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Reducing Drug Cost
Drug Information URLs

Reducing Drug Cost

Subject: Prescription costs
Hi fellow list members:
I have been shocked by the cost of some of the prescriptions that go along with the chemotherapy.
Luckily I asked the pharmacist the cost of the Neupogen before I had it filled. I don't have prescription coverage on my medicare supplement, and of course there is none with medicare. I do have an AARP discount card, but even with that the cost of the prescription would have been $1,400.
I didn't get it filled yet. I won't need it until next Friday. However I need to see how I can manage to pay for the prescription.
Do any of you have any suggestions as to how one can pay for such expensive medications? We are determined that cost will not stand in the way, but it's a real problem that we're facing.
Dear J,
Neupogen is an injectable drug.
Contact the drug company and ask for help.
In my wife's case their local rep. arranged for the drug to be administered at a nearby infusion center.
Medicare will then cover the cost.
My wife also has medicare and does not have prescription coverage.
I don't remember the name of the drug company. But your pharmacist should be able to tell you that.
Hope this helps.
Legislation promised toward prescription cover for medicare recipients will be postponed by the Twin Towers and Pentagon attacks. Medicare recipients with low incomes will have difficulty in paying for their prescription medications.
Programs offered by almost all pharmaceutical manufacturers often provide free medicines for those who have NO medical insurance covering prescription drugs and whose incomes fall below certain levels. Without age limits, and with reasonable income limits [in certain cases people earning up to $50,000 a year can qualify.]
You must apply separately to each manufacturer. The drugs are sent to your doctor, and you will probably have to requalify at regular intervals. These programs are not advertised, and doctors may be unaware of them, or reluctant to apply because of paperwork.
To lower the cost of prescription medications, there are several sites that can help you, as can one of your doctors, if he/she will call up the manufacturer and find out about reimbursement and/or discounts and/or free medicine. You might be able to do this, and obtain forms for your doctor, to facilitate the process. Information below.

Accessing Free Medication

FDA's Access to unapproved products

STRICT CALIFORNIA LAW REQUIRES COMPLETE INSURANCE COVERAGE FOR CANCER STUDY SUBJECTS Legislation signed into law Thursday by California governor Gray Davis requires health insurers to cover all routine medical expenses incurred by cancer patients enrolled in clinical trials.

Directory of Prescription Drug Assistance

Needy Meds Drug Assistance Programs "Many pharmaceutical manufacturers have special programs to assist people who can't afford to buy the drugs they need. One problem is that it's often hard to learn about these programs. Our goal is to make this information easily accessible." To use Medscape, you will have to go to, register, get a user id and password; thereafter a 'cookie' will allow complete access to Medscape. You do not have to be a doctor.

Once you are registered on Medscape, you can also go to the Drug Search, type in your medication, and find the company that makes it.
Or use Pharmacology Databases, a drug search engine, to find the manufacturer of the drug:

For more Prescription Drug Patient Assistance Programs, visit the website
Most major pharmaceutical companies have drug assistance programs, which provide medications to people who cannot afford them In most cases, your physician must apply to these programs on your behalf, but you can call and obtain the applications and information yourself.
* Alza
Phone 800-609-1083 Fax 800-482-1896
Products: Ethyol (amifostine), Doxil HCI
* Amgen Inc.
Phone 800-272-9376 Fax 888-508-8090
Product: Neupogen (filgrastim or granulocyte colony stimulating factor)
* Anesta
Phone 877-229-1241
Product: Actiq (oral transmucosal fentanyl citrate)
* AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals
Phone 800-424-3727
Products: Armidex (anastrozle), Casodex (bicalutamide), Nolvadex (tamoxifen citrate), Zoladex (goserelin acetate implant)
* Aventis Pharmaceuticals
Phone 800-221-4025
Products: nilandron (available through the Aventis Patient Assistance Program-Kansas City)
* Bayer Corporation
Phone 800-998-9180
Product: DTIC Dome
* Berlex Laboratories
Phone 800-473-5832 Fax 703-706-5925
Product: fludara (fludarabine phosphate) for injection
* Bristol-Myers Squibb
Phone 800-272-4878 Fax 888-776-2370
Products: all Bristol-Myers Squibb oncology products
* Chiron Therapeutics
Phone 800-775-7533 Fax 415-495-6790
Products: proleukin (aldesleukin, IL-2), DepoCyt (cytarabine liposome injection)
* Eli Lilly & Company, Lilly Oncology
Phone 888-4-GEMZAR (888/443-6927) Fax 877-366-0585
Products: gemzar,oncovin, and velban.
* Genentech, Inc.
Single Point of Contact/UPP
Phone 888-249-4918 Fax 888-249-4919
Products: herceptin (trastuzumab), rituxan (rituximab)
* Gilead Sciences
Reimbursement Support and Assistance Program
Phone 800-226-2056 Fax 888-216-6857
Products: vistide, danuoxome
* Glaxo Wellcome
Phone 800-722-9294
Products: duragesic (fentanyl transdermal system), ergamisol (levamisole hydrochloride) tablets
* MGI Pharma, Inc.
Phone 888-743-5711
Product: salagen tablets (pilocarpine hydrochloride)
* Novartis
Phone 800-257-3273 Fax 480-314-7170
Call for product list Novartis
For Gleevec, contact the Novartis Hotline for financial assistance for Gleevec: 877-GLEEVEC
* Nycomed Amersham
Phone 800-654-0118 Fax 609-514-6575
Products: OncoSed (1-125 Seeds), Rapid Strand (1-125 seeds), Metastron (Strontium-89 Chloride)
* Ortho Biotech Inc.
Phone 800-553-2851 Fax 800-683-7855.
Products: procrit (epoetin alfa) for non-dialysis use, leustatin (cladribine) injection
* Parke-Davis
Phone 908-725-1247
Products: most Parke-Davis outpatient products with chronic indications are covered.
* Pfizer, Inc.
Phone 800-869-9979
Product: diflucan
* Pharacia & Upjohn
Phone 800-242-7014
Note: this company does not give out product lists. Patients must go through Oncology Hotline first for a review of benefits. After that, the patient is referred to the patient assistance program if applicable.
* Roche Laboratories, Inc.
Phone 800-443-6676 (choose option #2)
Products: xeloda, vesanoid, Roferon-A, FUDR (floxuridine)
* Roxane Laboratories, Inc.
Phone 800-274-8651
Products: Oramorph Sr, roxanol, roxicodone, marinol, viramune
* Sigma-Tau Pharmaceuticals
Phone 800-999-6673 Fax 746-6481
Product: matulane (procarbizine)
* SmithKline Beecham Pharmaceuticals
Phone 800-699-3806 Fax 714-750-8513
Products: hycamtin, kytril
* The Liposome Company
Phone 800-345-2252 Fax 714-750-8513
Product: abelcet

Some Drug Information URLs
What I liked about RxList was that you don't have to spell the drug correctly.
Register for Medscape. It is free and you don't have to be a doctor.
I found Drug InfoNet
by first going to the FDA's Oncology Tools at
and clicking on Drug Info. There's much more at this site.
There is a lot more at this site, too.
compiled by David M & doctordee 2000 and 2001

The information on this site is not a substitute for professional medical advice. You should not use this information to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease without consulting with your doctor. Please consult your doctor with any questions or concerns you may have regarding your condition. Copyright 2001-2007 LMSWEBSITE