By Jameson Reuter, Pharm.D., MBA, BCPS
Sometimes it’s hard to remember to take medicine or to remember to give it to someone you’re taking care of, like a child or older adult.
But, not taking medicine can be dangerous. It can lead to medical emergencies, more trips to the doctor and conditions getting worse. Don’t give up. There’s help!
If you think your medicine costs too much …
Ask your doctor to prescribe generics or medicines that are called “preferred” in your plan’s drug list. Sometimes home delivery or getting a 90-day supply can save you money.
Need more help? Many pharmaceutical companies have help for patients or coupon cards to use at a pharmacy.
If you forget to pick up refills …
Ask your pharmacist if you can sync refills to pick up all your medicines in one trip. You may be able to get 90-day supplies so you don’t have to refill as often. Ask if your pharmacy offers refill reminders (many do!).
If you just forget to take your medicine …
It happens! Check with your doctor about what to do when you miss a dose. And, here are some tricks for remembering:
- Set up a pillbox and put it someplace where you won’t miss it, like next to your coffee maker or beside your bathroom sink.
- Set alarms on your phone or voice-activated speaker.
- Add a medication reminder app to your smartphone or tablet.
- Make a routine. For example, take medicine after you brush your teeth or with your evening cup of tea.
If you don’t like side effects or wonder why you’re taking it ….
Ask your doctor or pharmacist to write out each medicine, what it’s for, when you need to take it and any possible side effects. Ask all your questions. Your doctor and pharmacist are there to help.
There’s more help with your EmblemHealth plan
Express Scripts app – Express Scripts manages our pharmacy program. Its app lets you get refill reminders, compare prices and transfer prescriptions to home delivery.
Pharmacist help – Express Scripts staff will reach out to you if they think you may not be taking the medicines your doctors ordered. They’ll talk with you about ways to help you stick to your medicine routine. Those may include refill reminders, working with doctors to change medicines, syncing refills and more.
Jameson “Jamie” Reuter, Pharm.D., MBA, BCPS, is vice president, enterprise pharmacy solutions. He is responsible for pharmacy services for members of EmblemHealth and ConnectiCare health plans. His experience spans practice in retail pharmacy, hospital, and critical care settings as well as teaching at the University of Maryland School of Pharmacy. Jamie received his doctor of pharmacy degree from the University of Toledo and a master’s in business administration from the Carey School of Business at The Johns Hopkins University.