Q:

How do you apply for a patient assistance program?

A:

Quick Answer

The Partnership for Prescription Assistance maintains a searchable database of patient assistance programs at Pparx.org, and every program has its own set of application requirements. Some programs are sponsored by the drug maker, while others are offered by the state.

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Full Answer

There are some general requirements that apply to most programs. The majority require the health care provider, patient or both parties to complete an application form, according to the National Council on Patient Information and Education, or NCPIE. Typically, the applicant must have limited or no prescription drug coverage from other sources; a demonstrated financial need for assistance; and proof of U.S. residency or citizenship.

The amount of official documentation requested also varies by program, explains the NCPIE. In some cases, income must be proven with W-2 forms, federal income tax returns or bank statements. In other cases, medical records may be requested to confirm diagnosis and medical need.

If approved to a patient assistance program, the patient's prescription is usually sent to the provider's office or a local pharmacy for distribution, not to the patient's home address. The amount of medication prescribed varies from 30 to 180 days, notes the NCPIE. Many programs require the patient to complete a new application for a refill of the covered medication.

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