Tag Archives: prescriptions

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.

 

App of the Week – Dosecast

616ym7PSDXL._SY300_Sometimes when you are sick or recovering from surgery you end up with a lot of medications.  Remembering when, or if you took your medication can be a task. Keeping track of drug regimens becomes especially important if you are a caregiver for a loved one or elderly parent. That’s why Dosecast is the App of the Week.

Dosecast takes the brain teasing out of keeping track of those medications.  Once you download the app you enter the basic information about each medication. This includes the name of the medicine, the dosage, the schedule and how it is to be taken.

Dosecast allows you to setup reminders on a daily, weekly, or monthly schedule or every few days or weeks. You can also schedule the app for a pre-set number of hours or days after the last dose. You won’t be asking yourself, “Did I take my medicine?”

Dosecast also keeps track of remaining quantities and reminds you to get a refill. It can also keep track of whether you are sticking to the prescription’s instructions.

This app is an indicator of the aging of our nation.  Currently 40 millions Americans have become caregivers for ailing parents. It is no easy task. If you are a caregiver you appreciate all the help you can get. These people know how extremely important it is to administer drugs in the right dosages at the right time. Trying to keep it all in your head is nearly impossible.  Dosecast takes that load off your mind.

Dosecast is free and available for Android and iOS devices.

 

App of the Week – Drugs.com Interaction App Suite

We have become a medicated society. It’s a sad fact and a topic for another website. But because of America’s infatuation with pill popping we need to understand the drugs and foods we take in and how they will react inside our bodies. According to the Food and Drug Administration prescription drugs kill over 100,000 people every year. Of that number 35,000 are in nursing homes. Many of these deaths are preventable if the people simply took time to understand what drugs they are taking and talk to their doctor(s) about interactions. You also need to have that in-depth understanding if you are the caregiver or have a loved one in a caring facility. A death or serious medical situation could arise simply by drinking grapefruit juice or eating the wrong foods with prescription drugs.

That is why Drugs.com has been named the App of the Week. The Drugs.com app is actually a suite of apps that cover many areas of drug usage for the consumer and the physician. Drugs.com currently only offers one of these app for the Android platform the rest are on the Apple platform only. We usually frown upon this limitation but this group of apps deserve recognition. Not all of the apps are free but if they prevent a poisoning how much is that worth? Understanding the drugs you are taking is critical for people with chronic medical conditions who must manage an extensive drug regimen, elderly people and people who see more than one doctor for various ailments.

The Drugs.com app suite includes an extremely helpful and powerful Medication Guide for the user. This provides the user a way to look up drug information, identify what pill they have, check interactions and and most importantly set up their own personal medication records. This feature is designed for the mobile user and requires an Internet connection. This app is free and available for Apple and the only app available for Android.

Another feature of the Drugs.com app is the Pill Identifier. Many people, especially the elderly struggle to read the small print on a pill bottle, get drug names confused or simply can’t tell pills apart without help. The Pill Identifier App is a searchable database of pill pictures that contains more than 14,000 prescription pills and over the counter medications available in the U.S. The user can search the database using the text imprinted on the pill, drug name, color and shape. The app is only .99 cents and also requires an Internet connection to view the pill images. It is available only for Apple iPhone and iPad.

The premium version is the Pill Identifier Pro app and is the same searchable database of pill images and sells for $39.95. The entire image database installs directly onto your mobile device, does not require an Internet connection and does not have any advertisements. It is only available for iPhone and iPad.

The Pill Reminder app keeps track of all your medications. When you add a prescription you can also choose to get pill reminders right on your mobile device. The app also allows you to add personal notes, get easy access to vital information about your meds online including information such as as side effects, dosage and safe use during pregnancy. The only thing I would add to this app is an alert that notifies you if a drug you have added to the list creates a dangerous interaction with another drug on the list. How did they miss that? This app is free and only available on iPhone.

Drugs.com is also providing an app for pros. The Drug Reference for Health Professionals is a comprehensive drug reference guide that is rapidly accessible. The app provides critical information about prescribing drugs, including dosing guidelines, drug interactions, potential adverse reactions, warnings and precautions. The entire database installs directly onto your mobile device. The app sells for $39.95, requires no Internet connection and is only available on Apple iPhone and iPad.

A Drug Reference for Consumers app is also available.  It provides easy to understand drug information displayed in a simple and readable mobile format. The consumer can find much of the same information on side effects, dosing, drug interactions, warnings and precautions in the pro version.The entire database installs directly onto your mobile device. It sells for $24.95 and needs no Internet connection. Available only for iPhone and iPad.

 

 

App of the Week Beats High Prescription Prices

Prices for prescription drugs can be extremely high. Even with insurance drug prices can still give you the proverbial sticker shock at the cash register. Insurance companies have a tendency to cover some drugs like generics or selected drugs but not others. And co-pays can vary from 100% to none at all. Some drugs can cost as much as $30-$70 a pill or more.

Getting drugs and medical care is a significant problem for many black people. According to the NAACP 18% of African-Americans below the age of 65 are without health insurance. The report also points out that a greater number 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 (HCAN).

But there is an app that can help with the cost of prescription drugs. LowestMed is an app that is available for both iPhones and Android that allows the user to compare prices at pharmacies in his or her immediate area to find the best possible price for prescription drugs.

LowestMed app is free and requires no personal information from the user. All you have to do is search for the FDA-approved drug and LowestMed will give you a round-up of prices for that prescription in your neighborhood. The app also offers discounts for these drugs but this doesn’t require any effort aside from showing the pharmacist a code. You click on the pharmacy, and receive a “discount card” to show the pharmacist in order to get that price.

Getting the needed drugs can become dire if you simply cannot afford drugs that you or a loved one desperately needs. Sadly some people have to choose between drugs or eating everyday. Some drug companies offer services that can help people get drugs at reduced prices if they are in need. Here is a list of organizations that may help you afford the drugs you need.

Partnership for Prescription Assistance

RX Assistance

National Alliance on Mental Illness Drug Assistance

Needy Meds

Medicare.gov

HealthFinder.gov

LowestMed is the App of the Week.