money and tablets, drug prices, collusion

Pricey prescription drug bills are a serious problem for anyone paying out of pocket or whose insurance has a hefty copay. (That may be most of us these days.) Having the doctor write the correct prescription won’t help much if the patient can’t shell out the money to take it.

Learning about organizations that can help those who cannot afford their essential medications is a big help, so we thank the reader who brought this to our attention.

Q. I read about the person who couldn’t take generic Prozac. It doesn’t work for me either. My pharmacist has not ever given me a generic fluoxetine that could keep me feeling calm, in control and content as I do on brand-name Prozac.

Because I could not afford the $1,400.00 for brand name (I earn under $30,000 per year), I qualify to get my Prozac from a company called RxHope. They are US based and have an 800 number and a website. The current charge for these services is $25.00 per month. I hope this helps others!

A. Thanks for the tip. Many pharmaceutical manufacturers have patient assistance programs to help those who could not otherwise afford their pricey prescription drug bills.

You can learn more about such programs, including RxHope, at

The pharmaceutical manufacturers have collaborated on a single website for all their patient assistance programs. You will find it at Partnership for Prescription Assistance:

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  1. Precious

    It’s been since March/2017 my Dr called in my prescription for prolia. The drug cost $1,300.00 per prescription. I’ve been shopping around for help. An online Co. along with Walmart, discounted the price to $1,053.00. So I transferred my prescription from Walgreens to Walmart for the discount. How it works in my case: my Dr calls in the prescription, I go to the pharmacy and order the drug, the pharmacy notifies me when they receive the drug, then I call my Dr’s office to schedule an appointment. When appt is made I then go to Walmart and pay for the drug, take it home, put the in my refrigerator to keep it at a certain temperature, then take it to the Dr office for them to inject the med in my arm. ,My Dr really cares about me,.

  2. susy portugal
    san antonio tx 78214

    I pay out of my pocketinjust hsd s stroke and thoce oriscriptions coulbe very high cosy

  3. Helen M
    Modesto, CA

    I am 77, have a Medicare Advantage plan, use insulin and one expensive brand name drug, as well as several generics. Ever since it was added to Medicare, I have fallen into the donut hole, usually around the middle of the year. That means I have to pay the “negotiated” price on that brand name drug. As the % I pay has gone done, the price of the medication has gone up and it is now double what it was when I paid full price for it less than five years ago. Which means my co-pay is about the same. Seeking help, I looked into the pharma website, as well as my state’s website. Because I am on Medicare, has nothing to do with income, I do NOT qualify for any industry assistance. As it happens, because I have some savings left, I also do not qualify for Medicaid. We, who are in the middle, are being pinched tighter and tighter, being punished for life-long thrift. I was actually told that if I spent down my savings, I would then qualify for public assistance. So the state’s safety net, full of holes, is good enough, whereas my own, tho it too is being riddled with holes, due to the terrible greed inherent in our medical system, is not.

  4. judy

    After spending 600 dollars for meds, my doctors’ offices work with me and my drug companies to get the expensive meds FREE for the rest of the year. Google your drug name and patient assistance for more information.
    With my current meds, I generally qualify every other year for this program. The drug companies are generous and I usually get enough FREE meds in one year to last me into the next year.

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