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Financial Aid

By David Mendosa

Posted On: January 24, 2003
Last Update: March 25, 2011

Many patients today have difficulty affording medications, particularly those without health insurance. For patients with chronic diseases, such as diabetes, it can often be a struggle to afford multiple medications required to manage their conditions. There are many programs available to help the uninsured afford their medications. Listed below are several that may be of assistance to those in need, along with a chart of patient assistance programs provided directly by drug companies who manufacture medications and products for patients with diabetes.

Please beware of any website that advertises its assistance in obtaining large quantities of free prescription medicines. With any program, be sure to ask questions and do your research before participating or paying any fees. Most credible prescription savings programs will not require patients to pay large fees either as an upfront payment, or on an ongoing basis.

Savings Programs

There are many programs available from pharmaceutical companies and other organizations which can help individuals in need save on their prescription medications and products:

  1. The Together Rx Access Card was created by many of the nation’s leading pharmaceutical companies to help hardworking Americans and their families gain access to immediate and meaningful savings on prescription products right at their neighborhood pharmacies. Most cardholders save 25 to 40 percent on brand-name prescription products. Medicines in the Program include those used to treat high cholesterol, diabetes, depression, asthma, and many other common conditions. More than 300 brand-name prescription products are included in the Program. Savings are also available on a range of generic products. The Card is free-to-get and free-to-use as many times as necessary. The enrollment process is quick and easy with no documentation required. For more information about the Program and to enroll online, visit or call 1-800-966-0407.

  2. The Partnership for Prescription Assistance (PPA) helps qualifying patients without prescription drug coverage get the medicines they need for free or nearly free.  PPA’s mission is to increase awareness of patient assistance programs and boost enrollment of those who are eligible. PPA offers a single point of access to more than 475 public and private programs, including nearly 200 offered by pharmaceutical companies. The PPA has already helped millions of Americans get free or reduced-cost prescription medicines. The URL is

  3. provides information about patient assistance programs, which provide no cost prescription medications to eligible participants. The URL is

  4. Rx Outreach is a Patient Assistance Program developed by Express Scripts Specialty Distribution Services, Inc. The program provides qualified low-income individuals and families with access to generic versions of brand name medications where available. The URL is

  5. Supplies for Children with Diabetes Foundation (SCWDF) is a branch of the Children with Diabetes Foundation. The mission of SCWDF is to provide short-term diabetes supplies for children with type 1 diabetes who are in emergency situations in which their families are unable to obtain these supplies. The URL is

  6. Other helpful sites include and

  7. Most pharmaceutical companies offer financial assistance programs to persons who are uninsured. This assistance is available to help cover the cost of medications and supplies when they cannot be paid for out-of-pocket. Each pharmaceutical company has specific criterion that needs to be satisfied in order for an individual to be considered eligible for a financial assistance program.

  8. Here you will find phone numbers and information on pharmaceutical companies who manufacture diabetes medications and supplies and may be able to help with your needs. If you are unsure, you should ask your doctor or local pharmacist for the name of the pharmaceutical company that makes your diabetes insulin, supplies, and medications.

Pharmaceutical Companies

Name of Program

Contact Infomation

3M Pharmaceuticals


3M Pharmaceuticals Patient Assistance Programs

St. Paul, MN 55144-1000

Abbott Laboratories

Abbott Laboratories Patient Assistant Programs

200 Abbott Park Road, D-31C, J23
Abbott Park, IL 60064-6161

Animas Corp.
Insulin Pump
Pump supplies

Diabetes Trust Fund (for children 21 and under with current health care coverage)

1-877-YES-PUMP       (937-7867)
Speak to Anne Barton at Extension 1149


AstraZeneca Foundation Patient Assistance Program

P.O. Box 15197
Wilmington, DE 19850-5197

Sanofi-Aventis Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
Amaryl (glimepiride)
Lantus (insulin)

Lovenox Patient Assistance Program

Aventis Patient Assistance Program

2211 Sanders Road NTB7
Northbrook, IL 60067
1-888-632-8607; 1-888-875-9951

Bayer Corporation
Precose (acarbose)

Bayer Patient Assistance Program

P.O. Box 29209
Phoenix, AZ 85038-9209

BD (Becton, Dickinson and Company)

BD Diabetes

1 Becton Drive
Franklin Lakes, NJ 07417

Bristol- Myers Squibb Company
Glucophage (metformin hydrocloride)

Bristol- Myers Squibb Patient Assistance Foundation, Inc.

P.O. Box 52001
Phoenix, AZ 85072-9160

Eli Lilly
Humulin (insulin)
Humalog (insulin)
Glucagon (emergency kit)

Lilly Cares (under 65 and not on Medicare)
Lilly Answers (for seniors)

Lilly Cares
Temporary Prescription Assistance Program
P.O. Box 230999
Centreville, VA 20120
Lilly Answers

Avandia (rosiglitazone)
Avandimet (combo of Metformin and Avandia)

GlaxoWellcome Patient Assistance Program
SmithKline Foundation Access to Care

P.O. Box 2564
Maryland Heights, MO 63043-8564
1-800-546-0420 ; 1-800-729-4544

Medtronic Mini-Med
Insulin pumps
Pump supplies

Mini-Med Financial Assistance Program


Merck and Co., Inc.

