Are you having trouble finding an affordable asthma doctor, or paying for your asthma medicine? If so, you are not alone. And there are people who want to help you. So if you need help, this post is a must read.
The economy is in flux, and that's for sure. And that has left many of our fellow asthmatics without work, without health insurance, and without a means to pay for asthma doctors and asthma medicine. The result is poorly controlled asthma and frequent emergency room visits.
I've seen many such folks over the past several years. Many I've gotten to know all too well. As I interview them, most are good people who would easily be gallant asthmatics but can't because they can't afford a doctor and can't afford their medicine.
Most have Albuterol inhalers that are expired or empty. Many have prescriptions for Albuterol they can't afford to fill. Many have prescriptions for Advair they can't afford to fill.
To make matters worse, ER visits cost a lot more than asthma meds, a lot more than asthma doctors, and are preventable. Yet if you don't have any money, what are your options? You risk not taking your medicine and your asthma gets worse and worse.
The good news is there are good folks who want to help. They have set up some nice websites that can help you find a low-cost (or free) doctor near you, and help you pay for your medicine.
The following websites are designed to help you:
- Partnership for Prescription Assistance RX Assist (www.pparx.org)
- RX Assist (www.rxassist.org)
- NeedyMeds (www.needymeds.org)
- Xopenex (www.xopenex.com)
- Ventolin (www.gskforyour.com)
As a fellow asthmatics have empathy for my fellow asthmatics in need. As a respiratory therapist I now have the above websites I can refer my fellow asthmatics to.
Just remember the followng advice most asthma experts I think would agree with:
- You should see an asthma doctor a minimum of once a year, and more often if you have uncontrolled asthma
- You should always have a rescue inhaler -- like Albuterol -- near you at all times to treat acute (it's happening now) asthma symptoms
- Asthma can be prevented with the right asthma controller medicines, such as Flovent, Pulmicort, Advair, Symbicort, Singulair
The problem is that keeping your asthma under control can cost a lot of money. Hopefully the resources provided above will help allay the cost.
- West, Cheryl, "RTs Can Be a Resource To Help Patients with the Cost of Their Medications," AARC Times, April, 2012, vol. 36, issue 4, pages 16-17
- Humme, Anne Marie, "CFC-Free Inhalers Are Available; Financial Assistance May be Available," YourLungHealth.org, http://www.yourlunghealth.org/headlines/2011/05/cfc-free_inhalers.cfm