!! But, they never asked. Aren't they supposed to ask? Are you taking Ultram ER? Did you know about the generic form of it, Tramadol? Do you think pharmacies have a moral obligation (or a legal one) to inform you of a generic substitute if there is one? I'm so PO'd about this! I want my money back!!! I'm going to Costco from now on for my prescription meds instead of WalMart. Have you had any problems like this happen to you? I'm so angry I could spit!!!
5 people like this
10 responses
@Barb42 (4225)
• United States
27 Dec 08
I wonder why your Doctor didn't put on the prescription that the generic was allowed. Most doctors always do. But I've had the pharmacist to ask if we would like the generic if it isn't stated on the prescription. We always say yes! I'd be upset to find that I had spent so much money and I could have gotten by much cheaper!
@mentalward (14716)
• United States
27 Dec 08
I said I was so angry I could spit... and I did! Now, I feel angry enough to spit again! I just read below that tramadol is on WalMart's $4.00 prescription list! I used to be asked by the pharmacist if I wanted the generic... every time! This was at RiteAid before I switched to WalMart's pharmacy. Yes, to think I've spent about $900.00 on copays for Ultram ER alone and I could have paid around $72.00 for that same time-frame!!! I'm definitely going to call my insurance company on Monday and tell them about this. They have the power and weight to change things. I'd love to get my money back, but I don't see that happening. All I can do from this point on is to specifically ask for the generic from now on. I'm also thinking of writing an article and sending it into our local newspaper here. They may just print it! WalMart will have mud all over their face (once again), at least in our community. It would have been so easy for them to ask that simple question, "Would you like the generic of this?" but, no... that was tooooo easy! Grrrrrrrrrr!
1 person likes this
@Barb42 (4225)
• United States
27 Dec 08
I would complain to the head pharmacist,not to one of the helpers. They probably haven't been trained to ask if you want a generic, and the pharmacist just takes it to mean you want the regular prescription. They always ask at our WalMart - all of them, and mark it on the paper, if the DR doesn't state on there that you can use the generic medicine. But I would be awfully upset if I found out they offer the same medicine for $4 and you've paid the full price. I thought all WalMarts automatically told you that the generic was cheaper and they'd ask you if that's what you wanted!
1 person likes this
@Barb42 (4225)
• United States
28 Dec 08
You sound like me. You don't mind paying, if it's correct. But to be gipped out of that much money a month is terrible! And you were definitely gipped! I don't cause a ruckus unless I feel I've really been wronged, but like you, when it's something like this, I want others to hear what I have to say.
1 person likes this
• United States
29 Dec 08
i have had the same thing happen to me.. i had gotten ultram ER and never was told but it was so expensive i opted for normal ultram which i got the generic that way but there was lamictal i was paying for and then of course like the 2 months before i lose my insurance i find out i could have been paying 5 dollars for it!! then there is another one that is the same way and i was never offered it!! you would think insurance would default but for some reason it doesnt with some
1 person likes this
@mentalward (14716)
• United States
13 Jan 09
Doesn't that make you see red when you find out you could have been paying something MUCH less all along? I'm finally on tramadol. My sweet rheumatologist changed my prescription. I have to take 6 tramadol a day instead of the one Ultram ER, but it's worth it to me to save that money! I guess she (the doc) thought she was doing me a favor by prescribing the Ultram ER, since it only has to be taken once a day. I'd take a pill every half hour if it meant saving that much money!!! I have to pay $10.00 for this prescription because I need 180 pills a month; being such a large amount, WalMart felt they couldn't charge me the $4.00 they charge people on what they consider to be a 'normal' dose. Heaven forbid I should make WalMart's profits go down by $6.00 a month!
2 people like this
• United States
14 Jan 09
god i hate walmart!!! some docs really dont get the whole cost of meds i think.. i have had some docs write me stuff out then i would call them later on and tell them my copay was like 100 bucks and they would be in shock and then i have had others say that they will be writing me one for something they know is cheap and it end up being cheaper than the copay!! its all about if they WANT to care
1 person likes this
@littleowl (7157)
28 Dec 08
Fortunatley all my medication is paid for by the NHS in the UK, so haven't come across that problem..but surely there is a way that you can be exempt ffrom paying for your medication? hugs littleowl
1 person likes this
@littleowl (7157)
28 Dec 08
My dear friend..that is awful to hear..you are so good you never complain when on hear, but you truly do need some sort of benefits for that and help..it is ridiculous that your SS cannot see that you are truly disabled..I hope and pray for your sake that this time things will be sorted out for you when you have made your appeal this time and the goverment or SS will see that you are disabled. One last thing have you written to your local MP or senator whomever you call them.. about it?? hugs littleowl
1 person likes this
@winterose (39931)
• Canada
27 Dec 08
I don't know how it works in the states, you can ask your doctor to change your prescription here in quebec the doctor decides but because the disability pays for my meds, they can substitute for generics but the pharmacist does not do that on his own
1 person likes this
@winterose (39931)
• Canada
28 Dec 08
Oh I understand you completely, everything is so expensive.
1 person likes this
@AmbiePam (46400)
• United States
27 Dec 08
I take tramadol. My mom used to take it, and her insurance specifically stated if there was a generic for a medicine, her pharmacy had to give her the generic. She quit taking it however. So when I was placed on it I looked up Walmart's list of all four dollar prescriptions. The generic tramadol was on it, so I have been getting it there every since.
