Patient assistance programs
Many pharmaceutical companies and nonprofit organizations offer financial assistance to patients who cannot afford to pay for their medications. Patients may be able to obtain free or discounted medications through the manufacturer directly. Patients should first contact the pharmaceutical company directly because the manufacturer may be the resource able to provide the fastest service.
Biologic drug manufacturers
Government assistance programs
Kaiser Family Foundation
In addition to the internal review of appeals conducted by a health plan, many states also conduct "external reviews" or "independent reviews." Learn more, and find contact information your state insurance commission, on this site.
This site contains information on Medicare Prescription Drug plans and a tool to find the plans in each state that cover a specific drug.
Foundations assisting patients
Many people might find themselves choosing between medications and other important necessities of life. Access2wellness provides access to one of the broadest selections of assistance programs that offer more than 1,000 prescription medications, for free or at a discount, to those who qualify.
American Association for Retired People (AARP)
Discounts on some pharmaceutical products are available to members.
Designed for people over age 55, this online tool can be used to connect to government programs that can help pay for prescription drugs, health care, utilities, and other needs. The site contains information on more than 1300 programs from all fifty states.
Chronic Disease Fund
Founded in 2003, the Chronic Disease Fund provides assistance to patients who are underinsured and need assistance with co-pays for expensive, specialty therapeutics, such as biologics.
The Free Medicine Program
The mission of the Free Medicine Foundation is to help patients nationwide of all ages obtain free prescription drugs. Those without prescription coverage, with low-income, or those with maxed-out prescription benefits are encouraged to apply. Individuals with Social Security Disability or SSI without prescription coverage and those who earn too much to qualify for public assistance such as Medicaid are also encouraged to apply.
Georgetown University Health Policy Institute
Access state-specific consumer guides for acquiring and keeping health insurance.
The HealthWell Foundation is an independent, charitable organization that assists eligible individuals in obtaining prescription medications. The Foundation provides financial assistance to eligible individuals to pay insurance premiums, prescription drug coinsurance, co-payments and deductibles and other select out-of-pocket health costs.
National Organization for Rare Diseases (NORD)
NORD works with people with no health insurance, policies which do not reimburse prescription medications or policies with low annual caps on prescription drug expenditures to help obtain the medications they need.
Search this online database for patient assistance programs by drug brand name, generic name, or program name.
Partnership for Prescription Assistance
Its mission is to increase awareness of patient assistance programs and boost enrollment of those who are eligible. Through this site, the Partnership for Prescription Assistance offers a single point of access to more than 475 public and private patient assistance programs, including more than 150 programs offered by pharmaceutical companies.
Patient Advocate Foundation
Patient Advocate Foundation offers assistance to patients with specific issues they are facing with their insurer, employer and/or creditor regarding insurance, job retention and/or debt crisis matters relative to their diagnosis of life threatening or debilitating diseases. The Foundation can provide assistance with a variety of issues including insurance appeals, access to medications, expedited application for Social Security Disability, Medicare, Medicaid and other social programs, denial of health benefits and transportation to medical treatment.
Pharmaceutical and Research Manufacturers of America (PhRMA)
Use this Web site, sponsored by PhRMA and participating pharmaceutical companies, to search for information and application forms for company and state programs by company name, drug name or state. Applications for certain programs are available online.
Volunteers in Health
Although this site is primarily for healthcare providers, it contains some information designed specifically for patients. Be sure to review the information pack on medication assistance, a guide for those who cannot afford all or some of their prescription drug costs. Assistance programs can also be searched by company, drug name and drug class.
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