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Where can I find pharmaceutical assistance for children of low income families?

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More and more families continue to feel the pinch from outrageous pharmaceutical prices. In fact, a recent survey by the Kaiser Family Foundations finds that many people have skipped or rationed their prescription medications or have substituted their meds for cheaper—and sometimes not as effective—over-the-counter drugs. For children who need medication—especially for chronic conditions like asthma and diabetes—the high cost of pharmaceuticals can be even more challenging for a family.


Fortunately, there are programs that help children and their families gain access to necessary medications—often at a reduced rate or no cost at all.


NeedyMeds is a national non-profit organization that manages a website of free information on programs that help families who cannot afford medications and healthcare costs. More than 1.3 million patients, family members, healthcare professionals, social workers and patient advocates use the NeedyMeds website each year. It contains regularly updated data on over 9,000 assistance programs, 15,000 free/low-cost/sliding scale clinics and nearly 1,500 drug discount coupons. The website also publishes information about resources for specific diseases. The best part? All of information is accessible online, at no charge and without registration. Click www.needymeds.org to learn more.


The Partnership for Prescription Assistance is a nonprofit organization that makes it easier for uninsured and underinsured patients to get free or nearly free prescription medicines through existing patient assistance programs. A patient or patient advocate simply completes an online questionnaire with basic information about prescription medicines, income, and current prescription medicine coverage and PPA matches the patient with assistance programs for which they may be eligible. The site also gives information on patient assistance programs, savings cards and links to other resources such as the Health Insurance Marketplace. Site visitors can search by prescriptions and be matched up with eligible patient assistance programs or they can also search by clinic location. To learn more visit www.pparx.org.


RXOutreach is a fully-licensed nonprofit mail order pharmacy whose mission is to provide affordable medications for people in need. According to their website, Rx Outreach provides over 400 affordable medications to people in need and provided prescription medications to over 500,000 patients since they began. The program was developed by a subsidiary of Express Scripts, Inc. in 2004. In 2010, Express Scripts spun off Rx Outreach to be a stand-alone, charitable organization in order to improve access to prescription medicines for low-income, uninsured patients. Rx Outreach is available to individuals and families whose income is at or below 300% of the Federal Poverty Level. For a single person, annual income cannot exceed $33,510; a family of four may have an annual household income up to $69,150. For more information on qualifying for RXOutreach along with a list of available medications, visit www.RXOutreach.org.
 

Other resources: There are also several specialized programs sponsored by pharmaceutical companies, business associations and non-profit organizations to assist low-income or needy individuals in obtaining necessary prescription medications free or at a substantially reduced cost. Visit the Healthy Connections website from the SC Department of Health and Human Services at https://www.scdhhs.gov/sites/default/files/PrescriptionAssistance-Letter.pdf.


Visit abcquality.org to learn more about child care and development, search for ABC Quality approved child care provider and learn about the state’s voluntary quality rating system. ABC Quality is administered by the SC Department of Social Services’ Division of Early Care and Education.


By ABC Quality Team on March 17, 2020