As the Manager of Clinical Pharmacy Services, I promote clinically appropriate, evidenced-based therapies for prescribing quality medication use and cost savings to Privia Medical Group Physicians. It’s just one of the many ways that Privia removes burdens from our physicians so they can focus on providing quality care to their patients.
Medication adherence is key for improved patient outcomes, so if your patients are struggling with costs, I’ve compiled a list of resources you can pass on to them. Before I get into the list of recommendations, here are some FAQs about prescription assistance program, or PAPs, that it might be helpful for you to know:
Prescription Assistance Resources FAQs
Q: What are patient assistance programs (PAPs) ?
A: Programs set up by drug companies that offer free or low-cost drugs to uninsured individuals who cannot afford their medication. Most brand name drugs are found in these programs. Companies offer these programs voluntarily; the government does not require them to provide free medicine.
Q: Can patients apply for assistance if they have insurance or prescription coverage?
A: Some PAPs will help those who have insurance if they meet program hardship requirements or their medication is not covered by their insurance. It may help to have a letter from the insurance company stating that the medication is not covered. Also, there are several foundations that offer to help with co-pays for specific medications or diseases.
Q: Do patients have to pay for an application?
A: No, there is no charge for the application or to have patients’ applications reviewed by the company offering the medication. Some organizations charge a small fee to help fill out the application, but it can be done without that help.
- www.medicare.gov – Patients can apply for Medicare, find supplemental insurance plans, hospitals, drug plans, doctors, nursing homes, dialysis facilities, and more here. Please note that in order to qualify, an individual must be receiving Medicare and have limited resources and income. Medicare beneficiaries can qualify for extra help with their Medicare prescription drug plan costs. The Extra Help Program is estimated to be worth about $4,000 per year.
- www.benefitscheckup.org – Helps patients find state, federal, and private benefits programs available where they live. These benefits programs can help pay for prescriptions, health care, food, utilities, and more. Individuals can also get help with tax relief, transportation, legal issues, or finding work.
- www.panfoundation.org -This page answers questions about eligibility requirements for medication copayment assistance from Patient Access Network (PAN), how to submit an application, required financial and medical documents, PAN’s approval process, and more.
- www.rxassist.org -The RxAssist database contains eligibility information and applications for over 150 pharmaceutical company patient assistance programs. The database can help you find out whether a drug is available, which pharmaceutical company program offers the drug, and how to apply for the medication.
- www.rxhope.com – Provides a helping hand to people in need in obtaining critical medications that they would normally have trouble affording. RxHope contracts directly with pharmaceutical companies to provide an electronic application process for their patient assistance programs. Services to patients are free of charge.
- www.needymeds.org – Disease-based assistance (DBA) programs help with costs associated with specific diseases or types of diseases. Search by the type of disease or condition to find all the programs that can help you or your patient. In addition, coupons, rebates and more offers of brand name medicine (over-the-counter and prescription) can be searched for and printed.