Free Prescription Drugs for Those Who Qualify

By Linsey Knerl on 29 December 2007 (Updated 16 November 2011) 5 comments
Photo: Rodrigo Senna

Prescription drugs are expensive. While generics do offer some relief, if you have to have several filled, your pharmacy bill can add up fast. Here are a few free prescription promotions to assist a limited number of patients in the U.S. – But hurry! Some of these offers expire soon!

The Blues – Several Blues health insurance plans are offering to waive the co-pays on hundreds of generic prescriptions over the next few months as part of an initiative to educate consumers on their effectiveness. While I don’t have the exhaustive list of which Blue Cross Blue Shield plans are participating in a no-copay program, here are a few more notable promotions:

Prescription drugs are expensive. While generics do offer some relief, if you have to have several filled, your pharmacy bill can add up fast. Here are a few free prescription promotions to assist a limited number of patients in the U.S. – But hurry! Some of these offers expire soon!

The Blues – Several Blues health insurance plans are offering to waive the co-pays on hundreds of generic prescriptions over the next few months as part of an initiative to educate consumers on their effectiveness. While I don’t have the exhaustive list of which Blue Cross Blue Shield plans are participating in a no-copay program, here are a few more notable promotions:

BCBS of Nebraska – The health insurer is waiving the copay and coinsurance on generic prescriptions filled between January 1, 2008 and March 31, 2008. That’s 3 months of free prescriptions for their customers!

Independence Blue Cross – The Southern PA insurer led the way with its successful No Pay Copay program for generic drugs. This program is scheduled to end December, 31, 2007.

ARTICLE CONTINUES BELOW

BCBS of North Carolina – While we don’t have all the details, the company announced that, beginning January 1, 2008, it is waiving the co-payment for some generic drugs and lowering the cost of 40 brand-name drugs. The health care company's waiver will apply specifically to all generic drugs -- such as Zocor, Norvasc and Glucophage -- that treat congestive heart failure, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and diabetes.

Publix and Meijer – Those of us without insurance, or who are not currently with a Blues plan, can take advantage of free generic antibiotics filled through Publix pharmacies. The covered prescriptions include: Amoxicillin, Cephalexin, Sulfamethoxazole/Trimethoprim (SMZ-TMP), Ciprofloxacin (excluding ciprofloxacin XR), Penicillin VK, Ampicillin, and Erythromycin (excluding Ery-Tab).

While some public health officials are upset about the program, claiming that Publix is contributing to the progression of antibiotic-resistant diseases, Publix is using its own statistics to justify the program. “These antibiotics account for almost 50 percent of the generic, pediatric prescriptions filled at Publix. New or current customers simply need to provide their Publix pharmacist with their prescription, up to a 14-day supply, and it will be filled at no charge. Publix is not limiting the number of prescriptions customers may fill for free.”

Meijer is also participating in a similar program. See this list of store locations.

While these cost-saving programs aren’t going to help everyone, it seems to be a step in the right direction. Do you know of a free prescription promotion that we missed? Email us at tips@wisebread.com and let us know! Here’s to your health!

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Catherine Shaffer's picture

I got free antibiotics at Meijer recently. Loved it! It seems to me the concern about too many antibiotic prescriptions is misplaced. If a person is given a scrip by their doctor, they are entitled to fill it. The cost should not be a limiting factor, as infections can be life-threatening.

Catherine Shaffer

Wise Bread Contributor

Guest's picture
Guest

While not free, Wal-Mart/Sam's Club has a long list of generic drugs available for $4. A list of medications available is below.

http://www.usatoday.com/money/industries/retail/walmart-druglist-10-17-2...

Guest's picture
Guest

This is indeed a great program, and a wonderful way for Meijer to build goodwill.

Guest's picture
James Owen

For anyone still seeking help, I would check out some of the free prescription discount card programs out there. They certainly don't make your drugs free, but they can help alot (mostly for people who have no insurance)

Here's a couple that I know of:
http://rxfuse.org
http://www.medsavercard.com

Guest's picture
Guest

Can you update this article with more recent info? It's really helpful and our Senior citizens are impacted. Shop rite has been giving free antibiotics.