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trisha01
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Prescription Assistance Programs, includes test strips, insulin, lancets, and pump supplies help

Please feel free to add to the list. Thanks.

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This next one is for folks that need prescription assistance; and also has a discount card for your scripts. Below the link is an article on the site, that explains how to use the site. I asked for and received, permission from the co-founder to reprint the article.

I edited at 1313 on 4/8/11for an update....for diabetics and non-diabetics,...includes insulin, test strips, and lancets.

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Prescription Assistance Programs

Pharmaceutical Companies Helping Patients Get Their Medicines
By Richard J. Sagall, M.D.

It's a choice no one should have to make - pay rent and buy food or get prescriptions filled. Yet all too often it's a choice Americans, particularly older Americans, have to make.

Over 40 million Americans have no health insurance, and millions more have limited coverage. Many Americans just can't afford healthcare, and, if they can, they don't have the money to buy their medicines.

Patient Assistance Programs
There is help available for many people who can't afford their medicines. These programs, frequently called patient assistance programs (PAPs), are designed to help those in need obtain their medicines at no cost or very low cost.

Many, but not all, 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. As one PAP director once told me, many people who can't afford their medicines now will go on to obtain some type of coverage. And when they do get this coverage, they will continue using the medication provided by the PAP.

In 2005, PAPs helped over 7 million people. The programs filled over 36 million prescriptions with a total wholesale value of over $5 billion.

The Basics of the Programs
All PAPs are designed to help those in need obtain their medicines. Since each pharmaceutical company establishes its own rules and guidelines, all are different. All have income guidelines, but they vary considerably. Each company selects which drugs are available on their programs and how long a person can receive assistance.

How PAPs Work
Although no two programs are exactly the same, most require that the applicant complete an application form. The amount of information required varies. Some programs require detailed medical and financial information, others very little. All require a doctor's signature. Certain programs require the doctor complete a portion of the form while others only need a signed prescription.

Most send the medicines to the doctor's office for distribution to the patients, while others send the medicine to a pharmacy. A few send a certificate to the patient gives to give the pharmacist.

Some patients need drugs for a long time. Most, but not all, programs that cover medicines used to treat chronic diseases offer refills.

What Medicines are Covered
The pharmaceutical companies decide if they will have a PAP and, if they do, which of their medicines will be available through the program. Some include many or all of the medicines they manufacture while others include only a few. The reasons for these decisions are not something they reveal.

There are a few programs that sell generic medications at a fixed price - currently $18 for a three-month supply and $30 for a six-month supply. These programs are adding more drugs all the time.

Sometimes a medicine or a certain dosage of that medicine will be on a program, then off, and then back on again. Or one dose of the medicine will be on the program but a different dose won't be.

How to Learn about PAPs
Your doctor is not the best source of information on PAPs. Surprisingly, many doctors don't even know PAPs exist. The same applies for pharmacists. Many social workers know about the programs. Books in the library or bookstore on PAPs are probably outdated before they are printed.

The best place to learn about PAPs is the Internet. There are a number of sites that have information on these programs. Many pharmaceutical companies have information on their patient assistant programs on their websites. Unfortunately, it's often hard to find the page that describes their PAP.

Types of Websites
There are two types of websites with information on patient assistance programs. Three sites list information on patient assistance programs - NeedyMeds (www.needymeds.com), RxAssist (www.rxassist.org), and HelpingPatients.org (www.helpingpatients.org). There is no charge to use the information. These sites don't have a program of their own nor do they help people get their medicines.

NeedyMeds is a non-profit funded by donations, sales of software for managing PAPs, and other sources. The Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA), an association and lobbying group whose members include many of the larger pharmaceutical manufacturers, runs HelpingPatients.org, which has information on PhRMA members programs.

Then there are a number of sites that charge people to learn about patient assistance programs and complete the application forms. The charges vary, as does the quality of their services. Some offer a money-back guarantee if they can't get your medicines.

How to Use NeedyMeds
Most PAP sites contain similar information. They differ in how they organize the material, the ease in accessing the information, and the timeliness of their data.

To use the NeedyMeds site you begin with the name of your medicine. There are two ways you can check to see if your medicines are available in a patient assistance program. One is to click on the drug list. This brings up an alphabetical list of all the drugs currently on PAPs. Find the medicine you take and clink on its name. This will bring up the program page.

On the program page, you will learn about the specifics of the PAP - the qualification guidelines, the application process, the information you need to supply, what your doctor must complete, etc. In addition, you will learn if there's a downloadable application on the website or if you must get an application from the company. (Some companies accept copies of their application form while others require you complete an original.)

If you know the medicine's manufacturer, you can click on the programs list. From there, you can click on the program you want to learn more about. That should bring up the information you need.

Once you get the information you need, it's up to you to complete the applications, get the necessary signatures, and send the form to the program.

