Frequently Asked Questions
About the Partnership for Prescription Assistance®
How does the PPA work?
The Partnership for Prescription Assistance (PPA) program was created to make it easier for low-income, uninsured patients to get free or nearly free prescription medicines through existing patient assistance programs. A patient or patient advocate simply completes our online application with basic information about prescription medicines, income, and current prescription medicine coverage and the PPA matches the patient with assistance programs for which they may be eligible.
Who is involved in the PPA?
The Partnership for Prescription Assistance brings together America's biopharmaceutical companies, doctors, patient advocacy organizations and civic groups to help low-income, uninsured patients get free or nearly free brand-name medicines. Learn more about the PPA.
Do I mail my completed applications to the Partnership for Prescription Assistance?
No. The Partnership for Prescription Assistance helps find eligible programs, but does not process program applications. Read through each application to find where it should be emailed, faxed or mailed.
How do patient prescription programs fit into the existing health care system?
Patient assistance programs have been part of the health care system for many years, providing millions of people with free or nearly free medicines. While these programs are an important safety net for low-income and uninsured patients, they are not the only solution. It is critical that all partners in the health care industry work to develop more long-term options to increase the access to and affordability of health care for all Americans.
What role do health care providers play in the PPA?
Health care providers play a crucial role in spreading the word that patients in need can get free or nearly free prescription medicines. Physicians, nurses and other health care providers can also log on to PPARx.org to get information on patient assistance programs. Finally, physicians are responsible for signing patient application forms, adding patient prescription information and, depending on the program, mailing or faxing the application on behalf of the patient.
How long can patients get free or nearly free medication from assistance programs?
Each program available through the Partnership for Prescription Assistance has its own enrollment and renewal requirements. Many programs require patients to reapply yearly. The specifics of each program are included in an information packet, which you will receive when you are matched with a program.
Do you have an email newsletter with program updates?
Subscribe to our Email Newsletter to receive information regarding program updates, as well as information about how to afford health care.
I sent you a message requesting assistance. Why did I receive an automated response in return?
The staff at The Partnership for Prescription Assistance reviews each email; unfortunately, HIPPA and other regulations prevent us from proving any assistance via email. The response messages simply confirm that we received and are reviewing your message.
How do I correct information on your site?
Are you hiring?
The Partnership for Prescription Assistance is not currently hiring, nor do we know about job opportunities at our partners. You are welcome to check the PhRMA Career Center for job opportunities.
Can you help patients with expiring benefit cards or programs?
The Partnership for Prescription Assistance is a clearing house for prescription assistance programs; we do not offer prescription assistance or benefits cards ourselves. Please contact the specific prescription assistance or benefit card program regarding program information and expiration dates.
Can you send program information to my house?
The Partnership for Prescription Assistance does not mail applications or other information. However, program applications may be downloaded directly from our site.
Can I advertise on your website?
The Partnership for Prescription Assistance does not accept any form of advertising on its website, newsletters or other properties. We also do not purchase or place advertisements on other websites.
Am I Eligible?
Why do I have to enter my information each time I visit the site?
Due to HIPPA and other privacy regulations, we are unable to store, save or otherwise record patient information on our website.
Who qualifies for prescription assistance?
Each patient assistance program has its own eligibility criteria. Complete the application process to see if you are eligible for one or more patient assistance programs. Please note that there are some instances in which Medicaid beneficiaries may be eligible for patient assistance programs.
Are non-U.S. citizens eligible for prescription assistance?
Each patient assistance program has its own eligibility criteria. Common criteria for prescription assistance programs include:
- Citizenship status
- Household income and size
- Current prescription benefits
Can I have other drug coverage and still qualify for a patient assistance program?
Yes, there may be some patient assistance programs for which you may be eligible.
Why am I eligible for assistance programs for some medicines, but not others?
The eligibility criteria varies from program to program and may even vary by medicines within a program. Eligibility most commonly depends on factors related to your income, prescription medicines, resident state, age and current prescription drug coverage.
I don't need help now. Can I qualify in advance?
No. Prescription assistance programs are designed to help those who have an immediate need for prescription medication help.
Can I receive prescription assistance if I live outside the U.S.?
The programs and services listed on the Partnership for Prescription Assistance website are only available to those living in the United States. At this time, we do not know of similar services available in other countries.
Can I join multiple patient assistance programs?
Yes, it is possible to belong to more than one patient assistance program.
What happens once patients are informed that they may be eligible for one or more programs?
Patients who may be eligible for one or more programs will receive application information for each program. In many cases, patients can fill out program application forms online and print out nearly completed forms. Patients then bring the application to their health care provider who must sign the form and include patient prescription information (or simply attach the patient's prescription). The patient or the physician can mail the application to the program's sponsor.
I'm unable to download my applications from your website. What should I do?
We are in the process of fixing a bug that occasionally affects PDF applications. If you have trouble opening the PDF applications from our website, please search for your medicines and download the applications individually.
How long does it take for my application to be processed?
The Partnership for Prescription Assistance does not handle or process applications. Contact the assistance program to inquire about the status of your application.
Why haven't I heard back from the PPA after providing my credit card information?
The Partnership for Prescription Assistance is a free service. We will never ask for your credit card or other payment information. If someone says they represent the PPA and asks for credit card information, payment, or otherwise attempts to sell you a service, this may be a scam. Read more about common scams on our SCAM Alert.
I’m applying for myself and someone else. Do I fill out one application or two?
Generally, each program requires a unique application from each patient requesting assistance. This varies by program, so if you are applying for yourself and a family member, please read the program guidelines to determine whether you need to send in separate applications.
