Prescription assistance programs

Lupus Foundation of America

Resource Content

It can be difficult at times to pay for your prescription medications. There are several assistance programs that are available to help those who:

  • Have no medical/medication insurance
  • Need assistance with medication co-pay
  • Insurance company has denied payment of treatment medication

Please remember that all assistance programs will need to see a valid, current prescription from a physician in order to complete your application for possible approval.

What resources are available to help locate an assistance program for my medications?

NeedyMeds Patient Assistance Programs
NeedyMeds offers a free drug discount card that can help patients afford their medications as an alternative to insurance.

Partnership for Prescription Assistance 
The Partnership for Prescription Assistance brings together America's pharmaceutical companies, doctors, other health care providers, patient advocacy organizations and community groups to help qualifying patients who lack prescription coverage get the medicines they need through the public or private program that's right for them. Many will get them free or nearly free.

RXAssist - Patient Assistance Center 
RxAssist offers a comprehensive database of these patient assistance programs, as well as practical tools, news, and articles so that health care professionals and patients can find the information they need.

American College of Rheumatology 
The American College of Rheumatology (ACR) represents over 9,400 rheumatologists and rheumatology health professionals around the world. The ACR has compiled a list of assistance programs for certain rheumatology-related drugs.

What should I know about co-pay cards? 

What is a co-pay card? Co-pay cards are offered to eligible patients to help them reduce out-of-pocket costs for prescription drugs. A co-pay card can be used at any local pharmacy and for some mail-order prescription programs.

Who can use a co-pay card? Co-pay cards can be used by patients who have private/commercial insurance. Co-pay cards cannot be used for prescription drugs that are available for reimbursement by a federal or state healthcare program.  Therefore, patients who are on Medicaid/Medicare are not eligible to enroll in co-pay card assistance programs. Who or where do I get a co-pay card from? Drug manufacturers provide co-pay cards to reduce the cost of certain medications that are preferred by patients and their providers. You can speak to your provider or pharmacist to get more information.

Steps for obtaining a co-pay card: 
  1. Speak to your prescribing physician and ask if the prescribed medication has a co-pay card assistance program or you can visit to find co-pay card assistance programs. 
  2. Fill out the co-pay card enrollment form provided by your prescriber and send the form to the appropriate drug manufacturer. 
  3. You will receive a co-pay card once enrolled in the co-pay card program. You will then be able to present your co-pay card, along with the prescription to the pharmacy to obtain a discount on the prescribed medication. To learn more about co-pay cards, please visit: Co-Pay Cards FAQs.

Are there other resources available?

  • Check with your local pharmacist (CVS, Walgreens, Wal-Mart, etc.). They will be able to provide you with information on any programs they have for discounted medications.
  • Talk to your doctor. They may have samples available to help cover you until you can apply for an assistance program.
  • If you have medication insurance and your insurer has denied coverage of prescribed treatment, you should still contact an assistance program. They may provide you with assistance once they have confirmed that you have been denied coverage.

If you have any questions about making use of prescription assistance programs, please contact our Health Educators.