Patient Assistance Programs: Financial Help for Medication

A doctor extending his hand with a bottle of pills

For consumers who have difficulty affording their medications, there are medication assistance programs that are provided by the individual manufacturers of the different medications. These are called by a number of different names including “Patient Assistance Programs” and “Indigent Patient Programs”. These programs provide medications at a very reduced price.

In most cases, you will have to verify your income, as they are income sensitive. They also require the help of your Doctors office in filling out.

In the meantime, inform your physician you are doing this, and ask for samples. Tell him you want to continue taking your medications, and are trying all steps to be able to do so.

The most direct route is to determine who the manufacturer is of your medication is. Your pharmacist can provide you with this information. Then, contact that manufacturer directly. You can contact them through their website, and often find the forms on their site, via their toll-free number (Which the pharmacist can also give you), and ask for their patient medication assistance program.

Another great resource is PhRMA, an alliance of Drug Manufacturers. Once you know the manufacturer of the medication, you can wisit the PhRMA website and look up their available programs by manufacturer. You can also call PhRMA toll-free at 1-800-762-4636.

PhRMA also has the website “helpingpatients” at which is essentially an eligibility calculator that assists you in determining your eligibility for various programs, and saves the steps of having to know the manufacturer. All you need to provide is:

  • Your age
  • Your state
  • Your household income
  • Number of people in the house
  • If you are pregnant
  • If you have insurance
  • If your Insurance covers the medication you are looking for help with
  • The medication name

And you run the eligibility calculator separately for each medication. It will then tell you if it appears you are eligible for a patient assistance program from the manufacturer.

Good luck and Good hunting!

Derek Wood is a Nationally Board Certified Psychiatric/Mental Health Nurse, and holds a Master's degree in Psychology. His experience in the online arena of mental health can be traced back to 1997, when he was a host for Online Psych on AOL. He joined Get Mental Help, Inc. as Clinical Content Director for Mental Health Matters. Derek, with his wife Lisa, developed the original version of psychTracker (then called A Mood Journal), after his diagnosis with Schizo-Affective Bipolar, when they could not find a system available that was robust enough to help him effectively manage his symptoms and accurately interpret his charting. Derek has worked in the field of mental health since 2001, as a Unit Manager of an adult long-term treatment facility, a charge nurse in an adolescent short-term inpatient facility and long-term residential facility, and as a School Psychologist. He has also written several articles which are being used as CEU for nurses and educators.

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