As prescription drug prices become unattainable for many, patient assistance programs (PAPs) are becoming increasingly important. As advocates for patients with diabetes, we wanted to learn more about how patients were using these resources. How are patients learning about PAPs? How is the application process affecting patients? Who is ultimately able to access PAPs?
PAPs exist to help people who have difficulty affording their prescription medications and/or other supplies. According to the Department of Health and Human Services Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), “pharmaceutical manufacturers may sponsor patient assistance programs (PAPs) that provide financial assistance […] to low income individuals to augment any existing prescription drug coverage.”1 PAPs have varying qualifications and requirements for admission that differ based on the PAP administrators’ preferences, the type of drug or supply needed, and the patient’s income level or household size, but all PAPs have one ultimate goal: to provide patients with the medications they need. Based on the conclusions from our survey, we have come up with recommendations for foundations who offer PAPs on how they can make their programs more accessible and more effective. PAPs serve an incredibly important purpose in our healthcare environment, and improvement in their operation will mean improved outcomes for the patient community.
Click below to download the full document and read the results of the survey.