Shields "Care Corner" Blog

Tears of Joy

Beth, a patient receiving treatment for her condition at her local hospital, has been on various medications for a few months now. A new pharmacy liaison recently started working in the clinic she was in, and introduced himself as well as the services he could provide. Beth explained that she was in desperate need of financial assistance for a new drug she recently started taking. Her liaison explained that, in his own experience, this particular drug is one of the hardest drugs to get financial assistance for due to a multitude of factors. Even though it was a long shot, her liaison said that he would do his absolute best to find any means of assistance for her. After hours of diligent research, the liaison had to call Beth back and deliver news that he did not want to give – there was no financial assistance available for her at this time. As they spoke on the phone, the pain in Beth’s voice was evident, and she immediately broke down telling her liaison how unfair she felt things had been for her, and that her medical bills were becoming too overwhelming. Beth is an older woman who lives alone, and is still working in order to survive and pay her bills. She explained that she couldn’t afford the hundreds of dollars in co-pays that she had been paying all year for hospital stays and medications. As Beth and her liaison ended the conversation, Beth was in tears, and her liaison was unsatisfied with the outcome of her case. He was determined to turn those tears of sadness into tears of joy.


Beth’s liaison called her back later that evening when he had gotten home from work and told her that, if they worked together, he was hopeful that he could still assist her with her burdensome bills and stressful financial situation. Feeling optimistic for the first time in months, Beth gathered all of her financial details and gave her liaison a detailed summary of all the medications she was taking and the corresponding copay amounts, as well as external expenses including hospital bills, rent, utilities, home infusion bills, etc. Beth’s liaison went through her medication list one by one and began researching possible financial assistance options for each medication she was taking. Since her liaison was still unable to obtain financial assistance for her primary specialty medication, he was determined to find other avenues of relief for her, so he began to review her personal bills and brainstorm ways to reduce her overall costs. The liaison continued to follow up and find new ways to reduce Beth’s copay costs and save on her personal expenses, but was still unable to get Beth financial assistance for her specialty medication.


Finally, after extensive effort over the last two months on Beth’s behalf, her liaison was able to call her and give her the news that she had been hoping for since the beginning. Beth was able to get financial assistance for her specialty medication, which saves her almost $3,000/annually. Additionally, Beth was told that she would be receiving a $442 reimbursement check to cover her last two deliveries of her specialty medication. The next day, Beth met her liaison in the clinic and greeted him with a hug and tears streaming down her face. This time, they were tears of joy.

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