It used to be true that the biggest financial issue most of us confronted when we weren’t feeling well was whether we could afford to pay the doctor.   Nowadays, many of us can afford the visits, but can’t afford to have necessary prescriptions filled.

It is for that reason that drug companies have designed what is referred to as Patient Assistance Programs (PAPs). PAPs offer free or low-cost medications to those of us with limited income who are able to get necessary medical care, but can’t afford to follow through with prescribed medications.

Should your doctor provide you with a prescription for medication that you cannot afford to have filled, there is now a way to take action.  Using your internet, locate the PAP program that might assist you in obtaining free or low-cost medications.  The two main websites are:  RxAssist.org and NeedyMeds.org

At both of these sites, you will be asked to:

  1. List the name of the medication you are seeking, with listings under “Brand Name Drugs” and “Generic Name Drugs.”
  2. Click on the specific drug to obtain an application form from the appropriate pharmaceutical company.
  3. Review the eligibility requirements set forth on the application. 
  4. Follow the particular forms’ instructions to provide requested information (e.g., proof of your income, Medi-Cal or private insurance denial letters, prescriptions, and patient consent forms).

There are currently 190 applications for programs available at the NeedyMeds website. You can download the particular company’s form from your computer and fill it in by hand, or can even fill out some of the companies’ forms on-line.  You must mail each completed application to the address listed on the form. If the pharmaceutical company you need to apply to has not listed its form on the website, or if you are not able to print it out, you must contact the program directly, at its listed telephone number.

Unfortunately, not all prescription drugs are covered and, depending on the particular drug or pharmaceutical company, eligibility requirements may differ. While this may not be a long-term solution for the high cost of prescription drugs – it might provide some of us with at least short-term relief.

It used to be true that the biggest financial issue most of us confronted when we weren’t feeling well was whether we could afford to pay the doctor.   Nowadays, many of us can afford the visits, but can’t afford to have necessary prescriptions filled.

It is for that reason that drug companies have designed what is referred to as Patient Assistance Programs (PAPs). PAPs offer free or low-cost medications to those of us with limited income who are able to get necessary medical care, but can’t afford to follow through with prescribed medications.

Should your doctor provide you with a prescription for medication that you cannot afford to have filled, there is now a way to take action.  Using your internet, locate the PAP program that might assist you in obtaining free or low-cost medications.  The two main websites are:  RxAssist.org and NeedyMeds.org

At both of these sites, you will be asked to:

  1. List the name of the medication you are seeking, with listings under “Brand Name Drugs” and “Generic Name Drugs.”
  2. Click on the specific drug to obtain an application form from the appropriate pharmaceutical company.
  3. Review the eligibility requirements set forth on the application. 
  4. Follow the particular forms’ instructions to provide requested information (e.g., proof of your income, Medi-Cal or private insurance denial letters, prescriptions, and patient consent forms).

There are currently 190 applications for programs available at the NeedyMeds website. You can download the particular company’s form from your computer and fill it in by hand, or can even fill out some of the companies’ forms on-line.  You must mail each completed application to the address listed on the form. If the pharmaceutical company you need to apply to has not listed its form on the website, or if you are not able to print it out, you must contact the program directly, at its listed telephone number.

Unfortunately, not all prescription drugs are covered and, depending on the particular drug or pharmaceutical company, eligibility requirements may differ. While this may not be a long-term solution for the high cost of prescription drugs – it might provide some of us with at least short-term relief.