Pharmacy Assistance Program (PAP)
Many drug manufacturers operate programs that provide prescription drugs to patients at no charge. These programs are referred to as “Patient Assistance Programs.” These programs require an application process with varying documents accompanying the application. Requirements vary among companies. Eligibility may require proof of income, citizenship, residency, social security number or perhaps a letter from the prescribing physician.
When a prescription for a PAP drug is written, the patient is sent to the PAP office in the clinic. If the patient is approved for a program, the company will ship a supply of the drug (generally 90 days supply) for the patient. Eligibility is renewed from time to time, according to the individual program guidelines. A website www.needymeds.com is a good source we use to determine if a drug is covered under a company’s plan. Some companies do not have such plans. Many companies no longer provide free assistance to Medicare patients or to patients who do not have a social security number.
Two companies offer CommUnityCare a different form of patient assistance program. These two companies allow CommUnityCare to request replenishment of our existing drug inventory for prescriptions dispensed to our patients who meet program guidelines. CommUnityCare requests replenishment by creating an electronic record of all the prescriptions the CommUnityCare pharmacy dispenses. The report is transmitted to the company. Based on that record, the company will send drugs in ‘bulk’ to our pharmacy. That is, the drugs are not intended for use by any one patient. The drugs are simply placed in stock to replenish our inventory and then used for any eligible patient. Both companies audit our records from time to time.