At one time, Lonnie Mikes would spend up to $600 a month on prescription medication for him and his wife.
“I’ve been a diabetic for almost my whole life. As we all know, when it comes to medication, it’s very, very expensive. Diabetes is bad as it is, but it’s very treatable. But it’s very expensive to do so,” Mr. Mikes said. “After I retired, Social Security was our only income. Our health care costs, between my wife and I, was taking half our income.”
Now, using the 340B Drug Pricing Program, he can get a three-month supply of the same medications for less than $43, Mr. Mikes said.
“It’s a drastic difference,” he said.
Northwest Health Services officials hope to inform others on the medication savings program, including a recent expansion to more local pharmacies.
“The 340B program is a prescription program that allows our patients to save money on their prescriptions,” said Sarah Knorr, family nurse practitioner with Northwest Health Services. “This program is available to anyone who is a patient at Northwest Health Services who doesn’t have government insurance, like Medicare or Medicaid.”
Patients can request the 340B pricing at participating pharmacies, including The Apothecary Pharmacy, Rogers Pharmacy, Stevenson Family Pharmacy, Bender’s Prescription Shop, K-Mart, Country Side and Savannah Family Pharmacy in Savannah.
“We are thrilled to be able to partner with Northwest Health Services to provide the program. We see on a daily basis how it really can impact people and save them significantly,” said Paul Stevenson, owner of The Apothecary Pharmacy. “It’s a tremendous program and we are very excited to be able to help (Northwest Health Services) execute the program and help patients.”
Patients with commercial insurance also are eligible and the program may result in further savings, Ms. Knorr said. Not all prescriptions qualify, so she recommends checking with a pharmacist at a participating location.
“This program has benefits every day,” Ms. Knoor said. “I’m not getting as many phone calls back saying ‘I can’t afford my medications.’ Even if I do get those calls back, often times, I direct them to a 340B pharmacy and they are then able to afford their medications.”
To learn more about the 340B program through Northwest Health Services, visit nwhealth-services.org/340b or call (816) 232-6818 or a participating pharmacy.
“It’s out there for folks to utilize,” Mr. Stevenson said. “It seems like maybe the biggest hurdle is making people aware that it’s there.”