PhRMA Companies Offer a Holiday Gift of Hope

If you or someone you love are one of the millions of Americans with a chronic disease or a life-threatening condition, pharmaceutical manufacturers and their partners offer you a gift of hope this holiday season.

Pharmaceutical manufacturers are often criticized as Scrooge or the Grinch in our country’s health care system. Elected officials and advocacy organizations want to blame somebody for rising Rx costs, and the most obvious target is the Big Pharma.

But in this blame game, very little attention is given to the help the pharmaceutical industry and its partners quietly provide to patients in need through a variety of programs.

Such programs are often based on the patient’s household income, but not always. Patients with no health insurance coverage are often the first group considered eligible.  Likewise, those with one or more chronic or life-threatening conditions are a high priority.

On most of these websites, you can be connected with a customer support team member who can help determine if you are eligible and get you enrolled. You will be asked to verify that you are insured or uninsured and, in some cases, provide proof of income. You may need your physician to validate your condition. But once approved, access to medication is granted almost immediately.

(Note: Patients enrolled in Medicare or Medicaid /Medi-Cal may not be eligible.)

Pharmaceutical manufacturers also offer co-pay assistance, in which the patient is offered help with the cost of medication copayments.  Some co-pay assistance programs do not limit who is eligible. And, it is important to know that some co-pay assistance programs will not help people on Medicare.  Each program sets its own rules.

This holiday season if you need help with your medications, you are not alone. Go to the websites cited throughout this article. They can help connect you with low cost and free alternatives. It is worth your time to explore these options. And, if you get frustrated, feel free to email me with your questions.