Tough Economy Causing Many to Stop Taking Medications

by Victor Lopez
NewsWest 9

WEST TEXAS--While the thought of saving money right now is extremely appealing, doing so at the cost of your health isn't the smartest choice.

"Don't stop taking your medicines, if at all possible, because this could be a serious situation where you end up in the hospital and maybe on more medications when you come out," Raynetta Williams, a Benefits Counselor with The Area Agency on Aging, said.

Fortunately there are places you can go for help, with your prescription needs, and you can find alternatives to not taking your medications, just because you can't afford them.  According to Williams,  "Give us a call.  We can look at what they have.  We can compare the plan that they have with other plans that are available to see if it's cost effective."

The plans in question are Medicare Part D, dealing with prescriptions. You can be getting help from SSI, Medicaid or have dual elegibility, meaning you qualify for Medicare and Medicaid at the same time.

But what if you don't have Medicare?  Casa de Amigos in Midland provides help based on financial need.  "Especially right now, there's a lot of people getting laid off.  They're worried they can't afford their medicines.  We can help them.  We can find avenues for them to get their medicine," Social Services Director, Catarina Medrano, said.

One of those avenues is a website called   According to Medrano, they'll even help you apply online, "If they're not working, they have no insurance whatsoever, they most likely will qualify and they'll get their medications filled for 3 months at a time."

If for whatever reason you can't find the help you need, Casa de Amigos won't stop until you do, "We also network with other agencies.  If we're unable to provide for it, we can advocate on their behalf to another agency," Medrano said.

Williams suggests, you can also ask your doctor to give a helping hand, "Ask for generic medications from your physician is one of the ways that you can save on your prescription drug cost."

These days, many pharmacies are offering low priced, generic meds for as little as $4.00 for a thirty day supply.   If you are one of those who can't take generic, ask you doctor if there is something comparable that you can take, that's a little cheaper than name brand.