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Prescription medication can be costly

A new national survey reports that Americans spent $374 billion on prescription drugs last year.

People who are either insured or uninsured still fork out the high cost for prescription medication.

According to the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists, big price jumps can be due to anything from a product shortage to a change in your insurance coverage.

For Becky Cleverly who couldn’t work anymore and filed for disability, due to her chronic illness, she said she couldn’t afford the prescription medication she needed.

Even generic medication was too pricey said Cleverly.

“No pay, no insurance what do you do?”asked Cleverly.

She found Freemed and they helped her keep her medication going said Cleverly.

Who other wise couldn’t afford it.

Freemed is a community outreach center which helps low-income people who have exhausted their prescription insurance or are uninsured.

“Assist patients with chronically ill, get prescription medication at little or no cost from the manufactures,” said Shawn Johnston, executive director of Freemed.

Freemed works with a Patient Assist Program which currently has 4,142 drugs and dosages available.

Which means that Freemed helps people figure out what medication they need from the manufactures.

They then fill out the paper work for the patient, it’s a four to 6 week process said Johnston.

“We basically take the hand of the client we walk them though it because each medication requires it’s own application. And someone with 8 prescriptions maybe working between and 8 and five different manufactures. We work with the doctor, client and manufactures,” said Johnston.

Johnston said most of the people who they work with suffer from diabetes, heart disease and depression.

Johnston said we saved our 500 clients close to $1.8 million on prescription costs.

Freemed does not work with generic medication only name brand however, they will contact the patients primary health provider for medication they do work with.

Freemed provides service to people in Bingham, Bonneville, Butte, Clark, Custer, Fremont, Jefferson, Lemhi, Madison and Teton counties in southeastern Idaho.

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