How to Get Medicine for Free

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In this day and age, there is a pill for everything.  There’s bad aspects to that.  But there’s also good aspects. We live a lot longer than those in the past did, and diseases that would have crippled or killed us can now be cured or maintained at a healthy level.

But those pills cost money.  And lots of it.  Even if you have health insurance, you may not have prescription coverage.  Just because you have prescription coverage does not mean that you are well off financially or that your medication will be covered 100%.  One option is to go the generic route, which is generally cheaper.  But if you would like to get name brand, it’s not out of the picture.  Many drug companies run patient assistance programs, which are programs that allow you to get your medication for free, a reduced rate, or paid for in the form of reimbursement.

Here’s what you’ll need to do to find them.

1.  Find out who makes your medication.
As these programs are run by the individual companies, if you want to participate you will need to find out who makes your specific medication.

2.  Go to their website and poke around.
Once you’re there, it may be blatantly easy to find more information.  If it’s not, try searching the website for “patient assistance program.”  This should yield results, but if you’re still having trouble you can look for a phone number (I’d try customer service.)  When you get connected to a representative, tell them you’d like information about the patient assistance program so they can set you in the right direction.

3.  Apply
Once you’ve found the information you need, you will most likely be able to start the application process on-line, or print a paper application out.  You’ll have to meet the specific program’s guidelines, which vary, but you’ll have to have a prescription for the specific medication, live in the country where the program is run, meet certain income guidelines, and generally have no prescription coverage or have coverage, but are experiencing a period of financial hardship.  For an example on income guidelines, on company has it starting at a one-person household with an income of $22,340 and going through a five-person household at $54,020.  And that is just one program within one company.  There are other programs such as co-pay assistance that you may qualify for if you are not within the “free” parameters.

Have you ever had problems or paid an outrageous amount of money for medication?

*This is a Frugal Tuesday Tip*

7 thoughts on “How to Get Medicine for Free

  1. Holly@ClubThrifty

    I remember when I was having back problems a few years ago and my doctor recommended I go on Lyrica. He wrote me a prescription and when I went to get it filled it was over $400 for a one month supply. No, thank you!

  2. AverageJoe

    I haven’t paid a ton (lucky to have relatives in the medical field), but a friend has. They’ve not only gone to Canada for meds, but they’ve tried mail order and foreign docs. Sometimes I’ve found this unnerving….

  3. MyMoneyDesign

    This type of thing definitely works! My grandma was going to have to pay some ridiculous cost for her new medication (like in the $1000 region). My Dad called the makers to try to work out a deal, and they sent her a half year trail subscription for free!

  4. Shawanda

    When I left my job, I opted to continue my health insurance coverage under COBRA. But I guess there was some misunderstanding between my former employer and my insurance company. So when I went to the pharmacist to pick up my allergy medication, their records showed that I didn’t have any insurance. As a result, my meds rang up at the retail price. A 30-day supply was over $200! My copay for a 90-day supply is $40. Before then, I had no idea what the real price of my medication was.


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