Can’t Afford Your Medicine? Here are Some Ideas
Last updated: September 2020
Many people are realizing that COPD medicine, especially inhalers, can be very expensive. This is often true even if you have health insurance. We could get into a lengthy debate as to why they’re so expensive. For now, however, we’ll just put forth some ideas to help you get the medicines you need.
Your doctor may have free samples
Sometimes doctors have free samples of medicines to give to patients. I have taken advantage of this many times over the years, and at one point or another have tried just about every asthma medicine for free. If you need a short-term solution, if you need your medicine right now, this is a good place to start. The problem here is you will eventually need to find some other means of getting the medicine.
Look into the medication's website
A few years ago my doctor wanted me to try Breo (for asthma) for a while to see how it worked for me. He gave me a free sample and told me to check out mybreo.com, and you will find a link to a free offer for free Breo for a year. I took advantage of this. Other pharmaceuticals have similar offers. It’s not a permanent solution, although it should help you for a little while at least.
Consider an alternative medication
For many years I was on Advair, although I noted that the cost had gone up, and my insurance company no longer wanted to pay for it. This was when my doctor suggested I try Breo, which was free for a year. I have also tried other similar medicines for free utilizing free samples and pharmaceutical offers. Keep in mind that while these medicines are similar, their chemical compositions are still somewhat different. It’s not like switching to generic medicine, which is the same as the original version.
Ask about generic medications
Patents on new medicines last about 20 years. When they expire, it allows other competing pharmaceuticals to produce and sell cheaper versions of the same medicine. Many pharmacies automatically switch you to the generic versions, although it’s still a good idea to ask. Keep in mind generic medicine contains the same ingredients as the patented versions, and they have to meet the same testing criteria, so they should work the same.
Discover helpful websites
There are many websites designed by various organizations that are meant to help people afford their medicine. I’m sure there are more out there, although the ones I’m aware of are Needymeds.org, RXAssist.org, RXHOpe.com, Partnership for Prescription, and National Conference of State Legislatures. There are also government assistance programs that help if you qualify, such as medicaid.gov and medicarerights.org.
There are many great medicines that can help people with lung diseases breathe easier, although they can be very expensive. Going without the medicines meant to help you breathe is not an option. If you need help, now you have some options worth trying. If you have any tips that might help someone, please let us know in the comments below.
Do you know the difference between a COPD exacerbation and lung function decline?
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