Prescription Drug Assistance
There are many public and private resources available to help patients with their medication costs. Some of these programs provide options for purchasing drugs at discounted prices. Others help patients who cannot afford any part of their medication costs. To help you find the best option for getting your medicine, we’ve spoken to pharmacists, drug companies and associations, and searched the Internet for information that can be helpful to consumers. There is information on drug assistance programs for many different types of patients, including those who: need financial help; are age 55 or older; have Medicare or are Medicare-eligible; are not eligible for Medicare, have no drug coverage, and are on a limited income; have insurance; have been diagnosed with breast cancer; want to explore Medicaid; are interested in saving money on prescription drugs; want to purchase drugs online. All of these programs have specific requirements that must be met in order to receive assistance from the program. You will need to provide some basic information about you and your financial situation. All the programs require an application form to be completed, and most will require some information from your doctor.
The Partnership for Prescription Assistance
The Partnership for Prescription Assistance program is a group of drug companies, doctors, health care providers, and organizations helping patients without prescription coverage find drug assistance programs that are right for them. The Web site offers access to more than 475 public and private drug and nutritional supplement assistance programs, including more than 150 programs offered by drug companies. To find programs right for you, fill out the confidential online form, which will include questions about the drugs you take, your age, annual income, and insurance coverage. After your answers are quickly compared to the requirements for the different programs, you will be able to see a list of programs that might be helpful to you. Your doctor or nurse can also use the Web site to find programs for you and then complete the necessary application forms for you and send them by email or fax.
The NeedyMeds Web site provides information on nearly 800 drug assistance programs, including requirements and application forms. NeedyMeds is an information clearinghouse and does not help with specific problems or provide individual searches for drug assistance programs.
Provided by the National Council on the Aging, BenefitsCheckUpRx is an online resource for individuals age 55 and older who have difficulty paying for their medicines. This resource includes over 1,500 programs for all 50 states and the District of Columbia. By answering questions about your location, income, and medications, this service can find drug assistance programs that are available to you. The Web site also includes another questionnaire that searches for programs to help with rent, property taxes, meals, and other needs.
Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services
The Federal government’s Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Web site identifies available drug assistance programs and can help you pick the right Medicare-approved prescription drug plan (Part D) based on their location, income, and drugs you take. You can join a Medicare prescription drug (Part D) plan if: you have Medicare Part A and/or Part B, and; you don’t have outpatient prescription drug benefits through Medicaid (your state may call this Medical Assistance). If you’re enrolled in a state pharmacy assistance program (not Medicaid), you can still get a card. If you have prescription drug coverage through your current health insurance or you get discounts on your prescriptions through other programs, you might review your coverage closely to see if the Medicare drug plan will save you more money on your prescriptions.
Medicare Access for Patients-Rx (MAPRx)
Medicare Access for Patients-Rx (MAPRx) links you to information about the Medicare Part D Drug Program. It provides answers to frequently-asked questions about the Medicare Prescription Drug Program, and has a state-by-state listing of other possible resources and programs. While MAPRx does not provide direct services to Medicare recipients, it is a clearinghouse for information provided by Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, Medicare Rights Center, Center for Medicare Advocacy, and many other organizations and agencies.
Together Rx Access Card
The Together Rx Access Card has been created to help individuals and families who lack prescription drug coverage save on brand-name prescription drugs, other prescription products, and a wide range of generic drugs. To be eligible, you must meet all of the following criteria: not eligible for Medicare; no prescription drug coverage (public or private); household income* equal to or less than $30,000 for a single person, $40,000 for a family of two, $50,000 for a family of three, $60,000 for a family of four, and $70,000 for a family of five (*income limits may be higher in Alaska and Hawaii); legal US resident.
HealthWell Foundation is a nonprofit, charitable organization that helps qualified individuals who do not have the ability to pay for prescription drug costs, insurance premiums and co-payments, (private insurance, employer-sponsored plans, Medicare or Medicaid), and some other out-of-pocket health care costs. The program serves only those with certain health conditions, which are posted on the Web site. Only certain cancers are included in their coverage.
