Tips for Traveling with Medications

Airplane
Image Source: Deniz Altindas/Unsplash

Memorial Day is approaching and many of you are most likely preparing for weekend travels to see family or friends. We all know the worst part about any vacation is packing. What makes packing even more complicated is packing for air travel. There are a multitude of regulations to keep track of and if you have a chronic condition, the idea of managing your medications can seem overwhelming.

To help you get ready for vacation season, here are a few tips and tricks to keeping your medications safe and organized!

The Medication Screening Process

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) requires that medications in pill or other solid form must undergo security screening. You can also bring any medically necessary liquids or creams, but they must be screened separately from the rest of your belongings.

To make things easy, the TSA recommends you:

  • Store medications in clearly labeled containers
    • Check with state laws regarding prescription medication labels
  • If you’ve already thrown away your prescription containers, get a letter from your doctor explaining what the medication is and why you need it.
  • Declare any accessories associated with your liquid medication

Dosage Schedule

If you happen to travel to somewhere in a different time zone, you may need to discuss the time you take your medications with your doctor. If you must take your prescriptions at a certain time, we recommend setting alarms on your phone or watch to help remind you when to take your medications.

 

Have Any Questions?

Contact the Tria Health Help Desk:

1.888.799.8742

Depression’s Impact on Patients with Chronic Disease

zhu liang_unsplash
Image Source: Zhu Liang/Unsplash

According to a RAND corporation study, people who are depressed are less likely to adhere to medications for their chronic health problems than people who are not depressed. Researchers found that patients with depression had 76% greater odds of being non-adherent with their medications compared to those without depression.1 This is a concern since not only do people with chronic illnesses routinely face higher death rates when they have poor medication adherence, the rate of depression itself has been increasing significantly over the years. In the U.S., depression increased from 6.6 percent to 7.3 percent from 2005 to 2015.2

What can Doctors and Providers do?

Dr. Walid F. Gellad, the study’s senior author and a natural scientist a RAND, recommended that “doctors and other providers should periodically ask patients with depression about medication adherence. Also, when treating a patient who is not taking their medication correctly, they should consider the possibility that depression is contributing to the problem.”

How can you help a Friend or Family Member with Depression?

It’s important to learn the symptoms of depression and that they can vary from person to person. You can find a list of symptoms and support recommendations provided by the mayo clinic here. Once you recognize it, the next steps are to:

  • Talk to the person
  • Explain that depression is a medical condition
  • Suggest seeking help from a professional
  • Offer to help prepare a list of questions to discuss in an initial appointment
  • Express your willingness to help

If you or someone you know is struggling, call the Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255) at any time for help.

 

Questions?

Call the Tria Health Help Desk at 1.888.799.8742

 

Sources:

  1. The Rand Corporation. (2011, May 10). Depression Associated with Lower Medication Adherence Among Patients with Chronic Disease [Press release]. Retrieved from https://www.rand.org/news/press/2011/05/10.html
  2. Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health. “Depression is on the rise in the US, especially among young teens.” ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 30 October 2017. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/10/171030134631.htm>.

May is National Employee Health & Fitness Month

Man Running
Image Source: Tikkho Maciel/Unsplash

Employee Health & Fitness Month is a month-long initiative to generate sustainability for a healthy lifestyle and initiate healthy activities on an ongoing basis. Wellness programs have been shown to benefit employees by lowering stress levels, increasing well-being, self-image, and self-esteem, improving physical fitness, increasing stamina, increasing job satisfaction, and potentially reducing weight.

How Can Your Company Participate?

There are a lot of different options, here are a few ideas to get you started:

–          Start a walking club around your office

–          Create an after-hours recreational team

–          Host a step contest and award top employees with prizes

Don’t forget to also encourage employees to explore all their wellness options available through their health care plan. A lot of organizations provide additional incentives that help encourage employees to improve their health year-round.

Tria Health and Wellness

Tria Health is consistently working to improve patient health through one-on-one confidential counseling with a pharmacist. Consultations with a pharmacist help to ensure your medications are working the way they are supposed to work to improve your overall well-being. Tria Health will help you:

  • Save Money
  • Feel better by getting the intended results from your meds.
  • Spend less time at the doctor’s office!

 

Questions?

Call the Tria Health Help Desk at 1.888.799.8742

Roseanne and the Reality of Medication Costs

Roseanne & Dan Trade Their Medicine
Video Source: Celeb Interview | Roseanne Episode 10×01 Roseanne & Dan Trade Their Medicine || Roseanne Scenes

In the revival premiere, Roseanne and Dan struggle to afford their medications and opt to split to get by. This issue is likely occurring in many households today due to the ever-increasing prices of prescription medications. According to the CDC, nearly 1 in 10 adults skip medications due to costs.1 This isn’t surprising when you learn that deductible spending has risen 250% while copayments have declined 36%.2

What Can You Do to Save Money on Medications?

The U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services suggests the following ways patients can save money on drugs:

  • Take generic or other lower-cost medications,
  • Choose an insurance plan that has additional drug coverage,
  • Consider drug assistance plans offered by pharmacies and states,
  • Apply to Medicare and Social Security for help reducing costs,
  • Apply to community-based charities for help with medication costs.

How does Tria Help with Medication Savings?

If you take multiple medications and have a chronic condition, Tria Health provides private telephonic consultations with a pharmacist. Your Tria Health pharmacist will help identify clinically effective and lower cost medications. Members have on average saved up to $210 per year by switching medications.

Questions?

Contact the Tria Health Help Desk at 1.888.799.8742

 

SOURCES:

  1. Robin Cohen, Ph.D.; health statistician; Maria Villarroel, Ph.D., chief, special projects branch, both National Center for Health Statistics, U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; David Katz, M.D., M.P.H., director, Yale University Prevention Research Center, New Haven, Conn.; Jan. 29, 2015, report, Strategies Used by Adults to Reduce Their Prescription Drug Costs: United States, 2013
  2. Kaiser Family Foundation analysis of Truven Health Analytics MarketScan Commercial Claims and Encounters Database, 2005-2015

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