No Meds Rx II: Hidden Money

Topics: Aging and Costs of Aging, High Cholesterol, Wellness and Health

Last week I covered common reasons people stop taking their medications: reminders, financial/physical barriers, and poor communication.  This week, money.

But saving real money appears to be with reminders (last week) and communication (next week).

Even bigger money? Small lifestyle changes that let you avoid the need for medication, or reduce your dependence on it. But then, that’s what ChefMD and is about. And so are Medifocus books on diabetes, high cholesterol, and reflux.

Medication samples are ostensibly for checking side effects before investing in a full prescription.

But in practice they are often used for people who cannot afford any medicine. And when they run out (only new meds are usually sampled), the medically indigent are out of luck.

Fortunately, these sites are patient assistance programs:

  • needymeds.com (brand name and generic discounts)
  • rxassist.org (many options)
  • pparx.com (brand names)
  • rxhope.com (online apps)
  • togetherrxaccess.com (brand name and generic discounts)
  • accesstobenefits.org (Medicare beneficiaries)

The latter site offers enrollment for Medicare Rx Extra Help, as does benefitscheckup.org.

In addition, major pharma groups (AZ, GSK, Lilly, Merck and Pfizer) have medication discount programs: AZ, Merck and Pfizer’s programs cover all uninsured individuals; Lilly covers Medicare Part D individuals only; GSK has programs that cover both.