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Merck’s Patient Assistance Program

If you are without health insurance and need medicine for hepatitis C infection, Merck’s Zepatier may work for you, both medically, and financially. Even if you have insurance, but cannot afford the patient costs, Merck will provide your medication free of charge, or help with your co-pay, assuming you meet the financial requirements for assistance. If you do not meet insurance or income requirements, but are in a hardship situation that puts this drug beyond your financial means, you may request an exception.

You’ll need to download and print a form from Merck’s website, or have your doctor’s office or someone else do that for you, or someone else you know. After completing the patient’s part of the form, which is simple and contains no surprise questions, your doctor will need to fill out the rest. Zepatier is approved for two genotypes: 1 and 4. Also, please note that Zepatier is not recommended for moderate-to-severe liver impairment (Child-Pugh B or C). Merck asks for your METAVIR score, which is based on an algorithm of A=Activity (necroinflammatory activity) and F=Fibrosis score. Once the application form is completed, you’ll need access to a fax machine to send the form back to Merck. Your doctor’s office should be able to do this for you.

Merck’s financial requirements are on the liberal side. The income parameters are as follows:

$59,400 or less for individuals

$80,100 or less for couples

$121,500 or less for a family of 4

Merck seems to be a pharmaceutical company with a heart, a conscience, and a commitment to curing as many patients as possible. A stated company goal is to eradicate the hepatitis C virus. Their website is friendly and written in plain language. Any patient should feel comfortable navigating the process of receiving financial help. All of these things contribute to a sense that Merck’s people seem to understand the singular plight of the hep C patient. More in-depth information is provided by a personable representative at their toll-free number.

We all hope that the attitude and philosophy of Merck, along with their price point, will encourage other manufacturers of HCV medications to get on board with a more consumer-oriented profile.

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.