Here is a list of programs to help people with diabetes (and other medical conditions) who cannot afford their insulin, or other medications.
Important Disclaimer – Islets of Hope provides this information for general information and it is not intended to be a recommendation or endorsement of any program or entity. Please contact the company directly as information may change, programs may be discontinued, or there may be certain changes in restrictions for qualifying for assistance. Program information is subject to change without notice. Please be sure to contact the administrator of any program before submitting an application.
Be wary of companies that charge big fees for “free” medications!
US District Court Finds MyFreeMedicine Isn’t.Written by DrPat
Published October 18, 2005
Making the Most of Your Pharmacy Benefit Plan for Private Insurance and Medicare – A valuable information site for those who have insurance or medicare and have questions about situations that may arise regarding drug coverage.
ABBOTT LABORATORIES – Most Abbott Lab Pharmaceutical Products
Affordable RxMeds – For more information or to apply by phone call 1-877-MEDS-4-ME (1-877-633-7463)
AGOURON PHARMACEUTICALS, INC. – VIRACEPT, RESCRIPTOR
ALZA PHARMACEUTICALS Bicitra, Concerta, Ditropan, Elmiron, Mycelex, Neu-Phos, Neutra-Phos-K, PolyCitra,Indigent
AMGEN INC. SAFETY NET Program for EPOGEN
AMGEN INC. – NEUPOGEN SAFETY NET Program for NEUPOGEN
ASTRAZENECA – ATACAND, EMLA, LEXXEL, PLENDIL, PRILOSEC, ONOCARD, Patient LP Assistance Program TOPROL-XL
ASTRAZENECA FOUNDATION – ACCOLATE, ARIMIDEX, NOLVADEX, SEROQUEL, SULAR, AstraZeneca Foundation TENORETIC, TENORMIN, ZESTORETIC, ZESTRIL, ZOLADEX, ZOMIG
AstraZeneca Foundation Patient Assistance Program – Offers a variety of assistance programs including.
AVENTIS PHARMACEUTICALS – Allegra, AllegraD, Amaryl, Arava, Azmacort, Inhalation Aerosol, Patient Assistance Program Bentyl, Cantil, Carafate Tablets & Suspension, Claforan, Combipatch, DDAVP Injection, Intranasal & Tablets, Hiprex
AVENTIS PACT PROGRAM – Anzemet, Taxotere
AVENTIS PASTEUR – IMOVAX, IMOGAM, TheraCys BCG
Bayer Corporation – Precose (acarbose)
BAYER CORPORATION PHARMACEUTICAL – Most Bayer pharmacy prescription medications used as Bayer Indigent Program recommended
benefitscheckup.org – Find prescription drug assistance programs that you might qualify for. A service of the National Council on Aging.
BIOGEN INC. – AVONEX (Interferon beta-la)
BOEHRINGER INGELHEIM PHARMACEUTICALS – AGGRENOX, ATROVENT, CAFCIT, CATAPRES-TTS, c/o ESI/SDS COMBIVENT, FLOMAX, MICARDIS, MOBIC & VIRAMUNE
BRISTOL-MYERS SQUIBB – Many Bristol-Myers Squibb pharmaceutical products
CENTOCOR INC. – REMICADE Patient Assistance Program
CENTOCOR SOLUTIONS – RETAVASE (reteplase, recombinant) Program for RETAVASE
Children With Diabetes Foundation – Has a new program that assists families in need for up to three months. Make tax-deductible donations or complete and assistance application online.
Department of Health and Human Services – To find low-cost health clinics.
DestinationRX – Use locator to compare drug prices and find cheapest sources.
DHF Medical Assistance Program partners with pediatric hospitals and pharmaceutical companies to ensure low-income patients care still able to get healthcare and medications. (DHF is located in Canada)
Diabetes Trust Foundation – Phone: 205-939-3402 or 800-577-1383; Fax: 205-939-3408
DuPONT PHARMACEUTICALS – Most marketed non-controlled prescription products
EISAI INC. – Aricept (donepezil HCI) 5mg & 10mg tablets
EISAI INC/JANSSEN PHARMACEUTICA, INC. – Aciphex (rabeprazole sodium) 20 mg tablets
ELAN PHARMACEUTICALS, INC. – Permax, Janaflex, Diastat, Mysoline, Zonegran Prescription Assist. Program-c/o Athena Rx Home Pharmacy
Eli Lilly and Company – Humulin (insulin), Humalog (insulin), Glucagon (emergency kit)
ELI LILLY AND COMPANY – Product Covered: Most Lilly prescription products and insulin
Everyone’s RX – This site’s program offers access to reduced cost American brand name medications to U.S residents that financially qualify. Typically, people making less than $25,000 per household or $16,000 for a single person can be assisted. The program offers prescription assistance for low income patients, information on medication research, access to medical care for pre-existing health conditions, pharmacy aid to community clinics, and pharmacy discounts to their patient members.
