Tuesday, March 02, 2010

Help! I Can't Afford My Meds

It's a big deal when you can't afford your meds. Too many people face this reality every day but it adds insult to injury when a rape survivor has to jump over this hurdle. There are some things that you can do that might help keep you from saying "I can't afford my meds."

The following is a list of what has sometimes worked for other survivors. If you have suggestions for others please leave a comment in the field below. We're all in this together even though it seems like we're alone.

1. Before you say "I can't afford my meds" don't panic. Call your physician and be honest. Tell your physician that the medicine is out of reach. The best medication is no good if you can't afford it. Samples may be available or the doctor may be able to prescribe a less expensive medication. Sometimes, a little brainstorming at the doctors' office is all that's needed.

2. If your medicine can't be changed ask for information on patient assistance programs. These programs are offered by the drug companies and may help. Not all medications are covered. Paperwork is always involved. Part of the paperwork may have to be filled out by your healthcare professional. Your doctor should have this information. If not, it's worth calling your pharmacist to ask.

Some of the programs are:
Partnership for Prescription Assistance
RxAssist may help you research other patient assistance programs.

3. If you qualify, Medicaid may be able to help.

4. Local charities may be able to help. The assistance is usually very limited. Sometimes, they only help with a certain dollar amount or only once a year. Their ability to pay for medications always depends on how much they've been given in terms of grants and people who have been able to donate a few dollars here and there. Rape survivors may be able to get information or referrals from your local rape crisis center. If not, a call to your United Way office may tell you if there's an agency in your town that can help.

5. When you can't afford your meds (and when the other options above have been explored) try calling a local church. The first church you call should be your own. Ask the pastor or rabbi if there is a benevolence or outreach fund that can help. Assistance may be limited or ongoing. Policies vary with each church.

6. ModestNeeds is an online organization that may be able to help. There is an application process. Visit them online to learn more.

7. Don't overlook friends and relatives. They may be able to help you find a way when you can't afford your meds. Friends may be able to help financially or in other ways (like saving aluminum cans for recycling).  They may be able to help with a yard sale or bake sale to help you get over the hurdle.

These are just a few ideas. As a reader of  The Hope Blog you may have other suggestions. Please share them in the comment field below.

iSearch - What to do when you can't afford your meds

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