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Switching Between Dissimilar Medications

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Q. My insurance company wants to switch my Lovaza prescription to fenofibrate. What do you think of this change?

A. Lovaza is a prescription-strength highly purified form of fish oil used to lower high triglycerides. Fenofibrate is a completely different type of cholesterol-lowering medication. Only your doctor should decide if fenofibrate would be an appropriate substitute for you.

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7 Comments

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There are OTC sources of O-3 concentrated fish oil for about $25 a pint, enough to last me a few months. Lovasa is outrageously priced.

Since, as we often see here, there are many treatments which surprisingly work. This may be one of them - it would take a month and another blood test to find out. If it works, you have added to the data base at The Peoples Pharmacy, provided you tell us. If it doesn't work, you have solid data to go back to dispute your ins. company's ruling.

If that happened to me, I would shred the fenofibrate script (with its significant side effect of abnormal liver function tests), head for my local health food store to pick up a good quality omega-3 fish oil supplement, and start asking around to find a physician who is knowledgeable about natural treatments instead of pharmaceuticals.

If your doctor writes on the prescription 'only brand-name" or 'no generic'/no substitute", the insurance CAN NOT change your prescription (by law)

I take Lovaza for the high triglycerides - It has cut the triglycerides in over half, 600 to 285, so I know, for me, the lovaza works!

I had a similar problem with my Insurance Company recently. They stopped covering a drug I was taking that worked very well. Also, I could not take other drugs for my condition because I have a heart condition. With my Doctors' help I appealed to the Insurance Co. They still refused to cover it.

If it IS NOT in their Formulary they WILL NOT cover it. My drug was a Generic not a Brand name, but it was a very expensive Generic.

What the Doctor writes on the Prescription does not always apply.
Insurance Companies make their own rules!!!

The dietary supplement industry is a mess. Doctors are reluctant to prescribe most nutritional supplements and insurance companies don't like to insure them. Lovaza is a true pharmaceutical grade omega-3 fatty acid product which does insure the product is good quality. However, the price is outrageous.

As one who works within the dietary supplement industry, I can say that there are true pharmaceutical grade nutritional supplements available at prices far lower than seen with Lovaza.

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