In this section we discuss different forms of financial aid for GIST patients.
As of April 01, 2014 All Pfizer Patient Assistance Programs have been consolidated into one program called Pfizer RxPathwaysTM. This program is designed to replace all previous Pfizer patient assistance programs, while continuing to help eligible patients get access to their Pfizer medicines.
Patients who are currently receiving their medicines through one or more of Pfizer’s patient assistance programs will be automatically enrolled into Pfizer RxPathways, and will continue receiving their medicines after this program launch date. The enrollment period and enrollment dates will remain the same for Pfizer RxPathways. At the end of the enrollment period, patients who still need assistance with accessing Pfizer medicines can re-enroll in Pfizer RxPathways through a new streamline application process.
In cases where a clinical trial isn’t an option and the patient has exhausted all available treatment options, regulators may grant permission for Pfizer to provide a treating physician with an unapproved Pfizer drug. Such individual use of an unlicensed investigational drug is often called “compassionate use” or “expanded access” but may go by other names. Pfizer refers to these uses collectively as “compassionate access.”
Healthcare professionals may submit requests for compassionate access to Pfizer investigational drugs on behalf of patients in their care, and patients and others may submit questions about compassionate access to Pfizer investigational or unlicensed products.
Novartis Oncology Reimbursement Hotline: 1-800-282-7630
Gleevec Hotline: 1-877-GLEEVEC (1-877-453-3832)
Patient Assistance Programs
If you are uninsured, your costs for therapy may be reimbursed from other sources. If no sources are found, you may still be qualified to receive drug assistance.
The program verifies patients’ medical benefits, helps determine insurance coverage, and clarifies co-payment obligations.
Discuss any billing questions with reimbursement specialists. Also, if a claim of yours is denied due to billing errors or medical necessity issues, specialists can help you develop strategies for appeal.
Alternative funding searches
Program staff can search for possible assistance for patients with insufficient or no drug coverage and refer to other sources of funding that may help alleviate or reduce costs.
Novartis Patient Assistance Program (PAP): 1-800-282-7630
Novartis is committed to providing access to our medications for those most in need through the Novartis Patient Assistance Foundation, Inc. (PAF). PAF provides assistance to patients experiencing financial hardship who have no third party insurance coverage for their medicines.
- US residency
- Meets financial eligibility requirements
- No prescription drug coverage (public or private)
- Exception process exists for patients who cannot afford their Medicare Part D cost share
Patients must reapply/requalify annually www.pap.novartis.com
Nexavar Reimbursement Hotline
(REACH-Resources for Expert Assistance and Care Helpline)
NexConnect: 1-866-NEXAVAR (1-866-639-2827)
The REACH Program was designed by Bayer Pharmaceuticals Corporation and Onyx Pharmaceuticals, Inc. to provide reimbursement information and support to assist patients receiving Nexavar. www.nexavar.com/
Stivarga Reimbursement Hotline
(REACH-Resources for Expert Assistance and Care Helpline)
The REACH Program was designed by Bayer Pharmaceuticals Corporation and Onyx Pharmaceuticals, Inc. to provide reimbursement information and support to assist patients receiving Nexavar and Stivarga. REACH is a free service, available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Financial Assistance for Cancer Care
Financial Assistance may be available through independent charitable foundations. Please review list below:
Benefits Checkup finds programs for people ages 55 and over that may pay for some of their costs of prescription drugs, health care, utilities, and other services. www.benefitscheckup.org
The Chronic Disease Fund is one of the few charitable organizations to provide direct and immediate financial assistance to underinsured patients with chronic disease, cancers or life-altering conditions who cannot afford the co-payments for the expensive medications they need. Please call 1-877-968-7233 for more details. www.cdfund.org/
Free Medicine Program helps patients obtain prescription drugs and medications free of charge. www.freemedicineprogram.org/index.html
HealthWell Foundation is an independent, charitable organization that assists financially needy individuals in obtaining prescription medications. The Foundation provides financial assistance to eligible individuals to pay insurance premiums or copayments. www.healthwellfoundation.org
Patient Access Network Foundation is dedicated to assisting patients who cannot afford the out-of-pocket costs associated with their treatment needs. With 20 disease-specific funds, PAN assists the underinsured in accessing health care treatments. Call 1-800-316-7263 for more details. www.panfoundation.org
National Organization for Rare Disorders (NORD) has administered programs to assist uninsured or under-insured individuals in securing life-saving or life-sustaining medications.Call 1-800-999-6673 for more details. www.rarediseases.org
NeedyMeds provides information on the programs many drug companies have that give away free prescription medications to people who have no insurance and qualify for their programs. Allows you to access the information on the drug by searching by drug or by manufacturer. www.needymeds.com
Partnership for Prescription Assistance helps qualifying patients who lack prescription coverage get the medicines they need through the public or private program that’s right for them. www.pparx.org
Patient Services Incorporated is committed to assisting persons with chronic medical illnesses in accessing health insurance and pharmacy co-payment assistance. www.patientservicesinc.org/
Patient Access Network Foundation is dedicated to assisting patients who cannot afford the out-of-pocket costs associated with their treatment needs. With 20 disease-specific funds, PAN assists the underinsured in accessing health care treatments. Call 1-800-316-7263 for more details. www.patientaccessnetwork.org
Patient Advocate Foundation (PAF) is pleased to announce the expansion of co-payment assistance funding for patients with sarcomas. Additional information about the PAF Co-Pay Relief Program can be obtained by calling 866-512-3861 or visiting:
Travel Assistance for Medical Care
Air Care Alliance is a nationwide league of humanitarian flying organizations whose volunteer pilots are dedicated to community service. This site lists volunteers who perform public benefit flying for health care, patient transport, disaster relief, environmental support, and other missions of public service.
