As you age, your health needs change and so may your list of medications. This can be overwhelming and confusing, and if not managed correctly, could potentially be harmful. It’s important to take an active role in understanding your medication, and how to manage it correctly. To help you out, the Aspire Health team has created this useful checklist to assist in managing your prescriptions.
1. Create a medication list
Create and maintain a list of all your prescription medications, including over the counter medications and vitamins you are currently taking. It’s also helpful to include the directions and your prescribing doctor’s. The more information you have to provide at your next doctor’s visit, the more accurately the doctor can pinpoint any potential adverse effects or drug interactions. Be sure to keep a copy of your list with you and updated at all times.
2. Use one pharmacy
Have all your medications filled at the same pharmacy, if possible. If you are using both a retail pharmacy and mail-order pharmacy, try to maintain one pharmacy for each service. This will also help your doctor and pharmacist keep track of your medications.
3. Organize and get into a routine
Put all your medications into a pillbox organizer. Discard any unused, expired, or discontinued medications to eliminate confusion.
4. Create reminders
Calendars, charts, and reminder services are good cues for incorporating prescription medication times and refill notices. Most pharmacies will offer a call or text message reminder indicating that your prescription is ready for pick-up or that it is time to refill.
5. Consider generics
A generic drug is a medication created to be the same as an existing, approved brand-name drug in dosage form, safety, strength, effectiveness, stability, and quality. Due to lower research costs, generic drugs are sold at a substantially lower cost and could save you money. Always ask your doctor if your prescription is available in generic form.
6. Pharmacy benefit
Take advantage of what your plan has to offer. Most people with at least three chronic disease states such as diabetes, COPD, respiratory, dyslipidemia, depression, and Alzheimer’s are likely to incur high annual drug costs. Programs such as Medication Therapy Management (MTM) are designed to have pharmacists work closely with you and your doctor to get the best results from your medications and help you find savings at the same time.
MTM is a service offered by Aspire Health Plan at no additional cost to you! The MTM program is required by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and is not considered a benefit. This program helps you and your doctor make sure that your medications are working. It also helps us identify and reduce possible medication problems. If you think you may qualify for Aspire’s MTM program, or have questions about it, give us a call at (888) 495-3160. TTY users call 711.