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Low Cost Medicines
Finding Low-Cost or Free Medicine
Because so many low-income patients cannot afford the medicines they need, patient assistance programs have been developed. Most doctors are either unaware or under-informed about these programs. If the patient cannot qualify for state or federal insurance (Medicaid, military or veteran coverage, etc) many communities and states have developed assistance programs. For a list of state programs, go to www.rxassist.org/pdfs/state_programs.pdf.
If the patient is unable to find coverage through one of these programs, the pharmaceutical companies have developed various patient assistance programs. Probably the easiest way to determine whether a medicine might be covered is to go to one of four websites. These are https://www.pparx.org/Intro.php, www.needymeds.com/, www.helpingpatients.org and www.rxassist.org/. These sites allow you to click on a drug list. Once a specific medicine is chosen, available assistance programs along with relevant qualifying criteria are brought up. Most of these are for brand name medicines. www.rxoutreach.com/en/tn/tn1.aspx which is part of Rxassist helps provide generic medicines.
Once you find a program that offers the medicine your patient needs, both you (or your staff) and the patient will be required to fill out some paperwork. Some programs will require the patient to provide financial information such as a W-2 form or a tax return. With a little work on your part, you could make a huge difference for your patient.
A helpful article which explains the patient assistant programs in more detail is available at http://www.needymeds.com/indices/article.shtml.
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