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Article: No drug coverage? Help is available

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  • Article: No drug coverage? Help is available

    No drug coverage? Help is available
    A helpful physician, an Internet connection and patience can pay off for
    low-income people

    The Detroit News 03/14/05
    author: Ellen Simon / Associated Press
    (Copyright 2005)

    There are low-cost, and, in some cases, free, options for low-income
    people who have no health insurance or no prescription coverage to get
    the drugs they need. Unfortunately, the key word is "options."

    Depending on which medications you take, which state you live in and
    other factors, you may need more than one program.

    A helpful physician, an Internet connection and a lot of patience will
    make this easier.

    But Michal Fishman, a spokeswoman for Pfizer Inc., said "Not enough
    people who are eligible for these programs are taking advantage of

    Most pharmaceutical companies run programs for people who can't afford
    the medication they produce. Almost all require paperwork that must be
    filled out by both doctor and patient. For instance, Eli Lilly & Co.,
    which makes the osteoporosis drug Forteo, has a card called

    Low-income seniors who are eligible for Medicare and have no
    prescription drug coverage can apply for the card. With it, they pay $12
    for a 30-day supply of a Lilly drug, including Forteo -- a savings of
    $488 a month.

    About 350,000 people participate in the program, which has filled 1.2
    million prescriptions since it began in April 2002, according to the

    Many of the programs run by pharmaceutical companies aren't
    well-publicized, said Howard Berliner, professor of health policy at New
    School University in New York.

    "It stands to reason why they wouldn't be broadcasting the availability
    of low-income drugs."

    Still, according to the trade group Pharmaceutical Research and
    Manufacturers of America, 6.2 million patients received 17.8 million
    prescriptions through programs run by pharmaceutical companies in 2003,
    up from 1.1 million patients in 1997.

    Another option is state programs, which vary widely. Many states have
    multiple programs, with some for AIDS patients and some for pregnant

    A Web site run by the pharmaceutical industry,,
    lists both state-run programs and programs run by pharmaceutical

    (Click on "View a list of the participating pharmaceutical companies" to
    see both state and company-run programs.)

    The directory is also available by calling (800) 762-4636.

    Other programs are run by groups of drug companies.

    Pfizer, Lilly, AstraZeneca PLC, Janssen Pharmaceutica N.V. and
    Ortho-McNeil Pharmaceutical Inc. participate in the UShare Prescription
    Drug Discount card, or (800) 707-3917.

    The annual enrollment fee is $19.95.

    Low-income people who meet eligibility requirements and join the program
    can pay $15 for many Pfizer or AstraZeneca drugs, $12 for many Lilly
    drugs and an estimated $12 to $15 per prescription for Janssen and
    Ortho-McNeil drugs. About 320,000 people have the card.

    There are more than 40 Medicare-approved discount cards available. Try for information.

    If you don't have Web access, a starting place for information about
    different programs should be your doctor.

    "I hope every doctor would say to his patients, 'Are you able to pay for
    this prescription?' " said Jim McNulty, director of consumer and family
    affairs at the Department of Mental Health in Rhode Island and former
    national president for the National Alliance for the Mentally Ill.

    McNulty said most of the patients he sees are part of no official
    program and depend on doctors to give them a steady stream of medication
    the physicians have received as free samples from pharmaceutical sales

    "People have to be really ingenious," he said.
    IC & fibromyalgia since ~'77. Osteoarthritis since ~'88. Idiopathic Thrombocytopenia Purpura (autoimmune blood disease) since '96. IBS for who knows how long. Interstim implant 2/04, revised 6/06, replaced 11/12 & again in 9/17. Antibodies to thyroid since at least '92 (finally diagnosed & treated 1/06). Asthma & vocal cord dysfunction 12/06. Hypoglycemia '07. Perimenopausal at 37, menopause at 45. Pituitary & adrenal failure. Osteopenia. Grade 3 sacral fracture by S3-S4 at age 12, healed 14mm out of place.

  • #2
    Great information thank you for posting this.
    Medicine taken daily or as needed:
    1. Heaprin and Marcaine rescue installment 1 to 3x daily as needed.
    2. MS.Cotin 100mg 3x daily
    3. MSIR 30mg 1 or 2 every 4-6hrs as needed for breakthrew pain.
    4. Fentanyl 100 mg Change every 48hrs.
    5. Gentamicin 80mg install after each rescue treatment
    5 Leviquin 500mg self start as needed.
    6. Klonopin 1 or 2 daily as needed.
    7. Prosed/DS as 1 every 6hrs as needed.

