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Can't Afford Your Prescription Drugs? Call The Manufacturer

Individual companies quietly give away millions of dollars in medication every year. If you or a family member simply cannot pay for much needed medicine, call the manufacturer directly. Ask if they have a patient assistance program (or a "medical needs" or "indigent patients" program) and what you must do to qualify.

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The Cost Containment Research Institute has a book that lists the patient assistance phone numbers for U.S. drug companies. To receive a copy, send $6 to: Fulfillment Center, Booklet #PD-95, P.O. Box 210, Dallas, PA 18612-0210 or log on to http://www.institutedc.org .

Consider Pill Splitting

If the medicine you commonly take comes in tablet form, ask your doctor if it comes in a dose size that is double the one you are taking. For example, if you take a 10-mg tablet, is there a 20-mg tablet? If there is, and your doctor will write a prescription for the bigger version, you can then buy that pill, invest in a pill-splitter device that costs about $5 in drugstores, divide the tablets and get twice the number of pills for about the same amount of money. (Price differences between different dosages of the same medication are often negligible.) Remember that certain tablets, extended-release products, as well as capsules and gel tablets should never be split.

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If you or someone in your family is over 55, a form on the National Council on Aging's web site, http://www.ncoa.org will tell you at a glance whether you're eligible for a host of local, state, federal and private drug savings programs.

Consider Leveling with your Doctor

If you're having trouble paying for medication, tell your physician. Sometimes there is more than one drug in a particular therapeutic class. A less-expensive medicine might do the same job for you. Often your physician can also provide free samples of your prescribed medication.

By M. Day, Ohio

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August 9, 20040 found this helpful

a wonderful FREE site for patient assistance programs and the pharmaceutical manufacturers who participate is

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http://needymeds.com
The site also has information for prescription discount cards from manufacturers
I believe this is the best site on the Internet to get information for free or discounted medications. I've used this for years and saved thousands of $$

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
August 11, 20040 found this helpful

You can find a free list of companies and their patient assistance programs by going to Google and typing in Drug Assistance Programs. You will find a list of the companies, and usually a list of the prescription drugs they have available, and the income levels and other details that make one eligible for assistance. Or look on your prescription bottle and see which company makes your medicine and type the name of the company in google --- for example -- Pfizer patient assistance. If you take lipitor, it is available without cost from Pfizer. They have guidelines for eligibility.

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Harlean from Arkansas

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