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Patient Assistance Programs.

Find how Patient Assistance Programs help low income families, the uninsured and others get the medications they need. All of the pharmaceutical and drug companies offer this form of financial help to the less fortunate. The goal of a Patient Assistance Programs (PAP), including those listed below, is to ensure that low income families, the elderly, disabled as well as people with no health insurance as well as the sick can get access to the medications they need for their medical condition.

Many Americans receive help to pay for the high costs of prescription drugs through their private health insurance or government programs such as Medicare and Medicaid. For many who lack coverage this benefit or insurance, for people that have a limited income or that do not have financial resources, the high cost of some drugs can result in not filling a prescription. Or some patients may take a smaller amount of the recommended dosage or taking it less frequently than prescribed as they can’t afford the proper dosage Failure to take drugs as prescribed by a doctor often leads to further health complications.

To assist low-income and uninsured persons who require prescription drugs, most pharmaceutical companies have voluntarily created Patient Assistance Programs. PAPs offer free or low-cost drugs, coupons or vouchers to persons meeting eligibility requirements.  Most brand-name drugs are covered.

A Patient Assistance Program can also help a household that is enrolled into Medicaid or that lives on SSI disability. There is also support for the uninsured, unemployed or sick that need a life-saving medicine to treat their medical condition. Some of the Patient Programs also cover conditions such as cancer, diabetes, heart disease, give financial help to pay for insulin, and address many other conditions.

What is a PAP - Patient Assistance Program

The operation, benefits and requirements to enroll in each company's PAP differ. In general, applicants must be U.S. citizens or legal residents who fall below a specific household income level and who do not have prescription insurance coverage. However, some companies will offer assistance to persons who have insurance or Medicare Part D prescription coverage if specific hardship requirements are met or if a medication's cost is not covered by insurance.

 

 

 

The enrollment process differs by drug company. Most require an application to be completed online or in writing by a patient and health care provider. You may be required to submit a copy of a prescription or a letter from a doctor regarding your health condition and need for the medicine.

PAPs offer differing levels of financial assistance or free medications based on income. For example, if annual income falls below $20,000, a drug may be provided for free, but if income is just under $30,000, an applicant might receive a 75% discount.

Assistance is provided in varying ways. Some Patient Assistance Programs reimburse enrollees who submit a receipt for a drug purchase. Others provide coupons that can be redeemed at a pharmacy. A PAP may have a relationship with a specific pharmacy where a discount will be applied at the time of purchase. Some PAPs will ship drugs directly to the patient's home or to that person's health care provider.

There is no charge for applying to a PAP. Some third-party organizations, not affiliated with the drug companies, charge a small fee to assist persons with their applications. While most people should be able to prepare and submit an application on their own, for some seniors or persons with disabilities, paying a small fee for assistance may prove beneficial.

How to apply for a PAP from a drug company

Almost all drug and pharmaceutical companies offer some form of financial help or discounted rates to low income patients as well as individuals that lack health insurance or that have limited coverage. The assistance from a drug company can often be combined with other financial help, such as from the government or a non-profit organization. Or look into specific help for diabetics, including subscription plans, patient assistance programs or discounted insulin plans.

The first step a patient will need to take is to see if they qualify for free or discounted prescription drug medications. As noted, income, asset and/or insurance criteria will often need to be met. People can inquire into the programs by calling a pharmaceutical company or ask their doctor or local pharmacist about any PAPs out there. This can also be done online or by calling one of the customer service numbers for the pharmaceutical company.

 

 

 

 

If the patient qualifies, they will then need to determine if the medications they need are covered. As each pharmaceutical company offers their type of medications, drugs and more. Patients need to determine which are available under a Patient Assistance Program as there are many drug companies that offer them. Many doctors can notify the patient of eligibility requirements and what is covered. Or contact one of the pharmaceutical companies below.

Once someone chooses to apply in a Patient Assistance Program, they will need to answer questions in regards to their current insurance coverage, income and household assets. Both the applicant and their physician must sign the application form(s) needed for the programs. As there often needs to be a valid prescription from a medical doctor for the medication.

They then must then send applications to each pharmaceutical company to be approved by them. Or online applications can be done. All of these steps need to be completed in order for patients to be eligible to receive the medications. The application process is fairly straightforward.

The prescription drug manufacturer may decide to send the medication(s) directly to the patient's home, your local pharmacy, or the physician's office. The way the medicine is delivered will vary depending on the medication that is needed, the program being offered, or drug company that you are dealing with.

The assistance programs are private and the applications are confidential. Most of drug companies provide either generic or more expensive brand name prescription medications free of charge to eligible families and individuals. Some of the pharmaceutical companies may not offer free medications, but instead they will provide a a reduced price to the patient. While help is primarily offered for the uninsured, unemployed and those with a limited income, there is also aid available to others as well.

List of Patient Assistance Programs (PAPs) from pharmaceutical companies

More than 65% of American adults take prescription drugs according the Health Policy Institute. There are more than 20,000 prescription drugs approved for marketing, and the cost of these medications continues to rise.

