Some of you may know of disability advocate and award-winning journalist Richard Cohen's Strong at the Broken Places blog. Have you ever wondered about Richard and his life with M.S., or about the people's he's interviewed and written about, including those with chronic pain?
Wonder no more!
"A Patient Voice" is the name of the series of 17 video and audio clips that are companion pieces to the blog. They're from 5-32 minutes long, so I suggest taking them in slowly and looking at the matching blog as you go along.
Everyone is concerned about cutting costs on everything these days, including prescriptions. So I thought I'd share a few tips that might help.
1) See if you can get a generic that is on that list of several hundred drugs available at Wal*Mart for about $4.00 for a 30-day supply. Target and Fred Myers chains also have the same program. Check that list and see if any medication you take is on it, and get your prescription transferred there if it would be cheaper. Also, don't be shy about printing out the list and asking your doctor about it. Sometimes there are generics or substitutes available for medications you may be currently taking.
2) Check the inserts for your prescription drug's manufacturer. If you don't have one, ask your pharmacist for the insert, or look it up online. Contact the maker (they usually have toll-free phone numbers) and see if they have a prescription assistance program--you'd be surprised how many of them do. The good news is that drug makers Pfizer, Merck, Abbott, and AzstraZeneca have created or expanded their Prescription Assistance programs.
3) You may be interested in checking out the Partnership for Prescription Assistance . Their mission is to "help qualifying patients who lack prescription coverage get the medicines they need through the public or private program that's right for them. Many will get them free or nearly free." Also, take a look at NeedyMeds.com (These are not a WebMD sites, and we cannot guarantee content).
4) Use the pharmacy at CostCo, a warehouse store which can buy in bulk so their prescription prices are very low. You do not have to be a CostCo member to use their pharmacy.
5) Ask your doctor about samples or coupons he or she may have available for patients.
Here are several free and low-cost health care resources that may be helpful. If you know of any in your community and want to share the URL (web address) please go ahead and post them here in this thread.
Together, we can help one another through these difficult times.
HRSA.gov --Have you heard of HRSA-supported health centers? They care for you, even if you have no health insurance. You pay what you can afford, based on your income. These include dental, immunizations, and mental health care resources.
BenefitsCheckUp.org -- “Many older people need help paying for prescription drugs, health care, utilities and other basic needs. Ironically, millions of older Americans — especially those with limited incomes — are eligible for but not receiving benefits from existing federal, state and local programs.”
Free Clinics-- Use the search to find state and local free clinics and see if one is near you.
NeedyMeds.org Clinics--You do not have to provide any documentation to validate your income. You do not have to provide any other form of identification, such as proof of citizenship or “green card.”
Other--Please make sure and check local resources for tests PAP smear, mammograms, prostate cancer screenings, cholesterol screenings, bone density tests, and blood pressure checks. Drug stores, grocery stores with pharmacies, Planned Parenthood, community health centers, local hospitals, senior centers and women's clinics will often have these tests/exams available at low cost or even free. Keep your eyes peeled!
Note:None of these are WebMD sites, so we cannot guarantee content. Clinics may change requirements and/or services offered. Please contact them directly to find current information.
Having developed tendinosis (5 years ago while doing data entry for an insurance company) after having already been trained in computer programming, I spent time (far too much due to my tendinosis) developing a free web service that allows folks (particularly those with hand/arm disabilities) to send voicemails through email. I essentially developed it for my own needs, but made it available to everyone.
This service can be used to send a voice message to someone's email address, when you might not wish to call their cell phone. Let's say you don't wish to have a live conversation with them, or they're sleeping and you don't wish to wake them. You can also serenade someone in a way that's just not the same through email. Also, I was tired of folks misinterpreting what I typed because it didn't convey the inflection with which I meant it. Now, I'm more easily understood.
AcousticMail is in beta, which in computer speak means there might still be some bugs here and there. Let me know if you find any.
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