Can’t Afford Your Meds? Here Are Some Resources
Posted by Bob Aronson
By Bob Aronson
We have a two-fold national disgrace here in America. One is the high cost of prescription drugs and the other is that many people don’t take their medications because they can’t afford them and some have to choose between buying medication or food.
We hope that this blog helps you find the financial or other assistance you need to be able to take your meds, get well and also have food on the table.
While they no doubt have an axe to grind and a vested interest Insure.com http://tinyurl.com/cnchrm9 has its facts right. Here’s what they say:
· More than half (54 percent) of Americans say they currently take prescription medicines. According to a March 2008 report, “The Public on Prescription Drugs and Pharmaceutical Companies,” issued jointly by USA Today, the Kaiser Family Foundation and the Harvard School of Public Health, one in five Americans are currently taking four or more prescription drugs on a daily basis.
· The report shows that a significant portion of those with prescriptions have difficulty affording them. Four in 10 adults (41 percent) say it is at least somewhat of a problem for their family to pay for prescription drugs they need, including 16 percent who say it is a serious problem. That leads to personal strategies for cutting back: Three in 10 (29 percent) say that they have not filled a prescription because of the cost in the last two years, and 23 percent say they have cut pills in half or skipped doses in order to make medication last longer.
Obviously there is a problem but it isn’t just one dreamed up by insurance companies to sell more policies, I hear similar stories every day on my Facebook group Organ Transplant Initiative (OTI). Some people are not taking their meds and as a result their health is suffering. That’s just not right.
My last blog about the high cost of prescriptions includes one example of a drug for a rare disease that cost $250,000 a dose. Cancer though is not a rare disease and some cancer drugs cost as much as $10,000 a dose. Few can afford medicine that costs that much and most have no idea where to go for help.
I wish I could report that you don’t have to go without your drugs because you can’t afford them. Unfortunately, while there is help available, not everyone will get it but you’ve got to try. I took the liberty of doing some research to find that help and even though I know there are resources I missed I’m hoping that those I have attached here will be of some help to someone.
If your doctor prescribes an expensive drug and you’re uninsured or can’t afford the co-pays, don’t despair. So-called patient-assistance programs, many of them run by pharmaceutical companies, are available to help you get the drugs you need.
Each patient-assistance program sets its own eligibility requirements. The income limits vary widely, from 100% of the federal poverty guidelines (which in 2009 stood at $22,050 for a family of four) to over 300% of the guidelines, according to Rich Sagall, MD, president of NeedyMeds, an online clearinghouse of information for people who cannot afford medicine.
Most patient-assistance programs require the applicant to be an American citizen or legal resident, and most are restricted to the uninsured. “Most programs help people with no insurance, but some will help the underinsured,” says Dr. Sagall. For instance, some companies will provide medications to patients who have reached the limit of their prescription insurance; others help people on Medicare Part D, the federal drug-subsidy program. In general, however, if you qualify for government-funded programs (such as Medicaid), you probably will not be eligible for most patient-assistance programs.
NeedyMeds is an excellent website and resource http://www.needymeds.org/ this site should be your first stop in a search for assistance.
Forbes magazine offers some great information on specific drugs. http://tinyurl.com/kmjxf5n
Forbes…when patients can’t afford medication http://www.forbes.com/sites/larryhusten/2011/08/12/guest-post-when-patients-cant-afford-a-medication/
Here’s a form you can fill out to get help with specific prescriptions. The RX connection….fill out the form http://therxconnection.com/
And…of course, there are always scams and the Federal trade commission is a good resource to make sure that the help you are offered is real. http://tinyurl.com/lxwvfra
One more point and one more resource. OTI is a donation/transplantation support group so we would be remiss if we didn’t offer you some resources specifically focused on just us.
Financial Assistance for Living Donors and Transplant Recipients
The following organizations may be able to provide some financial or related assistance to transplant candidates, recipients, living donors and potential living donors.
This list is provided as a guide only; individuals will need to contact these organizations to determine if help is available for their particular situation. Donors and recipients should also ask their transplant center for assistance with financial issues.
Air Care Alliance
1515 East 71st Street, Suite 312
Tulsa, Oklahoma 74136
Office Phone and Help Line: (918) 745-0384
Toll Free Help Line
Number: (888) 260-9707
The Air Care Alliance is a nationwide league of humanitarian flying organizations whose volunteer
pilots are dedicated to community service. Volunteer pilots perform public benefit flying for health care, patient transport, disaster relief, environmental support, and other missions of public service. Air Care Alliance listed groups may be able to provide free or low cost flights for medical evaluation and surgery for living donors and recipients. Please see the website for details.
