Savings on Prescriptions in New Jersey
(ARA) – Patients looking to save money on their prescription medications are sometimes unaware of the resources available to them that can help ensure they get the medications their doctor prescribes at the appropriate co-pay.
Those patients with health insurance that includes a prescription drug plan have access to certain brand and generic medications, based on their formulary. However, when it comes to cost-saving options for prescriptions, there are several ways patients can lower their bill from the pharmacy.1
Know Your Formulary
There is a reason your formulary is also called a preferred drug list, as it includes those preferred brand and generic medications, approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), which are covered by your health plan at different co-pay levels. Therefore, medications not on your formulary may cost you more.2
Commonly, formularies have a 3-tiered system, where Tier 1 represents the lowest co-pay for brand-name drugs and generics, with higher co-payments for Tiers 2 and 3.2
Create a list of medications you are currently taking and compare it to your formulary. Knowing which medications are on your formulary and at what tier will help you better work with your doctor to prescribe preferred medications that are appropriate for you, which in-turn will add up to savings.3
In the case of branded medications, some are considered to have excellent formulary coverage. For example, NEXIUM® (esomeprazole magnesium), a proton pump inhibitor (PPI), has excellent formulary coverage for 2011 with 72 percent of patients with private insurance, Medicaid or Medicare Part D having access to it at the Tier 1 or Tier 2 level.4
Look for Prescription Savings Cards
Some brand-name drugs offer their own savings cards, extending additional discounts to patients prescribed these drugs, potentially lowering their co-pay. After making a list of your medications, visit the websites for these drugs or call the manufacturer to see if they offer a savings card and if you are eligible to use one the next time you fill a prescription.
One example of a brand-name prescription savings card is for the medication NEXIUM. The NEXIUM Savings Card offers eligible patients instant discounts on their prescriptions for NEXIUM, potentially saving the patient up to $600 annually, with most patients paying $18 each on up to 12 prescriptions of NEXIUM.5,6 The card does not require activation or program enrollment. Patients can simply download one from purplepill.com or receive a card in the mail by calling 1-800-503-9880, Monday through Friday from 8 am to 6 pm ET.5,6
Enroll in Patient Assistance Programs
Another valuable resource to help lower the cost of prescription medications is enrolling in Patient Assistance Programs (PAP). These programs are offered by states and pharmaceutical manufacturers to assist patients in accessing medicines they need to stay healthy, sometimes at little to no cost to patients. As every program is different, it’s important to check the eligibility requirements to see if you are able to enroll and begin saving on your prescriptions.7
Register for Mail Order
Finally, mail order is an additional savings method that you can enroll in, depending on the options in your health insurance, which offers discounts on the prescription medications you take on an ongoing basis.8
You should speak with your health insurance company to see if there is a mail order program that is a part of your plan and if you are eligible to participate. In some cases, enrolled patients can order up to a 90-day supply of medications at a discounted price, and with the convenience of not having to visit the pharmacy to refill a prescription.9
All of these options for saving on prescription medications are readily available either on your health insurance company’s website or the websites of the medications you are taking. Work with your doctor to discuss options that meet both your medical and financial requirements so you are getting the treatment that is best for you.
Important Safety Information about NEXIUM
Symptom relief does not rule out the presence of other serious stomach conditions.
Talk to your doctor about your risk for:
Bone fractures if you take multiple daily doses of NEXIUM for a long period of time.
Low magnesium levels if you take NEXIUM for a long period of time.
Tell your doctor about all of the medicines you take including prescription and non-prescription drugs, vitamins, and herbal supplements. NEXIUM may affect how other medicines work, and other medicines may affect how NEXIUM works.
Side effects with NEXIUM include headache, diarrhea, and abdominal pain.
Approved Uses for NEXIUM
NEXIUM is prescribed to treat the symptoms of acid reflux disease, which typically include persistent heartburn on 2 or more days per week, despite treatment and change of diet.
For many people, NEXIUM is also prescribed to heal damage to the esophagus called erosive esophagitis. This damage may be caused over time from stomach acid wearing away the lining of the esophagus. Only a doctor can diagnose this condition. With NEXIUM, most erosions heal in 4 to 8 weeks. Your results with NEXIUM may vary.
Please read the full Prescribing Information on purplepill.com and discuss it with your doctor or health care professional.
You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit www.FDA.gov/medwatch or call 1-800-FDA-1088.
1 Blue of California. “Drug Formulary.” Available at https://www.blueshieldca.com/bsc/pharmacy/faqs/pharmacy_faqs_drug_formulary.jhtml. Accessed on March 15, 2011.
2 Aetna. “Build in ways to save on prescription drugs.” Available at http://www.aetna.com/employer-plans/sas/healthysavings/pharmacy.html. Accessed on July 19, 2011
3 BCBS of Tennessee. “Top 10 Ways to Save Money.” Available at http://www.bcbst.com/learn/pharmacy/top-10.shtml. Accessed on July 19, 2011
4 Data on file, # [1247300, 1045404]: Fingertip Formulary database as of May 24, 2011.
5 Atlas # 1245901: Wolters Kluwer Pharma Solutions, Dynamic Claims, six months ending March 2011. Accessed on May 23, 2011.
6 Atlas # 1315801 7/11.
7 RxAssist. “Frequently Asked Questions About Patient Assistance Programs.” Available at http://www.rxassist.org/faqs/default.cfm#1. Accessed on July 25, 2011.
8 WebMd. “Beyond the Pharmacy: Online and Mail Order Prescription Drugs.” Available at http://www.webmd.com/a-to-z-guides/features/beyond-the-pharmacy-online-and-mail-order-prescription-drugs. Accessed on July 20, 2011.
9 BCBS of Michigan. “Mail Order Prescription Drug Program.” Available at http://www.bcbsm.com/member/prescription_drugs/mail_order.shtml. Accessed on July 20, 2011.
NJ Top Doctors 1344500 8/11