Written By: Teri Gottlieb
Okay, let's face it, Hepatitis C medications are expensive. Even with insurance, your co-pay may be larger than your car payment and these days, hardly anyone can afford that. Even without insurance, some people make too much money to qualify for government assistance. What many people don't realize is that the drug companies are aware that they are overpriced and have programs in place to offset the cost of their drugs for those who will struggle to pay for them.
Over the past few years, the Fair Pricing Coalition (FPC) has worked with the pharmaceutical industry to make access to these co-pay and patient assistance programs easier for people who have been diagnosed with Hepatitis C. The FPC has negotiated co-pay programs with every major Hepatitis drug manufacturer. This is a list of assistance programs for Hepatitis C and contact information for same.
Free drugs are available to people with low incomes who do not qualify for any other insurance or assistance program. Different company programs have different eligibility criteria. You will be asked to provide verification of income, usually a copy of a W-2 or a copy of a federal tax return. Do not despair if you do not fit the criteria but have extenuating circumstances, you can apply for an exception.
There are also groups who will assist with drug costs if you do not qualify with the pharmaceutical company. These programs are actually quite easy to qualify for. Everyone who needs to be treated CAN be treated, regardless of the cost of the medications.
Drug Covered: Sovaldi
Contact Information and Program Details: http://www.mysupportpath.com
MERCK & CO
Drugs Covered: Peg-Intron and Victrelis
Contact Information and Program Details: http://www.merck.com/merckhelps/patientassistance/home.html
Drug Covered: Incivek
Contact Information and Program Details: http://www.vrtx.com/our-medicines/financial-assistance-and-patient-support-program
Drugs Covered: Pegasys and Copegus
Contact Information and Program Details: http://www.pegasys.com/patient/for-patients/pegassist-support/index.html
JOHNSON & JOHNSON
Drugs Covered: Procrit
Contact Information and Program Details: http://www.janssenprescriptionassistance.com/procrit-cost-assistance
**Note - Procrit is NOT a treatment for HCV but is a treatment for anemia, which is a common side effect of HCV treatment. Not everyone will need or be prescribed this medication.
Partnership for Prescription Coverage - 1-888-477-2669 - www.pparx.org
NeedyMeds - www.needymeds.org
Hepatitis C Information: The following organizations are great resources and will help you learn even more about Hepatitis C.
American Liver Foundation - 1-800-465-4837
There is a local chapter of this organization in every State.
Hepatitis Education Project - 1-206-732-0311
Hepatitis Foundation International - 1-800-891-0707
Hep C Connection - 1-800-522-4372
Social Security Disability Assistance:
If you are filing for Social Security Disability you can find an attorney who specializes in Social Security in your area here:
NOSSCR.National Organization of Social Security Claimant Representatives.
This is a 800 number where anyone can call and get names and numbers of Social Security Disability Attorney's in their area.
HIV/HCV Co-Infection Resources:
HIV and Hepatitis: www.hivandhepatitis.com
Project Inform: www.projectinform.org
National AIDS Treatment Advocacy Project: www.natap.org
Treatment Action Group: www.treatmentactiongroup.org
Clinical Trials: Clinical trials are a great way to get medical treatment for Hepatitis C if you do not have insurance. In a clinical trial, all testing and doctors visits are covered within the framework of the trial. Some actually pay you. The website below will list all current clinical trials everywhere. Find one near you.
Clinical Trials.Gov: www.clinicaltrials.gov
Center for the Study of Hepatitis C
Hepatitis & Tattoos: www.hepatitistattoos.org