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    Patient Assistance Programs Help Cover Drug Costs

    by Holly Koch, case worker, Kidney Transplant Program, California Pacific Medical Center and Laura Miyashita

    As any kidney transplant recipient will tell you, medications to prevent rejection and infection of a transplanted kidney are critical—but costly. With the economic downturn, reliance on pharmaceutical companies’ Patient Assistance Programs (PAPs) is rising. “A PAP—or charitable drug program—is an avenue for kidney transplant recipients with limited means to obtain free or low-cost medications,” says Holly Koch, a case worker with California Pacific’s Kidney Team who provides assistance with the PAP application process.

    According to Koch, all of the major drug companies have patient assistance programs with varying eligibility and application requirements. Drug discount cards may also be available for individuals with private insurance to assist with the cost of co-pays. Individuals with health insurance but not prescription insurance are eligible for PAPs. Additionally, some PAPs also provide assistance for individuals with Medicare Part B and/or D who are unable to pay out-of-pocket expenses.

    To pursue prescription assistance, requests have to be made to each pharmaceutical company individually. The application process is as follows:

    1. Patient calls PAP for pre-screening (see contacts below)

    2. Patient requests that the PAP application be faxed to California Pacific Medical Center, Attn: Holly Koch at 415-600-1066 to expedite the process.

    3. After receipt of fax, Holly completes the physician portion and obtains the prescription request.

    4. Holly mails the application and prescription to the patient. He/She completes the patient portion and obtains other supporting documentation.

    5. Patient mails the entire application and documentation to the PAP in their return envelope.
    For California Pacific Medical Center kidney transplant patients, Case Worker Holly Koch can be reached at 415-600-6521 or KochH@sutterhealth.org for additional questions.

    Medication Assistance Programs

    Prograf®
    Astellas Reimbursement Services
    P.O. Box 220708
    Charlotte, NC 28222-0708
    Phone: 1-800-477-6472
    Fax: 1-866-317-6235

    CellCept®
    Roche Patient Assistance Program
    P.O. Box 666763
    St. Louis, MO 63166-6763
    Phone: 1-866-247-5084
    Fax: 1-800-305-6763

    Myfortic®
    Novartis Patient Assistance Program
    P.O. Box 66531
    St. Louis, MO 63166-6531
    Phone: 1-800-277-2254
    Fax: 1-866- 470-1750

    Rapamune®
    Wyeth Pharmaceuticals
    RapAssist - Rapamune Patient Assistance Program
    P.O. Box 220907
    Charlotte, NC 28222-0907
    Phone: 1-877-472-7268
    Fax: 1-800-378-7645
    http://www.rxassist.org

    Sandimmune® (cyclosporine)
    Neoral® (cyclosporine)
    Novartis Patient Assistance Program for Specialty Medicines
    P.O. Box 66531
    St. Louis, MO 63166-6531
    Phone: 1-800-277-2254
    Fax: 1-866-470-1750

    Gengraf®
    Abbott Patient Assistance Foundation
    Capsules (cyclosporine capsules, USP modified)
    P.O. Box 270
    Somerset, NJ 08876
    Phone: 1-800-222-6885; Fax: 1-866-898-1473

    General Pharmaceutical Assistance Sites

    article from April 2010 Kidney Review Newsletter