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Pearls


Helping indigent patients obtain medications

Vol. 4, No. 4 / April 2005

Pharmaceutical companies, through detailers and assistance programs, offer resources for helping our financially strapped patients.

Drug company representatives. Doctors may consider visits from drug reps a waste of time, but we can give the coupons and free drug samples they offer to indigent, disabled, or working-poor patients who often cannot afford the psychotropics they need.

To make meetings with detailers more productive:

  • Be clear about your needs, expectations, and how much time you are willing to spend.
  • Be frank about whether you want to hear about studies. Tell the detailer that you’ll accept information by request only.
  • State specific dates and times you are available.
  • Request coupons for patients whose medication samples are likely to be lost or stolen.

Patient assistance programs. Pharmaceutical companies’ assistance programs provide deeply discounted drugs to patients in need (Box). The paperwork to qualify takes minutes for clinician and patient to fill out, and many forms are available online or via fax.

Box

Pharmaceutical companies’ patient assistance programs

Solvay Pharmaceuticals

800-256-8918

Ortho McNeil Pharmaceutical

800-577-3788

Abbott Laboratories

800-222-6885

Wyeth

800-568-9938

Merck and Co.

800-994-2111

GlaxoSmithKline

800-728-4368

AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals

800-424-3727; www.astrazeneca-us.com/content/drugAssistance/

Bristol-Myers Squibb Co.

800-736-0003

Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corp.

800-277-2254

Forest Pharmaceuticals

800-851-0758; www.forestpharm.com/pap/

Pfizer Inc.

800-707-8990

Cephalon800-511-2120

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