How do I get an application?
You can obtain an application through the Partnership for Prescription Assistance program portal. It will gather information needed to determine if you might qualify for an assistance program and provide you with the forms you need to apply.
What questions will patients have to answer during the application process?
Patients or patient caregivers should be prepared to provide information regarding:
- State of residence and ZIP code
- Estimated gross annual household income
- Number of people living in household
- Brand name of prescription medicines they are currently taking or have been prescribed
- Type of health insurance and/or prescription coverage (if applicable)
Your responses to these questions are completely confidential.
How do I use the Get Help Now Tool?
The Get Help Now Tool takes you through the PPA application process step-by-step. For further assistance, you can call the PPA at 1-888-4PPA-NOW or 1-888-477-2669.
I had technical difficulties while printing my application. Does this mean that medical information has been compromised?
What is the ZIP file you emailed to me?
If you have chosen to have your program applications emailed to you, the PDF files will be packaged together in a compressed folder commonly known as a "ZIP" file. Windows and Macintosh computers and most mobile devices open ZIP files. To open, view and print the applications from the ZIP folder, you will need the Adobe Acrobat Reader installed on your device. Download the Adobe Acrobat Reader free from Adobe at http://get.adobe.com/reader/.
How do I open the application files?
I don't have a printer. Can you print and mail the applications to me?
Unfortunately, we cannot print and mail applications. We recommend visiting a public library to print applications.
Health Insurance, Medicare and Medicaid
How can I get health insurance?
The Partnership for Prescription Assistance is not an insurance program. To find health insurance, please visit HealthCare.gov.
Can Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries qualify for prescription assistance?
While each patient assistance program has its own eligibility criteria, some programs do provide prescription assistance for Medicare beneficiaries who do not have full prescription drug benefits.
Can I join a patient assistance program if I have a Medicare approved drug discount card?
Yes, it is possible to belong to more than one program.
Can the Partnership for Prescription Assistance enroll seniors in the Medicare Prescription Drug Benefit?
The Partnership for Prescription Assistance cannot directly enroll seniors in the Medicare drug program. However, we do provide seniors with information regarding the enrollment process.
What will happen to patient assistance and discount card programs with new Medicare implementation?
The new Medicare program provides comprehensive prescription drug coverage for seniors (over age 65) while patient assistance programs are for all people in need, regardless of age. In fact, more than 80 percent of patients helped by the Partnership for Prescription Assistance are not Medicare-eligible.
Every company that sponsors a prescription assistance plan is handling the Medicare transition differently, and in some cases, seniors may be best served through the Medicare drug plan. Nevertheless, the Partnership for Prescription Assistance will continue to help patients of all ages find programs that best meet their needs.
Prescription Drugs & Medications
Will assistance programs cover my medical devices?
The Partnership for Prescription Assistance does include programs that provide assistance for devices and other health care necessities, such as hearing aids and service dogs. Please review our participating programs to see if your device is included, and follow the PPA on Twitter and Facebook for updates regarding newly added assistance programs.
Who do I talk to about program availability?
Because the Partnership for Prescription Assistance is an information resource only, you will need to contact the assistance programs with specific questions. Use our simple search tool to locate programs that may provide assistance with the medicines you need.
What drugs are available?
Decisions about which drugs are included in a prescription assistance program are made by the participating pharmaceutical companies that sponsor the programs. Use our search tool to see if your medications are supported by our program partners.
Why can't I find programs for my over-the-counter (OTC) medications?
Traditional financial assistance programs are usually not available for over-the-counter (OTC) medications. Drug discount cards are offered by many companies that can help to provide cost-reductions for these medications. View our savings cards for more information.
What drug companies participate in this program?
There are currently more than 100 different pharmaceutical companies participating in this program. View the complete list of companies and programs.
My medicine wasn't in your search database. What should I do?
Unfortunately, if you do not find your medication on our list of resources, then we do not have assistance program information for it at this time. Please continue to check back for new program information. If you know of a program we should list on our site, please contact us.
Can you give me information about specific drugs?
The Partnership for Prescription Assistance helps low-income and uninsured patients connect to existing patient assistance programs. The best way to find out about a specific drug is to consult with your doctor or pharmacist.
How do prescription medicines affect our nation’s health care costs?
In addition to improving overall health outcomes, prescription medicines help reduce spending on other non-drug medical expenses, such as hospitalizations and skilled nursing facility care.
How much will I have to pay for my prescription?
Each patient assistance program has different requirements, depending upon your income and insurance coverage. If you do not have insurance coverage and have a hard time affording your medicines, many patient assistance programs may provide the medicines free of charge.
How long does it take for qualified patients to get their medicine?
While participating organizations are committed to getting medicines to eligible patients as quickly as possible, each participating assistance program has its own timeline. Patients should call the organization sponsoring the assistance program for more details on when they will receive their medicines.
How do patients receive their medicine?
Depending on the program, the prescription medicines are either sent to the doctor's office or to the patient's home. Some programs send patients a pharmacy card in the mail to get free or nearly free medicines at their local pharmacy.
What should I do if I experience an adverse effect from my medication?
If you experience an adverse effect from any medicine, you should call your health care provider. You are also encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the drug's manufacturer or to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Visit www.fda.gov/medwatch or call 1-800-FDA-1088.
Why can’t I search by condition or diagnosis?
Patients should not change medications based on what financial assistance programs are available; appropriate medicines and therapies must be determined by a physician. Thus, we do not provide a program search based on a diagnosis or condition.