Sunday, May 22, 2011

"How can I lower my prescription costs"

The number of people who do not ask this question constantly amazes me. The number of people, especially older ones, who simply pay the amazing, disgracefully high copays...sometimes I despair of the large portion of the human race. And the people that DO protest always sound extra-defensive, as if I'll not understand their need not to give all their money for one month's worth of maintenance medicines.

Please, I LOVE saving people money. Love it. Let me know if you are dissatisfied with your copay. I've probably been looking at the cash prices so long that copay numbers start to look decent.

Here's something that will boggle your mind--even though your doctor wrote you prescription for the newest, latest drug (which there are great reasons to do) your condition is by no means the first of its kind. Millions of peopel have (usually) had this condition or disease before. You must ask yourself, what did they do before this expensive drug was around?

A good example is Lexapro, whose generic name will be escitalopram. It's the new form of Celexa, generic name Citalopram.

One my father is on, and one I'm on. We basically find the results to be the same, and the only difference is that his drug comes in a usual dose of 20-40 milligrams, and lexapro is most commonly prescribed in 10-20 milligram doses.

If my copay were really terrible, all I would need to do is call my doctor on the phone and say, "I can't afford this medicine, can I be prescribed a theraputic equivalent that has a generic?" Because I work in a pharmacy, I would have several suggestions already in mind. And that's only one option. An option other than changing the drug is that the doctor could offer me samples, or even a coupon card.

The new fashion, so to speak, in medicine is coupon cards. As seen in the above picture, they bear the name of your drug (usually) and some pertinent information not unlike the information you can find on your prescription insurance card. We can do what is called a "coordination of benefits" with your refular insurance and this card to give you a much lower copay. And if it's at issue at the time, your deductible will still be paid towards (which wouldn't happen if you used a different drug plan like the WCARD, or Walgreens Prescription Savings Club).

Which brings me to my fourth and final solution. For some people, this is the best solution actually, and can treat them better than their real insurance. But to some, it's better to pay their deductible down.

The WCard is $20 a year for a single person, or $35 for unlimited family members. You cannot use the card if you're being assisted by Medicaid or things like that. But I know in my parents' cases the WCard does better by them than their own insurance, which is School Board insurance. So do keep that in mind. It won't be great if all you can have is name brands, but then again name brands will be troublesome. It's their way ;) And it DOES help on a lot of name brands, just not as much as regular insurance usually does.

Please keep these things in mind. We really do like saving people money.

No comments:

Post a Comment