Elizabeth Davis - December 29, 2015
2015 was another tough year for American’s health care budgets. Insurance premiums increased, coverage was dropped for a number of important drugs, and overall we’re spending more for our health care.
Don’t break out the antidepressants yet—it’s not all bad news. A number of important drugs went generic, which will generally mean huge savings and lower costs. Plus, a large number of drugs actually decreased in price. See More
Elizabeth Davis - April 10, 2015
As you may know from experience, or from one of our previous articles on changes in coverage in 2014 or 2015, it’s typical for prescription benefit managers (PBMs) to exclude medications from their national preferred formularies each year. These may be brands that have generics available, or generally expensive medications where your plan feels a cheaper alternative may work just as well.
It’s less likely that existing drugs will be added back to the preferred formulary (or at least removed from the exclusion list), but that happened this year in several cases for Express Scripts and Caremark—two major PBMs. See More
The GoodRx Pharmacist - April 08, 2015
When you drop off your medications at a pharmacy you may notice that the technician, intern, or pharmacist who greets you and takes your prescriptions may also ask you for an updated list of your allergies.
I have seen some patients annoyed by this life-saving question, while others seem to blow it off. Some of the remarks I have heard include, “It’s on file, I told you last time,” to “You don’t need to know this information. See More
The GoodRx Pharmacist - October 06, 2014
Advair Diskus and Symbicort are both maintenance inhalers and often compared—so which one is right for you? You should know that they are both used to treat asthma and COPD, but they also have several differences including active ingredients, directions for use, and insurance coverage.
A quick note about maintenance inhalers:
Dr. Sharon Orrange - June 17, 2014
Half of patients with asthma or COPD aren’t using their inhalers properly. Inhaler mishandling has dire consequences—but inhalers are getting much better. With new ones hitting the market every month, you need to get to know them.
Does it matter if your inhaler is a Diskus, Turbohaler or Ellipta? These are all dry powder inhalers (DPIs) and they all use a dry powder formulation of an active drug. They are different than the classic metered dose inhalers like Proventil HFA or Proair HFA. See More
The GoodRx Pharmacist - June 13, 2014
When the sun finally comes out and the weather starts to change, you can tell that summer is nearby. It’s a great time to spend more time outside, but you may be more prone to summertime illnesses and injuries like allergies, insect bites, sunburns, rashes, cuts and scrapes, dehydration, and asthma. Here are some things to watch out for:
It can sometimes be difficult to do outdoor activities in the hot summer sun even if you don’t have asthma or breathing problems—if you do have asthma, you’ll want to be extra careful. See More
Dr. Sharon Orrange - December 05, 2013
Enough of you were using Advair Diskus (fluticasone propionate and salmeterol) to make it one of the top 10 selling drugs last year. Now, Express Scripts, the nation’s largest pharmacy benefit manager, will not cover it or Advair HFA (see more information here) and instead recommends Symbicort (budesonide and formoterol). So, what’s the deal?
Why do we need bronchodilators plus inhaled glucocorticoids in the first place?
Elizabeth Davis - October 29, 2013
For many Americans with health insurance, more than 50 popular brand-name drugs may no longer be covered starting in January 2014. Express Scripts and Caremark, companies that handles pharmacy benefits for more than 200 million Americans, are removing almost 50 brands from their formularies at the end of 2013. More information is below.
What are Express Scripts and Caremark?
Express Scripts and Caremark are companies that administer prescription drug benefits for many health insurance companies and Tricare. See More
Dr. Sharon Orrange - September 20, 2012
Asthma sufferers not only deal with a chronic problem but the high cost as well. When it comes to asthma there are quick-relief inhalers and long-term controller inhalers. Once your doctor has decided you need a long-term control inhaler (not just your albuterol inhaler), you will be faced with a choice of three. All three are expensive but which one is right for you?
Long acting bronchodilators (LABAs) mixed with an inhaled steroid have become the mainstay of asthma treatment for those with moderate asthma symptoms. See More
Dr. Sharon Orrange - May 02, 2012
Nocturnal leg cramps are a common cause of pain in the legs that can disrupt sleep. They are present in nearly 50 percent of those over the age of 50. Leg cramps are characterized by sudden muscle tightness, most commonly in the foot, thigh, or calf, that may last from seconds to minutes. Forceful stretching of the affected muscles usually relieves these leg cramps. For some reason, the vast majority of people have these cramps only at night. See More