Showing posts with label pharmacy. Show all posts
Showing posts with label pharmacy. Show all posts

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Survey Says: Consumers are leaving money at the pharmacy counter

We recently conducted a survey where we asked 1,000 consumers about their spending, shopping, and savings habits when it comes to purchasing prescription medication. The results revealed that while a majority of people taking prescription medication and are interested in saving money, only a small percentage has actually attempted to do so at the pharmacy.



Over 65% of respondents said that they take at least one prescription, and 50% said that they fill at least ten per year. And over half – 59% - are spending $150 or more on their medication on an annual basis. For many people, this price can be too high to pay, and even skip their medication because they can’t afford it.

With an estimated 80-100 million Americans currently uninsured (and many millions more who are underinsured), it’s not surprising that people are spending too much.

The survey also brought to light the harsh reality around the limited awareness regarding prescription savings options.

The FamilyWize card saves an average of 42% on prescriptions, and in many cases gives a deeper discount than insurance – but only 18% of people have ever even tried to use a savings card. That’s the equivalent of 4 out of 5 people never using coupons or looking for deals when they shop for groceries.

Why are so many people missing out? Awareness could be a key issue. Only half or the consumers polled had ever heard of prescription savings cards, meaning there are many people out there who are missing a chance to save simply because they don’t know that it’s out there.

What can we do to change this? We can start by spreading the word. FamilyWize works with partners like United Way, the American Heart Association, and the NCOA to increase awareness about the savings offered by FamilyWize. By working together, we can strengthen communities nationwide.


Know someone who you think might be spending too much for prescriptions? Print out a free card for them at http://familywize.org/card, or direct them to the free FamilyWize app, available on iPhone, Android, and Windows Phones.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Should You Buy Your Meds Online?

The last time I needed a prescription medication, my doctor typed it into his computer and I just went to my local pharmacy to pick it up. One co-pay later and I was on my way to recovery. Since my COBRA benefits expired last month, along with my prescription benefits, I'm now on my own for medications.

Before I knew about FamilyWize, I wondered if I could buy a ninety day supply via mail order from an on line pharmacy like I did with my former insurance plan.  That was very economical and I wondered if I could do the same online without insurance. I searched for a pharmacy online and came up with a huge list. Which one is the best online pharmacy? Are there risks involved? How can I protect myself?

What I learned made me hesitant, it seems like the risks might not outweigh any benefits.

Risks of Ordering Online
  • A pharmacy online might not be licensed in the U.S. so it might not adhere to U.S. safety standards.
  • Counterfeit drugs might be dispensed.
  • The site might not be a real pharmacy and could steal your identity/credit card information.
  • Medications might not be received or be correct and the pharmacy offers no resolution to the problem.
Other Red Flags
  • An e pharmacy that doesn't insist on having the prescription mailed or faxed to them isn’t legitimate. Federal law requires pharmacists to have a written prescription that contains the doctor's signature and other information that identifies the doctor as one that is licensed to write prescriptions.
  •  An international pharmacy might provide medication that is not approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
  •  Would you want to order ANYTHING, especially medicine from a pharmacy that does not list a street address or has only foreign contact information?
Here’s a link with some useful information you can use to protect yourself.

One thing that I discovered was that part of the reason buying by mail or online seemed so economical was because I was ordering a three month supply.  I discovered that there’s a real savings because the pharmacy is only charging one dispensing fee for the three month supply. If you fill them as 3 separate prescriptions, you’ll pay a fee for each filling.

pharmacy
Local pharmacies offer counseling from a pharmacist.
If your doctor, or vet for pet medications, will write a 90 day prescription and you use a FamilyWize card, you may find you save even more than ordering from an online pharmacy. Plus if you shop at your local pharmacy, you'll save postage too. So if you're looking for a discount, don't discount your local pharmacy. 

Here’s  something I learned that may even be more valuable than saving money on your prescription. When ordering online, we don't get face time with a pharmacist who can be familiar with our overall health. I've been getting prescriptions for both my mother and myself and it's nice to be able to connect with the same pharmacist each time. I was looking for an over the counter allergy medication recently, and our pharmacist suggested checking with my doctor first because what I had chosen could have an interaction with one of my prescribed medications.  I realized I might miss out on that extra care if I purchase prescriptions from one store and over the counter medications from another store.

Try your FamilyWize discount drug card on a 90 day supply of your prescriptions and see how much you can save.

Caroline Carr
Contributing Writer

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Affordable Health Care - The Court's Decision

It has been decided.  The Supreme Court made their ruling regarding the Affordable Care Act.  The court upheld the mandate that the federal health care reform bill, brought forth by President Obama and Congress, can require Americans to buy health insurance or pay a penalty stating that it is "characterized as a tax," which is permitted by the Constitution.
medicine uninsured health care cost
Supreme Court passes federal health care reform bill.

FamilyWize does not take a political position on this decision.  Our stand is that we fully support affordable health care for all children, individuals, and families in the United States.

But even as government moves forward to implement the federal health care law, there is nothing in legislation that mandates coverage of prescription medications.  

