Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Insurance Coverage Limits Influence Decision to Use Migraine Medication

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Despite doctors generally directing migraine patients to take their treatment medication as soon as they notice an attack coming on, researchers at Saint Louis University have found that insurance limits greatly influence whether and when patients take their treatment medications.

Only half of people for whom cost of the medication or whose insurance limits them to a certain number of triptans per month took their medication as directed by their doctors.

About 40 percent of people participating in the study said their quality of life is impacted by insurance limits on the number of triptan doses they can receive in a month.

These migraineurs were also more likely to end up seeking emergency department treatment for their migraines when they ran out of treatment medications at home.

If you are dealing with these limits, there are a few things you can do to improve your situation.

1. It is often possible to get your insurance company to override their limits by asking your doctor or pharmacist to make a special request for you. I encourage you to talk to your doctor about the limits you're dealing with and ask for help to address them.

2. If you do not have prescription insurance coverage, you should check into the prescription assistance programs run by the various drug companies. Needy Meds is an excellent source of information about these programs.

3. Finally, see if your doctor has any samples of the medications you use available. They often do and are more than willing to share them with their patients, especially those who really need the help.

Health Alert: Migraine Insurance

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