Prescription Drug Assistance Programs

Many pharmaceutical companies provide prescription medicines free of charge to individuals who cannot otherwise afford them. Arrangements are generally made through the individual’s physician. In addition, many states have prescription assistance programs which may be age- or income-based. The following guides should be useful:
Directory of Prescription Drug Patient Assistance Programs, 2001-2002
Developed by the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA), this guide lists company programs that provide drugs to physicians whose patients could not otherwise afford them. The programs are listed alphabetically by company. Under the entry for each program is information about how to make a request for assistance, what prescription medicines are covered, and basic eligibility criteria. The directory can be access from this page in html or pdf format.
Indigent Prescription Programs Listed on Edmund’s Home Page
This home page of Edmund M. Hayes, a pharmacist at University Medical Center, State University of New York at Stony Brook, includes this handy chart listing companies, program names, products covered, and telephone numbers.
The Medicine Program
This organization assists people who may qualify to enroll in one or more patient assistance program by preparing and processing all the needed paperwork. This seems to be a very useful service for folks who can’t or don’t wish to handle this themselves. There is a charge of $5 per drug.
Needy Meds
This web site by Rich Sagall, M.D. includes an alphabetical list of some 1,000 drugs. You can go to the “Drug List” and click on the drug that interests you for information about available assistance programs. Or, you can go to the “Company List” for a list of all the companies in the Needy Meds system, and click on the company that interests you for more information.
NORD’s Patient Assistance Programs
Information about NORD’s (National Organization for Rare Disorders) Medication Assistance Programs, which provide a number of specific prescription drugs to people who cannot afford them.
Prescription Drug Assistance Programs (Medicare)
A searchable database of prescription drug assistance programs, Medicare managed care plans, and Medigap plans that offer prescription drug coverage. The database can be searched by geographic area, manufacturers, and conditions or diseases. Presents a good rundown of the variety of resources that may be available to meet your specific needs.
Prescription Drug Patient Assistance Programs (NAMI)
A list of free or low-cost mental illness medications provided by pharmaceutical companies from the National Alliance for the Mentally Ill. – State and Federal Assistance
This commercial website features an easy-to-use guide to low or no cost government funded prescription programs. Just click on your state for basic program information, including eligibility criteria, web links, and phone numbers.
State Pharmacy Assistance Programs and Discount Proposals
A state-by-state table of Medicaid expansions, pharmacy assistance subsidy programs, discount programs, and other strategies to expand coverage or reduce drug prices. In pdf format only.
Related Subjects
Financial Information
Health Care – Funding
Resources in your state

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