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Pharma & Biotech Companies Donate Hundreds of Millions of Dollars to Copayment Foundations. Here’s Why.

October 23, 2012
In addition to using their own Patient Assistance Programs, many pharma and biotech companies are supporting independent 501(c)3 non-profit copayment foundations to increase treatment compliance, access to care for insured Americans (including Medicare patients), and to promote proper disease management.

[caption id="attachment_9627" align="alignright" width="115" caption="Mary P. Sundeen, President, HealthWell Foundation"]Mary Sundeen[/caption]

Copayment foundations have helped hundreds of thousands of insured Americans afford their coverage and their treatments. The HealthWell Foundation, one of the nation's largest non-profits, recently issued a white paper on copayment assistance as a primer for pharmaceutical and biotechnology personnel. Our goal is to assist with reducing a manufacturer’s exposure to legal pitfalls and to maximize their charitable donation.

Without question, pharmaceutical manufacturers must perform rigorous and ongoing vetting of any copayment foundations they support. Variances among the foundations are many, and may be confusing to navigate, but the legal framework of providing copayment assistance is not.

HealthWell’s white paper provides a roadmap for efficient use of pharmaceutical manufacturer charitable copayment support to effect financial assistance for the greatest number of patients. A goal shared by everyone in this space.

The impact of healthcare costs is devastating: medical expenses play a significant role in approximately 60 percent of personal bankruptcies filed in theUnited States, and excess health care costs due to medication non-adherence are estimated to be $300 billion annually.

Perhaps the main reason for industry executives to check out our white paper is because contributing to copayment foundations makes good business and altruistic sense and directly reduces the cost of health care in this country by contributing to improved patient outcomes.

Industry leaders or trade press interested in obtaining a copy of the HealthWell white paper may request a copy by visiting For more information on partnering with the HealthWell Foundation to improve patient access to life-changing medications, please visit

Mary P. Sundeen is president of the HealthWell Foundation.