Medication assistance programs for Montana elders
Judice, Martha Arambel.
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Prescription drugs play an ever increasing role in modern medicine. New medications are improving health outcomes and quality of life while often providing viable options to invasive treatments and hastening recovery for patients. As important as prescription medications are, not everyone has access to them. The newest medications are often the most expensive and millions of Americans, especially elderly and disabled Medicare recipients have inadequate or no insurance coverage for drugs. Nearly one third of all Medicare beneficiaries lack financial prescription assistance and are faced with the difficult decision of omitting or limiting their prescription drug use. Access to information about medication assistance programs tends to be scattered and poorly understood. The purpose of this project was to develop a pamphlet that would organize the different medication assistance programs into a user friendly format, and guide Medicare recipients to appropriate resources.Programs are available through individual pharmaceutical companies, through private insurers, and through limited state and federal assistance programs. There are multiple factors relating to coverage, utilization and spending for prescription drugs. Different eligibility guidelines for different programs leads to further confusion. Further complicating the problem is the fact that programs are constantly being revised. Using the gathered information and principles of learning pertaining to development of teaching/ learning materials for elders, a tri-fold pamphlet was developed that primary care providers can provide to their elderly clients. Primary care providers need to be aware of the important implications of cost related poor medication adherence. Being knowledgeable of various programs and their required involvement may make the difference between sustained health or devastating illness in their patients