A cluttered cabinet can make it more difficult to keep track of your medications. Here are some quick tips for getting it in order:
- Empty: Take everything out and put it in one spot. If you have medications in other areas of the home, add them to the pile.
- Categorize: Group items by category. For example, put all first-aid products together, pain relievers, cold relief products and so on.
- Utilize medication take-backs: Drop off expired medications at participating take-back locations.
- Remove: Remove items that don’t belong — such as loose change or jewelry — and put them in their proper home.
- Clean: Wipe down the inside and outside of the cabinet with an all-purpose cleaning spray.
- Replace by category: Put everything neatly back into the medicine cabinet, by category. Place the items you use most frequently toward the front, and lesser-used items toward the back.
Repeat this process every six months to ensure your medicine cabinet is always organized.
A helping hand
The Medication Assistance Program (MAP) at Augusta Health provides medication at no cost to uninsured and underinsured members of the community, as well as those with Medicare Part D who have a coverage gap. Through a grant from the Virginia Health Care System, MAP has filled thousands of prescriptions totaling millions of dollars, helping hundreds of patients in Northern Virginia.
MAP helps uninsured and underinsured patients get access to prescription medication directly from drug companies and insurance companies at no cost to them, says Cindy Sheets, medication assistance coordinator with MAP. The program helps patients fill out and submit their application for assistance, then fills their medication right at Augusta Health. MAP can also help privately insured patients apply for copay cards or get grants from nonprofits that will help with their copay.
The program’s benefits have a significant impact. Take, for example, a patient with atrial fibrillation (AFib) who is prescribed Eliquis — a medicine used to reduce the risk of stroke and blood clots — who can’t afford the medication. The patient would need to take Coumadin or Warfarin, which require weekly blood tests, or could end up back in the hospital. MAP allows that patient to access Eliquis at no cost, eliminating the risk of these complications. “[The program] keeps patients from being readmitted to the hospital and makes them more compliant with medication,” Sheets says.
MAP also helps patients apply for Medicaid and low-income subsidy. In addition, the program is open to all members of the community, even those who are being treated by doctors outside of the Augusta Health network.
For more information on the Medication Assistance Program at Augusta Health,
call (540) 213-2616.