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Three ways to access free or reduced-cost prescription drugs

By SUSAN DUNLAP

Executive Director

Commonwealth of Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services

 

With family and personal budgets impacted by the coronavirus – currently, one in three Kentuckians are eligible for help paying for health insurance, food and other essentials – sticking with filling drug prescriptions and taking them as instructed may have taken a back seat to other priorities.

“The minds of many Kentuckians are on paying rent, utilities and food,” said Rhonda Farmer, the Health Care Access Branch Manager at the Kentucky Department for Public Health, an agency of the Cabinet for Health and Family Services. “Some good news for Kentuckians needing help filling prescriptions or getting testing supplies comes in the form of a program that’s been around for a few years. It’s called the Kentucky Prescription Assistance Program, or KPAP. It’s free of charge, and now’s a good time to remind Kentuckians that KPAP can help in any of three ways.”

KPAP offers access to prescription drug programs offered by drug manufacturers.

“These are prescription drug makers with names we might recognize from a TV, radio, magazine or newspaper ad, and they may offer programs that can help,” Farmer says. “These companies are working with the Department for Public Health to get essential prescriptions and supplies to the people who need it most.”

KPAP offers access to discounted drug programs.

The program is based on income eligibility, and if an applicant does not qualify for prescriptions and supplies at no cost, they may qualify for these items at reduced cost.

KPAP offers access to discount pharmacy programs.

Pharmacy discount programs can save consumers up to 80% off the cash price of non-covered drugs or drugs with quantity limits or prior authorizations, even if the applicant has health insurance. Discounts are offered in coupon form and are free with no obligations, contracts or extra fees.

KPAP is available in all 120 Kentucky counties.

“A quote that’s always resonated with me is from former U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Everett Coop, who said, ‘Drugs don’t work in patients who don’t take them,’ “ said Dr. Steven Stack, commissioner of the Kentucky Department for Public Health. “It’s important to take medication as directed. There can be real damage of consequences of not taking medication as prescribed. KPAP helps ensure that Kentuckians take their medications by removing or reducing the affordability barrier.”

Paducah’s Dr. Alex Wright is an active supporter of KPAP, calling it “an excellent source of information and help. The program allows me to select the best unbiased, evidence-based treatments for my patients and helps solve how to pay for it.”

 

All Kentuckians are eligible to apply. Providers, patients or patient advocates may call 1-800-633-8100 to discuss eligibility and other details, including the closest of 265 satellite sites where applicants can get more information and help applying. Information is also available about shipping, quantity limits and length of enrollment.