With the cost of medicine nowadays, you have to be rich to afford it. If you’re a low-income earner without prescription insurance or are under-insured, you would have problems buying the drugs you need. It’s a good thing that there are prescription assistance programs (PAP) for low-income earners. These programs are a big help to those who suffer from diabetes, kidney problems, cancer, and other serious conditions.
What is PAP?
Prescription assistance programs (PAP) are programs aimed at helping people who can’t afford the cost of getting their prescription filled. These are usually sponsored by drug companies or by the state. To qualify for these programs, the patient usually has to send a letter of application or an application form.
The patient should also be within a set of strict requirements, which are unique to the program. The most common qualifications are:
- Must be a citizen and resident of the United States
- Must have no prescription insurance or is under-insured
- Must have a low income
The application should also include information about the prescriptions. The PAP will study the application to determine if the patient falls under their qualifications.
Who Runs PAPs?
State-run PAPs, or SPAP, assist people who fall into well-defined groups like the elderly, disabled, or those who are financially challenged. Some states also have programs specific to certain conditions like kidney disease, HIV/AIDS, or diabetes.
Usually, these programs coordinate with Medicare benefit plans. There are non-profit organizations that run their own PAP, such as NeedyMeds, RxAssist, Center for Benefits, RxHope, RxOutreach, Partnership for Prescription Assistance, and many others.
Each of these organizations has their own niche and operations. Some collate patient databases containing the names of qualified patients, while others run mail-order pharmacies. There are also Drug Discount Cards, which are operated in cooperation with existing pharmacies. The discount cards are not a form of health insurance, but are used to buy the medication at a discount. Another form of PAPs is those run by the drug companies. They directly provide the drugs to the patients, usually by mail order. Manufacturers are in the best position to identify applicants who would benefit the most from their drug.
PAPs are important in helping low-income earners without adequate prescription insurance, so they can have their medication. Some diseases that PAPs help include diabetes, end-stage kidney diseases, and those with HIV/AIDS.