When I first heard these words, I thought the representative was just having fun time with me. As she kept talking, I realized this was no joking matter.
She was serious.
She said, let me repeat myself- your co-pay is $5,100. I was in shock at first. I have had expensive co-pay’s before, but none were quite as hefty as this.
What to Do When Your Co-Pay for Psoriasis Medication Is Too Expensive for You
My mind just started racing. I asked myself a series of questions.
- Where do I get this kind if money?
- Can I borrow it?
- I wonder if I can get a loan?
My biggest fear was, suppose I can do longer take my medication. So much was going though my head all at once. I wanted to scream.
The representative finally told me there was a patient assistance program that I could sign up with. There was no guarantee I would get approved, but it was worth a shot.
How I Found Financial Assistance to Pay the High Costs of Medication: My Experience With Psoriasis Patient Assistance Programs
I immediately sign up with them online. I got a call within 48 hours that the request was being process and that I should have my medication in about a week. I waited for the week to be over, but never got a call or my medications.
I called them at once and was informed that there was a problem with the assistance I was applying for. She took some more information and told me there would be a decision made in 10 days.
Here we go again.
My mind started racing. I didn’t understand what was going on. Unfortunately, I am still waiting. I am my own best advocate and knew I wasn’t going to take this lying down and I’m not.
I have been here before and there have been times that I couldn’t get my medication because the cost was so much. We live in one of the richest countries in the world.
I pay an arm and a leg to stay insured because I do have a chronic illness, but when I need to get my medication; I can’t afford the co-pay. This makes no sense to me.
Why can’t working people get the medical care they need? Or, just people in general. Why do we have to die because we can’t afford the medication? That has been the age-old question for a while.
My research into understanding patient assistance programs brought me to a video from the AJMS, also known as the American Journal of the Medical Sciences. (See scientific articles they have about psoriasis). In the following video, Steve Peskin, M.D., explains how funds for patient assistance programs are usually spent on medication for diabetes and end-of-life medications:
What to Do When You Can’t Afford Treatment: Finding Other Options for Treating Psoriasis
The crazy part about all this is that I remember in the 70’s having to get a tube of cream for my psoriasis. It costed around $100. This was a week’s pay back then. That same tube of medication today costs $500. What has changed? Not much. I couldn’t afford it than and can’t afford it now.
If for some reason you find you can’t afford to get your medication; don’t give up.
Sometimes there are other options out there for you.
- Go to the manufacture’s website. Ask for the medication for free, you never know, it’s worth a try. You might be surprised.
- Get samples from your doctor; they’re free. They might let you get a few months worth to get you over the hump.
- Believe it or not, the drug store you go to . . . can make a big difference. The prices do differ in different locations and neighborhoods.
- Apply for financial assistance with the National Psoriasis Foundation. They have a great resource and willing to help. (Check out the NPF’s Financial Assistance Resource Center for help affording your psoriasis treatments.)
- Co-pay assistance cards.
- Needy Meds: an organization that provides information to people who are having problems paying for their medications
- Email email@example.com. RX Management Group is great source to contact when you need help affording your psoriasis medication.
Understanding the World: Why Is Health Care So Expensive?
Did you know? According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), only 65.3 percent of Americans had some form of private health insurance in 2018.
That rate is 14 percent lower than it was in 1968!!! (Take a look at that statistic for yourself.)
According to a recent report from Census.gov, the rate of uninsured patients has changed significantly in from 2016–2017:
- In Washington, DC, that rate is just under 5 percent for non-Hispanic black communities.
- For Hispanic communities in the District, the rate is at around 10 percent.
- These changes in rates are the lowest in the entire country.
The price of medication has skyrocketed over the past 20 or so years. We need to work together, but we also need to let our doctors know that we can’t afford the medication they’re prescribing to us.
(If you need advice on talking to your doctor, check out my patient advocacy program.)
What’s the point in getting a prescription that we can’t get filled. They might be able to give us a generic brand, or try a lesser drug that is affordable.
Remember, we are all in this together.
Stay Healthy During Flu Season When Dealing With Chronic Disease
While I was fetching those statistics above, I realized how important it is to stay away from the flu (influenza) and viruses. Did you know that the flu can be worse for people who have a chronic disease like psoriasis?
Keep away from anyone who is coughing, and wash your hands to prevent the spread of germs.
Luckily, the CDC reports that the percentage of people testing positive for influenza has decreased by nearly 4 percent this last week. That’s good news!
Now, we have to stay away from the coronavirus as well. While the CDC has stated on their site that some people with serious illnesses are at a higher risk for getting the virus, psoriasis and PsA are not on the list of diseases that will cause a higher risk of contracting the coronavirus. Those with heart disease, lung disease, and diabetes are more likely to contract that virus.
If you’re interested in what’s going on in the psoriasis community, check out this list of events I’ll be attending in the near future. Until next time, stay healthy, and keep looking for a cure.