Pharma Industry Assistance
Cancer can be expensive. If you’re stressed about costs, you’ve come to the right place.
The IWMF has worked with our partners and researched possible sources of assistance. If you come across additional useful information, please share it with us via email.
Do you need assistance with the cost of the drugs you have been prescribed? Or with affording your co-payments? Are you worried about the costs of traveling to get a second opinion? Or paying others to tend to responsibilities at home while you are away? Or some other kind of cost assistance? Maybe you need help understanding and navigating the whole system?
It’s important to note that financial assistance resources can vary from country to country. The information below is focused primarily on resources available to patients and caregivers in the United States. Those living in other countries are advised to reach out to their country’s IWMF Affiliate.
A good starting point is a free publication provided by The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS), Cancer and Your Finances. This resource describes health insurance options and coverage, provides worksheets and checklists to help you stay organized and recognize and understand costs, and includes tips, resources and more. Either download it now or call LLS at 800-955-4572 to order a print copy.
Finding the resources you need
Below you’ll find a wide variety of organizations that provide financial assistance to cancer patients. If you can’t find exactly what you’re looking for, and need additional help, feel free to call us at 1-941-927-4963.
Organizations that Provide Personal Guidance
Triage Cancer is a national, nonprofit organization that provides free education on the legal and practical issues that may impact individuals diagnosed with cancer and their caregivers, through events, materials, and resources. Their resources are listed here: If you don’t find the answers you’re looking for, you can email them about your issue, and they will set up a phone call with you. Triage Cancer has presented at past IWMF Educational Forums, and you can go to their site to watch recordings of recent webinars here.
Leukemia & Lymphoma Society
Speak one-on-one with a Leukemia & Lymphoma Society Information Specialist. These folks are highly trained oncology social workers and nurses. They can assist you through cancer treatment as well as financial and social challenges and provide accurate, up-to-date disease, treatment and support information. Visit here to learn how to reach them by phone, chat, email or by leaving a message for a call-back.
A global non-profit network that delivers free emotional support and navigation services to patients and families impacted by cancer.
Cancer Support Helpline 888-793-9355 services include:
- Connecting callers to local or national resources, including support groups, transportation services and other programs
- Short-term cancer coping assistance
- Treatment lodging and transportation assistance
- Treatment decision planning
- Financial navigation regarding the costs of cancer and its treatments
- Specialized information and navigation in pediatric oncology, finances, clinical trials, and genetics/genomics
- Access to an online distress screening program, CancerSupportSource®
- Connection to our network partner locations across the United States
An important note: If your application for any kind of insurance or Medicare coverage is denied, check to see if the application was made under a diagnosis of Waldenstrom’s macroglobulinemia. If so, and you were rejected, re-apply under a diagnosis of LPL (Lymphoplasmacytic Lymphoma). That may result in approval. In case you don’t know, WM makes up 95% of LPL. See the definition in the Glossary: Useful Words to Know When You Have WM.
The IWMF participates in four co-pay assistance programs. Funding is not always available at each fund so you may need to apply at more than one fund.
The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS) Co-Pay Assistance Program offers financial help toward treatment-related co-payments, premiums for private health insurance, and premiums and co-pay obligations for Medicare Part B, Medicare Plan D, Medicare Supplementary Health Insurance, Medicare Advantage, and Medicaid Spend-down.
Assistance to WM patients is awarded for a 12-month coverage period, and the maximum award available may vary from year-to-year. To be eligible, a patient must meet the following requirements:
- Have a household income that is at or below 500% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines as adjusted by the Cost of Living Index (COLI). Example Federal Poverty Levels can be viewed here.
- Be a US citizen or permanent resident of the US or Puerto Rico and be medically and financially qualified.
- Have prescription insurance coverage.
- Have a WM diagnosis confirmed by a doctor.
You can find more information about the program, including a list of covered expenses, and how to apply here.
To qualify for co-payment assistance with CancerCare, patients must:
- Be diagnosed with a non-Hodgins lymphoma (so WM qualifies). Your diagnosis must be verified by your doctor.
- Be insured through a federal health insurance program such as Medicare, Medicaid or Tricare. If you only have private insurance, you don’t qualify.
- Income level must be at or below 500% of the Federal Poverty Level (FPL)
- Must have a valid Social Security number to apply for assistance and receive treatment in the United States
- Patient must be in active treatment or have a treatment plan in place prior to applying for assistance.
When this page was created, CancerCare was offering the largest co-payment amount…. up to $10,000.
You can find out more information about the program and how to apply here.
WM patients in the US may be eligible to receive financial assistance from the Patient Access Network (PAN) Foundation to help with high prescription co-pays and deductibles for drugs used to treat WM. WM patients can qualify for PAN assistance which allows a maximum award over 12 months for prescription cancer treatment. The amount of the maximum award may vary from year-to-year.
For patients to qualify for co-payment assistance with Patient Access Network, they must meet the following eligibility criteria:
- The patient must have Medicare insurance.
