Mercer On Mission

2016 Blog

This blog is made and updated by Mercer undergrads. Throughout our time in Honduras, students from the various disciplines will write about their experiences serving. 

Nicaragua for Xarelto?

Today I started off in the Intake station, where I checked in patients, gathered medication history, and pinpointed their chief complaint. Of course as a pharmacy student, I was very focused on what medications they reported taking although most people only stated Amoxicillin or Acetaminophen. One particular patient really surprised me when he took out 5 medication packets from his pocket: my first 'brown bag' experience! I was even more surprised when he had a variety of cardiac medications such as Amiodarone, Bisoprolol, and Xarelto. These medications are far more complicated and much more costly than any medications we have stocked in our pharmacy or that I had seen people on so far. After discussing with him further, I found out that this 85 year old man walks to Nicaragua every so often to refill his medications because it is so much cheaper there. This really hit home for me, because this man has more than just aches and pains. He has a heart condition that needs much more medication than he can get in his community of Pavana. It definitely shows me how much we take for granted in the United States. While drugs like Xarelto are very pricey in the US as well, we do have other options including prescription coverage from insurance plans, coupon cards from manufacturers, and patient assistance programs. In the small community of Pavana, there were no options but for him to walk the 20 miles or so to Nicaragua to receive the medications at an affordable price. I hope that one day the people of Honduras will receive better care and have more options for their own healthcare.

Eryn, Pharmacy Student

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