American Kidney Fund
6110 Executive Blvd., Suite 1010
Rockville, MD 20852
Phone: (800) 638-8299
The American Kidney Fund provides limited grants to needy dialysis patients, kidney transplant recipients and living kidney donors to help cover the costs of health-related expenses, transportation and medication. They provide information and support for kidney donation and transplantation, as well as general education and information on kidney disease.
American Liver Foundation
75 Maiden Lane, Suite 603
New York, NY 10038-4810
Phone: (800) 465-4837,
The American Liver Foundation, a national voluntary health organization, has established a Transplant Fund to assist patients and families in fundraising efforts for liver transplantation. The Foundation acts as a trustee of funds raised on behalf of patients to help pay for medical care and associated transplantation expenses, which may include expenses related to a living liver donation.
3335 Cartwright Road
Missouri City, TX 77459
Contact: Ellen Gordon Woodal
l, Executive Director
Phone: (281) 261-2682
Fax: (281) 499-2315
The American Organ Transplant Association is a private, non-profit group that provides free or reduced airfare and bus tickets to transplant recipients and their families. AOTA publishes a newsletter. Patients interested in AOTA’s services must be referred by their physician. The association also assists people with setting up trust funds and fund raising. No administrative fee is charged.
American Medical Support Flight Team
P.O. Box 17467
Memphis, TN 38187-0467
1-877-858-7788 Toll Free
Angel Flight provides free air transportation on private aircraft for needy people with healthcare problems and for healthcare agencies, organ procurement organizations, blood banks and tissue banks. No fees of any kind. Volunteers serving the public since 1983.
Children’s Organ Transplant Association
2501 COTA Drive
Bloomington, IN 47403
Phone: (800) 366-2682
COTA is a national, non-profit agency that raises funds for individuals and families to assist with transplant, living donor, and related expenses. They work with some adults as well as children. All funds raised go to the individual; no administrative fees are collected.
Georgia Transplant Foundation
3125 Presidential Parkway
Atlanta, GA 30340
Phone: (770) 457-3796
Toll-Free: (866) 428-9411
Fax: (770) 457-7916
Contact them online at:
The mission of the Georgia Transplant Foundation is to help meet the needs of organ transplant candidates, living donors, recipients and their families by providing information and education regarding organ transplantation, granting financial assistance and being an advocate for sustaining and enriching lives every day. The Georgia Transplant Foundation supports the fundamental basis of altruism for living donation. The goal of the Living Donor Program is to provide assistance to living donors for financial hardships created as a result of their donation. Either the living donor or the
transplant recipient must be a resident of Georgia. For more details, visit
National Living Donor Assistance Center (NLDAC)
2461 S. Clark St
reet, Suite 640
Arlington, VA 22202
If you know someone who is considering becoming a living organ donor (kidney, lung, liver) the National Living Donor Assistance Center (NLDAC) may be able to pay for up to $6,000 of the living donor’s (and his or her companion’s) travel and lodging expenses. The transplant center where the recipient is waiting will apply on the living donor’s behalf. Visit the NLDAC Web site at http://www.livingdonorassistance.org for more details and to read about general eligibility requirements and how the program works.
Help Hope Live
(formerly the National Transplant Assistance Fund )
150 N. Radnor Chester Rd.
Radnor, PA 19087
Help Hope Live has over 20 years’ experience empowering people to raise money in their communities to cover uninsured medical expenses.
Nielsen Organ Transplant Foundation
580 W. 8th St.
Jacksonville, FL 32209
The Nielsen Organ Transplant Foundation provides financial assistance to pre- and post-transplant patients in the Northeast Florida area.
National Foundation for Transplants
1102 Brookfield Road
Memphis, TN 38119
Toll Free: (800) 489-3863
Local: (901) 684-1697
Fax: (901) 684-1128
Transplant Recipients International Organization, Inc.
2100 M Street, NW, #170-353
Washington, DC 20037-1233
The TRIO/United Airlines Travel Program Isa cooperative arrangement between TRIO and the United Airlines Charity Miles Program. It provides TRIO members and family members with cost-free air transportation when travel is transplant-related. Visit http://www.trioweb.org/resources/united.html for more information.
Bob’s Newheart encourages readers to comment on each of our blogs and to add resources that they find in their own searches.
Bob Aronson of Bob’s Newheart is a 2007 heart transplant recipient, the founder of Facebook’s nearly 3,000 member Organ Transplant Initiative and the author of most of these donation/transplantation blogs.
