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Financial Assistance Available for Rx Medications

Washington, DC (February 23, 2005): We often hear about the more than 38 million Americans without health insurance and the even greater number of Americans who struggle to pay for prescription medications.† What we don't often hear about, however, is where those individuals can turn for financial assistance.† For example, in 2004 alone, a record number of patients received free or discounted medications from America's pharmaceutical companies.† This reflects the pharmaceutical industry's expanded efforts to assist those who need help paying for their prescriptions.†

In 2004, millions of patients across America received more than 22 million prescriptions with a wholesale value topping $4.17 billion.† This is a significant increase from 2003, when 18 million prescriptions were filled with an estimated wholesale value of $3.4 billion.† "We hope the number of people who are helped continues to grow.† PhRMA member companies know a medication that sits on a shelf, out of financial reach of patients, helps no one," said Billy Tauzin, president and chief executive officer of PhRMA, the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America.

This assistance comes from a variety of sources inclugin a series of innovative new state programs that serve as clearinghouses for the more than 275 public and private prescription assistance programs available.† In 2004, the industry also made available a new application form on its website, www.helpingpatients.org , to make submitting the necessary forms easer and faster.

In 2004, PhRMA launched new prescription assistance programs in six states modeled after the successful "Rx for Ohio" project.† These programs support collaboration between numerous community and health organizations.† "Regardless of where you live, help is available today for those Americans who are having trouble affording their prescriptions. No one who needs help should go without their life-saving medications," advised Tauzin.

The state programs feature a website, the easy application form, and a toll-free number for those who prefer to call for initial eligibility screening.

"The success of these programs is rooted in the local support of community health groups, physicians and many others. Working together, these partnerships reach out to individuals, conduct training sessions on enrollment and help spread the word that help exists for people who need it," said Tauzin.†

Program Details

Rx for Ohio: www.rxforohio.org (877-794-6446)
Rx for West Virginia:† www.rxforwv.org ††† (877-982-7948)
Rx for Rhode Island:† www.rxforri.org ††† (877) 743-6779†
Rx for DC: www.rxfordc.org (202-457-9432)
Rx for Illinois:† www.rxforillinois.org †††††† (877-793-6745)
Rx for Washington: ††††† www.rxhelpforwa.org †† (877-923-6779)
Rx for New Jersey: † www.rx4NJ.org †††††††† †† (888-793-6765)

Created: 2/27/2005  -  Donnica Moore, M.D.

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