More and more Americans struggle everyday with the rising cost of medications. This can lead to families making difficult decisions, often forgoing needed meds in order to cover the cost of food, housing, or transportation. However, there is help available. Many pharmaceutical companies, along with some pharmacies and non-profit groups, manage Patient Assistance Programs (or PAPs) that offer the medication at reduced or no cost. So how do these programs work? And where can you find one?
What is a PAP?
Patient Assistance Programs are programs usually designed by a pharmaceutical company to offer medications to low income or uninsured patients for free or with a small co-pay. You may have heard of them before, usually at the end of an advertisement for a medication they will mention that financial help is available for those who qualify. To enroll the patient needs to fill out an application form and get their doctor’s signature and sometimes a prescription. For many patient assistance programs the applicant will need to prove their income level – usually with a tax document or copy of their paystub.