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Chronic Disease and Medication Assistance Programs

By Cary Cook BSN RN
 
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Thanks to a tough economy, high unemployment and the high costs of health care, many people in the U.S. find it difficult to pay for their medications and other costs related to chronic illness. Fortunately, depending on the illness, there may be organizations to help you.

The Chronic Disease Fund is just what it sounds like; an organization that helps pay for costs associated with chronic illnesses. The diseases they deal with vary, but when you check the website you can find out what they are currently working with. Just click on Patients, and then on the left side, click on Diseases and Medications We Support.

I’ve mentioned them in a previous article, but the Patient Advocate Foundation is a fantastic source of free assistance. For information and help with specific illnesses, click on the heading for Resources, and then Disease Specific Information & Support. This will bring up a list of further links.

If you are unable to pay for your medication, always let your health care provider know. Specialists in particular are usually aware of programs to help you pay for medications related to their specialty. Other places to check with are your pharmacy, and the maker of your specific drug. For instance, if you need Enbrel and can’t afford it, you can Google Enbrel, click on the site link for Amgen/Pfizer’s http://www.enbrel.com/, and there is a tab for Support and Financial Help. If you have insurance, your insurance company may be aware of assistance programs as well, especially if they have a mail order pharmacy.

If you are short on money and your health care provider writes a prescription, ask if they have any samples to give you. Many doctors get samples, even of newer over the counter drugs. I was given a few samples of the new petite sized Citracal at my last rheumatologist visit. This is nice, too, if you aren’t sure whether you will be able to tolerate a new drug. A few samples will let you sort of test-drive the medicine rather than filling the entire prescription.

Target and Walmart are two companies with in-house pharmacies that offer many generic drugs for $4 for a 30-day supply.

Add a Comment3 Comments

EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous

hi there
iam a lady 19 years old , i have chronic disease and also live in iraq i need help from outsiders organisation , is there any help?? any suggeston ?

February 17, 2011 - 1:00am
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous

Patient Access Network (PAN) Foundation provides co-payment assistance for underinsured patients with cancer and chronic diseases. www.PANfoundation.org

June 9, 2010 - 10:45am
Cary Cook BSN RN (reply to Anonymous)

Thanks for adding that, Anonymous. I have used them myself in the past. There are so many good organizations out there, it will take a series of posts to mention them.

Thank you for reading, and for helping others.

June 9, 2010 - 11:07am
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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.

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