I don’t think a day goes by when I don’t encounter a post about a patient not being able to afford their cancer medications. And with all of the concern currently being shared about national health care in the United States, there are growing numbers of people who are worried that they may not be able to afford their medications in the future. However, you might be surprised that there are resources available to you today to get prescription assistance if you need it, if you just do a bit of research.
With all of the concern currently being shared about national health care in the United States, there are growing numbers of people who are worried that they may not be able to afford their medications in the future.Barbara Jacoby
I found an awesome resource that provides a very comprehensive list of sites and suggestions about getting your medications at a lower or no cost. For a patient or caregiver, this can make the greatest difference in being able to locate the best option for a treatment. And remember that this information does not just apply to cancer medications but to all medications that any patient may need for any disease. And, in particular, if you or a patient that you know has been prescribed a particular medication, the pharmaceutical company that is the manufacturer may provide some of the best options for patient assistance.
I personally became aware of this problem when a friend was diagnosed with lung cancer. He had no insurance at the time and made the decision that rather than to spend the family’s savings on treatment that may not even make a difference, he would not follow the course that his medical team had recommended and just die with dignity. He was not aware that there were programs available that could have provided him with help in securing the treatment that he needed. His medical professionals did not provide him with any assistance in trying to find help with the accessing of his treatments and as a veteran, he did not even know that he might have been able to get help through Veteran Affairs or another government organization. Rather than putting his family into financial debt, he felt that his only option was to put them first and went to his grave never knowing if he would have had a chance to live many more years with his family if he had been able to receive treatment.
I don’t know how many lives and families have been financially ruined because of decisions being made to provide treatment to a patient who was not able to have their medications covered by insurance or other form of assistance but I do believe that it is time to increase awareness about the help that is available. While those of us who are active advocates in the cancer community are educating ourselves about the help that is available, it seems that we need to do more to get the message out to those who are in most need of it. When my friend died from lung cancer less than two years ago, I didn’t know of the help that was available to him. And if I didn’t have this information, I am not surprised that he didn’t either.
What a difference we can make if we all work together and share information with those who are in need of financial assistance with their medication payments. While the first line of help in this arena might be expected to come from our medical professionals, that has become a benefit that does not exist in these days with all of the other requirements that have been placed on our doctors, not the least of which is the electronic data management systems that now occupy a major portion of their work day.
Therefore, whenever we find ourselves in a position where someone has expressed that they can’t afford their medications, we can really make a difference if we assist them by helping them to source a way to do so. For those of us who are fortunate enough to have the information available to us about the resources available to secure affordable medication coverage, the least we can do is to share the information and make a difference in the life of someone who may not only be physically suffering but also financially suffering as well.