Patient Assistance Programs (PAPs)

What is a PAP?

Patient Assistance Programs, or PAPs, are programs offered by drug companies that help people with limited incomes pay for their drugs. Through these programs, many drug manufacturers offer the drugs they make for free, or at a discount. Different companies call their PAPs by different names.

How do PAPs work?

Because each drug company runs its own program, each PAP is different. Some PAPs cover only a few medicines made by a particular company. Other PAPs include all the prescription drugs that the company offers.

Generally, to apply for any PAP, you must fill out an application and get your doctor to sign it before you send it in. If you take medicines from more than one company, you will need to apply to the PAP of each company that makes your drugs.

If you qualify, some programs will give you your medicines for free. Others will charge you a small fee. The company will then send your medicines to your home, pharmacy, doctor's office, or health clinic.

I am in a Part D plan. Can I still get into a PAP?

Most PAPs are for people who have no other insurance. But there are three PAPs that take people with Medicare who are in Part D plans, but not eligible for the Extra Help available through Part D. These PAPs have special permission from the government to do so.

These PAPs are:

How do I know if I qualify for a PAP that covers a medicine I take?

While these programs generally are for people with limited incomes, the rules are different for each PAP. You can find out if you might qualify for a PAP that covers your medicine by completing the BenefitsCheckUp questions. Through BenefitsCheckUp, you can get more information about the PAP you are interested in. You can also get applications for most PAPs.

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