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Carol’s Story

Medicine Access Patient

“I want to emphasize that I am very grateful to MedBank, it has helped me so much. For all the years they have helped me and have helped me in ways I may not even know about!”

Prescription pad and bottle of medsAs a small business owner, Carol never had health insurance; this wasn’t a problem until she developed high blood pressure in the early 2000s.

Carol’s primary care doctor prescribed blood pressure medications, and at first Carol purchased the medicine herself, but the financial pressure of buying an expensive brand name medicine month after month took its toll. Carol began to feel anxiety about not having insurance, and she knew that something had to be done.

Carol started doing research to see if there were any programs that could help her. “I felt like there wasn’t a lot out there for me unless I had money, and I didn’t have much money so I didn’t have much hope for my situation.” But Carol didn’t lose hope, she persevered and eventually, in 2002, was referred to MedBank, a new program that helped patients access the pharmaceutical industry’s patient-assistance programs for free or reduced-cost brand name medications.

Many pharmaceutical companies offer patient-assistance programs, but they all have different and constantly changing requirements. The Primary Care Coalition staff who run MedBank help patients with eligibility, enrollment, paperwork, and the medication refill process.

Carol corresponded with the MedBank staff, and was enrolled in the program and assigned a patient advocate, a personal point of contact who could help her with every step of her application, renewal, and medication refill process. “I could see that he was paying attention to detail and that he cared…That put my mind at ease.”

Once enrolled in MedBank, Carol’s medicines began to arrive like clockwork. The piles of paperwork were processed by the experienced PCC staff, refills and renewals were coordinated by MedBank and her doctor, and most importantly Carol had someone to call if ever she had a question or concern. “Definitely, MedBank took the anxiety away from trying to figure out where I would get the medication…Once I saw that the medicine was arriving when it needed to, it provided a lot of relief.”

As one of MedBank’s first patients, Carol has seen the program evolve over the years. She has worked with several different patient advocates—some better than others; but throughout the years one thing has remained constant, Carol’s medicine has continued to arrive, free of charge. “I want to emphasize that I am very grateful to MedBank, it has helped me so much. For all the years they have helped me and have helped me in ways I may not even know about!”

 

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