Providing high-value, cost-conscious medication therapy (Part II)
This is the second of a three-part series intended to help you ensure your patients receive the medications you prescribe. And how you can make sure they are taking them as safely as possible.
Give this advice to your patients – Choose the right pharmacy
- Tell your patients they should strive to use one pharmacy for all of their medications:
- If only one pharmacy is used, the pharmacist gets to know what medications patients take and can more easily tell when there may be a possibility of drug interactions which could cause side effects or bad reactions.
- Getting all medications at one pharmacy helps the pharmacist ensure patients are only taking the drugs they need to take.
- Remind patients to tell the pharmacist about drugs like aspirin, vitamins or other over-the-counter medications they are taking.
- Patients should make the pharmacist aware of allergies to any medications.
- Patients should go to a pharmacy they trust and/or where they can get all their medication questions answered.
A variety of useful resources are available for all patients. Some of these can help patients save money on medications, while others provide them with information they might need about Medicare or ordering prescriptions online. You may want to include these on your website.
Help with prescription costs
- Needymeds.org – a non-profit group that can help patients in need receive a discount card for prescriptions (under “Patient Savings” – provides information about patient assistance from pharmaceutical companies; and SHIP (state health insurance assistance program)).
- Pparx.org – provides information on free or discounted medications from pharmaceutical companies for patients without insurance.
- Rxoutreach.org – discounted medications for low income individuals.
- Benefitscheckup.org – lists of services to assist with paying for medications or food.
- Blinkhealth.com – This site will help your patient identify a generic substitution for a brand-name medication you prescribed. It will also direct patients to where they can purchase generic medications for the least expense.
- There are websites (goodrx.com, pharmacychecker.com, blinkhealth.com) and apps (lowestmed, goodrx) that can be used on smartphones to compare prices.
Resources for Medicare patients
- Medicare.gov – This site helps patients understand and choose from Medicare Part D plans offered within their state; formulary information for each plan is included.
- Medicare pharmaceutical assistance programs – Provides criteria for eligibility and contact information on state help for drug payments.
- Medicarerights.org – An independent, non-profit, consumer advocacy group that counsels patients and helps them navigate the Medicare system, and make the most of their Medicare coverage.
- Ssa.gov/prescriptionhelp – A Social Security-based program that provides options for patients who need assistance with medication costs.
- Ssa.gov/pubs/10525.html – Provides instruction and the application to apply to the Extra Help program.
- Shiptalk.org – State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP); one-on-one counseling for patients and families to assist with their Medicare options.
FDA information for patients
You can read Part I here. Watch for Part III next week!