Helping patients afford the medications they need
When a pharmacist realized a patient was skipping doses to save money, he quickly found a way to help
Nearly 13 million U.S. adults reported delaying or not filling a prescription in the past year because of cost.1 Express Scripts® Pharmacy pharmacists like Edward Dannemiller are doing their part to help.
Dannemiller, a registered pharmacist with Express Scripts® Pharmacy, was checking in on a patient who was three months late to fill her inhaler prescription.
After speaking on the phone for a few minutes, the patient opened up to Dannemiller and explained what was going on.
She had been out of work for a year and a half and was struggling to pay for her inhalers. As a result, she had been taking half the number of prescribed inhalations to stretch out the time between the fills.
Fewer inhalations meant decreased lung function, and it was affecting the patient’s quality of life.
“She understood the importance of taking her medications,” Dannemiller said. “She even told me that before she was out of work, she felt great.”
Ultimately, it came down to cost. She also explained that she was having transportation issues — her car kept breaking down. That made getting to a retail pharmacy difficult.
A simple solution to get back on track
Dannemiller looked into the patient’s pharmacy benefits and realized she could save $200 a year if she switched to home delivery through Express Scripts® Pharmacy. She’d also save several trips to the pharmacy.
The woman was overjoyed and thanked Dannemiller for taking the time to help.
“It’s all about taking the time to listen and then using the tools in my bag to think outside the box,” Dannemiller said. “I had a patient earlier this morning who was paying $150 for a 3-month supply of his inhalers. I found an option for $20.”
Having asthma himself, Dannemiller said he relates to his asthma patients in a unique way. That’s only part of what led him to become a pharmacist.
When Dannemiller was a teenager, his mother was diagnosed with heart failure. It was a difficult time for his family, but he saw firsthand the positive impact their neighborhood pharmacist on his mother’s health.
“It’s been so rewarding to help patients in similar situations,” Dannemiller said.
1 Urban Institute: In the Years before the COVID-19 Pandemic, Nearly 13 Million Adults Delayed or Did Not Get Needed Prescription Drugs Because of Costs (December 1, 2021): urban.org.
Posted date: January 28, 2022