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Ask The Expert: 5 Tips to Improve Medication Access for People with Diabetes During COVID-19

The COVID-19 pandemic has brought many hardships, one of them being access to medications. People with diabetes may encounter barriers to obtaining their medications due to limited transportation, unemployment or overall concern of exposure to COVID-19. During a time where we are expected to distance ourselves from others, we may be going out less, especially going to places like the pharmacy.

The following list, provided by Clinical Diabetes Director Maria Wagner, shares a few tips that ensure you stay safe and well.

1. Be prepared

Preparation minimizes wait time at the pharmacy and eliminates multiple trips to the pharmacy. Be sure to review your medications before requesting refills and familiarize yourself with your medications. At the latest, request your refills three days in advance. In addition, I encourage patients to verify all medications are ready by calling before heading to the pharmacy.


2. Synchronize your medications

Medication synchronization programs, or “med sync,” allows the pharmacy to streamline medications to be filled on the same day each month instead of making multiple trips to the pharmacy. This service is available upon request at some national pharmacy chains and is best for clients on routine maintenance medications.


3. Request a 90-day supply

Depending on insurance, a 90-day supply of maintenance medications may be available from a community pharmacy or from a mail-order pharmacy. If you opt for mail order, it may take 7-10 days to receive. Again, preparation is key!


4. Sign up for medication delivery

Many community pharmacies are now offering free/low cost home delivery, curbside pickup, and/or drive-through prescription services upon request. If a pharmacy does not offer this service, individuals may transfer their prescriptions to a pharmacy that is able to provide this service.


5. See if you qualify for medication cost-savings programs

In light of recent events, some drug manufacturers are meeting the needs of people with diabetes by expanding their patient assistance programs and reducing out-of-pocket expenses for diabetes medications. It may be worthwhile to contact the drug manufacturer directly. Your diabetes health coach will also have the resources to check for cost-savings in medications.


These are just five tips to help maintain your medications while staying safe, but most importantly, I encourage individuals with diabetes to connect with their prescribers and diabetes care and education specialists remotely! Orthus Health for Diabetes offers many tools and resources for members to utilize while healthcare continues to go digital.


Stay safe and well!

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