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How to Get Help with Medication Costs

This is an article about resources that help individuals who have difficulty affording their medications.

Issues with affordability of medications is a common problem among working class and low income people.  If your medications are very costly and you do not have health care insurance or qualify for Medicaid there is still hope.  Many different options may exist and you may not even be aware of them.   The first option is a website called www.rxassist.org

Through this website you can print off applications for almost any medication to take to your physician for signature.  Once signed, the applications can be mailed to the individual drug companies for you to receive help with getting your medications.  This program works well if you only have one or two medications.  Another program that has been tried in North Carolina is a program called Med Assist.  This program can be accessed by the working poor who are in need of multiple medications.  The staff at Med Assist basically do the work of accessing the drug company indigent programs for you and they have their own pharmacists that dispense the medication.  Med Assist has expanded more in recent years and now offers mail order service to it’s NC clients that live outside of Charlotte, NC where the office is located. Unfortunately, it does not offer services to people outside of North Carolina.   Another way to get help with medications in larger cities would be to look for a free or reduced medical clinic.  This is a popular service that many hospitals and physicians offices are participating in.  Sometimes you can get medications for as little as $7 a prescription.  To find out about these clinics you should contact your local Department of Social Services or local hospitals.  In addition to free clinics is the issue of physicians offices getting free medications from pharmaceutical companies.  Although, this is a practice that is being widely reduced by physicians not wanting to be responsible for dispensing these medications.  However, talking to your personal physician about your ability to afford medications may get you some help in other ways.  Remember, physicians do not always think to bring up this subject with their patients so it is very important that you initiate the discussion. 

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