The Merck Patient Assistance Program

One Merck Drive
P.O. Box 100
White House Station, NJ 08889-0100
Hours: 8:30am- 5:30pm


Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation Patient Assistance Program

P.O. Box 66556
St. Louis, MO 63166-6556

Novo Nordisk Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
Prandin (repaglinide)
Novolin (insulin)
Novolog (insulin)

Patient Assistance Program (Insulin products)
Indigent Program Administrator (Prandin)

100 College Road West
Princeton, NJ 08540
100 Overlook Center, Suite 200
Princeton, NJ 08540

Glucotrol (glipizide)
Glucotrol XL (glipizide – extended release)
Diabinese (chlorpropamide)
Metaglip (combo of Metformin and Glipizide)

Connection to Care

P.O. Box 66585
St. Louis, MO 63166- 6585

Glyset (miglitol)
Micronase (glyburide)

Please contact Pfizer for information on assistance programs

P.O. Box 66585
St. Louis, MO 63166- 6585

Proctor and Gamble Pharmaceuticals

Proctor and Gamble Pharmaceuticals Patient Assistance Program

P.O. Box 5663
St. Louis, MO 63166-6553

Roche Laboratories Inc.

Roche Laboratories Patient Assistance Program

340 Kingsland Street
Nutley, NJ 07110

Takeda Pharmaceuticals North America
Actos (pioglitazone hydrochloride)

Takeda Patient Assistance Program

P.O. Box 66552
St. Louis, MO 63166

Together Rx Access

Provides some diabetes medications and blood glucose meters and strips at a savings


Veteran’s Administration

For active and retired military personnel and their families

1-877-222-8387  or
or (mail order pharmacy)

Important note: Users of the LifeScan One Touch, and Abbott Precision Xtra, and Freestyle blood glucose meters may be eligible for savings on meters and test strips. Visit Together Rx Access for more information, or call 1-800-444-4106. Some diabetes medications are also available at a savings through this Program. Unfortunately, we are unaware of other manufacturers of blood glucose meters and testing strips that have established patient assistance programs for people who are unable to purchase their test strips out-of-pocket.

Some scholarships for people with diabetes are now available. However, the Lilly scholarships that were offered for several years are not available this year.

  1. Novo Nordisk is the new sponsor of the WTT Donnelly Awards. Billie Jean King established the awards in 1998 to encourage diabetic children to lead an active life and compete in tennis. The two awards each provide $5,000 scholarships to young tennis players suffering from diabetes and are named after two long-time World Team Tennis executives and tennis champions, Diane Donnelly Stone and Tracy Donnelly Maltby, who are sisters. Stone was an All-American and NCAA doubles champion at Northwestern University, and Maltby earned All-Big Ten honors at the University of Iowa. Both women have had diabetes since childhood. Two young people ages 14-21, who have diabetes and play tennis competitively in tournaments or on their school team will receive a $5,000 scholarship. All applications must be received by June 1, 2005, and the winners will be announced by June 15, 2005. To download an application log on to and click on BJK/WTT Charities.

  2. LifeScan Inc. is awarding $500 Diabetes Camp Scholarships to 20 children. They will be selected at random and will also get a new One Touch Ultra blood glucose meter and a disposable camera. An additional 5,000 prize winners also selected at random will also get a One Touch Ultra. Successful applicants must have diabetes, be under 18 years of age on September 30, 2001, and be a U.S. resident. Scholarship winners agree to share their camp experiences in words and pictures with LifeScan for promotional purposes. Entries must be received by May 15, 2001. Call (866) 238-8301 or visit

  3. TheraSense funds scholarships for children to participate in nationwide diabetes summer camps. A Certified Diabetes Educator must submit the nomination. The URL is URL:

  4. See also the section on scholarships at The URL is

Health Insurance
Getting health insurance for someone with diabetes can be tricky. But you do have several choices. Start by reading the article from the November 2001 issue of Diabetes Interview magazine or read it on-line here at Reproduced by permission of the magazine.

Another excellent article is Tony Novak's "Health Insurance for Diabetics" at

Some specific solutions include:

  1. Care Entrée is for people who can't afford health insurance or who can't get it. You pay for your own health care, but it is repriced to the much lower rates that insurance companies pay. It can save you from 15 percent to 50 percent, and sometimes more, on all healthcare needs, including physicians and hospitals. This is not an insurance plan, but a patient advocacy program that will minimize your out-of-pocket healthcare expenses. The URL is

  2. See also the answers from the Diabetes Team at to 20 or more questions about insurance and costs at ""

  3. Most states now require health insurance providers to cover diabetes supplies, equipment and self-management training. See and/or

You can also win prizes:

  1. LifeScan Inc. awards the annual LifeScan Prize for Athletic Achievement at the annual meeting of the Diabetes Exercise and Sports Associaiton. Applications for the LifeScan/DESA award are accepted year-round and are available by calling DESA at (800) 898-4322, through visiting the DESA Website at, or by writing DESA at PO Box 1935, Litchfield Park, AZ 85340. The nomination process begins each fall, the the winners are announced the following summer at the annual DESA conference.

About.Diabetes Article
See also the article, "Financial Help for Diabetes Care," on the About.Diabetes site at

This article originally appeared on on January 24, 2003.

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