Recent hurricanes and wildfires have displaced and affected many in the PHA community. PHA is working with health care professionals, industry partners, specialty pharmacies, local PH Care Centers and support groups and providing updates and disaster procedures for people on PH treatments. The following is an update from our Director of Patient and Caregiver Programs, Michael Knaapen:
Harvey and Irma have done their worst – and their worst was no match for the grit of the PH community!
I can’t put into words all my admiration for those of you stuck out these awful storms, who checked in with me and your neighbors to share information, whether it was news about shelters or government warnings or how to get your meds or who had an extra generator. I’m in awe of your grace under pressure.
I’m also so grateful to the emergency responders, healthcare professionals and others who did their part to help during this crisis.
You haven’t been far from my thoughts, and I’m so, so glad that so many people made it through unharmed and that Puerto Rico, Florida and other affected areas are on their way to recovery. Several friends have told me they were without power for hours – even days! – but that they had generators, for the most part. Some have had to go without and rely on the few batteries they have left for their portable concentrators, which has me very worried (PHA is reaching out to O2 companies to get more support).
If you need medications or supplies, contact your medical provider or specialty pharmacy (numbers for specialty pharmacies below). Remember that you can check Rx Open to find open pharmacies in disaster-impacted areas: https://www.healthcareready.org/rxopen.
Some important reminders and updates from our industry partners:
Thank you, Reata, for reaching out directly to clinical trial sites to provide assistance.
From Gilead: To help provide continued access to Letairis, Gilead has implemented emergency disaster procedures through its patient support program. Through this program, low income individuals with insurance who live in the affected areas may be eligible for free product. Gilead’s patient support program for Letairis (aka LEAP) can be reached at 866-664-5327.
From CVS: CVS Pharmacy Store Status in Florida, Georgia, Houston, Texas and Surrounding Areas: https://cvshealth.com/newsroom/press-releases. CVS Health and the CVS Health Foundation Donate $125,000 in cash and in-kind product donations to organizations helping with relief efforts for those affected by Hurricane Irma. CVS Health and the CVS Health Foundation Donate $200,000 Towards Hurricane Harvey Relief and Recovery Effort. In addition, CVS Health has donated more than $90,000 worth of in-kind products including personal hygiene, clean-up and over-the-counter items to area shelters and continues to work with shelters throughout Texas to support those displaced. CVS Specialty is available and ready to assist patients who call 1-877-242-2738. CVS Specialty has been proactively reaching out to our pharmacy patients in areas affected by severe weather to assist with prescription needs. Patients who have opted in to CVS Pharmacy’s automated notification programs, may receive automated phone calls, text messages, and mobile app notifications, depending on the status of their current prescriptions.
From Actelion: Contact the pharmacy that normally sends you medication (for many, this is via mail through a specialty pharmacy). If you don’t have their phone number available, check the numbers below. You may not be sure where you will be in the coming weeks; it’s worth asking if the pharmacy can let you refill your medication early. In cases of natural disasters, the pharmacy should be able to get this approved by your insurance. There is a method for overriding “refill too soon” type rejections during a disaster: “Submission Clarification Code 13 – Payer-Recognized Emergency/Disaster Assistance Request.” If you are not out of medication/still have supply on hand, it’s important to get in touch now with your pharmacy(ies) and provide a current phone number(s) and the phone numbers of alternate contacts such as family members. This will help the pharmacy in the future as well if they need to reach you. Also, provide your current location, even if it’s a shelter. Many of the pharmacies have special team members designated to work with those who are displaced. They have been utilizing couriers and even the national guard in order to make deliveries. For prescriptions that are picked up at a physical pharmacy (retail location), use this to find out whether your location is open and where the nearest alternative is: Healthcare Ready’s Rx Open (https://www.healthcareready.org/rxopen) is an interactive map that helps patients and providers find nearby open pharmacies in areas impacted by disaster. The map will be updated daily throughout the federally declared disaster.
From Accredo: Accredo nurses are on call around the clock for impacted PH patients experiencing issues with their medication and say pharmacists are just a phone call away. Any Accredo patient experiencing an issue can call 1-888-FIGHTPH (888-344-4874). We have nurses that are answering that line 24/7 and pharmacists that are just a phone call away.
From Bayer: Bayer’s disaster relief plan is in effect for patients in the affected areas. They are reaching out to patients directly. If patients need further assistance they should contact their specialty pharmacy.
From Pfizer: Pfizer has also implemented disaster relief protocols at Pfizer RxPathways®, a service that connects patients to the Pfizer assistance programs that may be right for them. If a medicine provided through the Pfizer Patient Assistance Program has been destroyed or lost, or patients who are enrolled are unable to reach their doctors’ offices and need their medicine shipped to an alternate location, this service can help. Additionally, if new patients urgently need a Pfizer medicine but have been displaced and are unable to access income documentation and other paperwork needed for enrollment into the Pfizer Patient Assistance Program, the company is able to waive these requirements so that patients can receive their medication as quickly as possible. Pfizer is sharing this information via social media and on the Pfizer RxPathways website, as well as sending out emails to r patients and healthcare providers affected by the storm. Pfizer RxPathways can be reached toll-free at 1-844-989-PATH (7284), Monday through Friday, from 9:00 am – 6:00 pm ET.
Additional Contact Information:
- Accredo/Curascript/ExpressScripts: 1-866-FightPH (1-866-344-4874)
- Cigna Tel-Drug: 1-855-326-7463
- CVS/Caremark: 1-877-242-2738
- Humana Specialty Pharmacy: 1-855-478-8405
- OptumRX: 1-855-856-0536
- Walgreens/Medmark: 1-888-347-3416
Check the available resources for you in your area on this FEMA resource: https://www.disasterassistance.gov/. Type in your zip code to see if financial, food or other relief resources are available. Please note: the Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, Florida and Texas have all been declared for individual assistance.
And, of course, call 911 for emergencies, your medical providers for medical care and me at PHA for anything else: 240-485-0758.