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Financial Assistance for Prescription Strength Vitamins

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My doctor recently diagnosed me as vitamin D deficient. She prescribed 50,000 (USP units) vitamin D capsules, with instructions to take two per week. Neither Medicare nor Medicaid will pay the $14-$15 cost. I've taken one capsule a week trying to make the Rx last. I've also been taking only half my daily multivitamin, also to make them stretch.

Lately my teeth have become somewhat sore and are newly sensitive to heat and cold. They're not loose and the gums seem healthy. Instinct tells me the soreness and sensitivity are related to the vitamin D problem am I right? Is there help obtaining prescription-strength vitamin supplements not covered by Medicare and Medicaid?

By JustPlainJo from Springfield, OH

Recent Answers

Here are the recent answer to this question.

By Lelia Jo Cordell [49]10/12/2010

Heard back from the doc/pharmacy. Doc phoned in 1000 mg, pharmacy will fill it for $3 and change. Medicare just won't cover it. If it were a chemical for blood pressure, or a narcotic-based pain med, they'd cover it. Grr!

By Lelia Jo Cordell [49]10/12/2010

T&T, I have no periodontal disease. My gums don't bleed, and my teeth are firmly rooted. The problem I was having was the vitamin D seemed to be making my teeth feel sore and sensitive to heat and cold. They were never very sensitive before I started the supplement.

On the subject of the prescription being covered by Medicare, I spoke to my Dr.'s office again today. They had me phone my pharmacy for a "prior authorization" form, faxed from the pharmacy to them. I pointed out that Medicare is giving me guff about providing even this very high level of supplement and specifically asked that they be my advocate. If they really intend me to have it, they'll help me get it, I hope. I simply can't afford it otherwise, I'm barely able to cover the $2.50 copay.

By Grandma J [46]10/11/2010

Forgot to address the teeth issue.

Prevention and treatment for periodontal disease:

Vitamin D and periodontal disease are becoming inextricably linked. Periodontal disease, which incidentally is ALSO a Symptom of H Pylori Infection, is a weakening of the bone that anchors the teeth. It leads to redness, bleeding and inflammation of the gums (gingivitis) and may eventually lead to tooth loss if left untreated.

http://www.easy-immune-health.com

By Grandma J [46]10/11/2010

First of all, in order to get the Vitamin D3 to use 2 x per week, you have to have a prescription. Your doctor would have had to done a lab for this. There are only a couple labs in the US that this is sent to. Takes about a week or so for a report back.

This script should have no problem being covered. Mine is 1 time per week at 50,000 IUs. The lab tests run $250 approximately. This is to see what your level is and to properly script out the right sized dosage. My level after 13 weeks on it was up to 63. Prior to that being on OTC of 2000 iu per day was 34. Suggested levels to be 32 to 100. I take 5,000 iu 6 days a week, 50,000 iu x 1. I will have my levels done again this week, checked a couple times a year. I have blue cross/blue shield of Kentucky (even though I live in MN, the insurance is a HUGE business group) and my prescriptions are ok'd with Walgreen's drug insurance.

You must take the D3 at night, at the same time you take the suggested amount of calcium your doctor states you should have. I take 1200 per day. I am a user of other calcium food items. You have to have the supplement of calcium on board for the D3 to work. They bind to each other. I also get my OTC from Puritan.

I have been on D3 for a year now. My druggist gives me 13 weeks at a time (3 months). I pay a $5 co-pay. The 13 pills are $16.

There are a lot of things we ingest, use, eat that diminish our levels of many things. Bad habits are most of them. Smokers tend to have the most depletion of all nutrients/vitamins levels in the body. And it's payback is a B.

By Lelia Jo Cordell [49]10/05/2010

I just made an appointment with my dentist, the only doctor I know and trust other than my MD. I'll be seeing him Friday, if he doesn't return my call before then.

By katrina [5]10/03/2010

www.puritan.com has lots of great savings on vitamins; currently they are having a buy one get one free on some; buy 2 get 3 free on others. However, I am sure that the doctor does not mean for you to continue taking that huge an amount of D! Also, www.vitacost.com offers great savings on healthy items, including vitamins. Check out your local grocery outlet store as well, ours here offers lots of fantastic savings on vitamins!

By Lou [3]10/03/2010

Sometimes you are low on vitamin C which is needed for good gums, also A and E. Some cough drops have vitamin C in them are are less expensive than bottled vitamins.

By Lynda [47]10/01/2010

Check to see if the company that makes the pill has a medical needs dept. Most drug companies will send the medication out to you free of charge. There might be a small form that your doctor will need to fill out. But the pills should be sent to you or your doctor.

By cettina [74]10/01/2010

If the pills are so expensive, the other alternative is to get out into the sunshine(this is the best and easiest way to get vitamin D ). Take cod liver oil, which is inexpensive and check which foods have been fortified with vitamin D like breakfast cereals, milk, etc. to up your intake so you can stretch out your pills.

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