Geriatric Counseling

The Melancon Pharmacy staff is eager to consult with the geriatric patient and his or her caregivers to optimize medication therapy. Geriatric counseling can also provide an opportunity to identify side effects and unnecessary medications. In addition to the health benefits of optimizing the drug regimen, it may also make it more economical for the patient.

An example of the economical approach includes reviewing the drug regimen
to identify formulary alternatives that are covered by insurance. Consider the following example:

If a patient requires a proton pump inhibitor for excess gastric acid secretion and/or treatment of a stomach ulcer, some of the commercially available proton pump inhibitors are Nexium (TM), Prilosec (TM) and Prevacid (TM).

With Medicare Part D programs, there is usually a deductible to meet and once that is met, a copay is usually required. After the patient has met a certain amount of benefits for the year, some Medicare Part D recipients fall into an area called the coverage gap, or “doughnut hole.” Our goal is to minimize patient out-of-pocket expenses while maintaining medication outcome goals. With your doctor’s permission, if we can recommend a cheaper medication and achieve the outcome desired by your physician, we can help you avoid or delay the coverage gap, and reduce out-of-pocket expenses. All drug regimen assessments and changes are conducted with the physician’s approval.

In this example using Nexium, Prilosec and Prevacid, the retail costs of these drugs vary dramatically.

Nexium average retail for a 30-day supply: $180 per month or $2,160 per year

Prevacid average retail for a 30-day supply: $180 per month or $2,160 per year

Omeprazole (generic for Prilosec) average retail for a 30-day supply: $16.30 per month or $195.60 per year

If a patient is currently taking one of the more expensive medications listed above, a therapy change to Omeprazole may result in the same desired outcome. Upon obtaining the permission of the patient, we would initiate a call to your physician to suggest a change to the cheaper alternative. If the alternative medication achieves the outcome goal of therapy, the patient could save $1,964.40 per year with this single medication change.

Pharmacists are uniquely qualified to perform medication therapy management reviews and provide recommendations to your physician. We provide an emphasis on affordability for our patients, because the best drug regimen will not be effective if the patient cannot afford the medication prescribed. We will work closely with your physician to recommend effective, economical alternatives to your current regimen if certain medications are not affordable. All of our pharmacists are eager and willing to look over medication profiles and are available for private sessions to discuss these details. If you are interested in scheduling a private session to review your current medication profile, please email us at or call us at 896-8434. One of our pharmacists will be happy to meet with you.