Saturday, December 4, 2010

The Null Card

Its rare that we ever get drug samples these days. The feds have basically chased them all away. I really thought the sample meds helped as I personally hate it when you had someone go get a prescription only to find out it didn't work. The samples were also a good thing to help out our indigent patients.

Anyway, I saw an elderly lady in the office yesterday. Like many Seniors she has Social Security and Medicare and is barely making it. She needed a medication that she just could not afford. For that matter she could barely afford food. We called around, searched and begged and finally got a sample card that gives you the first month of the medication free to try. We were so excited! Then we read the card, it was not valid for anyone with Medicare or Medicaid! We looked at all the other vouchers and discount cards that we could find. Guess what, they all said the same thing!


SeaSpray said...

OMG! WHY Throckmorton ..WHY would they do that?! Why discriminate against the poor in that way ..if they would give them to others?

(Strong rxn from me because I felt instantly sorry for her)

And good for you and your staff for trying to help her.

Being a physician ...someone who's life is spent helping people must hurt and frustrate when you can't help someone and you see these things.

I was just writing about how I was glad my doc gave me a free sample and I didn't have to get a prescription. I really appreciated it.

Oh and what did the feds do to chase samples away? I thought that is how pharma companies get you interested in trying meds. ?

Andrew_M_Garland said...

I found this study. This could be the reason for the restriction. Clearly, this is medical practice guided by the best in information-based policy, from on high. No discretion for the little-doctor.

Essentially, if you are on medicaid/medicare, you probably cannot afford anything outside of the program, so you are better off being restricted from getting anything free from the drug companies.

Are Sample Medicines Hurting the Uninsured?

SeaSpray said...

Off topic - but ..was just looking through your posts to find the one on Hillary facial changes. I thought of it immediately when I heard she was stepping down after this post to non political. Would never have thought it of her and certain she'd run again in 2012.

I think I see what you discuss on my friend's face.

news about Elizabeth Edwards today reminded me of your post.