This article is part of the Arthritis Archives.
Editor note: According to LillyAnswers, Because of the new Medicare Part D coverage, as of January 1, 2006, the LillyAnswers program stopped enrolling new members on December 31, 2005. The entire LillyAnswers program was scheduled to conclude May 15, 2006. However, Lilly will extend the operation of LillyAnswers until December 31, 2006 for some patients. Eli Lilly is also pleased to announce a new patient assistance program called "LillyMedicareAnswers." This new program is currently in development and is expected to be available by early 2007.
Dateline: March 13, 2002
Eli Lilly Launches Drug Assistance Program LillyAnswers
For a long time, Medicare reform has been of great concern to senior citizens and disabled persons without prescription coverage. It also was a popular platform during the last presidential campaign.
While the Administration and U.S. Congress work toward a solution, Eli Lilly and Company have announced a program which will offer immediate benefit to Medicare beneficiaries eligible for the program. The program is called "LillyAnswers" (www.lillyanswers.com) and it will help millions of American seniors caught in the gap between not qualifying for prescription coverage under Medicaid and not having sufficient financial resources to pay for prescription medicines.
The LillyAnswers card will allow seniors and people with disabilities under Medicare to pay a flat $12 fee for a 30-day supply of any retail distributed Lilly drug. Excluded from the program are controlled substances or any products not distributed by retail pharmacies.
Who Will Be Eligible For The LillyAnswers Card?
More than 5 million Americans are eligible to receive the LillyAnswers card. Who will be eligible for the drug assistance program?
- U.S. citizens
- Medicare-enrolled seniors and people with disabilities
- No other prescription drug coverage
- Individual annual income below $18,000; household income below $24,000
To apply for the card, eligible seniors and disabled persons can call 1-877-RX-LILLY. The applicant will receive a short application form to fill out and return along with copies of their most recent tax return and Medicare card. Once the application is processed and eligibility confirmed, it will take 2-4 weeks for the eligible applicant to receive their LillyAnswers card. Once the patient is enrolled in the LillyAnswers program, the card is good for 12 months. After 12 months, the patient will have to requalify through the application process.
Which Eli Lilly Medications Are Being Covered?
Among the Eli Lilly drugs covered by the program are:
- Evista (for osteoporosis treatment)
- Humulin and Humalog (for diabetes treatment)
- Prozac (for depression treatment)
- Zyprexa (for schizophrenia treatment)
Unfortunately, since controlled substances are not included in the program, popular arthritis pain medication, Darvocet N-100, is not covered with the LillyAnswers card. Enrollment to the LillyAnswers program is free and began March 5th with participating pharmacies accepting the card starting on April 1, 2002.
In January, Pfizer announced a similar program, called The Pfizer for Living Share Card Program. The Pfizer Share Card offers a $15 flat fee for 30-day supply of medication. It was reported though that the popular arthritis medication Celebrex would not be included in the Pfizer program.
The programs offered by Pfizer and Eli Lilly are still very significant for qualified individuals. Arthritis sufferers often have comorbid conditions. The potential savings from these programs is sure to ease the financial burden of expensive medications.
Sources: Eli Lilly Offers $12 Flat Fee Per Prescription for Millions of Needy Seniors and People With Disabilities Without Coverage, Newstream.com, March 2002; LillyAnswers, Eli Lilly and Company
First published: 3/13/2002