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Published: 12/05/2013

How to Take Advantage of Patient Assistance Programs (PAPs)

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Most of us who have ever had to purchase a prescription drug and refill it on a regular basis realize the out-of-control costs that can be associated with it. Sometimes prescription drugs are absolutely essential to your health and survival or to that of a loved one. It can be very expensive to continue to fill the prescriptions that you need in order to obtain the treatment necessary to stay healthy. 

There are several types of patient assistance and prescription assistance programs out there to help you afford your medication. Most of these are offered by the pharmaceutical companies that manufacture them. Some programs offer free medications while others provide reimbursements or copay assistance. There are also non-profit organizations and government subsidies that contribute to these programs.  A great way to start finding a prescription assistance program that may be helpful to you is through the Partnership for Prescription Assistance (PPA). A representative from this organization has access to over 475 programs that may be of assistance to you. Read on to find out about prescription assistance offered by major pharmaceutical corporations and how websites like HelpRx can help you afford your prescription drugs.

Johnson & Johnson

Johnson & Johnson offers a patient assistance program for those needing prescription drug coverage. Their program is more than just assistance; rather it’s free medication to those who qualify. You may be eligible for free prescription drugs under this program if you do not have access to prescription drug coverage and you make less than $31,020 per year for a family of two. See the website for income levels for larger families. Those with higher income levels may also apply for this program to obtain more expensive drugs. See available drugs, income levels, and apply for assistance here. Popular drugs covered under this program include Concerta, Haldol, Ditropan XL, and Betimol. More than 40 products are currently offered. Patient assistance may be renewed on an annual basis.


Pfizer, a leading pharmaceutical corporation, offers several patient assistance programs called Helpful Answers Programs. Their Connection to Care and Pfizer Friends programs offer free prescription drugs to those meeting income requirements that have no coverage. Pfizer also has reimbursement programs like RSVP and First Resource (cancer medications). For those that do have prescription drug coverage, but cannot afford the copay, Pfizer offers copay assistance through RSVP and Pfizer Co-pay and Savings Offers. Popular drugs made by Pfizer that are covered by assistance include Provera (birth control), Zoloft, and Lipitor, among others.

Lilly Cares

Lilly Cares is a prescription drug assistance program offered by the major pharmaceutical company Eli Lilly and Company. This program consists of free medications made by Lilly for up to one year for anyone that qualifies.  To qualify you must not have prescription drug coverage, and your income cannot exceed $47,000 for a family of two. For larger families, see the website. Popular medications made by Lilly that are offered under the Lilly Cares program include Cialis, Cymbalta, Humalog (insulin), and Prozac. If you qualify, a 120 day supply of your medication will be shipped to your doctor’s office for you to pick up. You may renew your application on an annual basis. To find out if you qualify, click here.


HelpRx is unique from these other programs in that it is not sponsored by a prescription drug company, and it can be used by anyone regardless of income level and health insurance. Sometimes even with co-pay a drug can cost too much. HelpRx is great for finding discounts on generic drugs that even your prescription drug coverage can’t match. Looking for generic alternatives is a great way to start saving money on healthcare. Ask your doctor about generic alternatives to your medications and search our site for discounts that you can use in your pharmacy.

Find the Right Drug Assistance Option for You

In short, don’t go broke for drugs that are essential to your health. There are other options out there. Find out who manufactures your drug and if they have patient assistance. Check out the Partnership for Prescription Assistance website, and ask your doctor about generics. Most of the time, your doctor has no idea how much you pay for your medication. Tell him or her if you can’t afford it, and start looking for alternatives.

By HelpRx Resources Staff

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About Our Savings: is a discount pharmacy service, partnered with a leading pharmacy benefit manager. We negotiate lower prices on prescription medications, that we pass on to our members for free. There is no cost to use our cards and coupon, and anyone can take advantage of our discounts, regardless of healthcare coverage.

Our savings assurance of “up to 75% off” comes from historical data from actual claims. This data includes savings for both brand name and generic medications.