Free Medicine Foundation – Charges $10.00 to apply for each free presciption. “As advocates for patients seeking prescription medicine assistance, Free Medicine Foundation is committed to getting the word out and helping patients apply for free medicine. A volunteer organization that puts people in touch with sponsors willing to supply free medication.
FUJISAWA HEALTHCARE, INC. – Prograf capsules (tacrolimus, FK506)
GEMZAR – Gemzar
GENENTECH, INC. – Pulmozyme (dornase alfa) Genentech Endowment for Cystic Fibrosis
GENENTECH, INC. – Activase (Alteplase), Herceptin (Trastuzumab), Nutropin, Genentech Assistance Program Nutropin AQ, Protropin, Rituxan & TNKase
GENETICS INSTITUTE, INC. – Benefix Coagulation Factor IX (recombinant)
GENZYME CORPORATION – Ceredase (alglucerase injection) Cerezyme (imiglucerase for)
GILEAD SCIENCES, INC. – DAUNOXOME, VISTIDE
GlaxoSmithKline – Makers of Avandia (rosiglitazone) and Avandimet (combo of Metformin and Avandia). Two programs offered. GlaxoWellcome Patient Assistance Program and the SmithKline Foundation Access to Care – 1-800-546-0420; 1-800-729-4544
GLAXOSMITHKLINE – All marketed Glaxo Wellcome prescription products Glaxo Wellcome Inc.
GLAXOSMITHKLINE – Amoxil, Augmentin, Avandia, Bactroban, Compazine, Coreg, SmithKline Beecham Foundation Access to Care Dyazide, Famvir, Paxil, Relafin, Requip & Tagamet
helpingpatients.org – A directory of free supplies for Medicare enrollees without drug coverage. For more information, call 1-800-762-4636.
IMMUNEX COROPORATION – LEUKINE, NOVANTRONE, AMICAR, THIOPLEX
The Institute in Washington, D.C., a nonprofit public interest group offers free booklets online about how to get free and low-cost prescription drugs as well as dental, outpatient, hospital, and nursing care. Website: www.institute-dc.org.
InsureKidsNow – Find individual state assistance programs for insuring children. Kids that do not currently have health insurance are likely to be eligible, even if you are working. The states have different eligibility rules, but in most states, uninsured children 18 years old and younger, whose families earn up to $34,100 a year (for a family of four) are eligible.
JANSSEN PHARMACEUTICA – Aciphex
JANSSEN PHARMACEUTIC. – Janssen’s medical prescription products
KNOLL PHARMACEUTICAL COMPANY – Mavik, Rythmol, Synthroid, Tarka
THE LIPOSOME COMPANY, INC. – ABELCET (amphotericin B lipid complex injection)
MedHelp – A nonprofit organization that allows patients to post questions for doctors for free.
The Medicine Program – This services was founded by volunteers dedicated to alleviating the plight of an ever increasing number of patients who cannot afford their prescription medication. The program requires a refundable $5 processing fee but you can look up online what drugs are available (insulin and some pump supplies are available).
Merck and Co., Inc. – The Merck Patient Assistance Program – 1-908-423-1000
MERCK & CO., INC. – Aggrastat (tirofiban HCI)
MERCK & CO., INC. – Most other Merek products
The Minnesota Senior Federation – Can help Americans of any age fill a prescription from your doctor by a licensed Canadian pharmacy for less money.
NEA CLINIC – Prescription Coverage for Long-term Medication
3100 Apache Drive, Suite B1Jonesboro AR 72401 Telephone #: (870) 910-6038
Eligibility: The NEA is a Charitable Foundation. The NEA Clinic assists low-income persons and families with no prescription coverage to receive long-term medications for free. The Foundation acts as a liaison between the person needing the care and the drug company. The person’s doctor must be willing to sign the application for medication.
NeedyMeds.com – This site acts as a search portal for patient assistance programs. There is no cost to use this service which currently list 390 companies that offer free drugs and patient assistance programs.
NEUMEGA – Neumega (oprelvekin)
Novartis – Starlix – Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation Patient Assistance Program – 1-800-277-2254
NOVARTIS PHARMACEUTICALS – Certain single source and/or life sustaining drugs
Novo Nordisk Pharmaceuticals Inc. – Offers free, 3-month supply of insulin, the possibility of renewal. Eligibility determined by consultation with your doctor who should call Novo Nordisk at 1-800-727-6500. NovoNordisk is the maker of Prandin (repaglinide), Novolin (insulin), Novolog (insulin). Two programs offered. Patient Assistance Program (Insulin products) and the Indigent Program Administrator (Prandin).
