holy cow medications $$$$

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by agee, Feb 16, 2010.

  1. agee

    agee Guest

    Soo....we have a health savings account/high deductible insurance and our plan was to blow it out this year with-all of difficult child's evaluations and medications, but I just got off the phone with the pharmacy and his prescription of Abilify has a $800something co-pay.
    Co-pay! HA HA!
    Good thing I will be picking it up and not husband. We planned for this, but it is painful to experience.
  2. agee

    agee Guest

    And just to add to that - $800 is a very good portion of my paycheck from my part-time job.
  3. emotionallybankrupt

    emotionallybankrupt New Member

    Just a thought--in the past I've been able to get substantial prescription assistance through different manufacturers. ANYTIME I get a prescription for a name-brand drug, I google around, and at least half of the time find some really good coupons--even freebies--usually on the "official website" for that particular drug. These are good, regardless of your insurance coverage. If they have nothing the first time you look, it's worth looking again later. The promos come and go, and usually have expiration dates, though not always.

    I think there is even more assistance available for people who don't have insurance as good as mine. It's like a scavenger hunt to find that assistance though. After reading your post, I looked a little bit and struck out on the abilify website, but then found a contact number number for Bristol-Myers on the NAMI website. It's 1-800-332-2056. Could be worth a try. I also wonder if the doctor has any samples available in the office. I've found that many times they do, but you have to ask. Sometimes, they will even give you more than one little sample pack--if you ask and make your need clear. Sometimes, the doctor has great freebie or deep discount coupons too. I've found that ANY name-brand drug is worth asking questions--antibiotic, cough medicine, eye drops, psychiatric drugs--ANYTHING!

    As a sidenote, if anybody is taking provigil--possibly considering the newer "cousin" nuvigil--I'm feeling like I just hit the lottery on that one. Freebies for 45 days, and then deep discounts for a few months. Yes, I get the manufacturer's game. I know they want people to convert to nuvigil now, so that when the provigil comes out in generic soon, people will want to stay on the nuvigil, which will be under patent for several years. I don't care, though. I'll go for the nuvigil now and figure out how to play the new game when the rules change. As of this time, even when the discounts run out, the nuvigil is still cheaper retail than the provigil.

    Similar game may be going on with lamictal. I got a tip that there may be an "instant dissolve" form (name-brand), cheaper than the older name-brand lamictal. I haven't checked it out yet, but makes sense for the manufacturer to do SOMETHING to try to lure people away from the generic lamictal.

    Good luck on your hunt. I hope you find something to help. Those costs are ridiculous!
  4. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I also try to ask the doctors to use medications that have generics unless they have used them all and they haven't worked. There is a lot of salesmen selling pharmaceuticals out there and they want you to buy the most expensive one. I was surprised and disappointed to hear from a reliable source that doctors are susceptible to these salesmen. There is no way I could pay $800 for a prescription. What if it doesn't work? Grrrrrrrrrrr.
  5. ThreeShadows

    ThreeShadows Quid me anxia?

    Agee, have you enabled private messages?
  6. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Wow...a dis-solvable lamictal pill? I would kill for that! That would be 400 mgs I didnt have to swallow with the rest of my handful every night.
  7. emotionallybankrupt

    emotionallybankrupt New Member

    Yep, Janet. My p-doctor told me about it, so I think it's for real. I'm just not due a refill yet and so haven't checked.
  8. agee

    agee Guest

    Yes, I can take private messages.
    I need to be clear - the only reason this is even a remote possibility is that once we hit our family deductible all medical care for the rest of the year is 100% covered. And at this rate we'll have hit it by March. We're actually going to take advantage of it and all go in for various checks that we've put off because of the $. I'm getting a lot of 41 year old lady blood work done, my husband is going to the derm. for his psoriasis, I should probably go for a mole check, etc. And difficult child is going to see whatever specialists he needs to see.
    We budgeted for it and planned for it - but it's still completely nutso that these medications cost this much.
  9. gcvmom

    gcvmom Here we go again!

    I agree. Pharmaceutical companies make a killing, even after they recoup their R&D costs for a new drug. My advice: buy stock! :p
  10. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    Jess was recently rx'd the under the tongue lamictal. Our pharmacy did not have it in stock and it would have cost the earth, so we just changed it to a regular tablet. It is always worth searching around.

    FWIW, even with insurance don't assume generics are cheap. I just got one for Jess that cost the highest tier price and it is only avail in generic. The idiot doctor sent it to the mail order even though it is less than 1 month. It costs us 2 months copay to get any rx from mail order, so with a husband out of work still I just paid almost $100 for a medication that makes her vomit. I TOLD the pharmacy NOT to send it, but they didn't record the call so ..... no recourse. From now on the doctor has NO electronic prescribing rights!
  11. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    We do the same thing.
    The first 2-3 mo's of the yr is always painful.
    I just picked up 4 scrips for difficult child and myself for about $750.
    Keep breathing.
  12. GoingNorth

    GoingNorth Crazy Cat Lady

    If you watch TV, they are currently advertizing Abilify heavily as an adjunct treatment to AD therapy for those still having problems.

