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Free or Low-Cost Prescription Drug Offers Are Not So Free

1/14/2005

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Perhaps you have seen the infomercials or received offers like these in your e-mail in box. "You can receive the medicines you need without the hassle and expense!" "No Insurance? No Money to pay for expensive medications?" "Let us help you find free medicines!"

Ads like these could be operated by fraudulent companies. Some marketers are using spam and the Web to offer information on free or low-cost prescription drug programs for a fee. According to federal officials, consumers have been asked to pay as much as $195 for assistance in finding free drug programs. Consumers are urged to think twice before paying for information on how to find these types of programs.

While there are prescription drug companies out there that offer free or low-cost drugs for people who do not have prescription drug coverage, cannot afford to pay for medication out of pocket, or have exhausted their insurance’s annual allowance, the programs have strict qualification standards. There are some factors that determine whether a person would qualify for a program, such as, income and cost of the drugs needed.

Information on free and low-cost prescription drug programs are out there, at no charge – consumers just need to know where to look. Ask your pharmacist or physician for information or check out Web sites like helpingpatients.org or benefitscheckup.org. These Web site programs use computer programs to determine whether there might be a match for you among the various programs. Health care providers must approve most applications for these assistance programs.

Always check out any unknown business or suspect advertisement with the Better Business Bureau.

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