Prescription drug costs have been the fastest-growing health care expenditure, rising at double-digit rates each year for the past seven years. Here at Roswell Park, we understand that affording prescription medications may present a financial hardship for many people. Certainly those without health insurance are the hardest hit, but even people with insurance may find co-pays, deductibles, or caps (limitations of coverage for certain items or during a certain time period) may strain their resources.
Medicare subscribers use the Medicare Prescription Drug Plan Finder. This tool will allow you to find the Medicare plans in your state that include the medications you are taking. Follow the instructions listed. You will need to have a list of all your prescription drugs, the dose of each, how often you take each one, and how often you refill the prescription. You do not enter any personal information such as your name or social security number, so the process is anonymous. After all your medication information is entered, click “continue”. Your results will list all the (Medicare) insurance plans that include your medications and the number of pharmacies that participate in the plan. The program is also available in Spanish.
Industry-related drug discount cards. Some pharmaceutical companies offer their own patient assistance programs. These cards are free and provide discounts on the drugs from the company that makes them. You can find a list of participating manufacturers and medications at Rx Assist. This Web site was created by Volunteers in Health Care (VIH), a national resource center for safety net organizations. VIH operates out of the Brown University Center for Primary Care and Prevention in Rhode Island. You can also read about “Programs That Offer Free or Low Cost Health Care”
If you do not have prescription medication coverage and are not eligible for Medicare, you may qualify for a Together RX card. This program provides a 20% – 40% savings on brand name prescription drugs offered by participating pharmaceutical companies and a 14 % discount on generic drugs at participating pharmacies. A list of covered drugs is available on the Website and the card is free to those who qualify.
Contact your state health department to find out if they offer pharmacy assistance program. The National Conference of State Legislatures’ Website provides links and phone numbers for State programs. Look at Table 1 (State Subsidy Programs) for New York’s EPIC (Elderly Pharmaceutical Insurance Coverage) program. Click on “Patients & Caregivers, then on “Start Your Free Online Patient Assistance Request” or on “Medications Search”. You can investigate by the name of a medication, a Patient Assistance Program, or a pharmaceutical company.
The Pharmaceutical and Research Manufacturers of America (PhRMA) hosts The Partnership for Prescription Assistance, which helps qualifying patients without prescription drug coverage get the medicines they need through the program that is right for them. Many patients will get their medications at no cost or at discounted prices. Website available in English or Spanish. PhRMA, located in Washington, D.C. represents the interests of the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries in the United States.
The Cancer Resource page on the NeedyMeds Web site a collaborative project of NeedyMeds and the American Cancer Society. It is intended to provide information on cancer and to streamline and simplify the way those with cancer may find assistance paying for their medications is designed to provide information about Patient Assistance Programs (PAPs) which are offered by pharmaceutical companies to help those most in need gain access to their medications at no or low cost.
RX Outreach is income-based and can be used regardless of your age or if you use another discount medicine program or patient assistance program. To use Rx Outreach, your income needs to be less than a certain amount of money each year. This amount differs depending on the number of financially dependant people living in your house. Currently, for a family of four, this figure is about $66,000.