    The ad mentions how to contact the mfrs of Abilify to get help paying for medications. Also, ask psychiatrist for samples. Drug reps drop off LOADS of samples to try to get docs to prescribe specific medications.

    I had no idea that Abilify was THAT expensive though. I nearly died back when I was still on Seroquel and had to fill an RX at the pharmacy instead of through my free medications-by-mail with the VA.

    The COPAY was over 200 dollars!
  13. dreamer

    dreamer New Member

    the cost of medications is a huge topic. For a few years in between waiting for coverager thru VA my kids had NO insurance & neither did I and our medications cost per month was twice our income. It was horrible. If it were not for my husband getting his medications free at the VA and us getting champva, there is no way we could afford medications for even just one of us. One of my medications is over $3,000 a month. One of dhs is $2,000 a month. at one time, about 10 years ago difficult children were $2500 a month just for her. Its terrible. Yes some families really do have to make brutal decisions food/shelter or medications........becuz even with the Rx help, it can sometimes be complicated etc.and persons who are mobility impaired, mentally impaired, very sick or not online etc......that help can be out of their reach.
  14. GoingNorth

    GoingNorth Crazy Cat Lady

    And with all of this, I realize that I am very lucky in that I have both Medicare AND ChampVA.

    The VA acts as my Part D provider.

    The highest COPAY that I've seen was when husband was on two injectable medications to promote blood cell production.

    One had a COPAY of 2K and the other a COPAY of 2.5K, and this was with us having very good insurance (I was still working back then).

    I'm walking proof of how you can lose your house and be forced into bankruptcy without so much as using a credit card or having a car payment.

    I had to refinance the house to take out the equity, got my job outsourced, and was left with over 200K in medical bills when husband died.

    I had to file Chapter 7.

    I resent the hell out of it.
  15. dreamer

    dreamer New Member

    I hear ya Going North...........we did file bankruptcy way back, too, and yes it was becuz of medical........husband & difficult child and our house was in foreclosure. Yes, I am VERY grateful for champva, VA & Medicare. absolutely I am.
  16. dreamer

    dreamer New Member

    My sons 2 eye surgeries- thank goodness for the catastrophic cap on ChampVA....each surgery was way over $100,000 just at the hospital, before the dr and follow up etc..............but the catastrophic cap was such a HUGE blessing
  17. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    I completely understand the choices families have to make. We had a hard fight to avoid medical bankruptcy. Medical bills are why my kids have no college funds. They are why we cannot provide many many of the things my parents gave us. Things like vacations (even to go visit family and stay with family), new clothes, etc...

    I know my parents think less of me because I don't give my kids these things, but each child has significant medical bills. with-o these we could afford other things, but we don't see medical items as optional. Not for the kids.

    I am sorry that some of you have had to face medical bankruptcy. I really think there need to be laws about the most a family should have to pay for medical care for a person's lifetime. Most of us are destroyed by serious medical problems, financially as well as physically.
  18. crazymama30

    crazymama30 Active Member

    Ok, I will never complain about my medication costs. My health insurance picks up a huge amount. difficult child's abilify is $40/month. I don't even want to know what it would cost without insurance. If it weren't for our health insurance no one would get medications and then I would have to hurt them.
  19. GoingNorth

    GoingNorth Crazy Cat Lady

    It's a horrible situation. I wasn't rich, but I was making mid-five figures plus had husband's VA pension and SSDI coming in, and even with that add'l insurance, I couldn't cover his medical bills.

    I refinanced my house to get money to pay off some of the medical bills and then lost my job 4 months later and couldn't make the house payments. Couldn't find another job as at the time there was no demand for middle-aged IT workers. My job went to India and I was basically stuck.

    Once husband died, I lost his VA pension and his SSDI. My personal ins through COBRA was a PPO, no HMO available, and I had to pay 20% of medical bills up to one million dollars before I "capped"...we had a one million dollar lifetime coverage through the PPO. After that? I was hosed.

    And when you call to make payment arrangements, they sure aren't willing to take 75 a month on 200K in bills.

    People tend to have this attitude that people who file BK are irresponsible, but we had no credit card debt, our car was paid for, but my savings and 401K were wiped out by the debt.

    I really had no option but to file. My credit is still wrecked. I got no ins from husband because when they privatized SLI they dropped husband in a heartbeat, and my work ins wouldn't cover him due to his health issues (pre existing medical)...it turned into a huge nightmare.

    I went from having a nice house to living in a ratty mobile home in N. WI. I live on SSDI and a VA Widow's pension(that took 4 years to go through).

    I manage OK, but it's sure not the life I thought I'd be leading.