START A PETITION 27,000,000 members: the world's largest community for good
START A PETITION
x
1,459,567 people care about Health Policy

How Can You Afford Your Prescriptions?

  • by
  • December 19, 2008
  • 7:27 am
How Can You Afford Your Prescriptions?

Prescription drug costs in this country are soaring–so much so, that many Americans are just not filling their prescriptions. With more and more folks losing their jobs because of the downturn in the economy, more people will be without health insurance as well. Because prescription drug coverage is tied to employment for most working Americans, this presents a huge problem. It might be possible to forgo visits to your healthcare provider for a few months while you look for a new job, but it may not be possible nor advisable to stop taking your prescription medications during that time.

So, what is one to do?

There are some options available to ease the burden of the costs of prescription drugs during this time. One recent invention has been very low-cost generic drugs provided by pharmacies. In many areas, hundreds of different generic drugs are available at only $4 for a one-month supply, or $9-10 for a three-month supply. For example, Walmart, Target, CVS, and Giant Eagle all offer these programs; check the websites for locations.  These medications include many common medications to treat cardiac, diabetic, and allergic conditions. Additionally, some pharmacies have taken to providing a full course of commonly prescribed generic antibiotics for free. All one has to do is show up with a prescription for the antibiotic, and the drug is free from the pharmacy. There are generally no income qualifications for these types of programs.

For more long-term needs, and for folks whose income drops significantly because of the loss of employment, one should check out the available prescription assistance programs (PAPs) available for their prescription. In many cases, if you qualify because of your income, you can receive brand-name medications from the major pharmaceutical manufacturers at little or no cost. This is immensely helpful for folks who need to be on long-term medications for which there are no generic alternatives. Because of the hundreds of available PAP’s, I suggest going to the Partnership for Prescription Assistance website and going through the online qualification process in order to see which of your drugs may be covered by a prescription assistance program.  This site can also link you up with statewide or local prescription assistance resources as well.

Over the long run, the cost of prescription drugs must be addressed as part of the process of health care reform. Prescription drug costs are a huge proportion of the dollars spent in this country on health care. Making prescription drugs more affordable and accessible for everyone must be an essential part of any health care reform plan. I encourage everyone to get involved, whether you take prescription drugs or not, in pushing this issue with your local, state, and national elected representatives. People are literally dying because they cannot afford their prescription drugs. This is an unacceptable situation that we cannot allow to continue.

Dr. Darrell Spurlock is a nurse, academic, and writer. His main interests are in health policy, social and health research, human rights, and social justice.  He is passionate about the idea that all people have a right to the best possible life, including high-quality health care.

Read more: , , , , , , ,

Image 2007 mtsofan

have you shared this story yet?

some of the best people we know are doing it

8 comments

+ add your own
11:33PM PST on Jan 1, 2009

my meds come to $240 + $68+ $120.00+ $81.00+ this is rx only not over the counter i am on pain mgt bp medicine ambien forgot zoloft its $130 for 30 tabs i take 1/2 a day so ad this up it comes to$639.00 a month and my ssdi check is only $700. go figure its killing me i go eith out my least meds. that i need to function i cant walk without the pain mgt??? thanks good luck chris ryan

10:42AM PST on Dec 31, 2008

I am amazed at the amount of people who can no longer afford the prescriptions they have, I get the feeling we (the elderly & poor) are being used, one thing is for sure congress has the best medical insurance, why should they be any better off than us, when they can afford to pay. I have cut out using my statin because its too expensive, I have no clue as to whether I will be able to afford my other meds in the future. And this is the land of the free. More like Russia in the 1800's.

10:39AM PST on Dec 31, 2008

I am amazed at the amount of people who can no longer afford the prescriptions they have, I get the feeling we (the elderly & poor) are being used, one thing is for sure congress has the best medical insurance, why should they be any better off than us, when they can afford to pay. I have cut out using my statin because its too expensive, I have no clue as to whether I will be able to afford my other meds in the future. And this is the land of the free. More like Russia in the 1800's.

8:17AM PST on Dec 31, 2008

The 3 month supply for $10 helps, you need to get a prescription written for 90 day quantity. Have 3 drugs that qualify. My CVS honors the Walmart price. Can get the whole or partial list on Walmart's web site. If a medication may be split, i.e. it's not time release etc, it is cost effective to get the higher dosage and split them in half, 2 of my medications qualify for this method.
http://www.cvshealthpass.com/DEFAULT.asp

You don't have to belong to this to check out what the difference would be e.g. a 10 mg tablet vs. 5 mg, 100 mg vs. 50 mg. Also check out the difference between brand name and generic. If you don't know the generic name can find out on line at home or by going to library/and or using their computer.

2:43AM PST on Dec 31, 2008

I go on MCR in Feb and loose my good insurance. I am diabetic and my insulin alone costs over $700.00 a month. I take another $600.00 of drugs a month.That amount equals my Social Security check leaving nothing for all my living expenses. Did you know there is no generic insulin? America spends over 3 billion a year on insulin. RX lobbyist stop any generic from being made available and insulin has been around for 50 years. We will loose our home due to this. We both worked all of our lives for our home and family. Now we have to give our pensions and Social Security to the drug manufactures to stay alive. That is not how we planned to spend our retirement homeless and penniless because of the greed of the drug manufactures. Shame on them and their stockholders where ever in the world they are.

8:30PM PST on Dec 30, 2008

It's not just prescription costs. I've had to quit taking a statin because I cannot afford to go to the doctor and get the blood work done in order to obtain a new prescription.

7:08PM PST on Dec 30, 2008

I've paid for a $400 prescription for over 2 years; now have nothing left.

8:29AM PST on Dec 24, 2008

I don't know how I can/will be able to afford my prescriptions. End of story.

add your comment



Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

Care2 - Be Extraordinary - Start a Care2 Petition
ads keep care2 free
CONTACT THE EDITORS

Recent Comments from Causes

I have to laugh at comments that imply that Pres. Obama choosing only women reporters is being unfair…

Winter in certain parts of the country can be a challenge, especially if you didn't grow up there. After…

If wishes were horses... However, I do see some cities and a few states enacting a livable minimum wage.…

ads keep care2 free



Select names from your address book   |   Help
   

We hate spam. We do not sell or share the email addresses you provide.