A Few Tips
The most common problem patients encounter when completing the application forms is lack of physician cooperation. Over and over I hear from people whose physicians just won't complete the forms - or charge to do it. I am asked what they should do.

Here are a few suggestions:
1. Make sure you have completed everything on the form that you can. Not only should you complete the applicant's section, but anything else you can fill in. This may include the physician's name and address, phone number, etc.
2. Bring all the information your doctor may need. For example, some programs require proof of income. If so, attach whatever documents are required.
3. Bring an addressed envelope with the appropriate postage.
4. Don't expect your doctor to complete the form immediately. A busy doctor may not have time to read the form while you are in the office.
5. If you encounter resistance, tell your doctor that without his/her help, you won't be able to obtain the medicines he/she is prescribing. Be blunt.
6. If all else fails, you may need to find a physician more sympathetic to your plight and willing to help you.

What if I Don't Have a Computer
Many people without a computer can still use the information available on these websites. Nearly everyone knows someone with a computer - a family member, a neighbor, or a friend. Most public libraries have computers for public use and people who can help those not familiar with their use.

Summary
Patient assistance programs may not be the best solution to the problem of inability to pay for medication, but they can help many people. Millions of people use PAPs to get the medicines they need but can¹t afford. If you can't afford your medicines, a patient assistance program may be able to help you.

Richard J. Sagall, M.D., is a board certified family physician. He cofounded NeedyMeds and continues to run the site. He can be reached via the website, www.needymeds.com. He lives in Gloucester, MA.
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Trisha



Trisha

IDDM (Type 1 Autoimmune) 30+ years ~ Currently using MDI & Minimed CGM ~
Check out my diabetes blog!

  All brittle means, is that one has great fluctuations, which is pretty much hallmark for Type 1's. Some more so than others. - me
  First light brings a new day, new hope, new wisdom, and a chance to start fresh again. - me

If everyone were dealt the same amount of cards, there would be no challenges in life. Challenges are part of life's lessons, to teach us to grow in all aspects, and to learn what we need to learn, to make it in this world. Life was not meant to be fair. -me



~ New Type 1 Info ~ Insulin, Test Strips, Lancets, and other meds ~ Kidney Damage Info ~


New Member
karasue
Total Posts: 2
Registered on: ‎08-26-2010

Prescription Assistance Programs, includes test strips, insulin, lancets, and pump supplies help

Thank you for reposting Trisha!  My niece is having a very difficult time paying for her Novolog.  I got on here to see if I could find some help and there you were!  I really appreciate your help!
Kara Sue
Frequent Responder
robertmiles
Total Posts: 423
Registered on: ‎02-01-2010

Prescription Assistance Programs, includes test strips, insulin, lancets, and pump supplies help

I've found a few sites that appear to offer help for prescriptions, along with a warning that they appear to be rather spotty in prescriptions for WHAT they can help with.

http://www.pfizerhelpfulanswers.com/pages/misc/Default.aspx

http://thewellnessfoundation.com/

http://www.freemedicalcamps.com/

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/10/31/AR2008103101756.html?nav=rss_health

http://www.needymeds.org/

Some appear to be connected to commercial sites, but still offering some assistance with free medicines.  I haven't needed to check which ones that is actually true for; feel free to edit out any that actually charge for the medicine.

Also, if you're interested in participating in clinical trials of treatments so new they do not have FDA approval to charge for them yet:

http://clinicaltrials.gov/

Another idea - you could always ask the doctor if there's something cheaper that works almost as well.
trisha01
Total Posts: 6,250
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Prescription Assistance Programs, includes test strips, insulin, lancets, and pump supplies help

[ Edited ]

The url is compliments of Kelly in this discussion on our T1 board. The link given has a list of places that take donated pump supplies. Kelly mentioned that if they take donations, they also give them away. There may be qualifying factors, but I don't know that for sure.

 

the link has now been repaired

Trisha




Trisha

IDDM (Type 1 Autoimmune) 30+ years ~ Currently using MDI & Minimed CGM ~
Check out my diabetes blog!

  All brittle means, is that one has great fluctuations, which is pretty much hallmark for Type 1's. Some more so than others. - me
  First light brings a new day, new hope, new wisdom, and a chance to start fresh again. - me

If everyone were dealt the same amount of cards, there would be no challenges in life. Challenges are part of life's lessons, to teach us to grow in all aspects, and to learn what we need to learn, to make it in this world. Life was not meant to be fair. -me



~ New Type 1 Info ~ Insulin, Test Strips, Lancets, and other meds ~ Kidney Damage Info ~


Super Advisor
jpg391
Total Posts: 5,415
Registered on: ‎05-22-2011

Prescription Assistance Programs, includes test strips, insulin, lancets, and pump supplies help

Trisha,

Thanks for the information. I do not have insurance so this is very useful.
James G

I'm just a guy who has had type 2 diabetes for 30+ years.

