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iPledge, the stupidest thing to come since Celgene’s STEPS!

·2213 words·11 mins

This last week I got my first experience with that new iPledge program.
Let me backtrack.
iPledge is this new system that came out to manage the dispensing of Accutane. You know, the anti-acne medication that if you take it while pregnant causes huge birth defects. So to make themselves feel better at night, they created this stupid program that basically accounts for every accutane prescription thats written. The outcome is that whenever I get an accutane Rx, I need to call the iPledge program (or go online via their broken ass website) to tell them what patent im giving the drug to, how much, and for what days supply.
I know this whole bullshit is for liability reasons. Dispite the fact that every damn pill has a big DO NOT GET PREGNANT on it, and tons of warnings all over the packaging, somehow people are stupid enough to get pregnant while on Accutane. To them, I say “tough shit, you’re a dumbass. If you sue because of your fucked up baby, its your own fucking fault”.
Are we next going to be putting “DO NOT DRINK” stickers all over bleach? Are people sueing Clorox because their daughter drank bleach? What about alcohol? Tons of children are fucked up because of alcohol use while pregnant, but you dont see tons of DO NOT GET PREGNANT stickers all over bottles of King Cobra nor a mandatory reporting everytime a store sells booze!
The iPledge program is stupid. Very stupid. In fact, my first Rx dispensed with iPledge resulted in me calling their asses 4 times and the patient twice to get everything settled. I asked the poor girl who worked there if pharmacists were pissed off at the hoops we had to jump through, and they said “Well, sorta.” No fucking shit! Come on people! Personal accountability! If you decide to get pregnant while on this, even though it says DO NOT GET PREGNANT with little crossed out pregnant woman pictures /everywhere/ then its your own fucking fault! Get it? Your own fucking fault! No suing! No bullshit! Close your fucking legs and take responsiblity for your own mistake!!! The fact that they had to make this program to cover their own asses just shows you how pittiful and sue-happy our country has began. Its always someone elses fault!
Wake up America! The high prices for medication are because of stupid people taking Rx medication (much like driving a car, has implied risks) and sueing the drug company over something thats totally out of their control! Furthermore, the greedy cock-sucking lawyers who take these cases should be publically hung by their scroatum for contributing to the problem!
Hypothetically speaking, I dont have the balls to do this (yet):
What if I dont call you. In fact, what if I completely blow your whole program off and just dispense the drug anyways? You cant stop me from getting the medication because unlike Celgene (with Thalomid) you are NOT the manufacturer and I do not order the product directly from you. Furthermore, you think my wholesaler is going to cut me off from this product when there are 10 different generic accutane manufacturers out there? I dont think so. Are you going to cut off my wholesaler when there are pharmacies that use the same wholesaler that are stupid enough to use the iPledge program? Are you going to sue me for something? Call the state board on me? Lets face it, you cant do jack and/or shit to me nor prevent me from dispensing this product. A quick call to the doctors office to confirm that the FEMALE patient is on birth control totally bypasses your whole program and legally absolves me from any liability. Of course i’m a good pharmacist and wouldnt do /anything/ like that to such a horribly designed program with a horribly designed website (
Plus, to poke more holes in your already shitty program, how is this program going to prevent Betty Sue RottenCrotch from giving her slutty friends accutane under the table? Is iPledge going to detect that and magically send out the cooch-patrol to slam her legs shut? Lets face it, iPledge is just verbal masterbation that looks good on paper but really does nothing but waste mine and the doctors time.

Comments #

Comment by Kevin on 2006-04-24 17:32:38 -0700 #

Dude, I completly agree. Not only is it a pain in the ass for you, but I have to do it(calling/going online and shit). Now you say well everyone does. I AM A FUCKING MAN. CONCEPTION ON MY PART IS IMPOSSIBLE! I cant stand it. I am 17 and leaving for the military in a few weeks. Sure it got rid of it. But half the time I feel like shooting myself having to deal with their fucked up program. I am done here…..Thank you for speaking my thoughts.

Comment by ART on 2007-01-08 22:04:23 -0800 #

Seriously, this is so true. The whole process my doctor and I have had to go through just to get this damn medication is absurd! It’s taken MONTHS just to get the stupid information books, yet SOMEHOW I still can’t get to work the site because I have no register information! Well gee, I hope I get it within the 7 day time period I have to fill the fucking perscription. And Yeah, I’m female but signing some paper isn’t going to stop anyone from getting pregnant if that’s what they want to do. Granted I don’t and won’t get pregnant. But still, ipledge program is completely stupid.

Comment by Kathryn on 2007-02-22 17:59:00 -0800 #

Can’t wait to start this peice of shit program. Fuck, I could go and get a gun quicker and shoot 50 fucking people, but I can’t get some god damn acne meds? Fuck this country. I’m 15 fucking years old, I shouldn’t have to be treated like a child-bearing machine. The government needs to get the hell out of my vagina! Good lord. It’s bad enough I have to go on the pill, but I really have to piss on a stick 2 times every month? Fuck this shit. I’m not a fucking whore who opens my legs for every guy to get me pregnant. This is bull crap. Why don’t we ban women from doing everything? Don’t drink, might hurt your baby. Oh wait, your not pregnant? No shit. Don’t do it anyways though. Don’t drive your fucking car to work, you could get in an accident and it could kill your baby. Wait, your not pregnant? Tough shit! You just got your period for the first time? Well go sit in a padded room for the rest of your life eating nothing but celery sticks and drinking water. Wouldn’t want to damage your child bearing abilities. If some dumb slut gets pregnant while taking it, its her own dumbass fault. Unless she was raped of course. But get a fucking abortion, don’t punish the rest of us. What are you going to do to guys? chop off their balls so they can’t get a girl pregnant and somehow expose the baby to accutane? Bull shit. iPledge can rot in hell with Hitler.

