Why Can Some Patients Get Free Drugs While Others Can't?

Many pharmaceutical companies offer free drugs, but critics complain such Patient Assistance Programs don't go far enough

Six years ago, Carla Miller was an active woman who enjoyed outdoor activities such as camping. Then things started to go wrong. "I just had tremendous pain that would kind of come and go," she says. "It started in my knees and then it moved to my hands and feet." She was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis, an autoimmune disease that attacks the joints. Two years ago Miller, now 53, discovered she also had a rare disease that affects her lungs. "If I moved too fast or lifted a heavy object I would become short of breath," says the former office worker. "I tried to work and would become very ill and had to go home."

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