Williams Apothecary – FAQ

Q: Does Medicare cover these prescriptions?

A: Generally, Medicare Part B does not cover oral prescriptions. Medicare may pay for approved medications listed in the Medicare Part B Manual such as certain nebulizer medications and some oral cancer medications. Medicare D is an optional insurance used for prescription medications. Each individual plan has its own broad formulary with certain covered medications. If you have Medicare D, you would need to check with the plan for current formulary information.

Q: Are these prescriptions covered by other insurance, perhaps my health insurance or my long-term insurance?

A: You, or the individual who has received our prescriptions, may have health insurance or other long-term care insurance that covers prescription drugs. Please refer to those policies to verify coverage or call your insurance carrier. Generally, long-term care insurance does not cover the cost of prescriptions.

Q: I have applied for Medicaid. I believe that Medicaid covers the prescriptions, so why am I being billed?

A: Medicaid, in conjunction with a Medicare D plan, generally does cover the cost of prescription care in a long-term care setting; however, until you are approved for Medicaid coverage, any amounts owed will be billed to you. Once approved, any amounts previously paid by you and subsequently paid by the Medicaid program will be refunded to you.

Q: I have a prescription drug card, but I am told that Williams Apothecary may not accept my drug card and that I am responsible for the cost of my prescriptions. Can that be correct?

A: Yes. Williams Apothecary does not participate in all prescription drug programs, just as some prescription card companies do not accept all pharmacies. We do accept most all plans available in this region. Call us for specific details for you plan or contact the plan directly.

Q: What methods of payment do you accept?

A: For your convenience, payment may be made by check, money order, or credit card (Visa, MasterCard, Discover, and American Express). You may also ask for a form to sign if you wish us to automatically debit a checking account each month.

Q: Why do finance charges appear on my statement?

A: Finance charges accumulate if your statement is not paid prior to the next billing cycle. The finance charge is calculated from the unpaid portion of your statement, and ranges from $1.00 minimum per month, 1½% of your unpaid bill per month, or 18% of your unpaid bill per year.

Q: What happens if I do not remit payment?

A: Failure to pay may require us to discontinue service or turn over any unpaid amounts to an outside collection agency for further collection activity. Discontinuation of service is performed in accordance with local, sate and federal guidelines.

Q: I've heard a lot about natural hormone replacement. What is it and what are its advantages?

A: Natural hormone replacement refers to using human or bio-identical (plant-based) hormones instead of synthetic hormones.

By creating a bio-identical hormone replacement from scratch, Williams Apothecary can formulate a specific dosage, thereby minimizing side effects common to commercially available "one-size-fits-all" synthetic hormones.

By working with both you and your healthcare, the compounding specialists at Custom Prescriptions from Williams Apothecary can customize your medication to meet you individual needs.

Q: My daughter has been prescribed a liquid antibiotic, but she refuses to take it because of the unpleasant taste. Are there alternatives?

A: Yes! There are several different options open to you. We can suggest several masking techniques that may work, or we can prepare a solution to cover up the taste.

We can also compound medication from scratch. This means that, with your physician's input, we can start with the raw chemicals and add various ingredients to make a formula. Your child can select from the 26 different flavors available, including caramel butter fudge, watermelon, and Hawaiian pineapple. Through compounding, we can also customize the form of many medications, making chewable tablets, liquids, medicated lollipops, gummy bears and popsicles.

Q: Several of my friends, who are also going through menopause, have recommended black cohosh. What is it and how can it help me?

A: Black cohosh (Cimicifuga racemosa) is an herbal phytoestrogen. It offers a suitable natural alternative to hormone replacement therapy (HRT) when a physician may recommend against HRT. This may include women of breast cancer or liver or gall bladder disease.

In many studies, black cohosh relieved such menopausal symptoms as hot flashes, night sweats, headaches, vertigo, heart palpitations and sleep disturbances. Most women see improvement in four to eight weeks.

Talk to one of the registered Pharmacists at Williams Apothecary to see if black cohosh is right for you.

