Many seriously-ill individuals have difficulty obtaining the medications they need. All too often, people are forced to choose between paying the rent and taking their AZT, Prozac, Cardizem or other medications. This does not have to be the case -- help is literally a phone call away.

Many prescriptions are available free-of-charge from the companies that make them. If you are a person who does not have the means to pay for your medications, these manufacturers have established special programs to help you. Dozens of small and large companies have these programs, including: Abbot Laboratories, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Burroughs-Wellcome, Genentech, Hoffman-LaRoche, Eli Lilly, Merck Sharp and Dohme, Parke-Davis, Pfizer, Sandoz, Schering-Plough, G.D. Searle, SmithKline Beecham, Upjohn and others.


Call the U.S. House of Representatives' Special Committee on Aging at (202) 224-5364. Ask for the free Information Paper on Programs to Help Older Americans Obtain Their Medications. This report describes the programs of drug manufacturers that have a special program of this kind. Read it carefully and then talk to your doctor if you think you may be eligible.

David Petersen was a lecturer, author and retired comprehensive personal financial planner. Prior to retirement, he was Vice-President of Peregrine Planners, which specialized in financial planning for the terminally ill. Mr. Peterson was founder and the President of Affording Care. In May of 1996 he died from complications from AIDS.

Also by David Peterson: Why Planning Ahead is Important