Drug Shortages and How It Might Affect Snowbirds
The Canadian Snowbirds are making their plans to head south soon. Recent articles in the news talked about the shortage of drugs. This has forced doctors to change patients’ doses and/or actual medication. So how will drug shortage in Canada affect the Snowbirds?
How Could It Affect Snowbirds?
For months, well-established drugs have been placed on back order for an unknown period of time. The reasons why are unknown. Some of the drugs are used to treat very common ailments such as hypertension, heart failure, diabetes, and heart burn. Having your medication changed to a substitute drug, even if it is in the same family, can cause different side effects and reduce efficacy. Most of Snowbirds will take out private travel insurance prior to leaving for their trip. Medical history plays a major part in the ability to get insurance. If you recently had a medication change within the past 3 months, even if it’s for an ailment you’ve had controlled for several years, you run the risk of being declined or having that particular ailment excluded from the insurance. In the eyes of the insurer such a switch can give an impression of medical instability of the person taking the medication.
The loss of insurability presents a problem to a large group of people who have otherwise been stable on a medication for years. What can you do?
What Can You Do?
If you know that you will be traveling soon, talk to your doctor about it. Discuss your particular medication situation sooner rather than later. Find out if what you are taking will present a risk for being put on another drug as a substitute. If so, see if they can do it now to allow time for you to be on it so you still qualify for travel insurance. Do not wait until a couple of weeks before your planned trip to do this. It might prevent you from being approved.
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