At various support groups in Baltimore, the participants have talked about the high cost of psychotropic drugs. It is not unusual for someone to say they can’t afford their meds. As the appropriate meds are important to emotional stability in the mentally ill, this is a grave situation. There are steps that can be taken to cut out – or lower – the cost of meds.
1) Some psychiatrists have free pharmaceutical samples which they can give to their patients.
2) Some pharmaceutical companies offer medication assistance programs to low-income individuals and families. These programs typically require a doctor’s consent and proof of financial status. They may also require that you don’t have any health insurance, or no prescription drug benefits through your health insurance
The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) is part of a coalition that helps qualifying patients get the medicines they need.
A list of psychotropic drugs which can be obtained through this patient prescription drug assistance program includes: Abilify, BuSpar, Celexa, Clozapine (generic), Clozaril, Depakote, Desyrel (150 & 300 mg pils only), Effexor, Geodon, Haldol, Haldol Decanoate, Isoptin, Lexapro, Ludiomil, Neurontin, Paxil, Prolixin, Prolixin Deconoate, Prozac, Risperdal, Serentil, Seroquel, Tegretol, Wellbutrin, Zoloft and Zyprexa. Visit NAMI’s website http://nami.org/Content/ContentGroups/Helpline1/Prescription_Drug_Patient_Assistance_Programs.htm for a list of participating pharmaceutical companies.
3) Together RX Access is a free savings card sponsored by several of the pharmaceuticals. Each of the participating drug companies has its own individual savings plan. Savings run from 20 to 40% off the regular cost of the drugs, and in some cases substantially more. To qualify for Together RX, people can have higher income levels than for medicare. Click here to find out more about Together RX http://www.togetherrxaccess.com/
4) Medbank is a free discount card that anyone without a prescription plan can use. Participating pharmacies provide prescription drugs at a discount. The card can be printed from http://www.medbankus.org/ . This website also allows a search of participating pharmacies by zip code and shows the price of drugs. A listing of Baltimore zip code 21212 brought up 10 participating drug stores, all charging the same price for the medications that were placed in the search box. On average, members can save 15% on brand drugs and 40% on generic drugs from the usual and customary cash price of their prescription.
The above programs are not a conclusive list of programs designed to help people get the drugs they need. For a comprehensive overview of ways to access psychotropic drugs free or at low cost, contact NAMI Metropolitan Baltimore 410-435-2600