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Affordable Care - Prescriptions


Why Prescriptions are Important

We all know that when a doctor prescribes us a medicine we should pick it up from the pharmacy and take it as directed, but according to the National Council on Patient Information and Education, only about half of Americans followed their doctor's advice when it came to medications.For patients with chronic diseases like diabetes and high blood pressure, the costs of not following doctors' orders can be drastic.  Studies show that patients who do not take their medications as prescribed are more likely to be sicker, suffer from more complications and have higher mortality rates.2  These complications take not only a personal toll, but also a tremendous financial toll.  The overall cost of Americans failing to take their medication has been estimated at more than $170 billion annually.2  These consequences dramatically undermine our attempts to control the rising cost of health care and the doctor's ability to provide quality, evidence-based care.

 

What If I Can't Afford My Prescription?

Because doctors, hospitals, insurers and the government know how important it is to take your medicines, there are a number of resources available to you if you are unable to afford your prescription.  The following links are the best available resources we could find for getting low cost prescriptions:

Local

Consumers for Affordable Health Care - Help With Prescriptions 

MedAccess - www.mmc.org/medaccess 

Maine Rx Plus - http://www.maine.gov/dhhs/mainerx/index.htm

National

Prescription Assistance 360 - www.prescriptionassistance360.org/

NeedyMeds - www.needymeds.org/

RxAssist - www.rxassist.org/

Partnership for Prescription Assistance - www.pparx.org/

If you are still unable to fill your prescriptions after visiting these sites, try calling your doctor's office/hospital to see if they can help put you in touch with local resources.  You can also try contacting the pharmaceutical company that makes your medicine directly, as most of these companies have their own prescription assistance programs.

 

1"Enhancing Prescription Medicine Adherence: A National Action Plan"  National Council on Patient Information and Education  August 2007
2 Ramin Mojtabai and Mark Olfson "Medication Costs, Adherence, And Health Outcomes Among Medicare Beneficiaries" Health Affairs, 22, no.4 (2003):220-229


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