Medicine Assistance Programs

Updated:Jul 9,2014

Cost is one of the most common reasons people give for not taking their medicines. But money doesn't have to stop you. Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you're having trouble paying for your medicine. Your doctor may be able to prescribe another drug that works just as well but costs less.

Ask your doctor or pharmacist about "manufacturers' aid" or "patient assistance" programs. These are public and private programs that offer discounted or free medicines. Your income and often your age will determine whether you can get them. And some programs require your doctor to apply for you. 

Most programs will need to know this information:

  • The prescription medications you are taking
    • Name of each drug
    • The dose (amount (pill size))
    • How often you take the drug (for example, two times a day)
  • Your monthly or annual gross income
  • Your state of residence
  • The name of any insurance program you're covered under (if any)

Here are a few programs and resources that you may find helpful. 

Medicare Prescription Drug Plan Finder
If you're covered under Medicare, you're eligible for Medicare prescription drug coverage, regardless of your income, health status or current prescription expenses. Enter all your prescription drugs into this online tool to get a personalized list of drug plans available to you, along with their costs and features. For more information about Medicare, call toll-free 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227).

Eldercare Locator Community Assistance for Seniors
(800) 677-1116
The Eldercare Locator connects older Americans and their caregivers with sources of information on senior services, including medication assistance, within their state and local area.

National Council on the Aging Benefits CheckUp®*      
The BenefitsCheckUp® is an online service to screen for federal, state and some local private and public benefits for adults ages 55 and older.

Be Medicine Smart - National Council on Patient Education and Information
Promotes safe and appropriate medicine use to improve the health of children, parents, grandparents, relatives and friends.

Rx Outreach
(800) 769-3880
Rx Outreach is a Patient Assistance Program developed by Express Scripts Specialty Distribution Services, Inc. (ESSDS). The program provides qualified individuals and families with access to generic versions of brand-name medications based on income.

Partnership for Prescription Assistance
1-888-4PPA-NOW (1-888-477-2669)
The Partnership for Prescription Assistance is a collaboration among pharmaceutical companies, doctors, other health care providers, patient advocacy organizations and community groups. The program offers a single point of access to hundreds of public and private patient assistance programs, including many offered by pharmaceutical companies.


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This content was last reviewed on 04/22/2014.