People who are not new to this blog know that we are often critical of the pharmaceutical industry because of their actions to stop Americans from buying lower cost medications from international online pharmacies. So, this may come as a surprise…
Today, we announced that we have added a new section on PharmacyChecker.com for consumers to search, find and apply to patient assistance programs, those sponsored by pharmaceutical companies. You can type in the name of your medication and review a very comprehensive collection of these programs, including low-cost, no-cost, and copay programs. The eligibility hurdles are often prohibitive: so please understand that for many programs, if you’re currently earning above the median income in the U.S. it’s likely that you are too rich.
Yes, these programs are often criticized as part of the pharmaceutical industry’s public image promotion campaign, not to mention their marketing strategies to get people started on very expensive medications. In fact, in the case of co-pay programs, drug companies seem to force health insurers/PBMs to cover very expensive drugs – and that can keeps prices high for everyone. However, and it’s a big however, I say “so what?” On a case by case basis, individuals can and do get their medications affordably using these programs and sometimes for free. The key factor to us is that the patient obtains the medication they need.
We talk a lot about personal drug importation here as a lifeline of affordability. But before you turn to international online pharmacies, if you live in the U.S., you can first give these programs a try.