Throughout the past few months, many of us have experienced our lives being turned upside down whether through change of work environment, having our children home full time, increased safety precautions, our favorite hangouts being closed, and so much more. So many things have changed, but don’t let your prescription medication experience be one of them. Following some of the following steps outlined here can help you and your loved ones have a more positive experience while securing your prescribed medications during this challenging period.
Early predictions were that there would be a large number of medication shortages due to COVID-19, similar to paper products such as toilet paper, tissues, paper towels, and others.1 This theory was based on China and India being major hubs for raw materials that are used to make medications.2 Luckily, that did not turn out to be the case for the majority of maintenance medications since manufacturers put safety parameters in place to keep these medications available. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is monitoring the United States (U.S.) supply chain and has announced some shortages during this time.1
As a pharmacist, I fully understand the strain this virus has put on many pharmacies nationwide. The best and simplest advice I have for patients is to keep their normal medication cadence. Do all the same things you always have in order to obtain your medications as you normally have along with a positive customer service experience. Suggested steps include to be proactive, order your mediations in advance so that you don’t have to spend extra time at the pharmacy. Next, keep your current routine, don’t let working from home or homeschooling stop you from taking your medications on the same days and times that you always have been. Be calm, kind, and helpful to the pharmacy staff as they are doing their very best to serve the community.
When you learn that one of your prescribed medications may be in short supply, please consider getting only what you need for a shorter period of time. If you are unable to get out or have your prescription delivered, please make sure your designee has a healthcare power of attorney/medical release form available for the pharmacy staff. This will help ensure that pharmacy team members can help each patient quickly, without delay in therapy. It is also important to keep your immunizations up to date please discuss this with your doctor, many people are now using telehealth to address questions. If you require an immunization, pharmacists are usually available to administer the same day but to be safe, please call ahead.
Veradigm has tools and resources available that can help you find prescription prices to align with your budget and find alternative medications if your regular prescription is unavailable. At the time of prescribing, your provider can use our prescription transparency pricing tool called RxTruePrice to find the right medication for you, at the right price, and the right location to help you better adhere to your prescribed care plan. Please don’t let COVID-19 be the reason why you are skipping your prescribed medications.