Find Information About:

Drugs & Supplements

Get information and reviews on prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and supplements. Search by name or medical condition.

Pill Identifier

Pill Identifier

Having trouble identifying your pills?

Enter the shape, color, or imprint of your prescription or OTC drug. Our pill identification tool will display pictures that you can compare to your pill.

Get Started
My Medicine

My Medicine

Save your medicine, check interactions, sign up for FDA alerts, create family profiles and more.

Get Started

WebMD Health Experts and Community

Talk to health experts and other people like you in WebMD's Communities. It's a safe forum where you can create or participate in support groups and discussions about health topics that interest you.

  • Second Opinion

    Second Opinion

    Read expert perspectives on popular health topics.

  • Community


    Connect with people like you, and get expert guidance on living a healthy life.

Got a health question? Get answers provided by leading organizations, doctors, and experts.

Get Answers

Sign up to receive WebMD's award-winning content delivered to your inbox.

Sign Up

50+: Live Better, Longer

Font Size

Patient Assistance Programs for Prescription Drugs

If you cannot afford the prescription drugs you need, you may be eligible for patient assistance programs offered by drug makers, nonprofit groups, or state governments. Here's an overview of how patient assistance programs work.

Patient Assistance Programs Run by Drug Companies

To get the process started, you need to mail an application to the drug company, along with information about your financial situation. You can usually download an application from the company’s web site. In most cases, your doctor will need to fill in information about your prescriptions.

The drug company will review the application and let you know if you are eligible for assistance. If approved, many companies will ship a supply of the drug to your home or health care provider’s office. You or your provider will need to place a new order several weeks before the supply runs out.

Assistance Programs Run by States

Many states offer medication assistance programs. Programs vary by state, but they tend to be geared toward people who are elderly, disabled, or in financial need. Some programs are for those with specific conditions, such as HIV/AIDS or end-stage kidney disease. Programs may also coordinate with Medicare benefit plans. You may see these programs referred to as state pharmaceutical assistance programs (SPAP).

Assistance Programs Run by Nonprofit Groups

  • Partnership for Prescription Assistance -- sponsored by drug companies, doctors, patient advocacy organizations, and civic groups -- helps low-income, uninsured patients get free or low-cost brand-name medications.
  • NeedyMeds is a nonprofit organization that maintains an extensive database of information about patient assistance programs, state assistance, drug discount programs, and free or low-cost medical care. You can search their database for free on their web site. The site also has information on thousands of application assistance programs, which help consumers navigate the application process.
  • RxAssist is an online database of drug company programs that provide free or affordable drugs and co-pay assistance.
  • Center for Benefits, provided by the National Council on Aging, provides information about assistance programs for low-income seniors and young people with disabilities.
  • RxHope is a web-based resource where you can search by medication to locate assistance programs. They also offer help with the application process.
  • RxOutreach is a mail order pharmacy for people with little to no health insurance coverage.

Today on WebMD

Eating for a longer, healthier life.
woman biking
How to stay vital in your 50s and beyond.
womans finger tied with string
Learn how we remember, and why we forget.
man reviewing building plans
Do you know how to stay healthy as you age?
fast healthy snack ideas
how healthy is your mouth
dog on couch
doctor holding syringe
champagne toast
Two women wearing white leotards back to back
Man feeding woman
two senior women laughing