Getting The Best Price Or Help For Blood Thinners (& Other Meds)

Feb 18
AFib News Blog
Getting The Best Price Or Help For Blood Thinners (& Other Meds)

Posted by Mellanie at StopAfib.org on February 18,  2017  11:08am EST

The subject comes up quite frequently about how to find the best prices for the newer blood thinners (anticoagulants). After posting this info to a thread, I realized that it should be put in a place that is easy to find. That is why I am posting this to the blog so you can find these links more easily, and point others to this. Here are some resources to help:

Manufacturer's programs - assistance and co-pay cards

If you are looking for other meds, do a Google search for the medication name and "patient support".  
Other resources

Medicare plans and subsidized help

Those on Medicare are generally not eligible for the manufacturer's discount programs above. A good way to find a Medicare drug plan, including what is covered by each one that is available to you and what your various meds will cost, is to use the Medicare Drug Plan Finder.

You can do a general search by putting in your zip code, or a personalized search by entering your Medicare number and a few details. Put in your medications and dosage, choose the amount of time between refills, and where you get your refillls. The cheapest way will generally (but not always) be a 3-month (90 day) supply from a mail order pharmacy. It will ask you to choose a local pharmacy for comparison purposes, and what kind of plan you want. 

You will see all kinds of details and be able to drill down into the prices from your local pharmacy and the mmail-orderpharmacy, and see graphs that include your premium, deductible ($400/year for Medicare Drug Plans in 2017), cost, and donut hole. There are so many ways to looks at the data to see how to maximize your Medicare drug plan.

For some people, depending on your state, there will be a link for how to lower your drug cost for that specific drug. There are 22 states/territories currently shown in the drop down box. Some state assistance programs are only for those with certain conditions (i.e., in Texas, there are plans for those with end-stage renal (kidney) disease or HIV). Some states have assistance with Part D for being "elderly", so it's definitely worth seeing if your state has help of that sort.


There is also a Medicare plan called Extra Help. If you qualify, "In 2017, costs are no more than $3.30 for each generic/$8.25 for each brand-name covered drug." 

And, here is info about Medicare's appeals process in case your medication is not covered or "You think you should pay less for a higher tier (more expensive) drug because you or your prescriber believes you can't take any of the lower tier (less expensive) drugs for the same condition."

Hopefully, among these resources, you will find the optimal help for you.

Mellanie


 

5 Comments
  • jdorum1860
    jdorum1860,
    Have looked at data for Eliquis et al vs. aspirin and do not see statistical support for Eliquis over aspirin. Cardiologists recite the dogma that Eliquis i.e. Blood thinner prevent clots in AFib better than aspirin. Other than pharma $$ for Eliquis etc. Anyone have info that supports Eliquis over aspirin?
  • Mellanie at StopAfib.org
    Mellanie at StopAfib.org,

    jdorum1860,

    Eliquis is superior to warfarin (ARISTOTLE Trial) and causes half the fatal bleeds (intracranial hemorrhage) that warfarin does (Christian Ruff, The Lancet).

    Mellanie

  • Thumper2
    Thumper2,

    Mellanie, I just read an 2018 comments of yours:

    "Mellanie at StopAfib.org March 15,  2018  4:28am EST

    jdorum1860,

    Eliquis is superior to warfarin (ARISTOTLE Trial) and causes half the fatal bleeds (intracranial hemorrhage) that warfarin does (Christian Ruff, The Lancet).

    I have been taking warfarin for years and it is always stable (for me; I have it tested once a month).  Is there any reason I should think seriously about taking Eliquis instead?  I have no desire to change.....

    Thumper2 (Judy)

  • MellanieSAF
    MellanieSAF,

    Judy,

    If you're doing well on warfarin and not having a problem with bleeds, then you are probably fine. But, I'm not a doctor, and it might not hurt to ask that question of your doctor since he/she knows your medical history.

    Mellanie

  • shafiq48
    shafiq48,

     Mellanie, I have a question here. I hav AFib as you know for which I consult two EPs, one as my entitlement as a veteran and the other for second opinion for which I meet expense from my pocket. In addition I also see the cardiologist since I have a moderate CAD ( cardio artery dicease) 60 % block in the branch of LAD which is managed by medicine.   During my recent routine review with Cardiologist he put me on Asprine 75 mg once daily in addition to Xarelto 10 mg twice daily. On my enquiry he explained that Xeralto is an anti cogulant whereas Asprine has action on blood platelets. He advised to take both blood thinners to ward off the stroke risk. What is your view on this regimen as you have lots of knowledge on blood thinners, Thanks.

    Shafiq 

     

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