June 17, 2024

Medication Access & Management

Access to Pharmaceuticals

For facilities providing direct care to medically underserved populations, one of the primary obstacles to comprehensive services is accessing effective and affordable medications.

ACU recognizes that for many of our constituents, it is frustrating to finally get the patient into the clinic, to successfully diagnose the patient, and yet to discover that the patient is unable to afford or access the medication required to treat his or her diagnoses.

The mission of the ACU is to improve the health of underserved populations by enhancing the development and support of the health care clinicians serving these populations. As a part of its mission, ACU has compiled the following resources for implementing comprehensive pharmaceutical care:

Medication Management Tools

Epocrates http://www.epocrates.com/products/rx/

For dosing, side effects, contraindications, interactions, manufacturer and retail pricing information. Epocrates can be downloaded to a smart phone free of charge.

Electronic Orange Book http://www.fda.gov/cder/ob/default.htm
For generic equivalents available for brand name drugs.  You can search for generic equivalents by searching by proprietary “brand” name,” then searching again by using the active ingredient name. If other manufacturers are listed besides the “brand name” manufacturer when searching by the “active ingredient,” they are the generic product manufacturers.

Clinical Practice

Clinical trials  http://clinicaltrials.gov/, a registry of federally and privately supported clinical trials conducted in the United States and around the world. The registry lists a trial’s purpose, who may participate, locations, and phone numbers for more details.

Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality http://www.ahrq.gov/clinic/index.html, a federal agency looks to improve the quality, safety, efficiency, and effectiveness of health care by conducting and supporting health services research.

Medication Assistance

Pharmaceutical company patient assistance programs

Needy Meds http://www.needymeds.com/drug_list.taf

RxHope https://www.rxhope.com/

Partnership for Prescription Assistance https://www.pparx.org/SelectMedication.php

Medication Safety

American Society of Health System Pharmacists http://www.safemedication.com/ site for assisting consumers with appropriate medication use.

Educate Before You Medicate http://www.talkaboutrx.org/, a program of the National Council on Patient Information and Education, offers reliable information about the proper use of medicines.

Institute for Safe Medication Practices http://www.ismp.org/default.asp helps healthcare practitioners keep patients safe and continues to lead efforts to improve the medication use process

Institutional Links

American Society of Health System Pharmacists http://www.ashp.org/

Safety Net Hospitals for Pharmaceutical Access http://www.safetynetrx.org/public/index.cfm








Research, Issue Guides, Tutorials




For charts and clear descriptions of Part D topics, see the Health Assistance Partnership project:

To calculate when an individual will reach the doughnut hole for coverage, see:

For information on appeals of Part D plan decisions, see:

For formulary information by plan:

Policy Brief

Access to Medications by Underserved Populations: Recommendations for Process Improvement by Ileana Burgos, MSW and Kathie Westpheling, MPH