With the recent outbreak of COVID-19, most people want to avoid doctors visits at all costs. Unless you're critically ill, the CDC is asking patients to stay home until the peak of the viral outbreak is over.
Contact your healthcare provider to check to see if they are open for asthma follow up, and/or well visits. A large number of physician offices have appointments for televisits for prescription refills, and for evaluations of certain conditions during the coronavirus lockdown.
For asthma patients, however, not having access to rescue medication when you need it can be dangerous. How can you stock up on asthma medication to avoid exposure to the novel coronavirus?
Check out this guide on how to refill medicine during the COVID-19 crisis.
How Much Asthma Medication Do I Need?
The COVID-19 outbreak has no definite end date. Essential businesses like grocery stores and pharmacies are staying open but that doesn’t mean you should continue to go out like you used to.
Healthcare experts recommend that you get prescription drugs way in advance of needing them just in case there’s a shortage later or a more extreme shutdown happens.
In early March 2020, the recommendation was to get a 14-day supply.
Constantly changing lockdown periods are making things less clear. Is it enough to have a two week supply?
Dr. Peter Jacobson at the University of Michigan School of Public Health recommends getting prescription supplies to last several months in case there's a drug shortage down the road.
How to Order Asthma Medication
There are two ways to get your asthma prescription boosted during the coronavirus pandemic. One way is to contact your insurance provider to ask for an increase in prescription supplies.
The second method is talking to your pediatrician. Expect your insurance company to be wary about letting you stock up on medication.
Rigid refill schedules are in place to protect patients from prescription medication abuse.
Some insurance companies, like Blue Cross Blue Shield, are taking the lead and raising the refill limit before customers ask. Contact your insurer right away to learn what your options are.
Online Prescription Resources
There are online pharmacies and drive thru pharmacies available to fill your prescription order.
Getting your prescription filled online is a great option if you find a reputable source with licensed pharmacists in-house. Avoid any online prescription business where the pharmacist doesn’t require written prescriptions with a doctor’s signature.
No online pharmacy should sell you medication without a prescription or suggest their pharmacists can write a prescription after talking to you by phone. These organizations might be scams.
But online pharmacies are appealing if you’re looking to save money. The copays for prescription medication can quickly add up when you need more than a month at a time.
Filling your prescription online can mean big savings when you're trying to stock up on several months' supply at once.
Preparing Prescription Supplies for COVID-19
The COVID-19 lockdown makes all businesses vulnerable to potential shortages. With drug shortages a possibility, it’s important to be proactive to make sure your child has the medication he or she needs in case of an asthma flare up.
Don’t risk potential coronavirus exposure with frequent visits to your local pharmacy. Practice social distancing by using online resources or drive thru pharmacies when possible.
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