Tag Archives: prescription drugs

App of the Week – Blink Health

BlinkThe greatest travesty of living in America is the cost of health care.  Far too many people simply suffer because that can’t afford to see a doctor or pay for medication.

Even with the Affordable Care Act (ACA) many black people are still uninsured. According to the Pew Charitable Trusts  over half of  all African-Americans, 55 percent,  live in the 23 states that have not expanded Medicaid eligibility under the ACA. The numbers are not much better for other groups. The Urban Institute reports that by comparison, 42 percent of whites, 38 percent of Latinos and 23 percent of Asians live in states that have not expanded to the ACA standards.

Even worse in non-expansion states a disproportionate number of African-Americans fail to qualify even for the narrower Medicaid program in place now. The result is that far too many black people have little or no medical or prescription coverage.

 That is why Blink Health is the App of the Week.

According to Blink Health as much as 30 percent of all medications are left on the pharmacy counter for one simple reason; the patient can’t afford them.

Blink Health co-founder and chief operating officer Matt Chaiken says people wrongly assume that if they have insurance they also have prescription coverage.  “There’s a common misconception in this country. Patients believe that, because they’re covered by insurance, they’re paying the lowest price at the pharmacy counter. This is not the case.”

Blink says it can offer lower prices on more than 15,000 mostly generic medications for less than $10. These price reductions are made possible because of the purchasing power of the combined membership of Blink Health and partner company MedImpact. The list of pharmacy chains that accept Blink Health includes Walmart, CVS, Rite Aid, Walgreens, Target, and many others

The BlinkHealth app allows the user to enter the name of their medication, dosage and quantity and the app will return a price quote. The user can pay for the prescription online. After the prescription has been paid for the app issues a proof of purchase known as a  “Blink Card” directly to the users phone. The user can then go to the pharmacy with their prescription and show their Blink Card. As long as they have a valid prescription from a physician the prescription will be filled. Nothing is paid at the pharmacy.

BlinkHealth is free and available for both and Apple and Android devices.

App of the Week – OneRx

OneRxMedicine is expensive. Whether you have insurance or not the price of prescription drugs can be astronomical. That is why OneRx is the App of the Week.

Why are prescription drugs so expensive. Because drug companies spend billions of dollars and years researching and testing new drugs. Sometimes only to have the Food and Drug Administration deny them the the right to sell it. There is always the chance of a massive lawsuits from unforseen side effects. Creating a new drug is a gamble. If approved for use by the FDA, the drug company has the right to recoup their investment plus profits over a period of time usually years. Only then does the generic equivalent hit the market.

Generic drugs are the biochemical equivalent of a name brand drug and even though they are the same drug they sell for much, much less than brand name drugs. According to the Food and Drug Administration generic drugs save the consumer $8 to $10 billion dollars a year in retail sales.

Black people still struggle to pay for much needed medications. Research shows that people of color are twice as likely to be without medical insurance than white Americans. According to the NAACP;

  • 18% of African Americans under 65 years are without health insurance coverage.
  • Over 103 million people of color nationwide suffer disproportionately in the health care system
  • A larger share of African Americans and Latinos lack a usual place of health care, and they are less than half as likely as whites to have a regular doctor.

One Rx has a way to help. OneRx combines coupons and insurance discounts to figure out how little a person has to spend on medication. The app allows the user to know the price of the medication before the doctor writes the prescription. This is especially helpful if you find your insurance doesn’t cover the medicine prescribed.

The best thing about this app is that it works even if you don’t have insurance.

OneRX takes the users insurance card information that is submitted by picture or input by hand. It then combines how much your insurance will pay with available coupons then tells you what pharmacies can give you that price. If you are having trouble paying for prescription drugs you can find more help here.

OneRX is free and available for Apple and Android devices.

 

RxAssist.org, Help for High Medical Costs

RxAssistAccording to statistics roughly 17 percent of African-Americans are without health insurance. In some states it is as high as 28 percent. Sadly black people suffer from some illnesses at a higher rate than other white and non-white groups. According to statistics from the Department of Health and Human Services blacks have the highest mortality rate for cancer and suffer disproportionately from diabetes and high blood pressure. To make matters worse African-Americans are 55 percent more likely to be uninsured than white Americans.

 This nation ranks as the most expensive place on earth to get seriously ill according to USAToday. Even with insurance, medical bills can be astronomical. Staying healthy is the safest and least expensive option in the United States.

For African-Americans the Internet and other technologies can help to not only improve our health with information but also help black people fight the high cost of prescription drugs.

RxAssist is a nationally recognized online resource center for medication assistance. The service was founded in 1999 with funding from The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. RxAssist is part of the Center for Primary Care and Prevention at Memorial Hospital of Rhode Island.  RxAssist is an easy to use website for finding advocates, caregivers, prescription drugs and other medical services.

RxAssist patient assistance programs are operated by pharmaceutical companies. The Prescription Assistance Program provides free or steeply discounted medications to people who cannot afford to buy their medicine. People in need can also find a complete database of assistance programs, practical tools, news, and articles for patients and health professionals. All in one place.

You can find numerous programs using the RxAssist website and they all have their own specific requirements but the most common requirements are you must be a U.S. citizen or legal resident, have little or no prescription insurance coverage and meet program income guidelines.

As we stated earlier, medical care can be expensive. And some programs can even help people who have insurance.  Qualified applicants can find help with things like co-pays, and prescription discount cards that can be printed right from the website. Many of the programs work with Medicare Part D Plans.

Also on the website is a database of prescription drugs and associated programs that can be searched by the generic or drug brand name or by the pharmaceutical company name. Just type in the medication’s full name with correct spelling.   You can also search using partial names such as  “Lip” if you are looking for Lipitor.

If an application  for the drug is available you can either type your information directly into the application on the screen and print it out or print out the application and fill it out by hand.  If you can’t find an application online, use the phone number provided at the top of the program details page to call the company for information on how to get an application.

Users can find listings of free and low cost health care programs located in  their community and even disease specific treatment programs and financial aid for people suffering from chronic diseases.

Other features of the website include;

RxAssist is a website that is focused on helping the poor, under-insured and un-insured find the medical help they may desperately need. The technology of the Internet offers ease of access and speed in finding that help. For many black people this can make a great difference in health and quality of life.

Now you know