If you ask most Chronic Kidney Disease and Dialysis patients what their number one goal is in terms of their health, they will likely answer, "To lead a high quality of life and live longer." Would you agree? Well, studies are finding that a growing number of Chronic Kidney Disease and Dialysis patients are skipping doses of prescribed Phosphate Binder medication (57% of patients in the United States). Possibly due to cost, this practice of skipping or 'stretching' medication may be impacting patients' quality of life and survival. Here are some tips to help:
1.) Affording Renvela: Renvela is a commonly prescribed and costly phosphate binder. While it should be taken three times a day with meals to help control phosphorus levels, many patients only take it once or twice because of the cost. One patient said, "It cost me $300.00 out of pocket for a month prescription of Renvela." This is quite pricey - especially for many patients on a fixed income. In which case, patients may consider Sevelamer Carbonate. It is a generic drug of Renvela and according to the site, Sevelamer Carbonate is "the exact same drug product as the branded product." What's more the generic only costs around $133.00 for a supply of 90, 800 mg tablets.
2.) The American Kidney Fund: The American Kidney Fund (AKF) provides treatment-related financial assistance to qualified kidney patients. This may be in the form of help with the cost of health insurance premiums, prescription drugs, or transportation cost for treatment. Available funds and eligibility requirements are constantly changing. The Prescription Drug Grant provides up to three months of prescription medication for Dialysis patients.
3.) Patient Assistance Programs: Prescription assistance can be offered in the way of Patient Assistance Programs (PAPs), which are created by pharmaceutical companies to provide free or discounted medicines to people who are unable to afford them. Each program has its own qualifying criteria. Specific organizations that offer assistance include: NeedyMeds, Partnership for Prescription Assistance, and RxAssist.
4.) Contact the Drug Manufacturer Directly: Patients have the ability to outreach to the Drug Manufacturer(s) of their expensive medication(s) directly and let them know about their issues with affording the cost. Often companies have internal programs to reduce the cost or offer them for free depending on the patient's specific circumstances. If you would like an example letter then just message us here.
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