Drug company-sponsored patient assistance programs: A viable safety net?

Niteesh K. Choudhry, Joy L. Lee, Jessica Agnew-Blais, Colleen Corcoran, William H. Shrank

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

50 Scopus citations


Drug company-sponsored patient assistance programs (PAPs) provide access to brand-name medications at little or no cost and have been advocated as a safety net for inadequately insured patients. Yet little is known about these programs. We surveyed drug company-sponsored PAPs and found much variability in their structures and application processes. Most cover one or two drugs. Only 4 percent disclosed how many patients they had directly helped, and half would not disclose their income eligibility criteria. A better understanding of PAPs might clarify their role in improving access to medications, the adequacy of existing public programs, and their impact on cost-effective medication use.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)827-834
Number of pages8
JournalHealth Affairs
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 2009
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Policy

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