A diagnosis of Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) once meant an expensive drug regimen involving dozens of pills, multiple times per day. With advances in modern medicine, however, treatments have evolved. Fewer pills throughout the day and side effects that aren’t debilitating are helping HIV patients to live longer, more fulfilling lives with less risk for secondary infections. If you’ve been diagnosed with HIV, you probably have questions about your medications and how Memorial Hermann Specialty Pharmacy can help.
At a basic level, HIV medications stop the HIV retrovirus from growing. Also called anti-retroviral therapy (ART), HIV treatment is a combination of different medications to suppress virus counts in the blood. Without the medications, your virus count can increase, making you more susceptible to other infections and illnesses that HIV can prevent your body from fighting off. These drugs allow your immune system to recover and avoid opportunistic infections that could otherwise occur without the drugs.
To be effective, HIV medications must be taken as part of a strict, daily regimen. Currently, there is no cure for HIV, so the ART drugs are necessary to help protect you from other infections.
Memorial Hermann Specialty Pharmacy provides the most common “one pill, once-a-day” drugs to treat the HIV virus. With multiple drugs available on the market, it gives you multiple options for treatment. Most medications have fewer harsh side effects than past treatments, which means you can probably find a drug that works for you without limiting your lifestyle.
In addition to commonly prescribed HIV medications, our Specialty Pharmacy also offers a Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) medication used to prevent HIV infection in patients who are more susceptible to infection.
If you or a loved one has HIV, you’re well aware of the significant expense associated with medications. There are reasons for the high cost of these medications, including:
Memorial Hermann Specialty Pharmacy places a high priority on discretion and patient safety., Unlike retail pharmacies, we can deliver your medications by mail, offering you privacy and convenience. In addition, our Specialty Pharmacy team will help you find the medicine that works best for you, taking into account your budget, insurance coverage and your current medications. We’re committed to exhausting every possible option to help keep your costs low, including seeking grants and help from foundations and state and federal programs.
To avoid further illness, HIV medication is vital. That’s why Memorial Hermann takes a proactive approach to your health. In addition to an initial assessment with a nurse, you have access to quarterly consultations. We also partner with your existing primary care provider (PCP) and HIV medication prescriber to stay up-to-date on your treatment. We strive to help you understand every aspect of your treatment plan, including possible side effects or interactions with current prescriptions.
When you choose to integrate your health care with Memorial Hermann, you’re ensuring your medical information is completely up-to-date and relevant to your treatment plan – from the initial diagnosis to medication prescriptions. Streamlined communication with your doctor, including clinical notes and charts, allows us to get your medications approved by insurance faster, and allows you to get your therapy started sooner.
If you or a loved one was recently diagnosed with HIV, or if you are currently taking ART treatments and you’re interested in learning more about lowering the cost of your HIV medications, we are here to help answer any questions. To schedule an appointment, please call 1-833-234-MHSP (6477).