Some prescription drugs are too expensive for a patient to afford, which contributes to noncompliance by and poor outcomes for the patient. Most pharmaceutical companies offer some form of Patient Assistance Program (PAP) to help patients get access to medications that they cannot otherwise obtain.


Synonym: Pharmaceutical Manufacturer Assistance Progam (PMAP)


The program may be informal (drug samples given to primary care providers) or formal.


Patients who are typically eligible:

(1) Medicaid coverage pending

(2) Medicaid or Medicare coverage exceeded

(3) health insurance without a prescription drug benefit

(4) health insurance that does not cover a particular medication

(5) recipients of charity care including indigents and unemployed


Barriers to participation:

(1) patient and/or physician lack of awareness about the programs

(2) paperwork and documentation required to participate in the programs

(3) program requirements that change frequently

(4) a borderline income (working poor)

(5) inability to afford even a reduced price


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