Patient Advocate Foundation’s Co-Pay Relief Assistance Program
The Patient Advocate Foundation’s Co-Pay Relief Assistance Program helps patients who meet certain requirements pay for the prescriptions and treatments they need. This program is available only to individuals with certain medical conditions who also have insurance (including Medicare or Medicaid). Only certain cancers are included in their program.
Patient Services Incorporated
Patient Services Incorporated is a national, nonprofit organization helping patients with certain expensive chronic illnesses and their families with health insurance premiums and medicine co-payments in order to help improve their quality of life. Families requiring help with the high cost of their health insurance premiums or co-payments are offered help based upon the severity of medical and financial need. They also help locate and purchase health insurance coverage. Only a few cancers are included in
Patient Access Network Foundation
Patient Access Network Foundation is a nonprofit organization helping underinsured patients who cannot afford the out-of-pocket costs for their treatment. The program assists patients with certain medical conditions who meet their financial, insurance, and medical requirements (for instance, the drugs must be covered by the patient’s insurance). Only certain cancers are included in their program.
Linking A.R.M.S. – Assistance and Resources Made Simple
Provided by CancerCare, Linking A.R.M.S. provides grants of up to $300 a year to assist low-income, under- and uninsured women with the costs of only certain oral medicines for breast cancer treatment, pain, and nausea, lymphedema support and supplies, and durable medical equipment prescribed by her doctor. The program does not help with living expenses, doctor and hospital bills, diagnostic testing, non-oral cancer treatments, or insurance premiums.
Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services
The Medicaid is a federally-funded, state-run program that provides medical assistance for individuals and families with limited incomes and resources. It pays for health care costs, including doctor’s and hospital visits and prescription drug costs. Qualifications and benefits vary from state to state. You can locate your local Social Security, Welfare, or Department of Human Services by visiting http://www.socialsecurity.gov/locator or calling 1-800-772-1213
Co-Pay Assistance & Prescription Assistance
Simple Savings Discount Drug Card
This program is associated with another program that was developed for people who have no prescription coverage. They issue a Simple Savings Discount Drug Card for free for anyone who is approved.
Amgen Reimbursement Connection
For patients who are uninsured or underinsured and who have limited financial resources; based on insured status and income level. Drugs in this program include Aranesp® (darbepoetin alfa) and Neulasta® (pegfilgrastim).
Bristol-Myers Squibb Patient Assistance Foundation
Established to provide temporary assistance to patients with financial hardship who generally have no private prescription drug insurance and are not enrolled in a prescription drug coverage plan through Medicaid or any other federal, state or local health program.
CancerCare’s financial assistance program provides limited grants for certain expenses related to treatment.
Genetech’s Single Point of Contact
Expenditure Cap: 800-232-2717
A reimbursement resource for Genentech products that provides information to patients and their health care providers.
Glaxosmithkline’s Commitment to Access
Provides outpatient medications to eligible low-income patients who do not have prescription drug benefits.
Provides temporary assistance to patients obtaining Lilly or Dista medication.
Merck’s ACT Program
ACT is a two-part program specifically designed to assist insured patients with insurance reimbursement issues, and to provide product support for those qualified individuals lacking coverage for Emend® (aprepitant).
Partnership for Prescription Assistance
Offers a single point of access to more than 275 public and private patient assistance programs
FirstRESOURCE provides products to eligible, low-income, uninsured and underinsured patients.
RX Assit and RX Outreach Patient Assistance Programs
Offers assistance to patients without prescription drug coverage who meet income requirements.
Offers information on assistance programs from various pharmaceutical companies; offers an Assistance Finder, which matches patient information against available federal, state and charitable prescription drug programs.
Schering-Plough’s Commitment to Care Program
Free cancer medications through patient assistance programs to people with low incomes who do not have prescription drug coverage.