1 person likes this
@mentalward (14716)
• United States
27 Dec 08
THANK YOU!!! Thank you, thank you, thank you for letting me know that tramadol is on their $4.00 list! Now, I'm exceptionally angry at them! Here, I've been paying $50.00 a month for Ultram when I could have been paying $4.00! AND my insurance company has been paying the balance, around $200.00 a month! I can't believe any insurance company wouldn't INSIST on the generic when the brand name is soooooooooo much more expensive! I'm so angry now I think I could spit... twice! Again, thank you so much for letting me know that tramadol is even cheaper than what I thought it was!
2 people like this
@AmbiePam (46400)
• United States
27 Dec 08
I probably should add that the four dollars depends on the dose one is taking of tramadol. I hope it still will work for you though.
2 people like this
@TessWhite (3147)
• United States
27 Dec 08
I didn't realize the Tramadol was a generic of Ultram. Learn something new every day. The stuff unfortunately doesn't work on my Fibro pain. For me they are like popping tic tacs. So instead I'm prescribed Vicodin. Glad the Tramadol works for you then. Have you thought about telling WalMart what you just posted here? They need to know how badly they screwed up here I think.
1 person likes this
@mentalward (14716)
• United States
27 Dec 08
Oh, yes! I'm going to tell them, especially what I just read in the comment below yours... Tramadol is on their $4.00 list!!!!! I've been paying $50.00 a month for this stuff! I'm angrier than EVER now!!!! I did have a special "discount" card for Ultram ER, but that only lasted for 3 months, or 3 refills. I paid $25.00 a month at that time, but that's still WAY over the $4.00 a month I COULD have been spending! Grrrrrrrrrr!!! WalMart, look out... I'm coming for ya!!!
1 person likes this
@piasabird (1737)
• United States
27 Dec 08
Maybe from now on you can ask the pharmacist if there is a generic for any new meds you are prescribed from now on. I'm thinking of going to generics with as many of my meds as I can to save money. My co-pays and deductibles are going way up in January. Wouldn't you just know it? I get a good raise last June and now insurance is going way up six months later!
1 person likes this
@mentalward (14716)
• United States
27 Dec 08
That's always the way life is, piasabird! We get more money and something comes along to take it away from us. The same thing happened with my husband. The insurance we have is from his company. It seemed like, as soon as he got a raise, the insurance went up. We went from paying $30.00 per Rx to $50.00 for most of my prescriptions. I take 5 meds that have a $50.00 copay and only one that is much less than our copay. I'm definitely going to be asking for generic, if there is one, from this point on! To think of all the money I could have been saving all this time!!! That alone is enough to make one sick!
1 person likes this
@ronaldinu (12454)
• Malta
27 Dec 08
I hope that you get better mentalward.
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@mentalward (14716)
• United States
27 Dec 08
Thank you, ronaldinu. My fibromyalgia won't get better but I'll feel ever so much better if I can force WalMart to change it's policy and ask that one, simple question: "Would you like the generic of this?" I'd have almost $900.00 in my pocket if they had been asking that from the start! From what I've learned, my prescriptions would have been costing me $4.00 a month instead of $50.00 if they had asked me if I wanted the generic. I didn't know there was one. I'm going to call my insurance company on Monday and inform them of this problem. I doubt they'll take it lightly! They've been shelling out the balance for my prescription for a year and a half, or around $200.00 a month, or $3,600.00 when they shouldn't have been paying a penny since tramadol costs only $4.00 at WalMart! Grrrrrrrrr!!!!!!!!
1 person likes this
• United States
27 Dec 08
oh i would be livid about that too! i dont take any prescrip meds right now(no insurance)..but when i lived in California and was on prescriptions i always used the Thrifty's Pharmacy (i think they've gone out of business) they were great! they ALWAYS asked if i wanted the generic version of everything..and if there wasnt one they would always say "im sorry but there isnt a generic for this one". i live in arizona now and take care of my grandmother, who takes 3 prescrips and we always use the Walmart pharmacy cause they are usually cheaper and we can do our shopping there..one stop. i honestly cannot recall them EVER having mentioned a generic. WE asked about one couple of years ago and there wasnt one available. you'd think being Walmart where everything is cheaper and how the pharmacy signs always say "let us help you save money" blah blah blah, that they'd ALWAYS mention the generics! especially for the more expensive meds! id chew them out big time if i were you!
1 person likes this
@mentalward (14716)
• United States
27 Dec 08
Thanks, Cinder. I'm going to do more than chew them out... I'm going to inform my insurance company of what WalMart has been doing, or not doing. I'm sure the insurance company would LOVE to hear about how they've been shelling out over $200.00 a month for this one prescription when they wouldn't have had to pay a penny if I had been getting the generic all this time! (The strength of Ultram ER I'm on costs around $250.00 per month at WalMart's prices! The generic would only cost around $20.00) My doctor never said anything about NOT using the generic, so it's not her fault. I'm laying this all on the pharmacist at WalMart. I fully intend to write letters and make phone calls on Monday!
1 person likes this
@lumenmom (1997)
• United States
28 Dec 08
I really do understand your anger. I don't know about the legal obligation but I do believe the pharmacies have a moral obligation to make sure you are aware of all your options, especially when that much money is involved. I was aware of tramadol and when I use to take ultram it was tramadol that I got. My pharmacies always inform me about the generics that are available. I don't understand why yours would not do that. I hope they do change their policy on that or they will lose a lot more customers.
1 person likes this