HHS Program Aids Louisiana Residents Needing Medicines

At no cost to uninsured patients, residents needing certain drugs during an emergency can obtain a 30-day supply at any EPAP participating pharmacy.

To assist Louisiana residents affected by severe flooding, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services is helping them get medicines they need. The department's Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response on Aug. 20 activated its Emergency Prescription Assistance Program for the affected area; the program pays for prescription medications for people without health insurance who are affected by disasters.

"I visited today with people whose health conditions could easily be worsened by the major flooding in Louisiana. Many of the people I talked with in shelters, like many others in the impacted area, routinely depend upon medicines to keep their chronic conditions in check," said Dr. Nicole Lurie, HHS' assistant secretary for preparedness and response. "I encourage people to take advantage of this program and to take the medicines you need to stay healthy during this disaster."

At no cost to uninsured patients, residents needing certain drugs during an emergency can obtain a 30-day supply at any EPAP participating pharmacy. A list of the eligible drugs is available at http://www.phe.gov/Preparedness/planning/epap/Pages/formulary.aspx. Patients can renew their prescriptions every 30 days while the EPAP is active. They also can use the program to replace maintenance prescription drugs, specific medical supplies, vaccines, or medical equipment lost as a direct result of the declared emergency or as a secondary result of loss or damage caused while in transit from the emergency site to the designated shelter facility.

More than 72,000 pharmacies across the country participate in EPAP. Uninsured Louisiana residents affected by the flooding can call Express Scripts, 855-793-7470, to learn whether their medication or specific durable medical equipment is covered by EPAP and to find a participating pharmacy.

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