Tag Archives: prescriptions

GoodRx

GoodRx-App

Today I want to let you in on one of the best and most helpful apps I’ve found recently. This thing has seriously saved my behind on more than one occasion, I’ve been using it for about two months and I must say, it has saved me at least three hundred dollars (if not more) in prescription costs in that time.

GoodRx can be accessed via an android or iphone app, or through your web browser and is a great resource for anyone who doesn’t have insurance but still needs to buy prescription medications.

It works by allowing you to search for the medication you intend to purchase and entering your zipcode, and then the search engine provides a list of the closest pharmacies by medication cost, lowest on top. You can easily change the type of medication you want (tablets, dissolvable, capsules), or between generic and name brand to compare prices.

GoodRx also provides coupons for many medications, allowing you to receive an even lower price at the register. You can email the coupons to your phone, text them to your phone, or print them. I’ve used this feature at least five times and always have been surprised by the discount I’ve received!

I can’t even begin to describe how much time and energy this service has saved me. I used to call around to all the pharmacies in the area to check the prices of my prescriptions, and now I don’t have to! On top of that, I can use the app in my provider’s office to search for the medications they want to prescribe and see if I can actually afford them before getting to the pharmacy and being disappointed.

For anyone who doesn’t have insurance but needs to buy prescription medications, I would highly recommend this product. It is quick, it is easy, and best of all -it’s free!

 

Disaster Preparedness

Do you have enough medication to get by in the event of an earthquake or other natural disaster?

Not a day goes by living in Seattle that I’m not reminded on the street or on local tv channels that a natural disaster is imminent! Since a potentially city-flattening earthquake is just around the corner, locals are urged to create an emergency kit to keep handy with canned food, blankets, water, and more. The thing that always grabs my attention is including at least a month’s supply of your prescription medications. 

Can you imagine? An emergency takes place, and you lose access to your medications? For many this is as good an excuse as ever not to even begin taking them, but for anyone who has concluded that medications are helping their situation, would you want that help suddenly taken away?

That said, having a month’s worth of medications in your emergency kit is probably a great idea if you can get them. Unfortunately, that is where the tricky part comes in, because most insurance companies will not allow filling extra quantities, and most pharmacies (even if you are paying cash) wont let you fill a prescription twice in one sitting.

So where is this extra month’s worth of my prescription coming from, and can I even afford it?

Some doctors are more willing than others to write up prescriptions in such a way  that you can get what you need. My doctor has been quite lax about this (which I’m not sure if I feel good about or slightly troubled), and has provided me with two prescriptions before, one to fill immediately (for my “emergency” amount) and then a second prescription (usually the dosage is tweaked a little, or the new prescription is written for 90 days, or has different directions) that I can go back to the pharmacy a few days later, have filled, and then stay on for the next couple months.

Another method is to fill your prescription at the moment it becomes fillable (at most pharmacies it is about a week before your final dosage) and after doing this a few months you can get an entire month ahead of what you need. As long as you keep filling your prescription on the early schedule (three weeks after getting it filled each time you fill it), you should always have an extra month’s supply. I used this method while on insurance so that when my insurance stopped, I still had a month (or more) medication to take that I only paid a co-pay for.

Having extra medication for emergencies can go beyond the “natural disaster” sorts of emergencies as well. It can be easy for even the best of us to fall into an episode and forget to refill our prescription, only to find that the pharmacy is closed for the weekend or holiday! Having even one or two days of extra medication to use in an emergency situation can mean the difference between continued stability or an episode, or even withdrawals (which are not fun at all, trust me).

Keeping extra medication is something that I know is a good idea, but at the same time there are some drawbacks.

Remembering to swap out the emergency bottle for a freshly filled bottle every once in a while is a big one, otherwise you can run the risk of having your emergency stash expire! If this is an issue for you, I’d recommend setting an alarm on your phone/device (or writing on your calendar) to make a reminder for yourself in a couple months to swap it out. Try making the alarm as soon as you put the emergency medication away, so you don’t have to think about it again until it comes up.

Also, I don’t know if anyone else feels this way, but I get concerned about having hoards of pills lying around my apartment. As someone who periodically experiences intense moments of suicidally, I like to believe I have pretty good willpower but I also don’t want to make suicide easy for myself, you know? I don’t keep guns sitting around, and I try not to keep oodles of pharmaceuticals lying around either. It is important for me to know where this emergency medication is, but at the same time there are moments where I really don’t want to know. 

My solution? First, keeping them out of sight helps keep them out of mind for me. If they’re in an emergency bag in the closet, I am likely to forget they are there (until my reminder alarm goes off) and it wont be an issue. If I am doubly paranoid about it, it is ok to give the medication to someone I trust (a close friend, my boyfriend) and let them hold onto it.

Finally, I discussed this a little in In Case of Emergency, but keeping a laminated card or a sheet that lists all of your current medical information (medical history, hospitalizations, medications, etc.) with your emergency medication is a really great idea. Stress (like, say, a destructive natural disaster) can trigger episodes, so having this information close at hand if you are injured (and need to avoid specific medication interactions) or having an episode that requires medical attention can be a huge benefit to the medical team attempting to treat you.

Taking the time in a moment of stability (or something like it) to prepare for emergencies has made a huge difference in my peace of mind, on top of that I know that this preparation can make a huge physical difference if an emergency does ever come up.