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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 kidneyfund.org, e-mail patientservice@kidneyfund.org or call (800) 638-8299.

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

CancerCare — Provides free support to anyone with cancer or their children, caregivers and loved ones.

Cancercare.org 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. Caringvoice.org or (888) 267-1440.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Patient Access Network Foundation — Provides financial support for out-of-pocket costs for drugs for many conditions. patientaccessnetwork.org 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. Patientadvocate.org or (800) 532-5274.

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

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

Questions? Write Elaine at Elainezimm@aol.com. Her Web site is elainezimmermann.com.