The answer may be an obvious “no” for some, but millions of Americans don’t know the answer or don’t realize that they are a carrier. Hepatitis C is a bloodborne disease that can lie dormant for years or even decades before showing any symptoms. Transmission occurs between blood-to-blood contact, with most new cases stemming from intravenous drug usage and a smaller percentage stemming from sexual activity. The recent heroin epidemics in midwestern and southern states have resulted in a spike of new Hepatitis C and HIV cases, as people are sharing needles without proper needle exchanges set in place.

The largest percentage of adults with Hepatitis C are baby boomers with more than 75% of the adult cases being people born from 1945 through 1965. While the reason why the baby boomers are the biggest population of Hepatitis C carriers is not completely understood, there are a couple ideas. Hepatitis C rates were the highest in the 70s and 80s, which is when many of the baby boomers were young adults. The baby boomers

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Last month, we posted a blog about how many Americans are spending more than $50,000 or even $100,000 a year on medications—more  people than ever before. The information included insured Americans and found that insurance covered an average of 97% of prescription costs for those spending at least $50,000. At NeedyMeds, there are many assistance programs for those who are in need.  However, even with new laws and regulations there are those stuck in between.

There are patients in America that make too much money to qualify for assistance but still not enough to pay all their medical bills.  Patient Assistance Programs (PAPs) and non-profit organizations often have limits to how much income a person or family makes in a year to be eligible for their services.  Good jobs and good insurance can still leave patients paying huge amounts for prescribed medications.

Some medications for serious or chronic diseases such as lupus can cost $2500 per dose. Even with insurance that pays 80% of the drug price there is a $450 out-of-pocket payment, which does not include monthly insurance premiums or other medical costs.  One hepatitis

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More than half a million Americans had prescription costs over $50,000 in 2014—a 63% increase from the previous year. The increase is associated with doctors prescribing more expensive specialty drugs for diseases such as cancer or hepatitis C. The increase of American patients spending over $100,000 has nearly tripled from 47,000 in 2013 to an estimated 139,000 Americans in 2014.

There are many details in the report done by Express Scripts, the largest US pharmacy benefit manager. About 60% of patients spending over $100,000 were prescribed at least 10 medications, and 72% had scripts written by at least four different prescribers. The highest increases in costs are related to expensive new hepatitis C cures being introduced, with the number of patients receiving treatment for hep C increasing 733% in 2014. Of Americans spending over $100,000, 32% were taking cancer medications—several of which were approved in recent years. Some of the new drugs for hepatitis and cancer can cost upwards of $90,000 alone. Anti-depressants are among the most widely prescribed specialty medicines.

Health insurance covered an average of

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This post was written by Sandy Hope, Funding Specialist, and Justine Dolorfino, Social Media Specialist & Communications at Diplomat.

Did you know that foundations and grants exist that may help patients afford their important specialty and limited-distribution medications?

Getting started with co-pay assistance

Each foundation has designated disease states or medical conditions that they support. Some diagnoses can be covered by several foundations. Others are only supported by one or two foundations. This can make it more difficult to find funding for some medical conditions because of a lack of funds available or because there is not enough funding for certain diagnoses.

In addition, some foundations are diagnosis and drug specific. This means that in order to qualify for funding, the diagnosis and drug prescribed must both be supported by the foundation. As part of the application process, the prescribing physician is required to complete and sign a section of the foundation’s application verifying the diagnosis and drug(s) prescribed.

What are some other factors that are considered?

Most foundations will consider the household

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Many patients living with HIV or AIDS take special medications to treat their conditions, which are often very expensive. There has been an increase in demand for HIV and AIDS treatment and medication, for a number of reasons. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, “The epidemic is growing rapidly among minorities, who have historically experienced higher risk for poverty, lack of health insurance, comorbidity, and disenfranchisement from the health care system. The result is a growing number of people living with HIV disease who require public support.” Low-income patients diagnosed with HIV or AIDS often need additional financial assistance to cover the high cost of their treatments.

Federal Help

Luckily there is help available in each state and territory of the United States. “Part B of the Ryan White HIV/AIDS Treatment Extension Act of 2009 (Public Law 111-87) provides grants to States and U.S. Territories to improve the quality, availability, and organization of HIV/AIDS

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