Mar 1, 2013 11:21 PM by Erin Steuber

Free Prescription Help for the Elderly May Be No More

Because of state budget cuts, some in Louisiana could be paying more out of pocket for their prescriptions. When the legislature meets next month, they'll be tackling a state budget $1 billion less than last year. That means cuts are inevitable.

The proposed budget eliminates funding for two programs at the Cajun Area Agency on Aging, one of those programs helps 10,864 save money on their prescriptions. Last year alone it saved residents $13,161,138.

"I think they're making a big mistake, and I'd like to ask them if they'd like to take $500 out of their pocket each month if they were depending on it," said Ted Landry.
For five years now, Landry has been living with COPD, a lung disease that restricts airflow.

"Well I'm 65, but I feel like I'm 19 or 20. Well, mentally I feel that way, physically I have a hard time walking to the door. I'm out of breathe with very little effort and so I depend very heavily on my medication to get me through the day, each day," said Landry.

Out of pocket all of his medication can cost an upwards of $500 a month, a bill that has been taken care of for the last 5 years through the SenioRX program.

"My Albuterol nebulizer treatment that I do every two hours. I don't know what I'd do without that," said Landry. "Each one plays a role, each one does something different for you, and believe me if I don't take one, I'm in trouble."

Now with that program in trouble, those at the Cajun Area Agency on Aging are urging state lawmakers to reconsider the cut.

"We're going to be back where we were 10 years ago, 'do I buy groceries or do I take my medication?'," said Director of the CAAA, Shannon Broussard.

In the meantime, Landry is waiting for lung transplant, and will likely have more prescription costs. He's hoping they aren't all out of pocket.



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