Answered by:
Stuart D. Federman, PharmD, AAHIVP
Gateway Apothecary
Saint Louis, MO

There are many reasons you might need a new prescription. It is important to stay up to date with your physician on your appointments to ensure your labs are continuously monitored to prevent resistance to medications or other health related issues. Your provider will make sure that your prescriptions are up to date, as long as the medication continues to work.

If your situation involves an insurance company and you are lacking medical coverage, there may be a community health center or free clinic that should be able to order labs and see patients at minimal cost or potentially assist you free of charge. If you lack prescription coverage, talk to your pharmacy about patient assistance forms to get your medicines covered by the drug companies. Case workers are a great resource to help navigate through the medical and pharmacy systems, which may prevent some of the problems before it becomes an issue.

I always recommend that patients build up a small supply of antiretroviral medications in order to make sure that if there are issues with getting the medication for any reason there is medication to fall back on while you work through the system.

Additional writing by Amanda Wong, student pharmacist at the St. Louis College of Pharmacy.