I can’t afford to get a prescription but need it in order to get better. Is there something else I can take instead?
Prednisone is a steroid and is only available on prescription. That’s because it’s a powerful drug that has potential long-term side effects and should therefore not be taken except under the supervision of a doctor.
Do you have RA and are you worried about the cost of the doctor's appointment? Do you have any medical insurance? I’m guessing not, but please correct me if I’m wrong. If you have problems accessing medical care and getting the medication you need, there are alternatives that can help you. There are ways to access medical services if you don’t have insurance. The Affordable Care Act can also be of benefit to you.
I’d recommend that you talk to your doctor about your financial problems. There are a number of things you can do to make your medical care less expensive, including even negotiating with your doctor about how to pay and how much to pay. Given your problem with affording prednisone, I’d also suggest that you talk to your rheumatologist about treatment options. Using another type of medication can help you access financial assistance programs for medication.
Prednisone is one of the cheapest drugs out there. A months supply is less than $10. If you need help paying here are some resources:
Help with Prescription Drugs
- Ask your doctor for help. Many people never ask their doctors about how they could save on medicines. Your doctor may have plenty of ideas -- and he or she also may have access to free samples.
- Ask your pharmacist for help. A frank discussion with your local pharmacist also could work wonders for you. Inquire about free samples or less expensive alternatives that will be effective for your situation.
- Investigate helpful programs. To determine your eligibility for reduced-cost or cost-free drug programs, visit the Web site of Partnership for Prescription Assistance at www.pparx.org OR call 888-477-2669.
Another site that can point you to drug manufacturers' assistance programs is www.NeedyMeds.org
www.healthwellfoundation.org is a nonprofit that offers financial assistance to patients with serious and chronic illnesses to help pay insurance co-pays, premiums, and even prescription drug costs. Currently they help people with RA, psoriatic arthritis, and ankylosing spondylitis.
www.coverageforall.org is the Foundation for Health Coverage Education site and they may offer assistance. The site allows visitors to see what they might be eligible to receive through local, state, and national aid, and allows them to apply online or speak with a counselor.
For Specific Drugs:
Pfizer Meds such as Lipitor, Celebrex, & Xanax: 866-706-2400 or log onto www.pfizerhelpfulanswers.com
AstraZeneca Meds such as Crestor, Nexium & Seroquel: Log onto
Merck Meds such as Singulair, Januvia, & Maxalt: Call 800-727-5400 or log onto www.merck.com/merckhelps
For a directory of programs visit: www.helpingpatients.org or www.rxassist.org
The Chronic Disease Fund - www.cdfund.org or call 800-675-8416
The HealthWell Foundation - www.healthwellfoundation.org or call 800-675-8416
The Patient Advocate Foundation Co-Pay Relief - www.copays.org or call 866-512-3861
www.va.gov/health or call 877-222-8387
FOR YOUR STATE:
Go to Medicare's website and click on your state: www.medicarerights.org/rxchart_states.html
FOR YOUR COUNTY:
The National Association of Counties also has a drug discount program. To find out if your county participates visit: www.naco.advancerx.com or call 877-321-2652.
HOW TO LESSEN YOUR FINANCIAL BURDEN FOR MEDICAL EXPENSES FOR SENIORS:
Make sure you are getting all the benefits you are entitled to by logging onto www.benefitscheckup.org a service of The National Council on Aging. This site allows you to find and apply for government and private programs that help pay for expenses including healthcare bills.
For local resources check with the Eldercare Locator service at www.eldercare.gov and the National Association of Area Agencies on Aging www.N4A.org
AARP & WALGREENS
It's all about having easy access to medications you need at a price that won't break the bank. The AARP Prescription Discount Program provides you with exclusive discounts on ALL FDA-approved prescription medications and specialty drugs, at participating retail network pharmacies and through Walgreens Mail Service.
Here are just some of the benefits you'll enjoy:
Pharmacy locator:Find your nearest network pharmacy.
If you currently use a Medicare Part D mail service provider, please continue to use that provider. The AARP Prescription Discount Program is NOT a replacement for Medicare Part D.
Patient Assistance Drug Programs: