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How Do I Get Free Prescription Drugs?

Many health insurance plans offer some or total coverage for generic drugs.
Most pharmaceutical companies offer programs to help with prescription drug costs.
Medicaid may help qualifying individuals receive free prescription drugs.
Some doctors can offer samples of prescription drugs for free.
Article Details
  • Written By: Ken Black
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 12 September 2014
  • Copyright Protected:
    2003-2014
    Conjecture Corporation
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While the cost of some prescription drugs can seem overwhelming, especially for those who need a lot of them or who are on fixed incomes, there are some places to turn to for help. In some cases, these programs may be able to offer free prescription drugs. In other cases, they may be only able to offer a discount, but perhaps a significant one. Therefore, those looking for free prescription drugs should consider all the alternatives.

First, finding free prescription drugs for those who have a drug plan on their insurance coverage may be a much easier prospect. Most of the time, these will only pay a percentage of the actual bill, or at least require a co-pay, but some programs offer totally free prescription drugs, especially for generics. Finding such a program that offers this benefit for name-brand medications would be considered very elite coverage, as most do not.

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For those whose insurance does no offer this coverage, or who are totally uninsured as far as getting medications is concerned, there may be other options. Many pharmaceutical companies offer programs to help with prescription drug costs for those who cannot afford it. A doctor may be able to offer some advice in this area. If affordability is an issue, tell the doctor so. In some cases, the drug prescribed may come from a different manufacturer, but be just as effective, if the doctor knows of a program the patient can apply for. The application process involves sending the information directly to the drug manufacturer.

Further, in the United States, for those who qualify, there may be government assistance available in the form of Medicaid or Medicare. Medicare may not be totally free in the sense that certain qualifications must be met and there is usually a premium cost involved. However, Medicaid is a totally free program for those who meet income eligibility guidelines where obtaining free prescription drugs may be possible. A state department of human services or social services office should be able to offer advice and start the application process.

Also, for those who are living outside the United States, there may be other programs set up to help people obtain free prescription drugs. Those countries with a state-run healthcare system may be particularly adept at helping citizens get the medications they need. However, even countries with private healthcare models will usually have some sort of assistance available for the poor and others who may qualify for certain reasons.

No matter what the situation, individuals should understand that opting not to take medicine because of prescription drug costs can be a very risky thing to do. Even if there is no option for free prescription drugs, many states offer discounts for medications and discounts may even be available on the county level. In many cases, there is no good reason why anyone should pay full price for the medication.

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