- The patient’s medication must be listed on PAN’s list of covered medications.
- The patient must reside in and receive treatment in the United States (patient does not have to be a US citizen).
- The patient’s income must fall at or below 500% of the Federal Poverty Level (FPL)
Details and information on how to apply can be found here.
The HealthWell Foundation focuses on helping patients with prescription drug copayments, deductibles and health insurance premiums. Like other plans, funds are divided into disease categories. An independent review panel decides how much funding each category should receive. “We look at the landscape within each disease area and try to spread as much out as possible to the patients in those spaces,” says Krista Zodet, President & CEO.
The IWMF & NORD Travel and Lodging Assistance Program for individuals traveling for second opinions and clinical trial eligibility
The IWMF has partnered with The National Organization for Rare Disorders (NORD) for a travel and lodging assistance fund for individuals traveling for second-opinion or WM diagnosis confirmation appointments and/or travel related to clinical trial eligibility screening or first clinical trial visit (not being paid for by trial sponsor) up to the program’s established financial limit. This program is available to eligible individuals both inside and outside of the U.S, except those residing in a country subject to U.S. sanctions per the U.S. Department of Treasury Sanctions Program. With an award cap of $1,500, this program provides economy class airfare for the patient as well as one traveling companion and up to two nights of hotel accommodations. Also, for those driving (distances of two hours or more) a reimbursement of a flat amount of $200 to cover mileage, tolls and parking will be made after the visit has occurred. For further information or to apply for this new program, contact NORD at 203.308.5902 or by email at [email protected].
Travel to Clinical Trials
In general, all expenses including travel to clinical trials are covered by the organization doing the clinical trial. If travel is not covered, check the resources below and IWMF program above.
Miracle Flights is a nonprofit organization that flies individuals and families to treatment, second opinions, follow-up visits and clinical trials within the United States. The service is available for adults and children, and is primarily rare disease focused, but not disease specific. To find out if you qualify, get help completing an application, have your questions answered, and learn more, go to their website or call 800-359-1711.
Lazarex is a foundation committed to improving cancer patient access to clinical trials. Find help here with clinical trial navigation and transportation to and from clinical trials. 925-820-4517 or [email protected]
Partnership between Airbnb and Cancer Support Community to provide free housing for cancer patients and caregivers, provided they meet certain geographic and income criteria. To obtain more details, click on the link. To apply for free housing, contact the CancerSupportHelpline at 877-793-0498, and you will be connected with someone who can help you start your application.
The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s (LLS) Patient Travel Assistance Program is available to blood cancer patients in the US, with significant financial need, who may qualify to receive financial assistance for approved expenses that include: ground transportation (gas, tolls, car rental, taxi, bus, train, ambulance services, etc.), air travel, and lodging-related expenses, You can find more information about this program including eligibility requirements and how to apply here.
Other Nonprofit Organizations
The National Comprehensive Cancer Network maintains a list of patient and caregiver resources in its Virtual Reimbursement Resource Room Guide and provides a smart phone app to assist patients in navigating through the available resources. The service is offered at no charge, although access requires registration. Both iOS and Android devices are supported.
The Cancer Financial Assistance Coalition offers a one-stop method of searching for aid from its 14-member alliance. The site’s homepage allows searches by diagnosis, zip code and type of service needed. It also offers information on various cancer costs, as well as how to take control of finances and find help within local communities.
A central source of information for people who can’t afford medicine or other healthcare expenses. Programs such as assistance for specific diseases and conditions, application assistance, state-sponsored programs and Medicaid sites are available. More than 20 years ago, Richard Sagall, M.D., was practicing family medicine in Maine when he learned of several patient assistance programs his patients weren’t familiar with. During nights and weekends, he designed a website, needymeds.org, to get the word out. Today, the site offers information on assistance programs from more than 400 companies with programs offering more than 4,000 different drugs and formulations. Website visitors can obtain drug discount cards, coupons and rebates, as well as find local and national financial resources based on diagnosis.
Good Days was founded in 2003 by a business executive who was stunned by the out-of-pocket costs for his Crohn’s disease medication and decided to help others who had to choose between the costs of everyday living and affording their medication. As with other agencies, the amount of money provided is not unlimited and depends on diagnosis. In addition to covering the price of medications, Good Days helps patients who must leave their hometowns for therapy. “When one of our patients needs to travel more than 100 miles for treatment, we act as a travel coordinator, ensuring their lodging is as close to the hospital as possible and that they get to their appointments on time,” says Clorinda Walley, president. “That’s especially important for older people who may be on a fixed income and have limited means of transportation.” An enrollment application is available on the Good Days website, but Walley recommends speaking with a patient navigator beforehand to determine eligibility, personal needs and whether funding exists. “If we don’t have the resources for their specific diagnosis, we try to identify who does, and we’ll help them connect,” says Walley. “I believe that as humans, we have a fundamental responsibility to take care of the people around us.”