You may comment in the space provided or email your thoughts to me at firstname.lastname@example.org. And – please spread the word about the immediate need for more organ donors. There is nothing you can do that is of greater importance. If you convince one person to be an organ and tissue donor you may save or positively affect over 60 lives. Some of those lives may be people you know and love.
Please view our new music video “Dawn Anita The Gift of Life” on YouTube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eYFFJoHJwHs. This video is free to anyone who wants to use it and no permission is needed.
If you want to spread the word personally about organ donation, we have another PowerPoint slide show for your use free and without permission. Just go to http://www.organti.org and click on “Life Pass It On” on the left side of the screen and then just follow the directions. This is NOT a stand-alone show; it needs a presenter but is professionally produced and factually sound. If you decide to use the show I will send you a free copy of my e-book, “How to Get a Standing “O” that will help you with presentation skills. Just write to email@example.com and usually you will get a copy the same day.
Also…there is more information on this blog site about other donation/transplantation issues. Additionally we would love to have you join our Facebook group, Organ Transplant Initiative The more members we get the greater our clout with decision makers.
Puede comentar en el espacio proporcionado o por correo electrónico sus pensamientos a mí en firstname.lastname@example.org. Y – por favor, difundir la palabra acerca de la necesidad inmediata de más donantes de órganos. No hay nada que puedas hacer lo que es de mayor importancia. Si usted convence a una persona de ser donante de órganos y tejidos puede salvar o afectar positivamente a más de 60 vidas. Algunas de esas vidas pueden ser personas que conoces y amas.
Por favor, consulte nuestro nuevo video musical “Dawn Anita The Gift of Life” en https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eYFFJoHJwHs YouTube. Este video es libre para cualquier persona que quiera usarlo y no se necesita permiso.
Si quieres correr la voz acerca de la donación de órganos personalmente, tenemos otra presentación de PowerPoint para su uso libre y sin permiso. Sólo tienes que ir a http://www.organti.org y haga clic en “Life Pass It On” en el lado izquierdo de la pantalla y luego sólo tienes que seguir las instrucciones. Esto no es un espectáculo independiente, sino que necesita un presentador pero es profesionalmente producida y sonido hechos. Si usted decide usar el programa le enviaré una copia gratuita de mi libro electrónico, “Cómo obtener un pie” O “que le ayudará con habilidades de presentación. Sólo tiene que escribir a email@example.com y por lo general usted recibirá una copia del mismo día.
Además … hay más información sobre este sitio de blogs sobre otros donación / trasplante temas. Además nos encantaría que te unas a nuestro grupo de Facebook, la Iniciativa de Trasplante de Órganos Cuantos más miembros que obtenemos mayor será nuestra influencia con los tomadores de decisiones.
About Bob AronsonBob Aronson is a former journalist, a Minnesota Governor's Press Secretary and talk show host. For nearly a quarter of a century, he led the Aronson Partnership, a Minnesota-based communications consultancy that prepared corporate and government executives for crisis situations, regulatory testimony, media interviews and Presentations. Among his clients were all three U.S. Mayo Clinic locations, 3M, general Mills, CH2M Hill, the U.S. Department of Energy and scores more. In 2007 bob had a heart transplant after suffering from idiopathic dilated cardiomyopathy for 12 years. Shortly after he got his new heart he founded the now 4,300 member Facebook support group, Organ Transplant Initiative. At the same time, he established the Bob's Newheart blog where he has posted nearly 300 columns on organ donation, transplantation and other health related issues. The Viewpoint blog was started in late 2016 and bears the name of the Radio Talk show Bob did from 1966 until 1974, when he resigned to become Minnesota Governor Rudy Perpich first Press secretary. Bob and his artist wife Robin, live in Jacksonville, Florida with their two dogs, Reilly and Ziggy. Bob is also a woodworker and makes all of the furnishings for Robin's art festival booth. He also makes one of a kind jewelry or "memories" boxes that he donates to select transplant patients, caregivers, donor families and others who have somehow contributed to making life easier for the ill, the elderly and the less fortunate. Bob is in the final stages of editing two full-length novels that will be available on Kindle when ready for release sometime in early 2017. One is a sci fi novel about an amazing discovery near Roswell, New Mexico and you will be surprised to find it has nothing to do with the Roswell story everyone knows. It features a woman scientist who investigates impact craters for the U.S. Department of the Interior, Dr. Rita Sylvester and her female student intern. The other book is a political thriller that introduces a new hero to the genre, Fargo Dennison.
Posted on July 30, 2013, in Health care costs and tagged choices, Chronic, elderly, help paying for prescriptions, insurance, Medicaid, Medicare, medications, meds, Part B, part D, prescription assistance, prescriptions, transplants. Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.