There is an unprecedented and growing need for prescription medicine coverage.  More than 80 million people in the U.S. are uninsured or underinsured.  More than ever, people need access to affordable medical and prescription coverage.  


Even when this Affordable Care Act is implemented in 2014 problems with the rising cost of medical bills and prescription medication do not go away.  In order to make health care more affordable, insurance plans are cutting out or cutting back healthcare coverage, and especially prescription coverage.  No matter who you are in America; the increasing costs of getting necessary prescription medicines may seem to be an UN-Affordable act.

There Are Options and Help with Your Health Care Bills

Since 2005, FamilyWize has been working with the United Ways to provide affordable prescription medicines to everyone in America whether they have health insurance or not.  FamilyWize has set a goal to "reduce the cost of medicine for children, families, and individuals by $1 billion by the end of 2015."

affordable health care
Family Wize discount drug card is free nationwide.
With the constant changes in Medicare, Medicaid, and increased expenses to state and federal governments, every person can help another person get a FREE FamilyWize United Ways prescription discount drug card. We are a country "united" and we need to work together to make affordable options in prescription drug costs.  Across our country over 60,000 pharmacies are providing discounts to individuals and families who may not otherwise afford their prescribed medicines.  From the Medicare Donut Hole to middle and lower income individuals and families who are uninsured or under insured - health care costs are on the rise for everyone.

So please take one minute today to help do your part in making health care more affordable.

Print a discount drug card or text the word "family" to 700700 and  start saving money on prescription medications!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Don't Pill'fer Your Medications Potency This Summer

 "Store Medications at Room Temperature"


Those four words are etched on most pill bottle labels, but how many of us travel with temperature-sensitive medications follow those words? 


Temperature Medications Sensitive
Medications left in car can lose potency.
Summer is here, which means higher temperatures, vacation travel  and the potential for compromising medications that require a temperature controlled environment.

We all do it:  leave the inhaler in the glove box; the insulin bottle slips between the seats; and those nitroglycerin tablets fell out of the blazer pocket when thrown in the back seat. 

Leaving medications that are sensitive to heat does more than simply warm them.  When prescription medications are left at above room temperatures, like in a hot car, it affects how potent and effective the drug is.  During peak summer months, interior car temperatures can reach over 110 degrees, which well exceeds the 72 degree room temperature typical for medications. 

Here are a few tips on how to travel smarter with your temperature sensitive medications:

1.  Don't leave medications in your car when you're not. Think of them as a pet- you wouldn't leave a dog in a hot car, would you?! Don't leave them to sweat it out in the trunk either, but somewhere air circulates to keep a safe temperature.

2.  Certain prescription drugs are more susceptible to heat than others and require a controlled temperature
  • Insulin, which is used to treat diabetes patients, degrades very quickly when exposed to heat and should never be left in a car.  According to the American Diabetes Association, current bottles of insulin should be stored at room temperature and extra bottles can be stored in the fridge.  It should never be stored in the freezer, in direct sunlight, or in the glove compartment of a vehicle. 
  • Nitroglycerin, used by those who have heart conditions, is affected very quickly by heat.  According to Drugs.com, Nitroglycerin is to be stored at room temperature and away from heat, moisture, and light. 
  • Inhalers, a device used to treat Asthma, contain medicine in a pressurized can.  According to Proventil, a brand of asthma inhaler, exposure to temperatures above 120°F may cause bursting. 
  • Epicene, used for the emergency treatment of allergic reactions (anaphylaxis), is another drug that should not be exposed to heat.  According to Drugs.com, EpiPens should be stored at room temperatures, not refrigerated or frozen, and stored away from heat, light, and moisture.  Brief storage at temperatures between 59 and 86 degrees is permitted.
3.  Check with your doctor or pharmacist to see if your medication is able to be refrigerated.  Depending on the medication, sticking your medications in a cooler usually has a lesser affect on medication than heat.  Find a cooler with a strap so you can tote it around on your shoulder to shield your medications from the heat and sun.

4.  Before you down your medicine, be sure to check the anatomy of your medicine.  If it comes in the form of a capsule or pill, double check to make sure they aren't stuck together or wilted.  If your pills don't look the same after they were exposed to heat, it's probably best to check with your doctor or pharmacist to see if they are still safe to consume.

5.  If traveling on a plane, do not check your prescription drugs with your luggage. Most cargo holds are not climate controlled so the potency of your pills cannot be guaranteed.  Throw your pills in your carry on bag - that way you know they are safe. 

6.  Most pharmacies will provide a one time replacement for incidents like these.  Check with your insurance company, or drug manufacturer to see if it will replace your medicine.  If your insurance company will not provide a replacement for your overheated med and you have to purchase it at retail price, print out a FamilyWize Card and take it to one of our participating pharmacies.  Eight out of ten times, FamilyWize can give you a discount on your FDA approved medication.

Of course, only your doctor or pharmacist can provide professional advice on effective ways to store medications.

So, who else is guilty of leaving their medications in a summery place? Comment to share your PILLfered potency story!

Krysta W.