Thursday, August 23, 2007

Prescription Advocacy - Frequently Asked Questions about Patient Assistance Programs

Patient assistance programs run by large pharmaceutical companies have been in existence for more than 15 years. A major problem is that few people know about the existence of these programs or understand the complicated application and approval process required to participate in a Prescription Assistance Program.

AmeriPlan USA, a discount health plans company, recently added a new program called AmeriPlan Prescription Advocacy Program (APAP). This program is available to all AmeriPlan dental and medical plan members who meet certain income eligibility requirements and have $90 or more in monthly prescription expenses. In many cases, members may have hundreds and even thousands of dollars in prescription expenses each month. The AmeriPlan Prescription Advocacy Plan can help patients navigate through the complicated application process so that they can receive their medications for free.

Here are some frequently asked questions about Patient Assistance Programs taken from the AmeriPlan website:

What is a Patient Assistance Program?

These programs are offered by the pharmaceutical industry to assist low income people who don’t have prescription drug coverage. These programs have been in existence for the past 15-20 years. So far PAPs have only reached a fraction of those who need them. APAP provides a real value to those who need expert advice, assistance and processing of needed prescriptions through PAPs.

Why do drug companies offer these programs?

PAPs are the philanthropic effort of the drug companies to reach out to those people who have low incomes and no drug coverage.

Where do these medications come from?

Medications are generally mailed directly from the pharmaceutical companies to the client’s home or in some cases, to the doctor’s office. APAP will notify the client in such cases.

Are PAPs a type of Rx discount plan?

No. Discount plans only provide patients a discount on their medication either at the pharmacy or through mail-order. PAPs provide access to free drug programs offered through the pharmaceutical industry. APAP provides a service to these consumers – taking the time and effort to apply and re-apply for these programs on their behalf.

How does AmeriPlan have access to these free prescriptions through PAPs?

APAP applies on behalf of the client to Patient Assistance Programs (PAPs), which are offered by various pharmaceutical companies. For the average consumer, the application process of applying to multiple PAPs can be very challenging due to each pharmaceutical company’s individual eligibility requirements.

What are the elibility requirements to qualify for these programs?

A qualifying applicant needs to be within 2 times the federal poverty line and have no current coverage for specified medications.

For more information on the AmeriPlan Prescription Advocacy Program visit: and read my blog post: A Little Known Secret - Patient Assistance Programs.

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