Michelle was angry at first when she lost her job in a local water treatment plant last November, but as it turns out, this major change in her life has opened a number of doors for her. She was not having any luck securing another job in her local area, so she researched potential opportunities abroad that she may be qualified for given her experience. When she came across an opportunity to volunteer in a village in Uganda, establishing a water treatment center for the neighboring villages, she knew she had to apply. This 10-week program would do wonders for building her resume, and she was excited to potentially be involved in such an important project.
She heard back from the agency in charge of her placement rather quickly, and she was scheduled to start volunteering with the program in 6 weeks. In order to prepare for her trip, the agency told her that she needed to get a number of immunizations and preventative medications to ensure she stays healthy abroad. Since it is a volunteer program, she would have to pay for any necessary travel medications or health needs on her own. She was worried about this as she lost her insurance when she lost her job, and was afraid this part of her trip planning would get expensive rather quickly.
She went to the travel clinic at her local Rite Aid pharmacy and had a consultation with a pharmacist to determine what vaccines she needed for her trip. The pharmacist was also able to determine what travel medications she would need to take with her to Africa, based on the area she would be staying in. The pharmacist told her that she needed a yellow fever vaccine, an oral typhoid vaccine, tablets for malaria prevention, and an antibiotic in case she came down with traveller’s diarrhea. The pharmacist also recommended bringing a few over the counter medications as well, such as an anti-diarrheal agent and motion sickness tablets.
Since the pharmacist could not prescribe medications to her, he asked Michelle’s doctor for prescriptions for the medications she needed for her trip. The pharmacist was able to offer to administer the vaccines on the spot, as a prescription was not needed for vaccinations. Since Michelle was worried about the costs of everything, she decided to check the prices first. The yellow fever vaccine (YF-Vax) was $154.99, and the oral typhoid vaccine (Vivotif) was $76.99, for a total of $231.98 for her vaccines alone!
Michelle was upset that the prices were so high for only the vaccines, but she knew she was required to have the yellow fever vaccine to enter Uganda, so she would be unable to volunteer without it. She decided to see if she could find a better deal for the vaccines, but every pharmacy she called had very similar prices. One pharmacy even told her there are never discounts on vaccines, so she should stop shopping and get them at that store. She thought to herself that couldn’t be true, so she decided to do a bit more research online before getting the vaccines to see if she could find a lower cost for the immunizations she needed for her trip.
In her search, she came across the Prescription Discount Card from Discount Drug Network. The website for this discount card said she would be able to get 10-85% off of prescription items, if she signed up for the card. She was skeptical at first, but since she was so eager to find a lower price for her travel vaccinations, she decided to at least check out the prices that were offered. She used the Discount Drug Network’s Price Finder to look up the prices of these products at her local Rite Aid, and she was pleasantly surprised at what she found. The yellow fever vaccine (YF-Vax) was $134.25, and the oral typhoid vaccine (Vivotif) was $67.97, saving her $29.76 off of the list price of these two necessary vaccinations and proving that discounts can be applied to vaccinations!
She kept looking around the internet for lower prices on her vaccines, but in the end the lowest price she could find was offered by the Discount Drug Network, using the Prescription Discount Card. Michelle entered her information to obtain access to the discount and printed out her copy of the Prescription Discount Card to bring to the pharmacy. She was skeptical about whether this would work, but when the pharmacy technician applied the Prescription Discount Card to her vaccinations, the prices came out exactly as they were quoted online. She was able to get the injections on the spot from the pharmacist, and she was happy to have taken care of a major part of planning for her trip.
Michelle was so happy with the price she received by using the Prescription Discount Card that she ordered a hard copy of the card to keep in her wallet in case she needs it again in the future. She was already looking forward to using it for the medications she was waiting for her doctor to approve.
The pharmacist told her to check back in a few days to see if her doctor sent in the prescriptions for the traveller’s diarrhea antibiotic and anti-malaria medication. She had been worried about the cost adding up for all of these products, but now that she had the Prescription Discount Card, she was able to rest a bit easier knowing that she had a discount available for her prescription medications.
When her prescriptions were filled a few days later, she was surprised at how much prescription medications can cost without insurance. Her doctor ordered 79 tablets of generic Malarone, atovaquone/proguanil 250mg/100mg for her to take daily to prevent malaria while on her trip. Without insurance, this prescription cost $655.99!!! Her doctor also ordered the traveller’s diarrhea medication recommended by the pharmacist, ciprofloxacin 500mg, for her to take twice a day for 3 days if diarrhea occurs. This antibiotic, for a 3-day course, cost $32.99. The outrageous total of her two medications was $688.98! Since Michelle was so happy with the price reduction she received for her vaccinations with the Prescription Discount Card, she asked the pharmacy technician to apply the discount to her other medications as well.
After the Prescription Discount Card was applied, Michelle saw the prices decrease considerably. The 79 tablets of atovaquone/proguanil 250mg/100mg was reduced to $537.76, and the 6 tablets of ciprofloxacin 500mg was reduced to a much more reasonable price of $10.58, for a total of $548.34. The Prescription Discount Card again saved her a significant amount of money, with a total savings of $140.64!
Michelle was still pretty concerned about the price of the malaria medication, as even with the discount, $537.76 was still a lot of money to her, especially when she was going out on this volunteer program where she wouldn’t be paid. She talked to the pharmacist about alternative options to this medication, and the pharmacist brought up another drug that she might be able to try. The alternative option would need to be taken once weekly, starting one week before her trip, each week while in Uganda, and once weekly for 4 weeks after her trip. The pharmacist mentioned that some people don’t like to take this medication as it has the potential to cause nightmares, but Michelle was desperate to reduce the price so she thought she would give it a try.
The pharmacist called her doctor and asked to switch the Malarone to 15 tablets of chloroquine phosphate, 500mg. The doctor said it was fine to switch it, and the pharmacist entered the prescription into the computer system to get the price of this new medication. The price came out to $106.99 for this prescription, and when the Prescription Discount Card was applied, the price went down to $76.98. Michelle was so happy that the price was so much lower than Malarone that she offered to buy the pharmacist a cup of coffee to thank him. She could not believe the savings she was able to receive from the Prescription Discount Card and her helpful pharmacist!
In the end, Michelle’s vaccines and prescriptions for her trip cost her a total of $289.78 after using the Prescription Discount Card from the Discount Drug Network. These necessary products would keep her healthy while volunteering far from home and away from the medical treatment she is used to, so the investment helped her rest easy when she was getting ready to leave for her trip. She was so happy with the prices she received from using the Prescription Discount Card that when her husband mentioned wanting to visit her on her trip, she immediately made him sign up for his own Prescription Discount Card and visit their local Rite Aid to talk to the travel clinic pharmacist who helped her out. Michelle was able to stay healthy on her trip and gain the valuable experience necessary to find a job upon her return from Africa, all thanks to the Prescription Discount Card from the Discount Drug Network!