For flights request call toll-free: 1-888-260-9707 www.aircareall.org
Air Charity Network, formerly Angel Flight America, provides access for people in need seeking free air transportation to specialized health care facilities or distant destinations due to family, community or national crisis. To request assistance call 1-877-621-7177 www.aircharitynetwork.org/
Angel Flight is a non-profit organization of pilots and other volunteers dedicated to serving the community by arranging free private air transportation for medical patients and their families who cannot afford to utilize normal, commercial transportation. For flights request call toll-free: 1-800-549-9980 www.angelflight.com
Angel Flight for Cancer Patients. Free airline tickets (once a year) for cancer patients and escort going to/from distant specialized care. Multiple free tickets for clinical trial cancer patients.
To request call toll free: 800-296-1217 www.AngelFlightForCancerPatients.org
Continental Airlines offers free flights every six months. Make your reservations at least six months in advance. They use donated Sky Miles to cover the costs of these flights. For further information, you can call Continental Care Force at 281-261-6626 c/o Bob Jack.
Corporate Angel Network aims to ease the emotional stress, physical discomfort and financial burden of travel for adult and pediatric cancer patients by arranging free flights to recognized treatment centers, using the empty seats on corporate aircraft flying on routine business. The toll-free patient line is 866-328-1313. www.corpangelnetwork.org/
LifeLine Pilots is a private, non-profit organization that provides people in medical and financial distress with access to free air transportation on small (4-6 seat), private aircraft for health care and other compelling human needs. Call toll-free to speak to a Flight Coordinator: 1-800-822-7972. www.lifelinepilots.org/
Mercy Medical Airlift ensures that no needy patient is denied access to distant specialized medical evaluation, diagnosis or treatment for lack of a means of long-distance medical air transportation. They ensure the provision of urgent transportation in situations of compelling human need and homeland security emergencies. For more information, call 1-888-675-1405 www.mercymedical.org/
National Patient Air Transport Helpline provides information about all forms of charitable, long-distance medical air transportation and provides referrals to all appropriate sources of help available in the national charitable medical air transportation network. For more information, call 1-800-296-1217. www.patienttravel.org/
Operation Liftoff provides air transportation for children with a life threatening illness for a treatment trip. www.operationliftoff.com
Patient AirLift Services (PALS) is a 501c3 non-profit that arranges free air transportation for individuals needing medical diagnosis or treatment. The company’s primary area of geographic coverage is the entire northeast U.S. and down the eastern seaboard. www.palservices.org
Lodging Assistance for Medical Care
Health Care Hospitality Network, Inc. (HHN) serves facilities that provide lodging and other supportive services to patients and their families when confronted with medical emergencies. www.nahhh.org
Joe’s House is a housing resource for cancer patients and their families who must travel away from home for medical treatment. The site lists hundreds of cancer treatment centers and nearby lodging facilities. www.joeshouse.org
National Association of Hospital Hospitality Homes Incorporated serves facilities that provide lodging and other supportive services to patients and their families when confronted with medical emergencies. www.nahhh.org
Ronald McDonald House provides a home away from home for families of seriously ill children receiving treatment at nearby hospitals. www.rmhc.org