Patient Assistance Programs Can Offer Much Needed Help With Medication Costs

The American medical system works well for some, but isn’t always forgiving for people in need. The cost of medications mean that if your health insurance doesn’t cover them, you could quickly find yourself in financial troubles. People who end up with chronic conditions that require prescription medications on a long term basis are especially susceptible to potential financial ruin. 

Some people are able to qualify for patient assistance programs. These programs are run by non profit organizations, states and many drug manufacturers to allow people who quite simply can’t afford a prescription medication to get some assistance in getting them. These programs aren’t available to everyone, so applications are necessary to ensure that only people who truly need them qualify. 

What is a Patient Assistance Program

Quite simply, a patient assistance program is any sort of program that’s designed to help people get much needed prescription medication at reduced or zero cost to themselves. These programs are designed around prescription medications that are truly necessary to survival. Diabetes is a disease that’s a good example. Without being able to take proper injections, a diabetic will see their blood sugar sore with potential for a fatal result and dire consequences. Quite simply, their medication is not cheap. So there are programs designed to help lower the cost to something more manageable for low or no income diabetics. 

Types of Patient Assistance Programs

There are three main types of patient assistance programs that are available. The first is a patient assistance program run by the drug manufacturers themselves. Which drug manufacturers run programs? Almost all of them! There are non profit organizations online which can assist in finding the right patient assistance program. Websites like allow patients to search by the medication they need to find the appropriate program. 

The second type of patient assistance program is one which is state run. Not all states currently offer programs. It’s roughly about ⅓ of them. Since each state programs are different, the best option is to use a search engine to get answers as to what your state offers. Many of the state run programs are designed for people with HIV/AIDS or are over the age of 65. 

The final type of patient assistance programs are those that are run by non profit organizations. Many of these are designed to help put people in touch with the programs run by the drug companies themselves. They learn the qualifications and assist with getting applications submitted properly. 

Who Qualifies for Patient Assistance?

Obviously, the first requirement for patient assistance is going to be a legitimate need for the medication. A doctor will need to prescribe it. When it comes to medications that are needed for chronic conditions, it’s likely a doctor will prescribe a large amount at a time, since there’s usually a lag between making an application and receiving any medications. 

The second requirement is a need for assistance. The qualifications of this vary from program to program. That’s what makes patient assistance programs so underused. Many people don’t know that they would even qualify! That’s where non profit organizations can be so helpful. They are there to help cut through a lot of the research to help determine if you’re going to be a financially viable candidate for patient assistance.

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