Prescription Drug Patient Assistance Programs - Free or Low Cost Medications

Authored By: Legal Hotline for Older Iowans


Having a tough time stretching your budget to pay for expensive medications? A prescription drug patient assistance program may help.

  • Several drug companies provide prescription medicines at low cost or free of charge to doctors with needy patients.
  • Companies that provides this kind of assistance have their own rules to participate.

America's biopharmaceutical research companies sponsor the Medicine Assistance Tool (MAT).

  • This search tool helps uninsured and low income Americans.
  • It has information about programs that provide prescription medicines free or at a reduced cost.
  • You give a list of your prescription medications, your basic information and your current drug coverage.
  • The system can tell you what patient assistance program you may be eligible for, and how to apply.
  • There are many different programs and a large number of medications available.
  • You can access the service - free of charge - by visiting the MAT website at

To apply for one or more of these programs, you may need to work with your doctor or other health care professional. Each program is different.

There are many programs and each has its own rules for eligibility.

  • Some programs require that a patient's income be below federal poverty guidelines.
  • Others determine eligibility on a case-by-case basis.
  • You may find that you are eligible for some programs but not others.
  • You should ask your doctor or other health professional to help you apply to all programs that provide assistance for the medicines you take, especially the ones that cost more.
  • If MAT cannot find a program for the medicine you need, check with the manufacturer of the drug to see if they have a Patient Assistance Program.
  • You should request an application and information on eligibility requirements
  • You need to work with your doctor or other health professional to file the application and receive the medicine.

Remember, MAT is a free service.

  • There are other companies that offer to connect you to the same programs and charge you money.
  • The service offered directly through MAT is offered completely free of charge.

For more information go to:

Last Review and Update: Dec 06, 2022
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