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I Can’t Afford That Medication

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I Can’t Afford That Medication

I Can’t Afford That Medication

Each day, I am faced with messages from patients that the medicine I ordered is going to cost many hundreds of dollars and they cannot afford the cost.

There are a few issues creating this problem. Insurance companies review the cost effectiveness of medicines and have been moving toward non-coverage of expensive medications when a less costly one will do the same. That is a problem for the patient whose condition only responds to the higher cost medicine. Often patients are told that if I write a letter detailing the problem, all the past therapy and justifying why I want to use the medicine, they will consider making an exception. That’s all well and good, except my day is spent treating you and others like you — not writing letters to insurance companies which, in my experience, rarely work anyway.

The second problem is that co-pay and deductible amounts are increasing. Frequently, we find that the high cost of the medication is because a deductible has not been met. It happened to me. A medication I take and did not need to be refilled until early this year cost me over $600. But once my deductible was satisfied, refills cost me very little.

Your issue with this as a patient is primarily cost. My issue is the frustration of trying to find a less costly substitute that will still do the job. I can’t always do that.

We doctors know that this problem is a mess and we don’t always have a good answer for you. But what will help everybody is clear and calm communication. Many of the callers express anger, as if I have any control of the situation with insurance companies, or should have known that their deductible was not met. Please remember that I’m here on your side. If you have a problem with the cost of a medication, call the office and my staff can try to help you.