"It is a struggle for us to scrape up enough money to pay for my son’s each month. I'm in desperate need of assistance. We have had to keep him home from school because we couldn't afford his medication. Is there any legal solution to our problem?"
by Robert Tudisco
You may qualify for benefits through public programs, such as SSI or Medicare, to defray medication costs for stimulant medications like Concerta.
Also, Partnership for Prescription Assistance (pparx.org), funded by pharmaceutical companies, advocacy organizations, and community groups, helps qualified families without health insurance gain access to medication through public and private programs and subsidies.
Keeping your child home from school when he is not medicated is a separate legal issue. Schools can’t legally require children to be medicated. That decision needs to be made by parents and a child’s doctor.
The law requires that a school district provide a child with a Free Appropriate Public Education (FAPE). If you are keeping your son home because he is not getting his medication, and his disability affects his education, the school may be required to provide special services and accommodations.
While an Individualized Education Program (IEP) may not eliminate the need for medication, it should help him perform academically, whether he is medicated or not.