Finding Help With Expensive Medications
North American Precis Syndicate
by Jeffrey Lewis
(NAPSI)—If you or someone you love is one of the millions of
Americans with a chronic disease or a life-threatening condition,
pharmaceutical manufacturers and their partners offer you a gift of hope this
Pharmaceutical manufacturers are criticized as Scrooge or the Grinch in
our country’s health care system. Elected officials and advocacy
organizations want to blame somebody for rising Rx costs, and the most
obvious target is the Big Pharma.
But in this blame game, very little attention is given to the help the
pharmaceutical industry and its partners quietly provide to patients in need
through a variety of programs.
Such programs are often based on the patient’s household income, but
not always. Patients with no health insurance coverage are often the first
group considered eligible. Likewise, those with one or more chronic or
life-threatening conditions are a high priority.
If you fall into one of these categories, check out the Patient Assistance
Programs (PAPs) found on individual pharmaceutical company websites or
through Partnership for Prescription Assistance (www.pparx.org), the website created by
PhRMA, the trade association representing pharmaceutical manufacturers,
linking patients to more than 475 different assistance programs.
On most of these websites, you can be connected with a customer support
team member who can help determine if you are eligible and get you enrolled.
You will be asked to verify that you are insured or uninsured and, in some
cases, provide proof of income. You may need your physician to validate your
condition. But once approved, access to medication is almost immediate.
(Note: Patients enrolled in Medicare or Medicaid may not be eligible.)
Pharmaceutical manufacturers also offer co-pay assistance, in which the
patient is offered help with the cost of medication co-payments. Some co-pay
assistance programs do not limit who is eligible. And, it is important to
know that some co-pay assistance programs will not help people on Medicare.
Each program sets its own rules.
People searching for an online provider should check out www.RxAssist.org. This site was developed
by AstraZeneca, a pharmaceutical manufacturer, with the sole purpose of
helping people access needed medications. It is one of the best sites
The California Chronic Care Coalition (CCCC) launched the website www.mypatientrights.com in California and is
taking it nationwide to help people who have been denied treatment or medicines,
experienced delays or are dissatisfied with the decisions made by their
health plan. Today, this program is operating in 17 states. It helps patients
get the care or treatment they need if denied, or if their plans don’t
cover their meds and force them to pay full price. The program is available
in 17 states—check the website to see if your state has a program.
This holiday season, if you need help with your medications, you are not
alone. Go to the websites cited throughout this article. They can help
connect you with low-cost and free alternatives. It is worth your time to
explore these options. Feel free to e-mail me with your questions.
Jeffrey Lewis, CEO of Legacy Health
Endowment in Turlock, can be reached at email@example.com.
The views expressed are his own.
On the Net:North American Precis Syndicate, Inc.(NAPSI)