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Old 15-02-2008, 07:15   #1
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Prescriptions

In 2008/2009 I'll be spending 9 months all over the Caribbean. My health insurer only allows refills of my blood pressure & colesteral medications once a month. Does anyone have any experience in finding named medications in the islands? If so are they priced as low as other medical proceedures seem to be down there?
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Old 15-02-2008, 11:42   #2
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Insurance companies practicing medicine

This really tics me off. We go back and forth between South Africa and the USA About once a year. It is suggested that you carry an extra month's medicine in a separate carry-on bag and pack one month’s supply in your checked baggage. I was astounded when the young lady at the pharmacy in the USA would not fill my prescriptions because, “The insurance company will not pay for the extra month’s supply so we have filled only one month’s worth.”
“Give me my prescriptions back. I am going across the street to your competitor.” I said. I went across the street and talked to them. I got the same answer, “The insurance won’t pay”
I said, “I will pay; I need that medicine.” I got my medicine and submitted a claim to the insurance company. They paid but it was an unnecessary hassle. This is unbelievable. Have we got to the point that insurance companies are practicing medicine without a license?
Actually I think that it was a computer program that changed my physician’s orders “one tablet daily” and “60 tablets” and not even a human. And one can never get any satisfaction when dealing with a lowly clerk in a chain-store pharmacy.
So, if you will pay and then submit a claim you may actually get your medicine. Oh I just remembered, another time they would not fill a refill because it hadn’t been long enough since my last refill. Don’t get me started on insurance companies and medical care in the USA!
Enjoy your trip and keep your powder, I mean pills, dry.
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Old 15-02-2008, 12:37   #3
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Ed,

We had the same problem a few years ago. I was able to get the prescription drug insurance company to make an exception to that policy for us during the period we were cruising by explaining the situation. We were then able to stock up on the Rx's that we needed before we left.

When we moved to Nevis a year and a half ago, we had problems getting mail-order prescriptions delivered in time, since it takes maybe a month or more to place the order, get it filled, and have it sent to us USPS Airmail Express through our mail forwarding service. Again, a phone call got the problem solved. They waived the time limit on refills for us.

The provider is Caremark, by the way. Good company!
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Old 15-02-2008, 13:05   #4
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Medication in the Caribbean is generally less expensive than in the US, but you won't be able to use your insurance for it. Since we don't have drug coverage, we find it much easier to get our prescriptions filled down island. You can either take your medication bottles to the pharmacist and see if he/she will fill them, or see a local dr. for a new prescription.
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Old 15-02-2008, 13:22   #5
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Harriet,

Yes, drugs can be found for less here, but often what you want/need is not available, depending on which island you're on. That's a big problem here on Nevis, for example, so we're really thankful we can get what we need through mail order from the States.
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Old 15-02-2008, 15:22   #6
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True story. Had a prescription plan. My medication was $20 copay each month, insurance allowed only 30 at a time and it could not be generic. Doctor cooperated because that was the insurance rule. Pharmacist told me to buy 100 generic for only $40 cash. Did that. Dropped that insurance.
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Old 17-02-2008, 14:18   #7
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I live in two places and really prefer to have meds in both (especially the ones that are absolutely mandatory such as blood pressure and insulin) because you never know what could happen with the TSA if you fly. Some insurances (the Blues) will allow you to fill those monthly subscriptions at three weeks; so it is possible to build a reserve supply in a few months.
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Old 17-02-2008, 14:49   #8
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Harriet is right....

We needed some meds while in the Caribbean and they were probably on the order of 1/8 the price of what they cost in the States for the same medication.

Health insurance for drug purchases is a big hassle and expense when you are not in the US, where are drug prices are over-inflated.
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Old 17-02-2008, 15:47   #9
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we have found with proper planning we had no trouble filling prescriptions almost anywhere for way, way less than the US even with insurance and then there are the insurance premiums. we just walked into pharmacies in any major population center with our prescription bottle and they were filled, then walked around the corner to the next pharmacy and did the same thing. Usually in a short period of time we had all we needed so if the next island did not have it we were still OK. Now don't try this with any controlled substance but has always worked for standard scripts. Works in Bahamas, DR, Western Caribbean and several other areas we have been in.
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Old 24-03-2008, 22:39   #10
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Scrips are a major concern for us, my wife uses a fentanyl patch, and is worried that she won't be able to get them without a major hassle when outside the U.S. This stuff is very controlled. Does anyone have experience that might relate to this?
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Old 25-03-2008, 04:36   #11
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You might be wise to contact Janssen Division of Ortho-McNeil-Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Inc at:
1-800-JANSSEN (526-7736), 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM (EST), Monday through Friday.
web: Janssen: Exclusively Dedicated to Mental Health
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Old 25-03-2008, 06:38   #12
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How many pills did your doctor write the prescription for? I explained to my doctor, who also sails, that we would be in the Bahamas for six months. He wrote the prescription for 90 tablets and a refill for another 90. I filled the first one and had my father-in-law get the refill and FedXed it to me. Worked fine and the insurance never questioned it.
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Old 25-03-2008, 08:51   #13
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We plan on using the EU rights to keep the needed med's (Levothyroxine, Sandocal) on board once we can truly let the lines go completely (working on that one). Other than that planning on getting Rx from the GP here (UK) before any training or long trips to cover the time.
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