August 16, 2016

How to Take Advantage of Lower Medication Prices Online

Money and health concept

According to Pharmacychecker.com, 4 000 000 Americans order medication from international online sources each year due to the ridiculously high drug prices in their local pharmacies.  These online pharmacies offer a range of savings, some even as high as 95%.  The only catch to this method is that making sure that these pharmacies are safe.

Pharmacychecker.com explains the steps and procedures they go through in order to verify an online pharmacy in this slideshow. One of the important points is that excessive savings, like 95% are probably from fraudulent online pharmacies.

The learning process about online pharmacies is important because it makes you better informed when purchasing prescription medication on the internet. Having this knowledge can be extremely beneficial to your health.

July 15, 2015

How Buying Prescription Drugs Online Is The Better Option

Female Pharmacist Wearing Jacket While Smiling In Pharmacy

Over 2,500 American customers participated in a poll conducted by the Canadian International Pharmacy Association (CIPA) to learn why Americans purchase health maintenance medicines from pharmacies outside the United States.  Over half respondents say they order medicines from non U.S. pharmacies to save on prescription drug costs.  Over 20% say their reason is to obtain prescription medicine their health insurance does not cover.

Rising costs of medications have left many to seek other ways to fill prescriptions.  Roughly 25 % of respondents say over the past year they have not been able to fill their prescriptions because they can’t afford to.  Thirty percent admit they miss doses on purpose or cut their pills in half to limit their spending related to prescription refill costs. Customers obtaining their medicines through Canadian pharmacies reportedly spend an average $250 per month for each prescription, while saving almost 50 percent for a 90-day prescription supply.

According to results received through the CIPA survey, many have dodged feared health consequences due to inexpensive prescription drug costs through Canadian pharmacies.  Over 30% say if it had not been for cheaper options through Canadian pharmacies, they would not be able to fill most of their prescriptions. Just over 10 % say it would be impossible to purchase any of their medicines at all.  Rising medication costs have forced some consumers to stop taking their medicine putting themselves at a greater health risk.

American taxpayers carry a financial burden of those on Medicare struggling to pay for health maintenance medications.  A large percentage of individuals obtaining prescriptions from Canada are American seniors receiving Medicare.  Over 85 % of respondents are over the age of 55 and close to 60% say they fund their health insurance and are responsible for medication costs.

CIPA general manager Tim Smith says international pharmacies are helping Americans obtain affordable prescription drugs.  He also states pharmacies with CIPA membership is another option for fixed-income Americans allowing for better health management due to cheaper medication costs.

Licensed online retail pharmacies providing 90-day pharmaceutical and maintenance medications to Canada and America consumers, with the exception of non-controlled substances, are verified by the CIPA.   The members display a verification seal online that verifies the pharmacy engages in good practices fulfilling valid prescription orders from patient doctors.  Members also meet quality control standards, keep patient information private and confidential, and provide easy to access information about contact details on their website. CIPA says Canadian pharmacies have served over 10 million patients from the United States since it has launched in 2002 with a clean safety record.

 

June 1, 2015

How Having An Up-To-Date Prescription Medication List Prevents Harm

Filling Out FormsWhen it comes to taking prescription drugs, as scary as it sounds, you’re the only one who knows best what you’re taking and how you’re medications are affecting you.  Having an up-to-date medication list that outlines what and how you’re taking your medication that you share with your healthcare team such as your doctor, pharmacist, dentist, nurse, specialist and caregivers, like family and friends who help out—will significantly reduce harm when it comes to adverse drug interactions inadvertently happening when medications are accidently mixed together. It will take some effort on your part in making a list of prescription and non-prescription medications but it’s actually the most simple and often overlooked strategy for better health and will prevent injury or harm to you or your loved one.

Why does having an accurate patient shared medication list so important?  Based on a medical survey, only about 25% of physicians could easily generate a list of an individual patient’s medications.  A systematic review by Dr. Ed Etchells and his colleagues published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal found up to two-thirds of the time, there was an error in medications at the time of admission. They also discovered that 41% of these errors were clinically important, and 22% had a potential to cause harm during the patient’s admission. When you combine the fact that two-thirds of seniors are on five or more prescription drugs, often prescribed by different healthcare providers, the cause for concern rises, because of the high opportunity of errors happening.  However, there is also the great opportunity to prevent errors by creating an up-to-date medication list to ensure proper patient care.

Other issues that arise begin before patients take medication.  In 2014, a study was published in the Annals of Internal Medicine by Dr. Robyn Tamblyn and it revealed that 31% of the patients didn’t even fill their prescriptions in the first place.  This happens quite frequently in the province of Quebec where they have a generous program of government coverage for medications, especially for lower income people, and you’d think that people with rather severe illnesses, recent hospitalizations, or emergency visits would be more likely to take their medications to prevent getting even sicker—but that’s not often the case.

People with chronic diseases, especially ones that are considered “silent” and we don’t notice many of the symptoms such as high blood pressure and high cholesterol—about 1 out of every 2 people actually discontinue taking their medications after a year.  At least 50% of people not taking their medications are missing out on the chance of decreasing their susceptibility of having heart attack or stroke by around 25%.  It’s also important to take note that there are some medications, like antidepressants and other examples, where stopping them suddenly is definitely not a good idea. How you are taking your medications can be as important as what you’re taking.

The adherence to taking your prescribed medication is so important because it could be a choice between preventing a heart attack or stroke—and taking the risk of not following what your healthcare provider has prescribed may lead to further complications or even death.  The approach to explaining to patients on medication adherence must be explored.  It’s not enough to say that:  “This medication lowers your blood pressure”.  Taking more time to say “I’m prescribing this medication because I want you to decrease your chances of having a stroke or heart attack and go on to explain that, “when your blood pressure is high, your heart has to work harder, and it becomes more bulky and stiff.  We don’t want a muscleman for our heart; we want a long distance runner.  So by lowering your blood pressure, we make things easier for your heart, and your brain, and your kidneys too.”

The patient’s role in owning up to medication adherence is the first simple step in gathering an accurate and updated medication list.  Developing the good practice of asking your local pharmacist for advice and working together in reviewing your medication list is a crucial step in reducing patient harm when it comes to taking multiple medications.  Make it easier for yourself by getting all your medication from the same pharmacy.  This helps decrease the potential of overprescribing, adverse drug interactions, and so on.