The Cost of Non-Optimized Medications

Money within a Pill Bottle_iStock.com/slobo
Image source: iStock.com/slobo

Did you know, if the drugs you’re taking are wrong, skipped, or make you sick, there’s the possibility of incurring additional cost? A recent study published by The University of California – San Diego estimated that the current cost of each possible consequence and estimated total annual cost of illnesses and deaths that result from non-optimized medication therapy to be $528.4 billion. They estimated that the average cost of an individual experiencing treatment failure, a new medical problem or both after initial prescription use to be approximately $2,500.

How do Non-Optimized Medications lead to additional cost?

Here’s an example of non-optimized medications: You are diagnosed with asthma and your doctor prescribes you with a rescue inhaler. When you go to fill your prescription, you discover that the copay is too expensive for your budget and you choose not to purchase it. You later suffer from an asthma attack and must go to the hospital. You’re now stuck with a very expensive medical bill.

This isn’t the only example in which you could incur additional costs, sometimes medications lead to side-effects resulting in the need for added treatment.

What can we do to solve this?

The University of California – San Diego’s study reached the conclusion that to improve medication-related care, we need to expand comprehensive medication management programs, in which clinical pharmacists have access to complete medical records, improved dialogue with other members of a patient’s health care team and input as a medication is prescribed — similar to what is now taking place at many U.S. Veterans Affairs clinics.

How can Tria Health help?

Tria Health provides one-on-one consultations with pharmacists, allowing you to review all your medications and make sure everything is safe, affordable and effective.

Visit www.triahealth.com to learn more!

 

Source: Jonathan H. Watanabe, Terry McInnis, Jan D. Hirsch. Cost of Prescription Drug–Related Morbidity and Mortality. Annals of Pharmacotherapy, 2018; 106002801876515 DOI: 10.1177/1060028018765159

Diabetes and Eye Care

Circle_Eye Drop

Did you know that diabetes can cause eye problems and may lead to blindness? People with diabetes are 40% more likely to suffer from glaucoma and 60% more likely to develop cataracts. With regular checkups, you can keep your eyes healthy and catch problems early.

What kind of Eye Exam do I need?

The eye doctor will put drops in your eyes to see the retina. This is called a dilated eye exam. The eye drops will make the pupils or black part of your eyes bigger. Then your doctor can see the back of your eye and find any eye problems early.

Why should I get a Dilated Eye Exam?

Over time, high blood sugar can damage the tiny vessels that supply blood to the eyes. You can have eye damage even if your vision is fine. It has nothing to do with needing glasses.

How often should I get a Dilated Eye Exam?

You should get a dilated eye exam annually or as recommended by your eye doctor. Getting regular eye exams will help find any problems early, and prevent blindness.

 For additional recommendations on how you can avoid eye problems, visit the American Diabetes Association.

 

Have any questions?

Contact the Tria Health Help Desk at 1.888.799.8742

American Diabetes Association Alert Day

American Diabetes Association Alert Day is a day dedicated to spreading awareness of type 2 diabetes and encouraging people to take the ADA risk test. 9 out of 10 Americans most at risk for type 2 diabetes don’t know it.

Take the Type 2 Diabetes Risk Test

The American Diabetes Association offers a free anonymous risk test that only takes a minute to complete. Find out if you’re at risk today:

Risk Test Button

How to Lower Your Risk

Now that you’ve taken the test, here are a few ways you can lower your risk of Type 2 diabetes:

Unfortunately, there are some risk factors you can’t change, like age, race, gender & family history. But being aware of your risk factors can help you take smart steps to improve your health in other ways.

Tria Health & Diabetes Management

If you currently are diagnosed or have been recently diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes, Tria Health can assist you in managing your medications and finding a treatment plan that works for you. For select members, Tria Health also provides free diabetes testing supplies including a blood glucose meter, testing strips, and a mobile app designed to help you manage your diabetes better.

Have Any Questions? Call the Tria Help Desk: 1.888.799.8742 

Tria Health: March Ask a Pharmacist Edition

Ask a Pharmacist

Thanks to the Tria Health Help Desk, patients may ask pharmacists any medication-related questions. We’d like to share with you some frequently asked questions and the pharmacists’ answers

Question: Is it OK to take leftover antibiotics to treat a current infection?

Answer: No! The antibiotic might not treat the type infection that you have and might not be the full course of therapy required. Additionally, taking antibiotics inappropriately may also cause antibiotic resistance, making it harder to treat future infections.

Question: How do I know what kind of vitamins I should take?

Answer: It would depend on your diet, lifestyle, and other medical conditions. Taking a multivitamin is a great place to start. If you have concerns about being vitamin deficient, talk with your doctor about checking certain vitamin levels.

Question: Which over-the-counter allergy products are safe to use during pregnancy?

Answer: Both Zyrtec and Claritin are safe to use during pregnancy. Make sure these products do not carry any other active ingredients, like pseudoephedrine. Talk with your doctor or your Tria pharmacist before starting any over the counter allergy product.

Question: I recently started a new medication and have had a stomach ache ever since. Am I allergic to the drug?

Answer: Stomach aches are not a sign or symptom of a medication allergy. It is usually a side effect of the drug. Try to take the medication with food to help avoid stomach upset.

 

Do YOU have a question for our pharmacists?

Enroll with Tria Health and schedule your appointment today!

Call 1.888.799.8742 or visit www.triahealth.com/enroll

National Patient Safety Awareness Week!

Female doctor with stethoscope holding heart
Image Source: iStock.com/Andrei_r

National Patient Safety Awareness Week was designed to mark a dedicated time and a platform to increase awareness about patient safety among health professionals and the public. One goal of the week is to bring together and engage health care professionals and patients to help spread this important message. One prominent safety issue in the health care world is medication mismanagement.

Did you Know?

  • 30% Never fill their prescriptions
  • 50% Don’t take as prescribed
  • 41% Heart attack patients don’t take blood pressure medications
  • 50% children with asthma don’t use inhalers.

The Benefit of Tria Health

If a patient has multiple chronic conditions or multiple physicians, it can be overwhelming and easy to confuse medications or simply be unable to afford the cost. With Tria Health you can speak one-on-one with a pharmacist to help you feel better by getting the intended results from your meds.

Additional Educational Resources:

 

Have Any Questions? Call the Tria Help Desk: 1.888.799.8742

Source:  Health & Human Services, National Institute of Health