HOW TO ADVOCATE FOR A DIFFERENT PRESCRIPTION WITH YOUR DOCTOR
A NEW DRUG YOU CAN’T AFFORD VS A GREAT DRUG YOU CAN
Doctors are smart. These incredibly talented men and women have spent years perfecting their medical skills. They are utterly committed to doing the best job they can, but they face challenges as the medical profession changes. Sole-practitioner doctors of old, who built personal relationship with members of the community, are now rare. Now most doctors work for large medical groups and there is increasing pressure for a doctor to see more patients. Another source of confusion is the increasing complexity of medical insurance. Every insurance carrier offers plans with wildly different prescription benefits. Under one plan a particular drug might cost a $10 co-pay for the patient. Under another plan, offered by the same carrier, that same drug is a $100 out-of-pocket expense for the patient. Why? Because the prescription benefit for the second plan is part of the overall plan deductible. There is no way any one doctor can keep track of this ever-changing insurance landscape.
Therefore, doctors tend to focus on the medical problem and on offering the very best solution. These are, after all, the only things the doctor can control. But here comes the unfortunate part. If the patient can’t take a drug because he or she can’t afford it, then it’s no cure at all. If you want your doctor to prescribe a “good” drug you can afford, you have to be prepared to partner with the doctor and advocate for yourself. Almost one third of all prescriptions written in the US are never taken, with cost cited as the single biggest factor, and 10% of all hospitalizations are due to patients not taking their medication or not taking the medication correctly
You are not trying to tell the doctor what to do. You are simply explaining barriers to wellness the doctor can’t know about unless you take a moment to explain. If you tell your doctor that, under your insurance plan, all prescription benefits are part of the deductible — which could be as high as $6,600 under the Affordable Care Act, or that you have no insurance, you will certainly find a willing ear. Take your smartphone or tablet on your next visit to the doctor and access RxWidget. This will give you our database of affordable drugs. Start with the doctor’s first prescription choice and you may find a generic match right off. If not, you and the doctor can use our one click search to access other drugs that treat the same condition. It only takes a few seconds, and everybody wins. As the patient you win because you have the most affordable prescription, know exactly what it will cost, and understand where to get it and how to ask for it. The doctor wins because the patient will take the prescription and get better. Best of all, RxWidget is totally free to use.