Q: I see ads and articles on alternative medicines and herbal supplements. I like the idea of using natural medicines, but I'm concerned about their safety. Any suggestions?

A: Some medications, both over-the-counter and prescription can actually deplete your body of nutrients and vitamins. Just because they are available without a prescription doesn't mean they are risk-free. It is important that you have complete information about possible side effects. Herbal remedies can help, but you need to know what products are reputable, how much you should take and how long to take them in order to optimize your health benefits. Williams Apothecary will answer your questions concerning alternative and homeopathic medicine, nutraceuticals, herbal formulations, dietary supplements, and more.

Q: I have been experiencing mood swings for at least six months, along with trouble sleeping, irritability and changes to my monthly cycle. My doctor says I'm probably starting menopause, but I'm only 37. What can I do to ease these symptoms?

A: The early stages of menopause can begin to affect women as early as their late 30s. A drop in the level of progesterone may cause a hormonal imbalance.

It is important to maintain the delicate balance between progesterone and other hormones that keep cycles running smoothly. But, because every woman's body is different, commercially available hormone replacements may not be suitable for the needs of each individual woman. Talk to your physician and keep a simple diary of the changes your body is experiencing. In-depth counseling with your doctor and pharmacist jointly will help you determine your options.

There are a variety of options available to you. If you are looking for a solution that is specific to your body, consider compounded medications. These medications are created from scratch to fit a woman's individual needs. For example, natural progesterone, which is identical to what your body is lacking, can be created to meet your exact dosage requirements.

By working with both you and your healthcare provider, the compounding specialists at Custom Prescriptions from Williams Apothecary can customize your medication to meet your individual needs.

Q: My son has been prescribed medication, but has trouble swallowing capsules. What are our options?

A: Let Custom Prescriptions at Williams Apothecary help - we're compounding specialists. We start from scratch-with the raw chemical-and can create medication in different forms, such as chewable tablets, medicated lollipops, gummy bears and popsicles. First, we get input from your physician. Then, we customize the medication to fit your child's needs. If your son has trouble with capsules, we can create a liquid formula that is easier for him to swallow. We can then let him choose his favorite flavor from the dozens of flavors available, like banana crème, blueberry or root beer float. When his medicine is more pleasant to take, he will be more likely to take it.

Another advantage to compounding is the ability to leave out certain ingredients, such as dyes, preservatives, sugars or starches, which may cause allergic reactions in some people.

Q: I've heard a lot about male menopause and erectile dysfunction lately. What causes it and are there any solutions?

A: Andropause occurs when testosterone levels decrease. Testosterone levels begin to decline as men start aging, generally 1-2 percent per year. Insufficient testosterone levels cause changes in sexuality, specifically lack of libido or erectile dysfunction. Everyone's body is different and men should consult their doctor to ensure a correct diagnosis.

By creating medications from raw ingredients to fit your individual needs, Williams Apothecary can formulate specific dosage, thereby minimizing side effects common to commercially available "one-size-fits-all" synthetic hormones. Testosterone replacements can come in several forms, including transdermal creams or sublingual lozenges.

By working with both you and your healthcare provider, the compounding specialists at Custom Prescriptions from Williams Apothecary can customize your medication to meet your individual needs.

Q: I am a 45 year old woman entering menopause. My doctor has prescribed several different hormones over the past year, but each one cause side effects that I could not tolerate. Are there alternatives?

A: Every woman has different Hormone Replacement Therapy needs and commercially available hormones don't always work. At Williams Apothecary, we do in-depth counseling concerning your options for hormone replacement. We feel that when you, as a patient, have information available to make an informed choice concerning your therapy, you are more likely to stick with you medication regime.

We specialize in bio-identical hormone replacement and individualized dosages to minimize side effects. By working with your physician we can help you throughout this transition and improve your quality of life.

Q: My father takes many pills every day for a variety of ailments. I am concerned that he is forgetting some of the dosages and therefore not receiving the medication he needs. Can you help?

