ISPP 2015

Career Opportunities in Pharmacy
4 Ways to Cut the Cost of Medication

– In our money vs medicine series, we uncover the real costs of healthcare, like this, more than two million Americans are skipping their heart medications because they can’t afford them, that’s the alarming finding of a new study from the American Heart Association, and in this study, they looked at 14 000 people, they surveyed them between the years of 2013 and 2017, and these are participants who were very high risk. They’ve been diagnosed with heart disease, and one in eight were
not taking medications due to cost. And again, these are folks who’ve had heart attacks, strokes, congestive heart failure, who needed to be on this medicines, high blood pressure, and could not take them because of cost, that’s a scary stat. – Ofcourse, it was more common in people who were uninsured, they were least likely to be able to afford the medication, 21% of people on Medicaid are with public insurance, couldn’t afford the medication, but it’s also a problem for people with private insurance, 15% of them still couldn’t afford the medication, and it’s just so frustrating because I just think about
all the money we waste in this country on just whatever, and then you have people who are literally putting
their lives at risk, cause they can’t afford this medication that’s there. Think about how that would feel. – Joining us now to talk
about this via Skype, is Pharmacist Mona Vand, because, Mona I’m going
to ask you your top tips, because there are so many scenarios were patients will not
take their medicines because they can’t afford them, and sometimes it’s
because they don’t realize there may be a cheaper version available, or ways to get it paid for. Can you kind of walk us through ways to cut costs at the pharmacy? – Yeah, you know a lot of times, people think their
medication isn’t covered because it goes to the pharmacy and the pharmacist will see that it needs a prior authorization, which basically just means the insurance needs proof
as to why you need it, so it needs a case bill, but the pharmacy doesn’t
have time to do it, so they send the rejection
over to the doctor, and the doctor sends it
back to the pharmacy, then by the time it
gets to the technician, it gets to you, and you call, you just hear that it’s not covered, so I would highly recommend
calling the pharmacy and finding out is it not covered, or does it need a prior authorization. Ask them to actually look in the computer and see what coach says. If it needs a prior authorization, there’s actually specialty pharmacies that will do this for you, like that’s what they specialize in, even if they’re not in your city, sometimes even if they’re out of state, they will take it, they will build a case for you, and they will just mail
you your prescription, you don’t necessarily have to go to the pharmacy to get it. So, that’s one way I
would look about doing it. Another thing is to look into generics. So, I know a lot of patients think that brand name is better because it’s more expensive, it’s just not true, the only reason the brand
name is more expensive is because it was the
first one on the market, so they the ones who had
to do all the research and the studies, and they had to put a pattern out, so all of that costs money, and then by the time all of the hard work is done, a lot of other companies can create the same medication generic. The active ingredient is what matters, and that’s going to be the same. And then, another really great hack that doctors and pharmacists will do is a doctor can write a prescription for double the strength, as long as it’s not a medication that can’t be broken, like something like an extended release, we’ll write it for double the strength, and just tell the patient, “Get a pill cutter, cut it in half, and take half the dose.”, that way you basically
getting double the amount for what you paying. And, lastly, I would encourage you if you are on a medication
that’s not covered, and that specific one you want to take, look it up online, look to see if there’s a coupon code, look up if there’s drug reps in the area, a lot of times when
it’s a newer medication, if it’s a brand name, it’s expensive, they want patients to take it because they want to sell their drug, so they will come out
with little coupon cards that look just like an insurance card, and you bring it in the pharmacy, you can at least like get six months, two years sometimes off,
and then after that, you can resubmit it to your insurance, and kind of build a case, where look, “I’ve been steady on
this, it’s working for me, can I get it approved?”. So those are all really great solutions.

10 thoughts on “4 Ways to Cut the Cost of Medication

  1. It's not just heart medication it's many others even with insurance through work paying out of pocket 179.00 weekly and co pays I with copd can't afford my inhaler and other medications it's out of money I don't have. One inhaler that would only last 20 days cost $400.00 it's absolutely ridiculous!!!

  2. “GOOD RX” if you don’t have prescription insurance OR even if you do buy certain meds or not covered…. use GOOD RX it’s free and great!! Download the app or just go to the website…. you can put in what prescription your taking and it will give you all the pharmacies near you… it will give you exactly what it will cost at every place (each pharmacy is diff price) but they are great to use!!!!!!

  3. Look for natural alternatives and focus on improving overall health, treating the cause rather than medicating to hide to symptoms

  4. Do not split medication in half without checking with your pharmacist
    Some have special coatings to ensure that the tablet works properly
    A short quote on YouTube really doesn’t explain how to do it safely!

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