Diabetes Forecast

More Help With Free Medications

By Katie Bunker , ,

The drugmaker Merck & Co. Inc. has announced a significant expansion of its patient assistance program, which provides free prescription medications to uninsured U.S. residents. The program includes Merck's type 2 diabetes drugs Januvia and Janumet.

According to the new guidelines, patients with incomes at or below 400 percent of the federal poverty level are eligible for free Merck medications, up from 200 percent or less previously. Most patients are now eligible if they have a household income of $43,320 or less for an individual; $58,280 or less for a couple, and $88,200 or less for a family of four. Income ceilings vary for residents of Alaska, Hawaii, and U.S. territories.

Hundreds of prescription assistance programs help people pay for medications; they're often geared toward people without prescription drug coverage, but not always. These programs often cover all of the medication's cost, or close to it. Some programs will make exceptions to their guidelines based on individual circumstances.

More information about the Merck program is available at www.MerckHelps.com or by calling 1-800-727-5400. The company said it has provided more than 1.7 million prescriptions to patients over the past seven years.

The Partnership for Prescription Assistance is a clearinghouse for information about some 475 patient assistance programs. For information, go to www.pparx.org or call 1-888-477-2669. Another source of information online is www.RxAssist.org.

The American Diabetes Association also provides a list of assistance programs through its National Call Center at 1-800-DIABETES (1-800-342-2383).



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