Comment by Alyssa on 2007-03-06 17:12:46 -0800 #

It’s just heartwarming to know that over a year into this “program” and nothing has improved. Everyone involved is clueless, including my provider (who thinks this program is worthless), and of course you can never get anyone at iPledge on the phone to figure it out.
Are we forgetting the real risks to fetuses here? Alcohol and cigarettes are readily available on every street corner, and these toxins are used far more frequently and by far more people than isotrentinoin… It’s not as if there aren’t hundreds of other drugs out there that cause birth defects…why as isotrentinoin been singled out?
But yet here we are, being burdened with monthly pregnancy tests, dysfunctional online programs, and perpetually crossed wires between patients, providers, pharmacists, all fighting with a bureaucratic online system.
This is clearly a case of a powerful special interest group lobbying the FDA in the name of “protecting our children.” Whatever happened to the relationship between patients and their doctors? These are the only two parties to which this information should really be relevant.
And what kills me is that it is SO easy to cheat the system; all of this mess still boils down to the patient’s word…there is no system of accountability. You can technically just tell iPledge you are taking your two forms of birth control, yet there is no real enforcement of it.

Comment by Alli on 2007-04-13 10:10:55 -0700 #

I haven’t even started the program yet and I’m already having problems. I have a crazy work schedule, so it’s not easy for me to get in touch with my doctor. When I call, he can’t talk to me immediately because he’s seeing patients. When he calls back, I’ve left home for work. He can’t call me at work because I may be in a situation where I can’t talk. (My job requires me to sometimes work underground).
I’ve been playing phone tag with my doctor for the past 3 days already to just sign up on the website, so I’m doubting I’ll be able to successfully complete Accutane treatment. I’m 31 years old, and tried every treatment in the book before considering Accutane because of all the problems I’ve heard about this drug. Oh, and I love how they treat me like a child when talking about birth control. I’ve made it 31 years without screwing up, why would I start now?
Oh, and what really makes it fun for me are the pregnancy tests and blood work. I have rolling veins, meaning they can’t take blood from my arm. They have to get it through my hand.

Comment by Kim on 2010-11-12 20:50:40 -0800 #

Thanks for mentioning this program on your site. There were two questions on my PTCE (pharm tech certification exam) regarding isotretinoin and the IPLEDGE program on my test and I wouldn’t have heard about it outside of this site. I hadn’t heard about it at my internships or my classes. Guess that shows how well its working?

Comment by julia on 2013-06-28 01:38:02 -0700 #

I love to see this from a pharmacists perspective. As a 16 year old girl, i look as this system and think WHAT A LOAD OF CRAP! They tell you 10000000 times at the deem not to get pregnant on this drug PLUS the crossed out pregnant woman on the foil of every pill. WHO IS SERIOUSLY THIS STUPID! I am sick of jumping through hoops! I have tried everything imaginable to get clear skin, and yet here is another roadblock for people like me who have struggled soooo much from acne their entire lives! I have had enough with big business. I am done jumping through hoops. I am done with all the crappy side affects of this medication. Stop covering your butts accutane and make a program that ACTUALLY works

Comment by Steve on 2013-11-16 13:48:28 -0800 #

It would be nice if the website or phone number would actually help to do something, but they are worthless. You would think that something that is supposedly so toxic and deadly would allow you to email or actually talk to live person when you need help. This truly is pitiful.

Comment by Barb on 2013-12-17 14:06:51 -0800 #

Oh it is even better when you jump through all the hoops to make sure you can prove your not pregnant month after month and your dermatologist calls to tell you that they forgot to register you to begin with and you have to start the whole damn process over again. FUCK THIS! It is easier to get pain killers and heroin…

Comment by Dingleberry on 2014-02-13 12:42:14 -0800 #

SO TRUE! This stupid I-pledge is one of the biggest pain in the ass programs ever. So far the lab has forgetten to send the blood results, the Ipledge says blood draw was too early ( even though I followed the rules from my dr to the letter, uhh calls from my Dr you only have 3 hours to pick up your prescription… but they hadn’t answered their questions so I was not able to get to the fucking questions,oops got to get another preg test… then the pharmacy can’t get the drug for 2 weeks, and oh yep, can’t transfer that prescription. WTF!! So I acually haven’t gotten the meds yet this is the
biggest waste of time and hassle ever– why can’t people just be warned and live with the consequences if they screw up– they don’t require this sort of crap when you want to get drunk… we are a country of idiots if the government thinks they have to “protect” us like this
maybe I will actually get the drug tomorrow– too bad I am not just trying to get a gun or some heroin that would be easier

Comment by Ben Kechley on 2014-05-07 15:30:16 -0700 #

I’ve created a petition on to eliminate this program – let’s make the government fight the battle for us!

Fingers crossed!

Comment by Juliana on 2019-11-26 14:12:17 -0800 #