Q: What am I paying for if these medications are free?
A: As SCBN is not a state or federally-funded program but a membership-based service organization, we must charge for our services in order to continue to be able to provide patients with the assistance they need and deserve. Membership dues are for services rendered, not for medication. For the cost of your membership dues, our certified and capable team of advocates will assist you in every way possible to ensure that you get your prescription medications in a timely and reliable manner. This includes:
- preparing a New Member packet suited specifically to your individual needs
- pre-processing your applications with the information you provide, to the extent that they should only need to be signed by you and your doctor
- submitting your applications and supporting documentation to the Patient Assistance Programs on your behalf
- tracking your enrollment with the Assistance Programs and managing the timetable for your refill requests and annual renewals
Q: How much will I pay for membership in your organization?
A: Following an initial $50 application fee, our membership dues are monthly and vary based on the number of medications with which you need assistance--as low as $35/month or $25 per medication. At this price, our members typically save at least 70-80% of the retail cost they would be paying at a pharmacy.
Q: What if I decide to cancel my membership? Am I eligible for a refund?
A: If you should happen to find more cost-efficient assistance elsewhere and would like to cancel your membership with our organization, please notify us immediately so that we can close your account before your next draft date. If you would like to cancel a new account and think you might be eligible for a refund, please see the guidelines below:
- To be eligible for a full refund ($50 application fee + first month's dues), you must either cancel your membership before we have prepared and mailed your New Member Kit or cancel your membership within the first three (3) days and return all materials from your New Member Kit.
- To be eligible for a partial refund (first month's dues), you must cancel your membership within the first thirty (30) days and return all materials from your New Member Kit.
Q: Is this insurance?
A: No, we are a service company and do not guarantee any type of benefits.
Q: Are these Generic or Brand Name Medications?
A: Our program works for both although with generics your price may vary depending on the prescription.
Q: Where do these drugs come from?
A: The medications are supplied directly from the drug manufacturer and normally at least a 90 day supply is given.
Q: Why would the pharmaceutical companies offer these programs?
A: There is differing of opinions on the exact reasons that Pharmaceutical Companies are giving away so many free prescription medications. Some say that they do it because of their ongoing commitment to public health and because they really do care about low-income families. Others, noting the excruciating guidelines to participate and that the programs are typically not advertised, argue it is more of a political move on the part of these companies. Regardless of why, the fact is that they do give away free prescription medications and many people can benefit. And now, with the help of SCBN, the processes have been made easy for the average patient.
Q: How long does it take to get my medication?
A: From the time you enroll until your medications are in your hands takes on average 4-8 weeks. Renewal applications must be sent in early to allow for this. Your Personal Care Advocate will contact you when it is time to get started on the renewal process.
Q: What should I do after applying?
A: Continue with your medication as normal until the first shipment arrives from the pharmaceutical company. SCBN never dispenses medication or approves an application, we cannot guarantee the time of shipment of your order.
Q: How much medication will I be receiving?
A: Most companies have a 1 year enrollment period and send out a three-month supply of medication at a time.
Q: Why do some medications go to my home, but others go to the Doctor's office?
A: Excellent question!
In order to send medication directly to a patient, the drug company must be appropriately licensed with the federal government. Because many drug manufacturers are NOT properly licensed to dispense medication in this way, they must send the medications to a doctor's office that can legally dispense them to you.
Q: How to Dispose of Unused Medicines ?
A: FDA and the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy developed federal guidelines that are summarized here:
- Follow any specific disposal instructions on the prescription drug labeling or patient information that accompanies the medicine. Do not flush medicines down the sink or toilet unless this information specifically instructs you to do so.
- Take advantage of community drug take-back programs that allow the public to bring unused drugs to a central location for proper disposal. Call your city or county government's household trash and recycling service (see blue pages in phone book) to see if a take-back program is available in your community. The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, working with state and local law enforcement agencies, periodically sponsors National Prescription Drug Take-Back Days.
- If no disposal instructions are given on the prescription drug labeling and no take-back program is available in your area, throw the drugs in the household trash following these steps. 1. Remove them from their original containers and mix them with an undesirable substance, such as used coffee grounds or kitty litter (this makes the drug less appealing to children and pets, and unrecognizable to people who may intentionally go through the trash seeking drugs). 2. Place the mixture in a sealable bag, empty can, or other container to prevent the drug from leaking or breaking out of a garbage bag.
- Before throwing out a medicine container, scratch out all identifying information on the prescription label to make it unreadable. This will help protect your identity and the privacy of your personal health information.
- Do not give your medicine to friends. Doctors prescribe medicines based on a person's specific symptoms and medical history. A medicine that works for you could be dangerous for someone else.
- When in doubt about proper disposal, talk to your pharmacist.
Read more about proper disposal of medications on the FDA Web site