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Epilepsy Blog Relay: Ways to help with medication costs

This post is part of the Epilepsy Blog Relay™ which will run from March 1 through March 31. Follow along!

Alison’s Story

Since my diagnosis with epilepsy in 2006, I feel like I’ve tried every medication possible to try and stop my seizures. My neurologist added Fycompa in 2016, I’m still not seizure free, but it’s helped decrease my seizures. When I started taking Fycompa, there were issues for the first few months relating to insurance pre-authorization and the cost of the medication. I had been taking the medication for two months without a problem. My neurologist had given me a discount card for the medication, which made it cost only $10 for those two months.

An unwelcome surprise

The next time I went to pick up my medication, the pharmacist told me “That’ll be $600.” I was shocked. $600 for 30 pills?! I asked if my insurance covered this medication and it turned out since it wasn’t a generic medication, my neurologist had to fill out pre-authorization forms. I couldn’t afford $600, so I now had to go without my medication – the one that worked the best at keeping my seizures away.

I informed my neurologist about this issue, and he filled out the pre-authorization paperwork for my insurance company. It took over a month for the insurance company to process the paperwork, so again, I was without my medication during this time. Once everything was processed, I went to pick up my medication, and the pharmacist told me “That’ll be $100.” I paid for it this time, since I wanted to start retaking it, but I didn’t have an extra $1200 to cover the medication for the year.

I called my insurance company to see if the medication was covered why the cost was still so high, they told me because Fycompa fell into a specific medication category it would be $100 a month. I couldn’t afford the cost, and I was frustrated since this medication seemed to be working the best at limiting the number of breakthrough seizures I was experiencing.

Finding resources

I asked my neurologist if he knew of any way to bring the cost down since he had previously given me the $10 discount cards. He informed me of the Eisai Patient Assistance Program, which included Fycompa and a few other medications. I looked into the program, and I ended up applying to see if I would qualify for it. The application has a section for your doctor to fill out, you as the patient to fill out, and you must provide proof of income, if applicable. It took about a month to hear back from the program about my application, and I’ve now been paying $0 for Fycompa since 2016.

I’m so thankful my neurologist informed me about the Eisai Patient Assistance Program as it’s made my medication affordable and I didn’t know anything about the program or programs like it. I want to make sure others know about it, so here are some resources about patient and medication assistance programs:

Patient Assistance Resources:
Eisai Patient Assistance Program
Sunovion Patient Assistance Program
UCB Patient Assistance Program
LivaNova (VNS) Patient Assistance Program
Lundbeck Patient Assistance Program
American Epilepsy Society Patient Assistance Resources
Epilepsy Foundation Patient Assistance
Partnership for Prescription Assistance
RxAssist


NEXT UP: Be sure to check out the next post by Rachel at livingwellwithepilepsy.com for more on epilepsy awareness. You can check out any of the Epilepsy Blog Relay posts you may have missed.

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