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Prescriptions
 
 
     I had no prescription coverage in 2004 and 2005.  I had to pay the full amount of my prescriptions out of my own pocket.  I cannot skip my medications or ration them out.  If I do not take my prescriptions, my kidney and pancreas transplants will fail.

     In 2004, I had to take an expensive antibiotic to stop a virus that was causing internal bleeding.  This prescription was required for 3 months and cost $1,600 per month.  There is more information on why I had to take this antibiotic on the Transplant page in the Battle With Diabetes section of this web site.

     In 2006, I was able to get prescription coverage but there is a gap period in this coverage where I have to pay the full amount out of my pocket for several months each year.  I am still on the same prescription plan.
 
 
Calendar Year I Paid Insurance Paid Plan Discounts Retail Price
2004 $18,165.00 $0.00 $0.00 $0.00
2005 $15,012.27 $0.00 $0.00 $0.00
2006 not available not available not available not available
2007 $4,288.55 $9,238.62 $4,518.37 $18,045.54
2008 $4,416.88 $8,461.59 $5,430.92 $18,309.39
 
      The total I paid in 2004 is higher than 2005 because of the expensive antibiotics I had to take that year.  As soon as I retrieve the 2006 figures, I will update this chart.
 
 
 
     Starting in 2007, my insurance plan provided a graphic breakdown of my prescription costs.  Here is the graph for 2007.
 
 
 
This is the graph for 2008.
 
 
    In 2008, two prescriptions I take became available in the generic brand.  My pharmacy was then able to fill the one generic anti-rejection medication as a 90 day supply.  
 
 
Prescriptions
(Last update May 15, 2009)
 
Name Reason Dose Frequency Amount Cost Supply
Alendronate Sodium Osteoporosis 70 mg 1 time per week 1 - 70 mg tablet $40.75 28 day
Gengraf Transplants 125 mg 2 times per day 1 - 100 mg capsule
1 - 25 mg capsule
$595.75 90 day
Myfortic Transplants 720 mg 2 times per day 2 - 360 mg tablets $753.73 30 day
Metoprolol Blood Pressure 100 mg 2 times per day 1 - 100 mg tablet $5.00 30 day
Terazosin Blood Pressure 5 mg 2 times per day

1 - 5 mg tablet am
2 - 5 mg tablets pm

$28.25 30 day
Ferrex-150 Forte Anemia 150 mg 1 time per day 1 - 150 mg tablet $11.00 30 day
Travatan Z Glaucoma 1 drop 0.004% 1 time per day 1 drop left eye only $72.69 30 day
 
 
Over The Counter
 
Name Reason Dose Frequency Amount Cost Supply
Magnesium Oxide Transplants 400 mg 3 times per day 1 - 400 mg tablet $8.99 50 day
Omeprazole Acid Reflux 20 mg 1 time per day 1 - 20 mg tablet $22.99 42 day
Calcium with Vitamin D Osteoporosis 600 mg +
200 ui vitamin D
2 times per day 1 - 600 mg tablet $11.99 200 day
Stress Tablets with Zinc To fight off colds not listed 1 time per day 1 tablet $5.99 60 day
 
 
     I take 21 tablets(capsules) per day.  One day a week I take 22 tablets(capsules).  Some of the medications I have to take cannot be taken at the same time as others.  Some of the medications need to be taken with food.  Other medications need to be taken on an empty stomach.  I take my medications seven times a day to meet all of the restrictions I just listed.  On average (a thirty day month), I take 634 tablets(capsules).
 
     I recommend that everyone shop around when deciding to use a pharmacy to fill prescriptions.  All you need to do is provide a list of your prescriptions, that includes the dosage of each medication and the name of your insurance plan that covers your prescriptions.  Each pharmacy will provide you with a cost for your prescriptions based on your insurance plan.  I went to every pharmacy in my area and was able to get their prices for my prescriptions, which I used to choose my pharmacy.

     If you are on medicare or plan to go on medicare soon, gather up all of your prescriptions and go to the Medicare Prescription Drug Plan Finder.  On their web site you can enter all of your prescriptions and the system will provide a list of all plans available in your area.  It will show you how much money it will cost you out of your own pocket each year for each plan available.

     Pharmaceutical companies advertise that they will help you if you have trouble affording your medications.  The problem is that they determine to help you based on your salary and only the prescriptions they provide.  I was not eligible for help from any pharmaceutical company in 2004 and 2005 because each one of my expensive medications was made by different pharmaceutical companies.  Based on their criteria, I could afford to pay for my medications.  I made just under $30,000 in 2004 and again in 2005.  If you look at table one above, I paid more than half my yearly salary for prescriptions those two years.  I also had massive amounts of copays for the four times I was in the hospital during those two years.  I went through savings that I accumulated throughout the 1990's to cover all of those expenses.  

     If I had not started saving money on the very first day of my very first job, I'd be so far in debt right now I would have lost everything I own.  Too many people wait to save for a rainy day and then when the rainy day comes, they get flooded out.  Even putting small amounts aside each paycheck can reduce the flood on that rainy day.



 
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