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How do I apply to a drug assistance program?

Get copies of the application forms.
First you will need to get an application for each assistance program to which you wish to apply. If you are taking more than one drug, you can apply to more than one program. (You can get the applications by printing them from the Web sites )
Follow instructions carefully.
After you have the application forms, read and follow the instructions on each form very carefully. For the most part, they will need your name, address, and contact information.
Some forms request proof of income, and you must provide this to get help. It can usually be your paycheck stubs for the past 3 months, last year's income tax form, a social security benefit letter, etc.
You must answer each question. If you do not, the application will be returned to you.  
Ask your doctor to help.
Take each application form to your doctor. He or she will need to fill in medical information, including a prescription for your drugs. Sometimes your doctor will only have to write a letter on his or her stationery explaining why you need help.
Mail the forms to the drug companies.
Be sure that your doctor's office mails the forms to each drug company. If you mail the forms yourself, please be sure to include the prescriptions with the application.
The drug company will review and decide whether or not to approve your application. If approved, the drugs are mailed within a few weeks, usually to your doctor's office, at no cost to you. Your doctor will give them to you.
Re-apply for refills.
To keep the supply of drugs coming, you will need to re-apply along with a new prescription from your doctor a few weeks before you run out of the drug. Some drug companies will include a renewal application in your shipment; with others you might have to call for a renewal form. It's up to you to re-submit your request in time.
Helpful tips
  • Remember that drug companies rely on your doctor's recommendations, so your doctor plays a key role in your acceptance. If your doctor does not know about these programs, ask him or her to call the director of the assistance program you are looking at.
  • Make a copy of all the forms and letters before they are mailed. Keep your copy in a safe place so that you can use it to fill out your renewal request.
  • If a drug company does not approve your application, ask your doctor to prescribe a different or generic medicine, and then re-apply to the new drug company. 

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.