After buying his insulin off Craigslist, Georgia college student finds help

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When Georgia State University freshman Khris Rowe found Morehouse School of Medicine's H.E.A.L. clinic off Howell Mill Road in Atlanta, the 20-year old was struggling.He's a type 1 diabetic.

"I was diagnosed when I was 13," Rowe says.

He needs daily insulin, which raised a real problem.

"Because insulin is expensive," he says. Rowe has a job, but no health insurance.

"It was pretty hard to get insulin," Rowe says. "I found myself buying insulin off Craigslist, and stuff like that."

Rowe knew buying insulin online from a stranger was risky, but he says didn't know what else to do.

"At times it was scary, I was like, I have no more medicine, this is what I live on," Rowe remembers.  "How am I supposed to live like that?"

That's when Rowe's mother stepped in.

"My mom is actually one of the best moms in the world," he says. "So she did some digging deep for me, and she actually found this clinic."

Doctors at the clinic gave Rowe free insulin samples to get him through the short-term.
Then, to find a longer-term fix, Morehouse School of Medicine clinical pharmacist Dr. Christopher Holoway helped the Rowes pull together the paperwork Khris needed to qualify for the insulin manufacturer's patient assistance program.

That allowed him to get his insulin a low to no cost for the new 12 months, when he can reapply.
"By getting that, he'll have that full amount," Holoway says. "So, he won't have to worry, in the back of his mind, how is he going to get that medication?   But he also qualifies for a year with that. So, a year from this past month, we'll have to go through that process again."

If you're struggling to pay for medication, Holoway says, talk to your doctor or pharmacist about your options. He even suggests checking with a pharmacy school for advice. If you're using a brand name, you might be able to switch to a cheaper generic medication. Many drug and grocery chains sell generics for as little as $5 for a 30-day supply.

A prescription drug card might also help lower your costs. Khris Rowe says he had no idea help was out there, but he's so glad he found it.

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