TOUCHED BY LYME: When you can't afford to pay for Lyme medications
NeedyMeds.org provides information about patient assistance programs for medicines and other health care costs.
NeedyMeds.org doesn’t supply medicine or financial assistance. Instead, it’s an information service about programs available for people who can’t afford to pay for medications or other health care. There’s no charge to access their information.
From the NeedyMeds website:
Patient Assistance Programs (PAPs)
Programs called PAPs, which are created by pharmaceutical companies, provide free or discounted medicine to people who are unable to afford them. Each program has its own qualifying criteria.
To find a PAP that you may qualify for:
- Click on Brand Name Drugs or Generic Name Drugs here or in the menu to the left. An alphabetical listing appears that contains all the drugs available through PAPs.
- Then click on the first letter of the name of your medicine in the alphabet bar.
- Next, click on the name of your medicine to access the eligibility and contact information for the program(s). In some cases the program application form can be printed from our website. Applications should be faxed or mailed directly to the PAP, not to NeedyMeds.
(Note from DKL: Not all drugs for treating Lyme and co-infections are covered under such programs. But some are. A quick search turned up Zithromax, Flagyl, and Mepron. No IV rocephin, alas.)
Look for all of your medications, not just the most expensive ones. If your medicine does not appear on the Brand Name or Generic Name lists, then it is not available through a PAP. Click here to learn about options if this is the case.
Additional NeedyMeds Resources:
Medication Coupons are offered by various drug companies and may offer a rebate, discount or even free trial size of a medication. Coupons for prescription medications require a doctor’s prescription. Coupons can be found two ways: under Brand Name Drugs if a green coupon icon appears next to the drug name then click on the icon. Or, they can be found on the medication coupon page. Use the alphabet bar to find the medicine.
Application Assistance lists organizations that assist patients with completing PAP applications for free or a small fee.
Diagnosis-Based Assistance programs provide a wide range of assistance for the costs associated with a specific diagnosis.
Free and Low Cost Clinics offer health care at no cost, for a small fee, or on a sliding scale. These clinics are searchable by state and by zip code.
Drug Discount Cards can help people save on their prescriptions but vary widely company to company. Click here to view available discount cards. NeedyMeds also offers a free discount card that you can download right here. It is completely free to use and requires no registration or identifying information. Click here to learn more about the card.
Camps and Scholarships offers a database of camps and scholarships geared towards children and adults living with a diagnosis.
Government Programs are programs that are created, sponsored, and/or funded (all or in part) by state, county or local governments to assist low-income residents with medical care, prescription assistance, health insurance, etc.
Disease Resource Pages provide detailed information on specific diseases and include links to nonprofit patient-oriented groups that offer education, research, support and advocacy. In addition, each disease resource page lists financial resources that help with the cost of drugs used to treat that disease, such as PAPs, free clinics and programs that provide other types of financial assistance.
Medicare Information explains the Medicare programs, contains a Medicare Part D Fact Sheet and has links for other useful Medicare-related websites.
Medicaid Sites has a clickable map where you can learn more about Medicaid in your state.
SHIP has a clickable map where you can find local state health insurance assistance programs (SHIPs), which are federally funded advisory programs in each state.
Federal Poverty Guidelines helps you figure out your eligibility for PAPs by inputting your income information.
The NeedyMeds Brochure is a great way to spread the printed word about our organization. You can download a copy of our brochure in English, Spanish or Portuguese by clicking here or order an information packet (brochure, NeedyMeds Drug Discount Card, and drug discount card handout) by clicking here.
Patient Advocate News is our free electronic PDF newsletter that contains interviews with various health care nonprofits and other health care organizations, updates on PAPs and other newsworthy tidbits. Click here to subscribe to this free publication.
NeedyMeds Forum is an online community for patient advocates to talk with each other about their work, ask professional questions of each other and stay abreast of PAP changes. Click here to join the forum if you are a patient advocate.
Click to view a YouTube video that explains more about NeedyMeds:
TOUCHED BY LYME is written by Dorothy Kupcha Leland, LymeDisease.org’s VP for Education and Outreach. Contact her at email@example.com.
- December 4, 2012 at 1:26 pm
Is there any assistance for supplements and herbals? I can’t take abx anymore. Medicaid and Medicare do not cover supplements and herbals.
- January 28, 2014 at 3:52 pm
I make just over the poverty level eligibility for Medicaid, yet cant afford treatment. I have every post-symptom of lyme disease yet, have put of doctors due to money. my nervous system, lungs and heart have all been effected. cronic fatigue keeps from working more than 1 or 2 days a week now. I need answers!
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