    I have IC, but IC doesn't have me anymore!


    • #3
      Is there any difference between marcain and lidocain? They are using lidocain in my installations right now and they aren't helping much does marcain work better?


      • #4
        I am self employed and therefore have no insurance. was diagnosis with IC and I get my Elmiron and Oxy totally free. Ask me questions if you need to.
        Love the person, hate the sin!


        • #5
          How? I too have no insurance. I lost my unemployment in April due to being to sick to go look for a job and my husband is going to be laid off for the season in about 6 weeks if not sooner and because he doesn't work year around they don't offer him insurance. I have already been turned down by Jonhson & Johnson once and I'm in the process now of writing them a hardship letter hoping they will reconsider. Any help is greatly appreciated.


          • #6
            Why are you instilling anti-biotics? Do you have a bladder infection, curious because I think that alot of infection should be treated by sending the anti-biotics right to the source. But I've also been seeing where it seems like some people with IC are on anti-biotics permanently and I wonder why?


            • #7
              Instills are a "cocktail" of sorts that include several is not an antibiotic per say. I have my first one this week and then every week for 6 weeks. This is per my new urogyn
              ecologist, she is awesome. My other was a male and a very old school and not up to date on IC so I moved on and was Blessed to find this doctor.
              Love the person, hate the sin!


              • #8
                I called J&J and they sent me forms and I qualified becuz evidentally maybe I am poorer than poor..........and I used to not be, but this IC and of course I am in the 10% of worst luck. I also had to be put on oxy ms 12hr release tabs for something else, a surgery to the elbow, becuz I was basically beat up, but that is another story. I would include a letter from your doc to J&J and see if that helps. Elmiron is so expensive, no way I could be on it without help.
                Love the person, hate the sin!


                • #9
                  Free prescriptions for uninsured??

                  Originally posted by NewtoIC2012 View Post
                  Is there any difference between marcain and lidocain? They are using lidocain in my installations right now and they aren't helping much does marcain work better?
                  How do you go about getting help with prescription medication for IC? I had to omitt my Opana as I couldn't afford $300 each month along with roxycodone for pain, zofran, Reglan and Donnaltol for stomach disease, xanax, depression meds and ritilan for head issues. My total amount for all medications each month is about $800 then $120 for dr. visit. I have NO income and thank god for my mother who has put my meds and appts. on her visa card with hopes that I'll get approved for Disability. I finally did get approved after 2 1/2 years, and in good part due to my pain diary, frequency diary and IC letter to the Judge - that letter to the Judge was a huge assett my lawyer stated. Thanks all for any help you can provide

                  Another question - how do you get your pain medications to be the proper amount each month when flares arise and require more meds - they do for me and this month was my worst in 6months. This sucks soooooo bad, I hate this disease, it hurts~


                  • #10
                    The only thing I am getting help with is my instills and that is because my uro is in with the hospital and I qualified for 80% help thru the hospital but I still have to come up with the $25 copay for each weekly visit.
                    Johnson and JOhnson is the company that makes Elmiron and the have a program. I went to their website and printed out the forms and took them to my Dr., they had me fill out my part and you have to show your most recent taxes and then the Dr. filled out their part and faxed it in for me. I got denied because we made to much money last year but I'm writing them a hardship letter and going to have the Dr. sign it and send it to them hoping they will change their minds. Do you have a Catholic Charities where you live, they help with meds. Salvation Army probably helps out is only a $100 every six months because theres so much need. Look up who makes your meds and look for websites to see if they have a program. From my understanding several do. You might trying seeing if because your on disablility you can get a medical card from medicade or whatever it might be called there. I was told here that if I am considered disabled by SSI that I can get a card. Just still wating only applied a few months ago. Just found out about the IC in April. So for now I am trying some natural stuff. I drink a glass of baking soda water when I feeling the slightest twich of a flare. I went to my local health food store the other day and bought me a bottle of aloe vera concentrate capsules, a bottle of quercetin with bromelain and a bottle of glucosamine,chondrotin and MSM and I believe they are already starting to help. $78 for these three bottles verses$400+ a month for elmiron plus the other meds i take they thankfully are on the $4 list at walmart except my birthcontrol and I'm getting samples of it. If you haven't tried the 16oz. of water with a teaspoon of baking soda, please do. It taste nasty but it does help. They only have me on tramidol and ibuprophen for pain right now, so iuse lots of ice packs to help me get through my days. I'm allergic to codine and darvocet so I'm very limited on what i can take. I hope you get some help with your meds soon and start feeling better. God Bless