ORGANON INC. – Remeron (mirtazapine)
ORGANON INC. – Follistim (follitropin beta for injection), Follistim Antagon Kit
ORTHO BIOTECH INC. – PROCRIT for non-dialysis use, LEUSTATIN injection Procritline
ORTHO DERMATOLOGICAL – Prescription products prescribed according to approved Ortho-McNeil Patient Assistance Program labeled indications & dosage regimens
ORTHO-McNEIL PHARMACEUTICAL, INC. – Prescription products prescribed according to approved Ortho-McNeil Patient Assistance Program labeled indications & dosage regimens
OTSUKA AMERICA PHARMACEUTICAL, INC. – Pletal (citstazol) Tablets
PARK-DAVIS – Accupril, Accuretic, Dilantin, Estrostep, FemHRT, Lipitor, Loestrin, Neurontin & Zarontin
Partnership for Prescription Assistance (PPA) – The program brings together America’s pharmaceutical companies, doctors, other health care providers, patient advocacy organizations, and community groups to help qualifying patients who lack prescription coverage get the medicines they need through the public or private program to obtain free, or at-cost medications. The PPA site offers an online questionnaire to determine program eligibility from more 475 public and private patient assistance programs, including more than 150 programs offered by pharmaceutical companies. To access the Partnership for Prescription Assistance by phone, you can call toll-free, 1-888-4PPA-NOW (1-888-477-2669). Espanol
Partnership for Prescription Assistance (Helping Patients.org) – Patients can determine which programs they may be eligible for by answering questions and using the online application wizard.
Pfizer – This company offers a prescription drug “Share Card” to qualifying patients that permits them to purchase a 30-day supply of any Pfizer prescription medicine for only $15.00 per prescribed medication. Pfizer makes the sulfonylureas, Diabinese (chlorpropamide) and Glucotrol and Glucotrol XL (glipizide). Over 44,000 pharmacies participate in the program. Applicants must be enrolled in Medicare and meet income requirements. Download their .pdf guide to the program. 1-800-707-8990. Other progams include:
- The Connection to Care Program may cover. Glucotrol (glipizide), Glucotrol XL (glipizide – extended release), Diabinese (chlorpropamide), Glucamide, Metaglip (combo of Metformin and Glipizide)
- Pharmacia a subsidiary of Pfizer may provide assistance for Glyset (miglitol), Micronase (glyburide), Tolinase, Orinase, DiaBeta. Please contact Pfizer for information about the Pharmacia assistance programs. 1-800-707-8990
PFIZER – Medically indient program (income below $12,000 for individual and below $15,000 for families)
PFIZER INC. – Certain Pfizer single-source products
PFIZER INC. – (Arkansas Residents Only) Covers most Pfizer prescription products are covered
PFIZER INC. – Diflucan and Zithromax for MAC prophylaxis
PFIZER INC. – Aricept Patient Assistance Program ( Please see Eisai Inc.)
PFIZER INC. – Most Pfizer outpatient products with chronic indications are Pfizer Prescription Assistance covered by this program.
The Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA) and its member companies sponsor an interactive website with information on drug assistance programs at www.helpingpatients.org. Phone: (202) 835-3400;
The following information comes from the The National Federation for the Blind:
“The pharmaceutical industry has a tradition of providing medications free of charge to physicians whose patients might not otherwise have access to necessary medicines. Members of PhRMA, an association of drug manufacturers, have created a directory listing each participating manufacturer and the products that manufacturer has decided to list. Eligibility rules vary between manufacturers. All prescription medications are not included and all drug manufacturers may not be members of PhRMA. Still, the association’s patient assistance program (which does include insulin, oral diabetes medications, and cyclosporine) is a useful safety net. For information about the Directory of Prescription Drug Patient Assistance Programs, physicians should contact PhRMA at the above address. (NOTE: The Web list of participating companies is in text but reading the directory requires Adobe Acrobat software.)”
PHARMACIA CORPORATION – Numerous products
PillBot – Use their free online system to compare drug prices to find cheapest sources for drugs.
0% discounted prices on diabetes supplies. We cannot specifically recommend or endorse any company but we have been listing Hock’s in our resource directory for over a year as one of the two cheapest online companies to purchase from. We recently affiliated with Hock’s because our own experience with them has been so positive. If you do place an order through our site, they will contribute financially towards our cause and you will get reasonable prices for diabetes supplies.
National Patient Assistance Programs for Diabetes Prescriptions and Supplies
Preferred Rx – Since 1988, Preferred Rx, a mail-order pharmacy in Cleveland, Ohio, has helped ease the financial burden experienced by many patients and families using expensive maintenance prescription drugs. Call 1-800-843-7038 for Discount Club prices and details on programs offered (below).
