Asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) medicines tend to be expensive. If you find that you are unable to pay for your medicine, please do not go without. There are many people willing to help you, and many programs set up to help defray the cost of prescription medicines.
Here are 10 tips to help afford your asthma medicine.
1. Talk to your doctor about free samples. While these usually have less than a month worth of the medicine, it may help buy you some time to find a means of paying for your medicine. A doctor may also have knowledge of programs that may help you pay for your medicine.
2. Ask about trying a lower dose. Advair, which may cost as much as $60 a month with a co-pay and $250 without, comes in three doses. If you take the higher dose and your asthma is controlled, perhaps your doctor will allow you to try a lower dose. You may also ask him about trying one puff once a day to make the inhaler last twice as long.
3. Talk to your doctor about alternative medicines. Staying on our Advair theme, there are other products, or products in combination, that may work the same way Advair works at a lower cost.
5. Contact the producers of your medications like GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), or utilize their website gskforyou.com. They want to sell their product, so they may be able to connect you with programs designed to help defray the cost.
6. Search the community of online pharmaceuticals for a better price. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recommends that if you live in the U.S., you purchase only from pharmacies in the U.S. The FDA has a neat webpage designed to help you find safe and legal online pharmacies.
7. Talk to your pharmacist. They may have knowledge of a program designed to help you afford your medicine. Pharmacists are sometimes willing to give a small supply of a medicine to last until you can afford the entire prescription, although this usually isn't an option for high-cost medicines. However, it's worth a try.
9. Some states have pharmaceutical assistance programs. To learn about these, or to find out if one of these programs exist in your state, you can check out the website of the National Conference of State Legislatures.
10. There are many other online resources for help. For instance, healthfinder.com has a list of options that may help. Another place to try is the Patient Access Network Foundation. Or you could try the Co-pay Relief Program.
The bottom line: Do not try to go without a prescription that is proven to help you live a better life with asthma. While you're going to have to do a little work to find them, there are many programs and people willing to help.