PROBLEM: Getting renewals
SOLUTION: When you receive a prescription, make an appointment for several weeks before it will end – “even if that’s a year away,” Nease advises. “Doctors can be booked way ahead. Don’t wait until you’ve gotten the last refill. By then, you may run out of meds before getting to see your doctor.” Physicians sometimes phone renewal orders to pharmacies, but don’t plan on this – your doctor may need to examine you before re-prescribing.  

PROBLEM: Coping with costs
SOLUTION:Cost concerns affect about one in five members,” Nease learned.  “Always check for lower-cost alternatives. Ask your physician or pharmacy if a generic can work, and whether you meet financial requirements for Patient Assistance Programs, generally funded by manufacturers.” Click here for more resources.

PROBLEM: Overcoming medication anxiety
SOLUTION: Nearly 15 percent of study participants “worry that their drug isn’t working, or is causing an undesirable side effect,” says Nease. “Have an honest discussion with your pharmacist or other health care provider.” Realizing how a medication can specifically help makes it easier to follow directions, and maintain the daily regimen even when you’re feeling healthy.  

PROBLEM: Dealing with self-image concerns
SOLUTION: Express Scripts identified occasional self-image issues, especially in patients who are new to a therapy. Learning that they need a daily medication can rattle their sense of being vital and healthy. “Just take it one day at a time,” Nease urges. “The key is staying on it for two weeks. It’s hard to have your antenna up for that long. Taking this medication every day gradually fades into the background, becoming as automatic as popping a vitamin.”

 

See which pillboxes and organizers have received the Arthritis Foundation’s Ease of Use Commendation.