My income is limited. Are there programs that can help me afford my medications?

Yes. Many of the pharmaceutical companies participate in Medication Assistance Programs. Usually, the requirements are that the applicant be suffering from financial hardship, not be eligible for government assistance programs like Medicaid, and not have insurance reimbursement for medication.  

The majority of programs require that you apply through your physician. After the physician contacts the pharmaceutical company, the pharmaceutical company will send the doctor an application on your behalf. Once the physician signs and returns the application, and upon approval of the application, the drugs will be shipped to the doctor’s office. If your doctor has a fax machine, the correspondence between the doctor and the manufacturer can be completed in one day. Many of the manufacturers use Federal Express or one of the other one-day carriers. In the best case scenario, you can have your medicine within a few days. The average amount of medicine shipped for an individual is a three- to six-month supply. 

Contact your local senior center’s State Health Insurance Program (SHIP) counselor for help in applying for low-income pharmaceutical programs. West Virginia SHIP has a statewide toll free hotline (1-877-987-4463) that anyone can call to receive expert advice from a SHIP counselor. 

West Virginia Bureau of Senior Services, (last accessed June 8, 2015).