By Pat Bass, MD
Updated May 09, 2011
Asthma medications are very expensive, and a patient assistance program may help you obtain your asthma medications free or at a significantly reduced cost. With the increased expense after the CFC to HFA transition, many asthma patients are having trouble affording their asthma medication.
The Partnership for Prescription Assistance (PPA) has helped more than 6 million uninsured patients obtain prescription medications. This program has been to 3,000 cities in all 50 states helping people get the medicine they need. Because each patient assistance program has its own rules, it can be confusing. The PPA can help you navigate these waters.
RxAssist is a database that contains a comprehensive list of patient assistance programs, along with articles that will help you navigate the sometimes-complicated application process. The RxAssist database was created by Volunteers in Health Care (VIH), a national resource center for safety net organizations that is based out of the Brown University Center for Primary Care and Prevention.
The site contains a list of the major drug chains with low-cost medication programs, as well as drug discount cards from specific manufacturers.
Bridges to Access is GlaxoSmithKline's patient assistance program for drugs such as Advair, Flovent, and Serevent. The Bridges to Access patient assistance program provides Advair, Flovent, and Serevent and other GSK prescription medicines based on certain eligibility criteria. There is a separate program callled GSK access for Medicare patients in need of prescription assistance.
The AstraZeneca patient assistance program website not only helps you determine if you are eligible for assistance with drugs like Pulmicort and Rhinocort, but it will direct you to a clinic near you that utilizes their program. According to their website, individuals making less than $30,00 or families making less than $60,000 may qualify for AstraZeneca's patient assistance program.
The Healthwell Foundation is a patient assistance program that provides financial assistance to not only cover costs of some asthma medications, like Aerobid, but also to cover coinsurance, copayments, healthcare premiums and deductibles for asthma. If ypu have insurance, but you cannot afford the coinsurance or copayment required, this patient assistance program may be able to help by paying some or all of your costs. Also, the Healthwell program may be able to help with your insurance premiums if you are eligible for insurance, but not able to afford it.
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