Great News for Low Income Families

Great news for low income families
If you are single and your annual income is less than $20,000.00 or if you are married with an annual income of less than $28,000.00 you could get your prescriptions for free. Larger families can have even greater incomes and still qualify. Pharmaceutical Companies Helping Patients Get Their Medicines No one should have to make the choice between paying rent or buying food and getting prescription filled nevertheless, there are millions of Americans that are forced to make that decision every day. Close to 50 million Americans have no health insurance; even more have coverage that is limited. Most cannot afford health care at all, and, if they can, they do not have prescription coverage. Help is available for people who can’t afford their medicines. These programs, frequently called Prescription Assistance Programs (PAPs) are available for low-income, uninsured Americans. These programs are designed to help those in need obtain their medicines at no cost or very low cost. Most pharmaceutical companies have PAPs. The manufacturers who have programs do so for various reasons. Some believe that they have a corporate social obligation to help those who can’t afford their products. Others believe it’s a good marketing tool. More than 5 million Americans enrolled in patient assistance programs in 2005. Over 14 billion prescriptions were filled for patients in the program. By making prescription medication available to those that can’t afford it, health care costs resulting from non treatment of chronic conditions are better controlled and help reduce the impact of inflation on health care.
In addition to drug company programs, there are several organizations that can provide discounts or can help patients with application paperwork for other existing programs. The Partnership for Prescription Assistance Program provides low-income and uninsured patients with the paperwork they need for more than 475 patient assistance programs. They have a very aggressive marketing campaign with talk show host Montell Williams as their spokesperson. In addition to helping patients with drug programs, they also help those who may be eligible for Medicare, Medicaid and state child health insurance programs.
Representatives of the manufacturers, for instance, seemed to believe that offering information via websites, toll-free numbers is essentially all that patients need to access PAPs. They don’t appear to appreciate the inability of many (most?) patients, particularly those on multiple medications from 2 or more doctors to follow through with the application process. It also places an unfair burden on the medical practice that is already overburdened with paperwork.


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