"It is common sense to take a method and try it. If it fails, admit it frankly and try another. But above all, try something." – Franklin D. Roosevelt

"When you get to the end of your rope, tie a knot and hang on." – Franklin D. Roosevelt

"I always wondered why somebody doesn't do something about that. Then I realized I was somebody." – Lily Tomlin

"Happiness is a state of mind." - Walt Disney

Latest A1C 5.6 on 6/23/14

Lipids test on 8/22/13
Total Cholesterol 132
HDL Cholesterol 45
LDL Cholesterol 68
Triglycerides 94

Medications
2,000mgs X2 a day (2 weeks taking then 1 week not taking, then start over again) Capecirabine for Recital Cancer after surgery.
10mg Simvastain for Cholesterol
500mg Metformin twice a day
10 units Levemir, a long lasting insulin
81mg Asprin once a day
40mg of Quinapril (also known as Accupril) twice a day for HBP
20mg of Lexapro once a day for depression
1mg of Doxazosin once a day at bed time for a Prostate problem
30mg of Buspirone twice a day for Anxiety
New Member
dlynnsutton
Total Posts: 1
Registered on: ‎08-02-2011

Prescription Assistance Programs, includes test strips, insulin, lancets, and pump supplies help

Thank-you so much for the links, they are so helpful!:smileyhappy:  I have recently been disabled, I have been on the insulin pump for 15 years, for which I have had insurance.  I am in desparate need of help with obtaining my pump supplies, I no longer have insurance coverage, I have been told that I will have to wait 24 months until medicare will pick me up, one month of pump supplies cost over $400.00, that is impossible for someone on  a fixed income.  I have been able to get help with insulin and other meds thru needymeds, but they do not cover those expensive pump supplies.  I have been a type 1 diabetic for 38 years, I cannot go back on the injections for the damage to my muscle tissues.  I need some help if anyone has any suggestions.  Thanks!!!
Frequent Responder
robertmiles
Total Posts: 423
Registered on: ‎02-01-2010

Prescription Assistance Programs, includes test strips, insulin, lancets, and pump supplies help

One possibility to consider:  Are there any medical schools in your area?  SOME medical schools offer some types of free medical care to anyone who can get there and volunteer to be treated by their doctors in training.  You could help them know more about insulin pumps.  However, you might want to call ahead and ask what types of free medical care if it's a long trip.

Since you're disabled, you MAY be able to get Medicare coverage in less time.  However, even then, getting approved in less than a year is uncommon.  Have you told Medicare about your reason for not going back on injections?
trisha01
Total Posts: 6,250
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Registered on: ‎10-31-2009

Prescription Assistance Programs, includes test strips, insulin, lancets, and pump supplies help

Hi DLynn,

Up above your post, is a link to Islets of Hope. That is just about the only place, that may be able to help you. Good luck, and stay well.

p.s. One more thing, when you go on Medicare, you will probably have to fight tooth and nail, to get your supplies, to get a new pump. If you have never had a C-peptide test, it is one of three things that will be required. In the search box on the main T1 page, type in Medicare. Look for any posts by Kellywpa. She has loads of Medicare info in her discussions.

Trisha



Trisha

IDDM (Type 1 Autoimmune) 30+ years ~ Currently using MDI & Minimed CGM ~
Check out my diabetes blog!

  All brittle means, is that one has great fluctuations, which is pretty much hallmark for Type 1's. Some more so than others. - me
  First light brings a new day, new hope, new wisdom, and a chance to start fresh again. - me

If everyone were dealt the same amount of cards, there would be no challenges in life. Challenges are part of life's lessons, to teach us to grow in all aspects, and to learn what we need to learn, to make it in this world. Life was not meant to be fair. -me



~ New Type 1 Info ~ Insulin, Test Strips, Lancets, and other meds ~ Kidney Damage Info ~


(anon)
Total Posts: 0

Prescription Assistance Programs, includes test strips, insulin, lancets, and pump supplies help

Hi Trisha,

I’m a research analyst conducting a survey of people who’ve dealt with insulin-dependent diabetes.  (We study medical devices for diabetes.)  If you would be willing to fill out a brief survey in exchange for a $5 Starbucks gift card, please email us at to let us know you’re interested.  Thanks for your consideration.
Long Lost Member
flgirl8@gmail.com
Total Posts: 2
Registered on: ‎02-23-2011

Prescription Assistance Programs, includes test strips, insulin, lancets, and pump supplies help

I sure wish I had read about the Needy Meds organization before I Googled PAPs and got involved with SCBN.  They will provide me with insulin & Cymbalta at much better cost than full price, but I've now commited to them for one year paying them $25/mth for each medicine.  I was under the impression that Lilly didn't have a PAP since I couldn't find info online.