January 10, 2012
1 min read

Prescription assistance available for patients who cannot afford anticoagulants

You've successfully added to your alerts. You will receive an email when new content is published.

Click Here to Manage Email Alerts

We were unable to process your request. Please try again later. If you continue to have this issue please contact customerservice@slackinc.com.

Approximately 20% of patients do not take a medication prescribed to them because they cannot afford to pay for it.

Although the cost of some outpatient anticoagulation therapies can be substantial, failure to take an anticoagulant medication as prescribed can have serious — even fatal — consequences.

What can patients do when they are prescribed an anticoagulant that they cannot afford?

Beth Waldron, MA
Beth Waldron

Stephan Moll, MD
Stephan Moll

Help is available. Many pharmaceutical companies have patient assistance programs (PAP) designed to help patients who cannot afford their medications obtain the medicine they need at either no or very low cost.

There is great variance among PAPs because each pharmaceutical company establishes its own eligibility criteria for their patient assistance programs and decides which medications are included.

Most PAPs have some form of income guideline, require the patient to complete an application form, and require a valid prescription and physician signature. Most also have reimbursement counselors who can answer questions about the application process over the phone.

Tables 1 and 2 summarize information about PAPs for commonly prescribed brand-name anticoagulants.

Table 1 and 2

In addition to the industry-sponsored PAPs, several nonprofit organizations listed also help patients obtain discounted prescription drugs.

Beth Waldron, MA, is the program director of the UNC Blood Clot Outreach Program at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and the Cloth Connect patient education program (www.clotconnect.org), an initiative of the University of North Carolina Hemophilia and Thrombosis Center that connects patients and health care professionals to clinical-practical information and support resources related to venous thromboembolism, thrombophilia and anticoagulation. Stephan Moll, MD, is an associate professor in the department of medicine and division of hematology-oncology at the University of North Carolina School of Medicine in Chapel Hill, N.C., and medical director of Clot Connect.

Disclosure: Ms. Waldron reports no relevant financial disclosures. Dr. Moll has been a consultant for Ortho-McNeil and Bayer.

For more information: