January 30, 2010

Take Your Medicine

Posted in Journal tagged , , , at 9:32 pm by Jenn

Today I was talking to a friend who needed some advice from his friendly neighborhood dietitian.   During this conversation I learned that my friend had been without health insurance for a time and couldn’t afford to buy his cholesterol medication. 

As a healthcare practitioner I know about the programs and ways to obtain meds when patients don’t have health insurance, but the problem is that patients don’t always communicate this to their health care professionals….SO, I wanted to take the time to post this information out there for the world to read….well, my 464 Facebook friends at least.   Really folks, you don’t have to go without your meds, there is ALWAYS a way to get them…..ALWAYS. 

So here are a few things to try to find free or low cost meds:

1.  Walmart – I know a lot of you don’t shop there, don’t admit you shop there or think that they are some cult, putting mom and pop stores out of business.  What ever your reason.  They have meds for $4 for 30 days and $10 for 90 days…..lots and lots of meds.  They will even ship them to your house for free so if you don’t want to be seen in public in Walmart you don’t have to.  Here’s a link to the meds.  And if you really hate Walmart so much that you won’t use them even for their $4 meds.  Go to Target.  They have a $4 program too.  They also used to have a really cool cap system for families with multiple people taking multiple meds….different color caps for every member of the family!

2.  Explain your situation to your doctor.  Ask them to write for generic meds. 

3.  Many pharmaceutical companies offer samples of their meds to doctors offices.  ASK for SAMPLES.  Really people.  Often times the meds sit in the offices and expire because NO ONE ASKS for them. 

4.  Seek assistance from the pharmaceutical company.  Sites like RxAssist, and Needy Meds are great resources.  Use them.  Many companies have assistance programs that are based on income.  MANY of my patients qualify for FREE MEDS through these companies – based on income.  Yes, you have to provide proof of income so be careful.  I only submit to programs that are direct from the manufacturing company.

5.  Churches – if you are a member of a church ask for help.  Many churches offer assistance to their members in their time of need.  All you need to do is ask. 

6.  Quit smoking!  I don’t know the exact price, BUT if you smoke a pack of cigs a day that’s probably around $7.00 a day, or $210 a month.  That’s a lot of $4 prescriptions at Walmart!  Hell you don’t even have to quit, just cut back and you will be able to afford your meds.

So there you have it.  6 ways that you can get your meds.  I’m sure by using one of those methods you’ll be able to get your meds.  Most importantly, talk to your provider people.  We can’t help you if you don’t let us know you need help to begin with.  COMMUNICATION is KEY!

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