More Prescription Drug Problems – Can You Afford Your Drugs?
Earlier, I questioned whether I should be getting my medications by mail or using the outpatient pharmacy at my medical center workplace, explaining that “my drug coverage provider has been bought out by Giant National Pharmacy Chain.” Well, my drug coverage provider is Caremark, people. Which is now owned by CVS.
The Blog that Ate Manhattan has an excellent post today about how this relationship between a prescription coverer, prescription provider, and drug companies can seemingly go awry. In this case, she received a letter from Caremark/CVS pimping the birth control drug Yaz, under the cover of a “Dear Doctor” letter that is supposed to be something other than marketing. Just read it, you’ll understand.
Anyway, our local outpatient pharmacy has in the past offered a great service, payroll deduction for prescriptions. As you can imagine, this is excellent for unexpected illnesses or other times when a drug is prescribed and you simply can’t afford the needed drug at the moment. Rather than going without your meds, they would simply take it out of your next paycheck. It’s easier to plan for some money to come out of a future check than to come up with it when you simply don’t have it. Well, it was announced this week that this will no longer be an option.
Now, I’m sure it is tricky when you’re deducting money from paychecks. The risk of error was cited as a reason for discontinuing the service. However, I worry about people having to skip their meds because they can’t afford them at the moment, given current grocery and gas prices. I’d be interested in your comments about how your “consumption” of healthcare is being affected by these issues.
The lack of a payroll deduction option certainly pushes me in the direction of trying to find another pharmacy (for various reasons). However, I’m not inclined to make it CVS. I’m actually surprised to some extent that CVS/Caremark hasn’t just bought out our outpatient pharmacy…