At Mountain Family Health Centers, we seek to control total costs of care for our patients. With the opening of our Pharmacy Program, we can now offer patients who lack health insurance life-saving medications at a very low cost. Thanks to a generous grant from The Colorado Health Foundation, Mountain Family opened its first pharmacy dispensary at our Edwards Integrated Health Center last October. Today, we also provide pharmacy services at our Glenwood Springs and Rifle health center hubs and will open one in Basalt this month.
Matt Percy, co-chief medical officer and site medical director at our Rifle Integrated Health Center tells why the implementation of our new Pharmacy Program is so critical.
“Thanks to all who have worked so hard over several years to make our Mountain Family Pharmacy Program a reality. I wanted to share the story of the first patient I was able to help with this program, so you are aware of the fruit of our labor.
I had a clinic slide patient see me yesterday who had been managing his diabetes with 70/30 insulin injections twice daily, costing him roughly $50 per month (via Walmart discount). I was able to change him to Lantus from Mountain Family’s pharmacy at a cost to him of just $25 for a three-month supply. Lantus is an easier and often safer insulin to use as it is longer acting, requiring just one injection per day, but also usually very expensive. To pay cash for this same supply of Lantus at a pharmacy would likely have cost him roughly $500 (or $350 with a GoodRx coupon). This patient is saving hundreds of dollars and now on an easier to use insulin thanks to the hard work of our pharmacy implementation team!”
According to Stacy Torres, pharmacy technician in our Glenwood Springs Integrated Health Center, “I like helping people who are uninsured, helping them build their lifestyle.” Stacy shared some of the top medications in demand:
For diabetes, insulin pens (Lantus or NovoLog) are $2.16 per box of five for someone participating in Mountain Family’s Sliding Fee Scale Program, which is available to those who have household incomes of ≤ 400% of the federal poverty level ($12,080/year for an individual or $21,906 for a household of three). Insulin from Lantus is $360 per box without insurance.
To prevent blood clots due to an irregular heartbeat, Xarelto can be used. For a box of 30 tablets, for the same uninsured patient making under $12,080/year, the cost would be $2.31, versus the retail price of $605.
For rheumatoid arthritis, 60 tablets of Plaquenil (200 mg) would cost $2.60 cents, while the retail price is $200.
In other pharmacy news, Gail Mizner, MD, FACP, AAHIVM, Mountain Family’s internal medicine specialist, has been chosen by the State of Colorado to chair the Prescription Drug Availability Board. This board is working to reduce the prices of prescription drugs in Colorado.
To make a gift to support our Health For All Fund and our Pharmacy Services, please donate here or contact Jan Jennings, Director of Development, at (970) 989-1134 or firstname.lastname@example.org.