DANVILLE, Pa. — Stress is something many of us are familiar with. We are living with the ongoing effects of the COVID-19 pandemic while dealing with personal stressors like finances and social issues. According to doctors at Geisinger, stress can have a negative effect on our health, including not taking medications as prescribed.
"If you don't take your blood pressure medicine, you're going to have a higher likelihood of having bad outcomes like heart attacks or strokes," said Dr. Martin Matsumura, chief of cardiology in Geisinger's northeast region.
Dr. Matsumura says sometimes patients cannot afford medications, which also leads to stress. He encourages patients to talk to their doctors if this is the case.
"Is there an alternative medicine that either is generic or costs less because of my health plan that will do the job? Or are there other external avenues? Sometimes drug companies have programs that will help patients pay for their medicines depending on what they can afford."
Your pharmacist is also a good resource to help you look for lower-cost medications.
"Also help you look for assistance programs such as PACE. There is a secondary government assistance program called PACE in Pennsylvania for residents that are older than 65 that meet certain income limits," explained Keturah Weaver, a Geisinger clinical cardiology pharmacist.
With Geisinger's medication therapy management program, pharmacists are stationed at most of the health system's clinics and work hand in hand with doctors.
"That means making sure you are on all the right medications," Weaver added. "Also, making sure you understand why you are taking those medications and what each one of them are for."
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