What Are Patient Assistance Programs?

Also known as prescription assistance programs, patient assistance programs are programs run by pharmaceutical companies to assist patients who cannot afford to buy certain drugs. They provide free or low-cost medications for those patients who qualify for the program.

Many of the programs are run by nonprofit organizations, states and drug companies. A person must to apply to be considered for the program. The organization reviews the details and decides if the patient is eligible for assistance. Some programs are specifically for those suffering from certain health conditions, such as HIV/AIDS. Some assistance programs coordinate with Medicare benefit plans to offer quality services.

Websites such as PPARX.com, which represents the Partnership for Prescription Assistance, provide information and tools to help users find patient-assistance programs that may be available to them. Some programs allow users to submit an online application. If online submission is not available, the assistance program may offer the option to print and mail in the application. Income and medication restrictions are often in place to prevent abuse of the programs.