Family Reach employs a different model to disburse funding to patients with cancer: It relies on social workers at hospitals around the country to perform a kind of financial triage, identifying those most in need of services. “We differ in that we step in to pay major bills such as mortgage, rent and car payments,” says Carla Tardif, chief executive officer. “We don’t have a long application process. When these families need help, they’re in crisis. They don’t have time to go back and collect pay stubs and tax returns.”
(Funding opens and closes-contact CancerCare for updates): CancerCare‘s PAW Program helps people living with cancer in active treatment and their loved ones care for their cats or dogs during the emotional, physical and financial challenges of cancer treatment.
A cancer diagnosis raises a wide range of challenges and concerns. Fortunately, there are also local resources to assist you with many of the issues that come up. You should check with your doctor and with the social worker at your hospital.
This CancerCare fact sheet describes many kinds of services available locally to people with cancer and their loved ones and how to find the help you need. CancerCare also provides additional suggestions for finding financial assistance here.
The American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) has a patient information website, cancer.net, which provides a guide and list of links to national and local financial resources here.
The American Cancer Society provides a list of programs and resources to help with Cancer-related expenses, which includes national and local resources here.
Assistance from Pharmaceutical Industry
Industry Wide Information
The Partnership for Prescription Assistance (PPA) brings pharmaceutical companies, doctors, other healthcare providers and patient advocacy and community groups together to help eligible patients who don’t have prescription drug coverage get their medicines for little or no cost. The partnership offers access to many public and private patient assistance programs, including programs offered by pharmaceutical companies. The PPA website is run by Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America, or PhRMA. (see below). The PPA website (pparx.org/) can determine which patients are eligible to participate in any of more than 475 different assistance programs. (Yes, there really are nearly 500 separate programs, which is why it can be hard for unassisted patients to find the right ones.) Users start by typing in the name of each drug they want assistance in buying, and the site walks them through the process from there.
- PhRMA (Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America) maintains a directory of patient assistance programs for prescription drugs. Through these programs, PhRMA member companies supply free medicines to millions of eligible low-income patients.
You might want to visit, PhRMA’s Medicine Assistance Tool (MAT), a search engine designed to help patients, caregivers and health care providers learn more about the resources available through the various biopharmaceutical industry programs. pparx.org/) can determine which patients are eligible to participate in any of more than 475 different assistance programs. (Yes, there really are nearly 500 separate programs, which is why it can be hard for unassisted patients to find the right ones.)
MAT is not its own patient assistance program, but rather a search engine for many of the patient assistance resources that the biopharmaceutical industry offers. You can find the search engine here. Note that if you use this tool, you need to enter the brand name of the drug you are searching. So for ibrutinib, you’ll need to enter Imbruvica; for acalbrutinib, you’ll need to enter Calquence; for zanubrutinib, you’ll need to enter Brukinsa; for bendamustine, you’ll need to enter Bendeka etc.
- Medicare has information about public and private programs that offer discounted or free medications as well as Medicare health plans that include prescription coverage.
- RxAssist. Patient assistance programs are run by pharmaceutical companies to provide free medications to people who cannot afford to buy their medicine. RxAssist offers a comprehensive database of these patient assistance programs, as well as practical tools, news, and articles so that health care professionals and patients can find the information they need. All in one place.
Specific Drug Company Programs
Besides the sites above, most pharmaceutical companies offer financial assistance. Below are some that may be helpful. If you are looking for information on additional companies or drugs, try the sites above.
Provides assistance to uninsured US patients who lack the financial resources to pay for certain medicines, including IMBRUVICA®. To see if you qualify, call the Johnson & Johnson Patient Assistance Foundation at 800-652-6227 or visit its website here.
To inquire about support, you may contact 1-888-968-7743 or here. Once you are enrolled, you’ll have your own dedicated IMBRUVICA® By Your Side Ambassador who can provide one-on-one support and treatment-related resources.
To meet your individual needs, myBeiGene pairs you with a dedicated Oncology Nurse Advocate who will personalize support for you and your caregivers. Call 1-833-234-4363 to talk with an Oncology Nurse Advocate or contact them here.
The Calquence Co-Pay Savings Program can help eligible commercially insured patients with their out-of-pocket costs. Talk to your doctor or pharmacist, who can help you enroll in the program and file claims on your behalf. For more information and eligibility requirements, visit AstraZeneca here, or call AstraZeneca Access 360 at 1-844-ASK-A360 (1-844-275-2360)
Can help financially with the medications BENDEKA® (bendamustine HCI) injection, TREANDA® (bendamustine HCI) for Injection, TRUXIMA® (rituximab-abbs) injection for intravenous use:
- Please also see the Teva Cares Foundation page here.
The IWMF’s mission is to Support and educate everyone affected by Waldenstrom’s macroglobulinemia (WM) to improve patient outcomes while advancing the search for a cure. And that support extends to putting any financial concerns in the back seat and letting quality health and wellness concerns drive your decisions.