|This program offers eligible seniors one-on-one consultations with pharmacists throughout the state to ensure that they are receiving the best information and advice about their medicines. It is a part of the NC Health and Wellness Trust Fund.|
County assistance programs vary and are available for seniors living within the county. Check with your local aging agency or Department of Social Services to see what is available in your county. Below are examples of county programs.
SeniorPharmAssist is a nonprofit organization based in Durham, N.C. working to help older adults 60+, with low incomes, obtain the medicines they need and to avoid problem drug interactions. Medication and medication management counseling is part of a comprehensive service which includes referrals to other available local resources and direct financial assistance. They also provide assistance to any Medicare beneficiary to help sort through the many prescription drug plans - all free of charge. Call 919-688-4772 or e-mail them.
Local clinics run by Piedmont Health Services offer patients medications on a sliding fee scale, based on income (other services are offered as well). If a patient is eligible for the Medicare Prescription Drug Program, they are encouraged to enroll because their cost would be less. Because the Clinic pharmacy offers low cost prescription drugs, clients will probably never reach the level where they will have to pay for coverage (the "donut hole").
UNC Hospital has a program where some inpatients and some outpatients may qualify for assistance with paying for medications.
MAPS: Medication Assistance Plan for Seniors is a program of Resources for Seniors that assists seniors in applying for patient assistance programs offered by pharmaceutical companies.
FIGS: Filling in the Gaps, offered by Urban Ministries offers short-term financial assistance with prescriptions for those without insurance. Call 919-834-4707. Assistance is also provided with applying to various drug companies for low or no cost prescription drugs. Their Open Door Clinic also assists with prescription drug needs.
Limited Prescription Assistance is also offered by Wake County Human Services as part of their Emergency Assistance Program. Call 919-212-7000.
Find My Local Department of Social Services
As a caregiver, you may not have time to continually go to the pharmacy to purchase needed prescription drugs. This is especially true if the drugs are only allowed to be purchased one month at a time, there are multiple drugs involved, and the timeframes for the allowed purchases are staggered. Plus, your caregiving responsibilities take up a lot of time.
If you aren't purchasing the prescriptions online, ask your local pharmacist if they have delivery service and, if so, if there is a charge.
If you live in the Triangle (NC), there is another alternative. Physicians Pharmacy Alliance offers monthly delivery service and is designed for individuals with multiple prescription needs and limited or no ability to leave home to purchase them. Prescriptions are e-mailed or faxed directly to the pharmacy. A computer program synchronizes a patient's drug regimens so that all the various medications expire at the same time. The program checks for drug interactions between the medicines, side effects, and other complications. Orders are double checked with the patient by phone before the monthly delivery is due.
When the delivery arrives, the order is re-confirmed and is discussed. A printout of the medications accompanies the order. It includes pictures of the pills and a wallet-sized card listing the drugs for potential emergency use.
New prescriptions needed between deliveries will also be filled. Several nurses and doctors oversee the daily operations. They are located in Cary, NC. Contact them at 919-463-5555. They say "Physicians Pharmacy Alliance is not a traditional drugstore chain that only fills your medications. Instead we are a medication management pharmacy working in partnership with you and your physician....All Physicians Pharmacy services are offered at no additional cost to patients. You will pay no more than you pay at your existing pharmacy and possibly less."
The Free Clinics are private, nonprofit, community-based organizations that provide medical care at little or no charge to low-income, uninsured and underinsured persons through the use of volunteer health care professionals and partnerships with other health providers.
North Carolina has 70+ NCAFC Free Clinics. See also NC MedAssist below.
Note: These clinics are designed to cover individuals not covered by Medicare or Medicaid or other types of insurance programs. Eligibility criteria may vary from one clinic to the next. Each clinic conducts rigorous eligibility screening to ensure that the patients they serve are truly in need.
The NC Division of Medical Assistance is available to counsel and assist Medicaid recipients enroll in and pay their part of the Medicare Part D prescription drug program and apply for the "Extra Help" program (additional federal assistance from Medicare), if qualified.
North Carolinians who are unable to afford their prescription medicines can now get them for free. A pilot program begun in March of 2009 to give low-income North Carolinians free access to needed prescription drugs has been expanded to serve residents statewide. The program offers free brand name and generic drugs to those who meet the income requirements. NC MedAssist is set up to help individuals anywhere in NC and will ship the medications to your home through a central mail-order pharmacy.
Attorney General Roy Cooper's Consumer Protection and Education Fund is helping to fund the first year of the program and is a cooperative effort with the NC Association of Free Clinics which administers the program. The drugs are donated by pharmaceutical companies.
NCAFC Clinic Contact Information & Locations
NC MedAssist Enrollment Sites
NC MedAssist 1-866-331-1348
NCRx is a prescription drug assistance plan to help low-income seniors in North Carolina by paying up to $29 toward monthly premiums for Medicare Prescription Drug Plans. Eligibility requirements must be met for participation.
For more information, call 1-888-488-NCRX (6279).
|If you would like individualized assistance, please contact your local Seniors Health Insurance Information Program (919-807-6900).|
Personalized assistance is also available through your Area Agency on Aging and local aging agency.