While prescription drug use generally increases with age, people of all backgrounds, ages, and income rely on them. Many patients need medications for serious conditions, such as depression, diabetes/insulin, or other medical conditions. As far as age goes, over 25% of adolescents use prescription drugs and that number increases to over 45% of adults aged 20-59 years and 85% of adults aged 60 and older.

Most drug companies offer some type of help to those that qualify. There are a variety of patient assistance programs that may be available to the low income, elderly, disabled or uninsured. Find more details below. Companies provide free medications, prescriptions, financial assistance, coupons, and more.

Abbot offers free medications to people who are experiencing a financial hardship. The Abbott prescription assistance program helps tens of thousands of patients per year. Even if a patient is not qualified they may still be provided a discount on what they need. The company provides numerous medications free of charge.

AstraZeneca - Free or low cost medications are offered for three different types of situations. The uninsured,  patients on government insurance programs such as Medicaid or Medicare, and the low income who are faced with a crisis will tend to be the primary recipients of the prescription medications from AstraZeneca. Tens of thousands of low to moderate income patients benefit every year. Click here for more information on AstraZeneca patient assistance programs, including phone numbers and details on the application process.

 

 

 

 

Prescription Assistance Programs also target individuals that have diabetes. This medical condition now impacts tens of millions of Americans, and the cost of insulin and other medications continues to escalate. The assistance available ranges from vouchers to free medications. Resources can benefit the underinsured as well low income households. More on free diabetes medications.

Eli Lilly has increased the income cutoff for its Lily Cares assistance program so more families can get free prescription drugs. This pharmaceutical company also works closely with non-profits to provide support to households living in poverty. Millions of dollars worth of items are distributed to the low income and uninsured every year. Get free medications from Eli Lilly.

GlaxoSmithKline offers prescription drug assistance as well to those that qualify. The PAP is making their medications easier to obtain, and it is targeted for people who are uninsured, unemployed, or who may be struggling to make ends meet. Dozens of drugs are covered. Read more on GlaxoSmithKline GSK patient assistance program.

Johnson and Johnson. This leading pharmaceutical company also offer a prescription assistance program to patients who lack health insurance or have a limited income. Learn how to get free prescription drugs from Johnson and Johnson.

Merck has expanded its Patience Assistance Program to provide more medications to a greater percentage of the population. Dozens of drugs may be issued wither for free or at a substantial discount. The income level has been increased so more people qualify, and the funding provided by Merck has increased. More on patient assistance programs from Merk.

The company also provides other support to low income families, including children, Another one of the prescription programs offered by Merck is the Merck Vaccine Patient Assistance Program.

Novo Nordisk, and the NovoCare patient assistance program, focus on providing free insulin and diabetes supplies. The provide financial assistance, monthly payment plans to make the insulin more affordable, and support for the elderly or disabled among others. It is estimated that millions of people with diabetes can receive assistance from the drug company. More on the patient assistance program from Novo Nordisk.

Pfizer operates a multi-faceted patient assistance program. There are hundreds of medications that are covered by the company, including both brand name and generics. The focus is on helping any low to moderate income patient that lives in the United States, that has a prescription from a medical professional, and who either lacks insurance or their coverage will not pay enough for the drug.

Clients of the Pfizer assistance program range from families living in poverty who are on Medicaid to low income senior citizens on Medicare. There is also help given to the uninsured as well as households that have some form of private health insurance plan that is limited in the amount of prescription drug coverage given to them. Many situations are addressed, and find more information on Pfizer patient assistance program.

Sanofi helps families living within 500% of poverty levels. The program is known as the Patient Assistance Connection and it offers dozens of prescription drugs, many of which are focused on people with diabetes. In addition, the company provides a Resource Center that gives out information on other social services or low cost medical programs. More on the Sanofi Patient Assistance Connection program.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bottom line on assistance from drug companies

There are several ways to find a Patient Assistance Program that covers your required medication. Contact the pharmaceutical company or “manufacturer” and ask if it has PAP. Or ask your local pharmacy or doctor. Another option is to simple search online using your medication's name and "assistance program." Enter the medication name on the GoodRx website and review the section under "Savings Tips."

Patient Assistance Programs have proven to be a vital safety net for millions of Americans who might otherwise have been unable to obtain required prescription drug medications. They are often a lifeline for the elderly, low income and uninsured. By providing increased access to hundreds of high-cost medications, PAPs have helped patients to comply with drug regimens prescribed by their doctors. In turn, this has resulted in reducing the number of doctor visits while improving the health of patients enrolled in these programs.

Many pharmaceutical companies are stepping up to the plate to provide additional discounted or free medications to people. These corporations are also trying to ensure that anyone that can’t afford the medication they need has some options available to them. The unemployed, elderly, disabled and low income often qualify, whether they have insurance or not. Be sure to look into and apply to these.

A number of pharmaceutical companies partner with needhelppayingbills on providing low income families assistance, which can help patients get the prescription drugs they need. Find more details on pharmaceutical company partners of needhelppayingbills.com

By Jon McNamara

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