By Diana Perez, WBZ-TV

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, 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

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.

Comments (2)
  1. Bridget says:

    It is my understanding these programs are not legal in Massachusetts

    1. Mike says:

      They are not legal here… Every other state they are legal but Massachusetts. Most aren’t legal if you are over 65 either.

      Good job WBZ getting old people’s hopes up, only to let them down! Terrible Journalism!

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