Thursday, July 31, 2008

Migraine Medication Savings - Part II

If you can't afford your prescription medications, here are a few things you can do.

You may be eligible to use a rebate, coupon, voucher or qualify for a trial offer for the medications that I wrote about in Migraine Medication Savings.

The Wal-Mart generic program offers a 30-day supply of certain generic medication for $4.00. A 90-day supply will only cost you $10.00. If you use a heart (calcium channel blocker, beta blocker) or blood pressure medication or an antidepressant as a preventive, you may benefit from this program. I found some of these medications on the list. There are no Migraine specific medications such as Triptans or Dihydroergotamine (DHE) on the list. There are some pain medications such as Ibuprofen on this list but I did not see any narcotic medications. I also did not see any antiseizure medications.

Other big box discount stores have similar programs. One of these is Target's generic program. A 30-day supply is also $4.00 and a 90-day supply is $10.00. There are many of the same medications on their list. Kmart has a 90-day Generic Program. These medications cost $10.00 and $15.00. Their list can be found HERE. I couldn't find any Migraine medications on their $5.00 Program List. However, some analgesics are listed. Costco offers its members a prescription savings plan for those with no insurance. Information on this program can be found HERE.

A Patient Assistance Program (PAP) may help you with low-cost or no-cost medicatons. Many pharmaceutical companies offer assistance if you have no insurance or cannot pay for your medication. They have strict guidelines (i.e. income and assets) for determining your eligibility. There are a number of sites that will help you locate a PAP. One of the more well known programs is the Partnership for Prescription Assistance Program (PPARx) program. After answering eligibility questions, the site will provide you with any programs that you may possibly qualify for. They can also be reached by calling 1-888-4PPA-NOW (1-888-477-2669).

Another well known site is NeedyMeds. This site has a lot of good information including a Brand Name and Generic directory to see what programs you may be eligible for. This site also offers information on State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP or SHIIP), Disease-Based Assistance programs and some Discount Drug Cards.

Other sites that may help are (requires you to register an account),, and National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) .

If you do not qualify for a PAP offered by a pharmaceutical company
through one of these sources you will NOT qualify for it by using another. However, you may find different information about other things such as federal and state programs or discount cards on various sites so you may want to check out more than one. All of these services are FREE.

There are a number of companies that will charge you for this FREE service. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) warns there is No Need to Pay for Information on Free (or Low-Cost) Rx Drugs and says:
While it’s true that many prescription drug companies offer free or low-cost drugs for people who don’t have prescription drug coverage, can’t afford to pay for medication out of pocket, or have exhausted their insurance’s annual allowance, the programs have strict qualification standards. Factors that affect whether you qualify may include your income and the cost of the drugs you need.

If you’re trying to get free or low-cost prescription drugs, you don’t have to pay for information on how to do it. You just have to know where to look. The information is free — and publicly available — from your physician, pharmacists, and the government.
One of the services that charge for this FREE service is aka This service will send YOU the paperwork from each pharmaceutical company so that YOU and your doctor can apply for prescription assistance. This service charges an application processing fee of $10.00 per medication. This service does promise a refund if you are declined for a PAP stating:
If you are determined ineligible by all applicable sponsores [sic], and receive no medicine assistance, send a written request to Free Medicine Foundation, include denial letter(s) for all applicable sponsor(s) within 120 days of original application and your processing fee will be fully refunded.
Other program guidelines can be found HERE.

Articles discussing this company can be found on the Consumer Fraud Reporting site and the Los Angeles Times site. Answers4Families (a partner of the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services and the University of Nebraska - Lincoln Center on Children, Families, and the Law) states:
An organization called the Free Medicine Foundation has been recently marketing their services. The Better Business Bureau indicates the Free Medicine Foundation has an unsatisfactory standing with their organization. The BBB points out that this organization is not registered as a "foundation" and the don't actually provide their services for "free." The application process for the Free Medicine Foundation requires that the individual pay them $5* per medication, in order for them to check on whether you qualify for one of the pharmaceutical companies' patient assistance programs.
*Note: The cost has increased from $5.00 to $10.00.

The Better Business Bureau (BBB) Reliability Report states they have:
...processed a total of 43 complaints about this company in the last 36 months, our standard reporting period. Of the total of 43 complaints closed in 36 months, 24 were closed in the last year.
To see the the entire report click HERE.

If you do not qualify for a PAP, you may be eligible to use a discount card. Some of these are SunAssociation,,, and


Eileen said...

We are on the same wave length here! I check all the local groceries and drug stores for their version of the $4 or $10 generic script plan.

I keep trying to find one with all my drugs on them!!!!

Another great post!!

Thank you! Thank you!

Pam said...

Thanks Eileen!
I thought it would be a good idea to do a series of posts about how to save money on medication and medical expenses. I'll probably include a few non-medical related ways to save money that people don't know about or haven't thought of. I have at least 3 more $$$ saving posts to publish.

I'm in the middle of revamping this blog so as soon as I'm done I'll be posting those articles.

Feel free to share any of this information with others who may benefit from it.
Pam =)

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