Struggling To Afford Medicine

Prescription drug costs are a soaring problem for many. According to The Kaiser Family Foundation, spending on prescription drugs is five times the amount it was in 1990.

Today, Americans spend more than $200-billion on their prescriptions. Although Medicare Part D helped many seniors with drug costs, many still struggle to afford their medications.

Debbie Lemastus suffers from nerve damage in her right arm.The cost of her prescription drugs?Around $500.

"I have probably ten medications to take with breakfast and no way to pay for them-no income, nothing," Lemastus said.

Debbie had to quit her job because of her health problems. That meant losing her employer's health insurance plan. Debbie isn't alone.

Four-million Americans have found help paying for their prescription drugs through the Partnership for Prescription Assistance. Funded by America's pharmaceutical companies, the PPA is for the low-income, under-insured and un-insured.

Tina Combs works for Community Medical Care and said the PPA process is a huge time saver.

"With this program, you put in your information one time and print out the applications and do it all in one process," Combs explained.

The PPA website serves as a one-stop shop where applicants find 475 public and private patient-assistance programs. Debbie said she knows many people who need medications, but they won't go to the doctor.

"If they do go to the doctor they know that they're going to get prescriptions and they won't be able to fill them - they're too costly," Lemastus said.

She hopes more people will take advantage of the Partnership for Prescription Assistance and receive help like she did.

"It was great. I'm going to get a couple of them free and get certificates to get a couple discounted," Lemastus added.

More than 2500 brand-name and generic drugs are covered in the Partnership for Prescription Assistance.

If you don't have prescription coverage and can't afford your medicines, log onto
www.pparx.org or call 1-888-4PPA-NOW


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