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Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Affording asthma

Since Hubby and I and all 3 of our teenagers have allergies, and the teenagers and I all have asthma, we can spend quite a bit of money at the pharmacy.

In fact, it's a little sad when I walk into the pharmacy and the employees there take one look at me, then turn around and pull our prescriptions off the alphabetized shelf. Is that a good thing? That they know me so well that they know that I am picking up allergy and asthma medicine for someone in my family?

It's kind of like when I call the mechanic, and when he hears my voice, he'll say "which one do you need to bring in now, the truck or the minivan?" And sometimes I'll say, "Ha! It's the Jeep this time!!"

You know you are visiting the mechanic and pharmacy too much when they know your voice on the phone, and they know your face when you come in to pick up a prescription. I'm glad they know me and like me, but I think I am giving them too much of my hard earned money!

What do you do if you can't afford to go to the doctor and can't afford your medicine? There is a website I have been using for years, called Needymeds. It's a database where you can find help. No matter where you live, you can find a free/low cost clinic near you, and you can also find help paying for your medicine.

The free clinic section on their website is a great place to find help. Simply click on the state where you live, or type in your zip code and find a clinic that is "free, low cost, low cost with a sliding scale based on income, or offer some type of financial assistance."  

Click here to find help paying for generic drugs (and it's ANY generic drug, not just asthma medications). Click here for brand name drugs. They also have coupons you can print out and take to the pharmacy.

Son #2 has Xolair injections to control his severe asthma, and the serum cost $1500 a month. Our co-pay is $150 a month (and that's in addition to all the other allergy and asthma medicines that we pay for.) We found a foundation on Needymeds that will pay for our copay. You are going to have to do some work to get the help. Once we found a foundation that would cover our medicine, we had to call them and start the application process. And they will ask you to verify your income.

But if they are offering to pay for your medicine, by all means let them! It's important to keep taking your medicine. You can often cause a bigger problem by not taking the medicine. Many people with asthma take controller/maintenance medication, which helps control our asthma and keep it from getting worse. I would rather pay for my asthma medicine than let it get worse and end up paying for a visit to the Emergency Room, or worse yet-end up hospitalized.

Check out Needymeds, and spread the word. We should all be able to pay for the medicine that keeps us healthy!     

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