Response provided on 11/25/05 by Mary Ellen Hansson:
Tums comes in several strengths, from regular Tums, Tums
EX, to Tums Ultra. The more calcium found in the binder,
the greater potential binding power of the product.
Calcium has been a very common binder since we found that
aluminum had so many health hazards for ESRD patients.
If you add up the cost of the particular Tums product that
your patient is needing, you may find that it would be
cheaper for your patient to use one of the other binders,
be they Phoslo, Renagel, or Fosrenol, that are available.
Educate yourself by talking with your social worker
regarding the various Medicare Part D program options.
Not all of the companies allow individual medications
automatically, most seem to be on the second tier level
that I have looked at so far. These changes will take
place as of January 1, 2006, for the patients who have
been on Medicaid, and for those who opt to use the plan.
Anytime patients are prescribed a product they cannot
afford, we involve our social workers immediately to see
if there is another way around the system for those
patients. Usually, an alternative can be found that
doesn't have to exceed the total KDOQI recommended level
of calcium intake daily.