I’ve never given much thought to my pharmacy choice before a year ago. I would just go if my insurance covered for me to go. Whatever place I landed at. I didn’t even call my insurance I would just find out when I went to fill my scripts. Usually I was covered and went on with my life. Until I landed in Kyle Tx.
I started to have my scripts filled wrong at one of the big box pharmacy stores. I mentioned this to my doctor and she confirmed that many of her patients where having the same issue. She then suggested that I check out a new local pharmacy that had recently opened. I said, “Sure!” It was small. It wasn’t fancy. There was no drive thru. I was bummed about the drive thru. But, this place did offer FREE HOME DELIVERY! So, I figured if I was feeling sick or just down right too busy to stop by that this would work. I am so glad I gave this place a chance. First of all the Pharmacist won my trust right away when he noticed that In my script history I had been taking a medication that combined two meds into one pill. Then he noticed that later I went from that to taking both medications separate, due to insurance not covering the 2 for 1 version. BUT, he noticed the doctor had only sent the script for the one half and not the other. He then educated me on why the two needed to work together to protect my kidneys. He also offered to call the doctor for me and get it figured out. I couldn’t believe he cared enough to notice and make the call.
This would not be the only time this would happen. He took note of everything I was taking. He would ask how I was doing when I would come to pick up my scripts. He would research the most affordable ways to get me the medications I needed. HE would find coupons online for me, so I could get the best prices. He also found a cheaper meter and test strips for me. Over all he saved me HUNDREDS of dollars per month over the span of 6 months or so. He also kept me healthy! I didn’t realize until meeting him, that I was missing an ESSENTIAL member of my medical team. A set of eyes that where knowledgeable about my medications, why I was taking them and how I had reacted to some in the past. He was layer of protection, I never realized I needed. He genuinely cared. He did his job with excellence. He wasn’t just in it for the money. He was saving his patients lives and their finances. Really, this guys exists! His name is Sri Vatti you can meet him yourself at Kyle Care Pharmacy in Kyle Tx.
Why am I sharing all this information? Because over the years I have noticed that many people have NO CLUE about prescription prices and that there are options that should be considered when looking for a pharmacy!
Obviously I had no idea about CHOOSING a pharmacist. But, I had some knowledge on medication prices. I use to work in a doctors office as a medical office assistant. Not the funnest job for me, but I learned a lot while there. One of the things I learned is, if you where a patient that had to pay “out of pocket” (which means, you have to pay the full price or the higher Co-pay until you reach a deductible; the amount the insurance requires you pay before they will fully cover) you where directed (by this doctors office) to places like Sam’s or Costco because you could get your name brand scripts at lower rates than the local pharmacy shops. I thought this only applied to name brand scripts. Not so! You can often ask for off brand scripts. The doctors will prescribe you the name brand because that is what they are sold AND because they are often given FREE trial sizes to share with patients, it is what they know works. But, there are often off brands, several off brands of the same thing some times, that could be prescribed that would be fully covered by your insurance OR you could have a lower co-pay OR you could get it cheaper paying cash! Some things are way cheaper if you just pay out of pocket (Cash or credit) rather than running through insurance. The problem that you might run into, is that your doctor may not readily know the names and doses of those off brand scripts. Which means, you will have to do some research. They may also not know or have the coupons for the name brand scripts. Again, leaving you to figure this out. Not that the doctors are bad or not willing to do the work, they are just too busy to have all the tools on hand. They just don’t have the time to keep up with that. But, you know who does know all the latest info and how to get the best deals? The Pharmacist!
For example I used a test meter that was name brand. The meter was free (from my doctors office) the test strips and lancets (the needles required to draw blood) where not free to refill. My insurance charged me a $60 cop-pay for the strips and a $60 co-pay for the lancets! Thats a total cost of $120 twice a month for me! Now, the amazing pharmacist noticed that some times I was not picking up my refills for these. He asked, why? I honestly answered, because I didn’t have the money.
He then found that GE (as in the washing machine/fridge/dishwasher company) also made Diabetic meters with their own line of test strips and lancets. The GE meter would not be covered by my insurance, but it would only cost me a one time fee of $20 to buy it. The test strips would come in a pack of 100 (over a months supply) for $11 and the lancets would be around $10 a refill! Thats a grand total of $41 initial switch cost and a monthly $21 refill cost. Thats a savings of $1,188 over the course of a year IF I personally don’t meet my deductible. I usually meet my deductible, because I see a few specialist for my diabetes and such. But, what if I had a high deductible and didn’t have as many doctors appointments? I would be spending a ton of money! Imagine if you have type 1 diabetes. How much do you think that person spends over the course of their life in test supplies alone?! This could be a finical game changer!
And that is just the savings for a GLUCOS METER!
You have options for SO many other things. Many companies give FREE coupons, regardless of your income, that will allow you to fill NAME brand prescriptions for MUCH less than your co-pays! Another example: I am currently on a medication that does NOT have an off brand equivalent. It was going to be $80 a refill through my insurance. My currently pharmacist, looked up a coupon and signed me up for one year (I can re apply after a year) of $10 refills. That means, every time I fill this medication, I do not run it through my insurance; instead they run it through this “Coupon” card and I pay only $10 per refill!
Again, its not based on my income. All I have to commit to, is answering a 5 minute phone call every 3 months to follow up with the company to make sure I am not having any side effects. I am not the ginny pig. This medication has already been tested, approved and safely used in the US. They just want to make sure I am getting the right results and feeling good. Not too bad!
I could give several examples JUST from my personal life, but something tells me there are dozens of stories like mine. Please, if you have information that could save peoples finical state in the medical realm. Please share! You can add in the comments below or you can email me @ firstname.lastname@example.org
Oh, and if you visit that little Kyle shop. Please tell Sri (He also likes to be called Sam) I said hi.