Saturday, July 30, 2011

Where to get help with medication costs!

Between the cost of ra prescriptions and the copays, we have little if any money left at the end of the month. And that's for folks with insurance! For the poor souls without insurance, the cost of ra is overwhelming.

Here are some online resources to hopefully help you…

"What is the Partnership for Prescription Assistance???
The Partnership for Prescription Assistance helps qualifying patients without prescription drug coverage get the medicines they need through the program that is right for them. Many will get their medications free or nearly free.
The Partnership for Prescription Assistance will help you find the program that’s right for you, free of charge. Remember, you will never be asked for money by a PPA Call Center representative, or on this Web site."
"Patient assistance programs are run by pharmaceutical companies to provide free medications to people who cannot afford to buy their medicine. RxAssist offers a comprehensive database of these patient assistance programs, as well as practical tools, news, and articles so that health care professionals and patients can find the information they need. All in one place."
This next website seems more specific to mental illness medications; however, at the bottom is a list of all pharmaceutical companies with their corresponding phone numbers and websites. Two things…many ra patients are also treated for depression and might need assistance with these types of medications and we all need to contact our specific medication manufacturers directly to see if they offer assistance programs for our specific ra medications.
"Patient Prescription Drug Assistance Programs
Free or low-cost medications provided by pharmaceutical companies
Some pharmaceutical companies offer medication assistance programs to low-income individuals and families. These programs typically require a doctor’s consent and proof of financial status. They may also require that you have either no health insurance, or no prescription drug benefit through your health insurance. Please contact the pharmaceutical company directly for specific eligibility requirements and application information."
Needy Meds - They also has a link to find medical clinics in each state that operate on a sliding scale. 
"Welcome! NeedyMeds is an online information resource of programs that provide assistance to people who are unable to afford their medications and health care costs.
Please note that we do not run any assistance programs, we do not have a NeedyMeds application, and we do not supply medicine or financial assistance. We do maintain current information about many sources of assistance that anyone can use without registering or entering any personal data.
All of our information is provided at no cost and is updated daily. All of the program information can be accessed from the links on the left-hand menu."
In addition About has some great resources on how to reduce your medication costs if you have to pay out of pocket for your medicine. I suggest you read the articles for full details.
A few of the About strategies include:
  • First, speak with your doctor
  • Generic medications
  • Shop around pharmacies in your area.
  • Shop for generics at "Big Box" stores.
  • Stick to the no-name brand when buying an over-the-counter (OTC).
  • Learn about pill splitting.
  • Go postal and buy thru the mail.
  • Buy medications online.
  • Choose your health plan wisely.
  • Ask your doctor to prescribe a cheaper alternative.

If you have any additional resources or suggestions that you have successfully used to cut your prescription drug costs, do share. The more the merrier!

Further Reading on the Internet:
7 Blockbuster Patents Expire Soon

Further reading on ABCS of RA:
My Wish List of Medical Tests
Adverse Reporting System...A Dirty Little Secret!