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Get Discounts On Medications With Co-Pay Assistance Cards

By Diana Perez, WBZ-TV
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CBS Boston (con't)

Affordable Care Act Updates: CBSBoston.com/ACA

Health News & Information: CBSBoston.com/Health

BOSTON (CBS) – When Haralee Weintraub was diagnosed with breast cancer, it was not only physically and emotionally devastating, it was also a financial hardship.

“It ended up costing us $20,000 out of pocket from co-pays and drugs,” she said.

There were times when Haralee even considered giving up medications because she couldn’t afford them.

WBZ-TV’s Diana Perez reports

“It was scary to have to think that. This one pill that might ease my nausea is over $50. How nauseous am I?” she said.

Now a growing number of local governments, doctors offices and non-profit agencies are offering co-pay cards to help people like Haralee.

“Co-pay cards are sort of a relatively new phenomenon. We’ve really seen an increase in pharmaceutical companies putting these out,” explained Elizabeth Messenger of Needymeds.org, a non-profit based in Gloucester.

These co-pay assistance cards cover nearly 300 medications and anyone with insurance can use them.

Simply bring the card into your local pharmacy and get a discount off your co-pay at the register.

Haralee saves $50 every time she fills her prescription for Lunesta.

“So, I’m saving $600 a year,” she said.

A recent study in the Journal of Oncology found the price of medicine is directly related to whether it is taken.

In fact, cancer patients with medication bills of more than $500 a month were four times as likely to abandon their prescriptions as those with prescriptions costing $100 a month.

If you’d like information on how to get a co-pay card, log onto Needymeds.org.

The organization has helped Gloucester residents save a quarter of a million dollars on prescription drug co-payments.

If your health care provider doesn’t offer the cards, you can try going directly to the drug manufacturer to ask for a co-pay discount.

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