(NewsUSA) - People across the nation are feeling the impact of the novel coronavirus that is infecting tens of thousands of Americans and wreaking havoc upon our economy. Many of those who have lost their jobs during this public health crisis rely on one or more prescription drugs to stay healthy or alive. But they will soon run out of money to pay for them.
We are living in a time when people must be creative about how they will get through the next few hours, days, weeks and months. It is critical that those who need medication can afford to pay for it.
If you or someone you love is one of the millions of Americans living with a chronic disease or a life-threatening condition, pharmaceutical manufacturers and their partners may offer you hope. While some like to point the finger at these companies and criticize or blame them for rising Rx costs, many have programs in place to help working families. Rather than finger-pointing, what we need today is for the nation to come together and people to help each other.
Eligibility for Prescription Assistance Programs (PAPs) is often, but not always, based on a patient's household income. 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 considered high priority.
If you fall into one of these categories, check out the PAPs found on individual pharmaceutical company websites or those listed at https://mat.org/, an excellent website for prescription assistance.
These sites can help connect you with a customer support team member, who can determine if you are eligible and get you enrolled. You will be asked to verify whether you are insured. In some cases, you may need to provide proof of income or have your physician confirm your condition. But once approved, access to medication is almost immediate. (Note: Patients enrolled in Medicare or Medicaid may not be eligible.)
Pharmaceutical manufacturers also help with co-payments for some patients. Some of these programs do not limit eligibility. Again, some co-pay assistance programs will not help people on Medicare. Each program sets its own rules.
If you need help with your medications, you are not alone. Go to https://mat.org/. This organization can help connect you with low-cost and/or free alternatives. It is worth your time to explore these options. Feel free to e-mail me with your questions.
Jeffrey Lewis, CEO of Legacy Health Endowment in Turlock, California, can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
The views expressed are his own.