2008-04-24 / News

Help available with prescription drug costs

This week, the Partnership for Prescription Assistance - a nationwide effort sponsored by America's pharmaceutical research companies - is celebrating its third anniversary of helping uninsured and financially-struggling Americans get access to the medicines they need for free or nearly free. Since its launch in April 2005, the PPA has helped nearly 5 million patients nationwide, including more than 15,000 people in Rhode Island. The PPA's sister program, Rx for Rhode Island, has helped more than 18,000 people. Also in that time, the PPA bus tour, the "Help is Here Express," has visited all 50 states and more than 2,000 cities to educate people about patient assistance programs.

"For three years, the Partnership for Prescription Assistance has been a resounding success, and it continues to help thousands of patients every day," said Billy Tauzin, President and CEO of the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA). "No one's helped by a medicine that sits on the shelf and is out of reach financially. We're not going to stop after three years, and we will keep coming back to Rhode Island as long as there are people who need our help."

Over 2,500 different brand name and generic prescription medicines are available through participating patient assistance programs. In addition, the PPA provides information on nearly 10,000 free health care clinics and has connected more than 135,000 patients with clinics and health care providers in their communities.

The "Help is Here Express" is staffed by trained specialists able to quickly help uninsured patients in need access information on more than 475 patient assistance programs, including nearly 200 programs offered by pharmaceutical companies. When the "Help is Here Express" moves on, patients can visit PPA's easy-to-use Web site (www.pparx.org) or call the tollfree phone number 1-888-477-2669 where trained operators field calls in 150 languages.

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