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Ways to Wealth: Organizations Can Help with Drug Cost

10.19.2008Commercial Appeal

Yvette: I am having trouble paying for my prescriptions. I know there is supposed to be help for people like me, but I am not sure where to start looking. I have a friend who has insurance and cannot afford the co-payments. Is there help for someone in her position?

Elaine: This is a very distressing problem that I suspect is worsening as the economy worsens. I would suggest you first discuss the situation with your doctor. Many physicians have access to free medication programs for their patients.

Also, you can request assistance on your own. Here is a list of resources for you and our readers.

American Kidney Fund — This fund helps dialysis patients maintain their health insurance. AKF also provides assistance with expenses that insurance will not cover. Visit, e-mail or call (800) 638-8299.

Association of Community Cancer Centers — Focus on enhancing cancer care for patients; provide prescription assistance. or (301) 984-9496.

CancerCare — Provides free support to anyone with cancer or their children, caregivers and loved ones. or call (800) 813-4673.

Caring Voice Coalition Inc. — Provides Medicare prescription drug assistance, insurance co-payment assistance, insurance premium assistance, insurance counseling and advocacy and other patient support. or (888) 267-1440.

Chai Lifeline — Assists children with serious illnesses, and their families. or (212) 465-1300.

Chronic Disease Fund — Provides prescription assistance for underinsured patients with chronic diseases that require expensive, specialty therapeutics. or (877) YOUR-CDF.

Geriatric Services of America — Provide support and equipment for patients with chronic respiratory diseases. or (800) 307-8048.

HealthWell Foundation — Provides assistance with insurance co-payments, premiums, co-insurance and other out-of-pocket costs. or (800) 675-8416.

International Oncology Network — Provides free or discounted medications for oncology patients. or (888) 329-3893.

Leukemia and Lymphoma Society — Provides insurance co-payment and insurance premium assistance to patients with these diseases.

National Organization of Rare Disorders — Provides assistance with insurance co-payments, insurance premiums and prescriptions to patients with rare “orphan” diseases. or (203) 744-0100.

Needy Meds — Provides Medicare prescription drug assistance, insurance co-payment assistance and prescription assistance.

Patient Access Network Foundation — Provides financial support for out-of-pocket costs for drugs for many conditions. or (866) 316-7263.

Patient Advocate Foundation Co-Pay Relief — Provides direct co-payment assistance for pharmaceutical products to insured Americans who financially and medically qualify. or (800) 532-5274.

Patient Services Incorporated — Provide help with Medicare prescription drugs, insurance co-payments, insurance premiums and prescriptions. or (800) 366-7741.

The Center for Medicare Advocacy — Provides Medicare prescription drug assistance. or (860) 456-7790.

Questions? Write Elaine at Her Web site is

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