For asthmatics, medications are a matter of life and death. Inhalers and other asthma medications keep asthmatics alive by allowing them to breathe. Asthma medications are not cheap, and it’s not always easy for asthmatics to pay for their drugs. When faced with financial difficulties, many asthmatics have to decide if they can do without their medications to save money. This should never happen, since there are programs that assist patients who need medications, many times providing the drugs for free.
Make a list. Write down all current medications, including the ones that aren’t for asthma.
Find drug manufacturers. For all of the medications, look on the label to find out who makes the drug. Sometimes, there’s not enough room on the sticker on the inhaler to fit the manufacturer's information. If the name of the manufacturer is not on the drug container, check the box it came in. Once all of the medications have manufacturer information on the sheet, group them by the drug manufacturer.
Calculate your income. Since income is a big factor in qualifying for free medications, find this information before calling the drug company. The manufacturers require income verification, such as pay stubs for a month, tax forms or an employer-signed statement of pay rate and income level per month. Qualifications are by monthly income, so calculate the monthly figure.
Talk to the doctor. The drug manufacturer requires a few things from the patient’s regular doctor. A new prescription has to go to the manufacturer so they can fill the prescriptions with their specific pharmacy. The doctor’s office has to fax a statement verifying that the patient is in financial need and must have the medications requested. Many times, a nurse or other professional from the doctor’s office becomes a contact point for the patient in regard to the free medications from the drug company.
Call drug companies. Once all the information is on hand, call the drug companies and ask for help. Many times, there is a specific number to call for prescription medication assistance, but calling the main number is fine, since they will transfer calls to the appropriate department. Simply answer the questions honestly, and they wil provide a list of programs that meet the qualifications.
Call the drug manufacturers even if it appears that your income is too high or other criteria are not met. Many times, the companies work with individuals and extend their programs beyond the published requirements.
Even if it’s not possible to get free medications, the drug company still gives a hefty discount to most assistance-seekers.
Never take any medications prescribed to someone else. Even if it’s the same drug, it is illegal to share prescription drugs.