Rx Help Online: Free and Discount Drugs

An estimated 48 million Americans are uninsured and more are struggling to pay for prescription drugs, but there are a number of programs that offer help when medication costs get out of control.

Depending on your income and treatment, programs run by health organizations and drug companies alike help provide access to inexpensive generic drugs, coupons, discounts and even free medication.

Resources range from umbrella assistance programs, where you can search for help based on the medications you take and specific eligibility criteria, to programs based on your condition.  There are also resources and retail outlets that provide discounts on brand-name and generic drugs.  Here’s a resource guide:

A Comprehensive Review
Comprehensive assistance programs help the uninsured and underinsured search for programs they qualify for.

Needy Meds offers access to more than 4,100 medicines and links to discount drug card and coupon programs, thousands of free or low-cost clinics around the country and programs offering medical equipment and supplies for specific diseases. There’s also a tool to see if you're eligible.

Partnership for Prescription Assistance is an entry point for more than 475 programs sponsored by pharmaceutical companies, government programs, health plans and charities.

The Patient Advocate Foundation has specialized case managers who can help with a multitude of financial health care issues and offers the most comprehensive patient assistance program for free or discount prescriptions. It also provides help paying for surgery, large copayments for medical care, child care while patients are undergoing treatments and even the cost of transportation to treatments.

provides links to more than 1,000 prescription-assistance programs, free clinics and programs that help with copayments for treatment for cancer and rare and chronic diseases.

Rx Assist lists links to state-run assistance plans and programs to help with drug copayments and patient education.

Rx Hope offers online assistance applications, links to medical groups, patient advocates and drug company web sites.

State assistance programs can be found at www.ncsl.org/programs/health/drugaid.htm.

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