A patient at Horizon Health Care in Lake Preston found out a little over a year ago that she was suffering from Type-2 diabetes. If that wasn’t enough of a shock, she learned her Medicare Part B co-pay for the needed prescriptions would be $500.
The 340B Prescription Drug Program allows Horizon Health Care to offer discounted medications to under-insured and uninsured patients through partnerships with local pharmacies in and around South Dakota.
This patient’s doctor, Lance Lim, wanted her to try the drug Ozempic to see if it could reduce her A1C, or estimated average blood sugar levels. How she would pay for it was a mystery.
“I checked out what the co-pay was before because I knew it was high,” she said. “I just said, ‘I can’t go on it. With that much co-pay I just can’t go on it.’”
The woman has eight grown children and provides daycare for her grandchildren. Her daughter and grandchild live with her and her husband. She went on social security a few months ago so she lives on a fixed income.
Dr. Lim suggested she try enrolling in the 340B drug program to help cover costs of the specific drug he wanted her to try. Using the program has been life changing. With 340B the co-pay went from $500 to $8 per prescription.
“I can pay my bills,” she said. “It was a struggle before.”
Being on the new drug has helped her overall health. Her A1C is down from 11 to a much healthier 7.
“It has been successful at lowering the levels,” she said.
This has increased her energy and overall health.
“I’m not as tired,” she said. “My urine used to show sugar and now it doesn’t show that anymore. I feel better. I’ve lost some weight, which was good for me.”