Shields "Care Corner" Blog

Bridging the Divide

A few weeks ago, Mark, a chronically ill patient, went to his hospital specialty pharmacy to fill a prescription after being discharged from the hospital. Mark’s medical history required seeing multiple doctors and using multiple pharmacies, which can often lead to complications in managing all of his medications. When he went to visit his hospital specialty pharmacy, Mark admitted he was extremely confused about his extensive list of medications and wasn’t sure what to do next. Thankfully, a pharmacist took the time to understand Mark’s current situation and offered him strategies to help him stay on track, including a weekly pill box, which his pharmacist filled with a week’s worth of medications for him. He was so pleased with the level of care he was given and the kindness he received that he came back to the hospital specialty pharmacy with a bag of his prescription bottles asking to have all of his medications transferred there. Because Mark used multiple pharmacies to fill his extensive medication list in the past, his pharmacist reached out to each one, and transferred all of his outside prescriptions to the one specialty pharmacy. He also received counselling from his pharmacist on the importance of only using one pharmacy for safety and convenience purposes, which would improve Mark’s likelihood of medication adherence. He was extremely grateful that his pharmacist took the extra time to help him get his medications straightened out and helped him fill out his pill box each day. Since then, Mark has come back faithfully each week to sit with his pharmacist until all of his medications were synched up and he had a better grasp on his medication regimen.


Chronic illness in the modern health care system isn’t always easy even with such support, and Mark ran into difficulties when his insurance became inactive and was told that it would not be reinstated for about a month. He was very anxious and didn’t know how he would be able to afford his medications for a month while being uninsured. Mark’s pharmacist from the hospital sat down with him and told him that they could fill his prescriptions through “11G”, which is a discounted generic price program that is based on the 340B cost. For example, one of Mark’s medications would have cost him over $150 without insurance. However, with the 11G pricing, he ended up paying less than $10 for this medication, which eliminated the financial stress for him. Mark was so appreciative that his pharmacy was able to do this for him and he expressed how grateful he was to have a pharmacy team that supported him through everything.

Over the last few months, Mark has felt more and more comfortable with his medications and has even begun filling his pill box without his pharmacist’s help! If he had continued filling his scripts across multiple pharmacies, he would have had a lapse in his treatment due to his inactive insurance and his medication costs would’ve skyrocketed. This didn’t happen because Mark developed a trustworthy relationship with his pharmacist, and worked diligently with her from week to week to get all of his medications in one place so that he was able to utilize the 340B cost for all of his prescriptions. Thanks to Mark and his pharmacist’s hard work in implementing an effective medication management strategy and gaining access to the crucial savings program, Mark was able to remain adherent to his medications and stay healthy.

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