General Information on How to Select a Pharmacy
Based on information from Transplant Awareness Inc.
Immunosuppression drugs are very expensive and the cost varies from one pharmacy to another. Insurance companies rarely apply “customary charge” guidelines to pharmacies as they do to hospitals and doctors, so be sure you are getting the best value for your money. Even if insurance is paying the bill, be careful. Many health insurance policies have a lifetime cap so be mindful of these limits when purchasing drugs. It is not unusual to have an annual drug bill of $8,000 to $12,000.
In addition to cost issues, here are some things to think about when selecting a pharmacy.:
- Is a pharmacist available to answer questions?
- Are you responsible for co-payment, or will the pharmacy waive it?
- Will the pharmacist bill Medicare and/or private insurance companies?
- Will the pharmacy complete the insurance claim forms and wait for reimbursement or will you have to pay up-front?
- Does the pharmacy routinely stock cyclosporine (Sandimmune & Neoral) and Prograf? If not, how much notice does it require to get it?
- Does the pharmacy deliver free of charge?
- Are the pharmacy hours convenient for you?
- How long is the turnaround time from when the pharmacy receives the prescription to when you receive the medication? Consider this factor especially if you use a mail order pharmacy.
Many mail order pharmacies score well on the questions above. Some are active supporters of transplantation and publish regular newsletters for transplant recipients. Many waive the co-pay, up to 20%.
American Preferred Plan
APP provides links to community resources and national support networks.
13911 Ridgedale Drive
Minnetonka, MN 55305
Chronimed provides the “Transplant Support Group Directory” and other educational and support materials.
15673 NEO Parkway
Cleveland, OH 44128
Express Pharmacy Services P.O. Box 94999
Birmingham, AL 35220-9989
HMI Pharmacy Services
P.O. Box 29423
New York, NY 10087-9387
HMI Maryland, Inc.
5500 Hartford Road
Baltimore, MD 21214 800-464-6080
600 Penn Center Boulevard
Pittsburgh, PA 15235
(call for local pharmacy location and address for Mail Orders)
Customer Service Department
P. O. Box 24843
Omaha, NE 68124-0843
P.O. Box 40011
Roanoke, VA 24022-9911