Preferred Rx offers two programs: one for people who have insurance covering prescription drugs and one for people who don’t. For those who qualify for our mail-order/insurance billing plan, Preferred Rx:
- ships without advance payment
- files the claim with the insurance company
- offers delayed billing for insurance co-payments, and
- waives insurance co-payments for those with a qualified financial hardship
Patients who do not have insurance can join Preferred Rx’s Discount Prescription Club, a program offering significant savings at local pharmacies. A $25.00 annual fee (which covers the whole family) entitles members to preferred discount pricing.
Proctor and Gamble Pharmaceuticals – Proctor and Gamble Pharmaceuticals Patient Assistance Program – 1-800-830-9049
RHONE-POULENC RORER INC. – Rabies and other vaccines. Also, see Aventis Pharmaceuticals for more information
PROCTER & GAMBLE PHARMACEUTICALS, INC. – Actonel, Asacol, Dantrium, Didronel, Macrodantin, Macrobid
ROCHE LABORATORIES, INC. – CellCept, CYTOVENE, CYTOVENE-IV
ROCHE LABORATORIES, INC. – Roche product line with some exceptions
ROCHE LABORATORIES, INC. – Roferon-A, Kytril, Vesanoid, Xeloda, Fluorouracil
ROCHE LABORATORIES, INC. – FORTOVASE, INVIRASE, CYTOVENE, CYTONVENE-IV, HIVID
ROXANE LABORATORIES, INC. – Oramorph SR, Roxanol, Roxicodone
rxassist.org – Largest listing of PAPs on the web — a great place to search for programs.
RXSavingsPlus – RxSavings Plus is a prescription discount program for the uninsured and underinsured. As an RxSavings Plus member, you can use your prescription drug card at more than 57,000 participating pharmacies nationwide to save an average of 20 percent off the regular retail price of your prescription drugs. Find a Participating Pharmacy. NOTE. savings are only available at participating pharmacies.
SANDOZ PHARMACEUTICAL CORPORATION – (Also, see Novasrtis Pharmaceuticals)
SANKYO PHARMA – WelChol (colesevelam HCI)
Sanofi-Aventis Pharmaceuticals, Inc. – For Amaryl (glimepiride) and Lantus (insulin) – Lovenox Patient Assistance Program and the Aventis Patient Assistance Program – 1-888-632-8607; 1-888-875-9951.
SANOFI-SYNTHELABO INC. – Aralen, Danocrine, Drisdol, Hytakerol, Mytelase, NegGra
SCHERING LABORATORIES/KEY PHARMACEUTICALS – Most Schering/Key Prescription drugs
Seniors Inc, Prescription Drug Assistance – A nonprofit organization that helps seniors apply for free and affordable medications. There is no charge for their services.
SEARLE – (Also, see Pharmacia) Aldactazide, Aldactone, Calan SR, Kerlone, Covera-HS
SERONO LABORATORIES, INC. – Saizen (somatropin [rDNA origin])
SERONO LABORATORIES, INC. – Serostim for treatment of AIDS wasting
SIGMA-TAU PHARMACEUTICALS, INC. – Carnitor Drug Assistance Program-c/o NORD
STATE AND FEDERAL ASSOCIATES – FOSCAVIR (foscarnet sodium) Injection
THE SUPPORT PROGRAM FOR CRIXIVAN – Crixivan (indinavir sulfate)
Takeda Pharmaceuticals North America – Actos (pioglitazone hydrochloride)
Together Rx Prescription Savings Program – Offers a free prescription discount card (20-40% off many name brands, additional discounts off generic drugs) to senior citizens. See site for full list of eligibility requirements.
The United Health Alliance – Also fills your prescription by a licensed Canadian pharmacy.
WYETH-AYERST LABORATORIES – The Norplant 5-year contraceptive system
WYETH-AYERST LABORATORIES – ENBREL
Other Resources to Explore for Prescription Drugs and Medical Supplies
If you can’t pay for your medicines and supplies without help, you should tell your health care provider. Your doctor may be able to direct you to local programs or even provide free samples.
You or your doctor can order a free filament to check feet for nerve damage. The filament (with instructions for use) is available by calling the Bureau of Primary Health Care’s (BPHC’s) Lower Extremity Amputation Prevention Program (LEAP) at 1–888–ASK–HRSA (275–4772) or by accessing www.bphc.hrsa.gov/leap on the Internet.
The Medicare Prescription Program offers a searchable database of prescription drug assistance programs. The website offers information on public and private programs with discounted or free medication. You can also learn about Medicare health plans with prescription coverage.
Try contacting a local shelter for more information on how to obtain free medications and medical supplies; sometimes private or public corporations offer shelters medication and medical assistance. Check your phone book under Human Service Organizations or Social Service Organizations for the number of your nearest shelter.