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Be informed before ignoring Syringa Hospital pharmacy

Letter to the Editor

I am a 69-year-old man, on Medicare, with full supplemental insurance and a Humana Insurance policy for prescriptions. I went to fill a prescription at Irwin Drug Store last week and I was told my Humana insurance would not cover the prescription. Cost to me out of pocket would be $205 for a generic version of the drug. I opted to not fill the prescription.

Later that day, when discussing this with the Syringa Hospital Clinic, I was asked if I had checked with the Syringa Hospital Pharmacy, Cardinal Health. I had not, so the front desk called the SH Pharmacy for me and asked how much it would cost through them. The price through the Syringa Hospital Pharmacy, Cardinal Health is $24.78. That is a cost savings to me of $180.22.

Why the difference in cost? The Syringa Hospital Pharmacy has a Federal Government Program called 340B. Under this program there is a list of drugs available to people at a significant discount. I qualified with this prescription to receive the deep discounted pricing. Not only was I grateful that the front desk office assistant at the clinic had the insight to call the SH Pharmacy for me, but pleased we have a Pharmacy in Grangeville that has this program. From what I understand, this pharmacy was put in primarily to offer the 340 B program to the community. That is good stewardship of a hospital for the people it cares for.

Ask questions, educate yourself, be informed, and then make choices that benefit you and your family. Google 340B drug pricing and you will get a lot of helpful information.

Powell Brooks



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