Prescription for Oklahoma helps with prescription assistance applications

Lawton_Pricey prescriptions mean many uninsured - and underinsured - Americans don't get the medicine they need.  But, the Oklahoma State Department of Commerce, and the Oklahoma Health Care Authority fund a program called Fund Rx for Oklahoma - a prescription assistance program.  Rx for Oklahoma - provides prescription assistance to area residents every day.

Shawna Silva is the Regional Director of the Rx for Oklahoma program and reviews prescription assistance applications.  "We are basically here to help the uninsured as well as the under-insured with getting their medications for free to reduced costs through the pharmaceutical companies," she says.

Companies such as Pfizer discount the costs of medication for those who qualify.  "Some of the medications are free, and some of them are at a reduced cost," says Silva.  If there's a program available, we do all of the paperwork for them, free of charge."

Although the Partnership for Prescription Assistance sends a bus across the country to educate people about application forms used to get cheaper medication, Rx for Oklahoma helps patients complete those applications.  "Basically, we do all of the legwork, and alleviate all of that from them, as well as the doctors' offices because it's a lot of paperwork," says Silva.

To qualify for assistance through Fund Rx for Oklahoma, patients must have a primary doctor.  So, Silva works with clinics such as the Lawton Community Health Center, to arrange for medical care.  "We send patients to them.  The type of patients that we see here are patients with low-income, and patients that do not have a primary care provider," she says.  She says it's basically a patient referral program, combined with patient outreach - the organization matches doctors with patients, patients with doctors, and helps patients to make sense of the complicated paperwork.

Southwest Oklahoma regional headquarters is in Lawton, and there are processing centers in Altus, Chickasha, and Frederick.  "We refer lots and lots of people to them every day," she says.  "It's such a wonderful thing for this community to have a centralized location where people can go and apply for their medication at reduced or no cost."

It takes between two weeks and one month for approval, so Rx for Oklahoma can't cover short term antibiotic medications.  But, they are able to help with many long term prescriptions.  The Partnership for Prescription Assistance's "Help is Here Express" bus will be in Lawton Wednesday from 2 p.m.-4 p.m. at the Great Plains Improvement Foundation at #2 East Lee Blvd.

The public is invited to visit the bus in Duncan, too, Wednesday, 10 a.m.-11 a.m. at the Duncan Banner.