A: Yes. There is a wonderful product called a mediset that can be prepared for your father. It's divided into compartments for up to four doses per day, and covers a seven day period. Medisets are even available in Braille or with timers that ring to remind the patient that it's time for his medication. At Williams Apothecary, we have many services available to help solve your problems. We can put multiple medications in one capsule. We can prepare insulin syringes that are ready for use for patients who have trouble seeing. We'll package containers so they are easier to hold and open. And we can make small tablets into capsules so they are easier to hold.

The compounding specialists at Custom Prescriptions from Williams Apothecary can customize your medication to meet your individual needs.

Q: I've heard that pharmacies can fill prescriptions for pets. Is this true? My veterinarian has prescribed medicine for my cat, but I find it virtually impossible to make her take a pill. Are there any alternatives?

A: Yes. The pharmacists at Custom Prescriptions from Williams Apothecary can work with your veterinarian to customize the medication and produce a liquid that is flavored with tuna, sardines or liver to make it more pleasant for your cat. Because we compound our own medications from the raw ingredients, we can also formulate tablets, capsules, creams, ointments, dusting powders, ear and eye solutions and exact proportions.

At Williams Apothecary, we will customize a medication to meet the individual needs of both you and your pet.

Q: We recently discovered our daughter is allergic to the dyes found in many over-the-counter children's medicines. Any suggestions?

A: At Custom Prescriptions from Williams Apothecary, we're compounding specialists, and we start from scratch - with the raw chemical. First, we get input from your physician. Then we customize the medication to your child's needs. That way we include the correct ingredients and can leave out dyes, preservatives, sugar or starches. Our main goal is caring for our patients - and that means improving your child's health.

The compounding specialists at Custom Prescriptions from Williams Apothecary can customize your medication to meet your individual needs.

Q: I see many hormone replacement options that promise to help menopausal women. How can I be sure of their ingredients and effectiveness?

A: Before the pharmacists at Custom Prescriptions from Williams Apothecary create a natural hormone replacement, we obtain specific information about your needs from your physician. Then, we create the exact compound to suit your individual requirements. In addition, we use the pure, plant-based chemical and mix it into a gel, cream, lozenge, or capsule - whichever form is best for you. By working with our pharmacist and your physician, you're assured of getting what is best for your therapy.

The compounding specialists at Custom Prescriptions from Williams Apothecary can customize your medication to meet your individual needs.

Q: Since going through chemotherapy, I have found it difficult to swallow pills. Even when I can, I find nearly everything irritates my stomach. Do I have other options?

A: You do have options. The pharmacist at Custom Prescriptions from Williams Apothecary compound medications makes them from raw ingredients into whatever form suits the patient's needs. Examples are transdermal gels and "under the tongue" lozenges which would bypass the stomach all together. Working with your physician, we can create medications for your specific needs.

The compounding specialists at Custom Prescriptions from Williams Apothecary can customize your medication to meet your individual needs.

Q: I am in my late 60s and searching for a plan that makes my prescription drugs more affordable. I have been hearing a lot about Medicare D. What is the advantage of it, and who qualifies?

A: There is no question that prescription costs are rising, but the good news is that prescription drug insurance plans such as Medicare D help seniors by giving them affordable options. Many seniors are under the impression that Medicare D is only available to those with low income. In reality, anyone who is eligible for Medicare, regardless of his or her income or health, is eligible for Medicare D.

For questions regarding Medicare D contact one of our pharmacists at 717-393-3814.

Q: I have been hearing a lot about Medicare D, but how do I know how much it will cost, what it will cover and which plan is the right one for me?

A: Medicare Part D prescription plan holders pay a monthly premium that ranges from only several dollars to around $120 monthly. The cost for individual prescriptions varies depending on the medication and the plan’s formulary. There are many different plans in the region.

To learn more about the right Medicare D plan for you, call 1-800-MEDICARE, visit www.medicare.gov, or contact one of our pharmacists at 717-393-3814.