Drug Assistant Programs

Paying for medication can be very expensive, especially if you do not have insurance or are taking a drug that is not covered by your insurance. Drug-assistance programs seek to help these uninsured or underinsured patients by providing them with ways to obtain discounted or free drugs. Some of these programs are even sponsored by the makers of the drugs.

Merck Patient Assistance Program

This program is open to individuals who are currently taking Merck prescription drugs. Though it's usually available only to those without insurance, some underinsured patients may be covered by this program as well. These individuals will have to show that they have financial hardship and some type of medical adversity that prevents them from paying for their medication. They must also fall into the income bracket designated by the company, which is generally the low-income bracket. If a person does qualify for this program, they will receive their medications at no charge for one year per application, meaning that they have to reapply for the program every year.

Merck and Company, Inc. Global Headquarters

Merck Patient Assistance Program

One Merck Drive/P.O. Box 100

Whitehouse Station, NJ 08889-0100



SelectCare Benefits Network (SCBN)

SCBN is a patient-advocacy organization that focuses on providing patients with drug assistance. It guides its members to programs for free or discounted drugs and helps them meet the criteria for these programs. The organization also cooperates with health-care providers to help them deal with the issues connected with giving their patients medications through prescription-assistance programs. This organization's program is mainly geared toward low-income individuals and families. Generally, an individual's income must fall below $20,000 and a couple's income must fall below $31,000 in 2010. There is a fee to use its services.

SelectCare Benefits Network

P.O. Box 500148

Austin, TX 78750



Delaware Prescription Assistance Program

This program is open to Delaware residents and is geared toward disabled (those qualify for Social Security Disability benefits) and elderly (over 65) persons who do not have insurance or prescription-drug coverage. To qualify, either an individual's income must fall 200 percent below the current poverty level or the cost of the patient's drugs must be more than 40 percent of their income. The program will only cover drugs for specific medical conditions; the assistance program will not pay for diabetic supplies or prescription drugs for individuals who are currently on Medicare. The patient will be responsible for a co-pay.

State of Delaware Secretary of State

1901 North Dupont Highway, Main Bldg.

New Castle, DE 19720