Can you afford your medications?
One of the reasons that patients do not fill their prescriptions are due to increasing medication costs.
I have begun asking my patients “Is the cost of any of your medications a burden for you?” This fast screening question at the time of your visit helps greatly. Physicians or medical assistants should review the medicines you currently take.
What can you do?
- Have your physician review your medications
- Do you still need to take the medication?
- Can you change to a less expensive medication or a generic version?
- Consider using a 90-day prescription to reduce copayments. As an aside, this may also increase ease of use in that having medications at the house is easier than going to the pharmacy every month.
- Look up the medicine online to find the name of the manufacturer. Then, see if there is a discount program with the pharmaceutical manufacturer for that medicine. At times these discount programs are easy to complete and some require your tax return from the year before.
- Look online to see if your medication is available at a large chain pharmacy on their “$4/month list.”
- Use websites and apps such as singlecare.com or goodrx.com that provide comparative costs between pharmacies and coupons for prescription medications
- Consider cutting a stronger medication in ½ (to get the desired strength).
- Does your physician’s office have a social worker to help navigate these issues?
At our family medicine residency office, we have a social worker who helps patients who need more intensive support (such as navigating insurance plans, determining eligibility for additional insurance coverage, and applying for pharmaceutical medication assistance programs).
I hope this helps.
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