Partnership for Prescription Assistance Prepared To Help Pennsylvania Workers Hurt by Recession

Pittsburgh, PA – The ‘Help is Here Express’ bus tour will be stopping in Pennsylvania throughout the week of July 27 – 31 at various cities in order to help uninsured and financially-struggling Pennsylvanians access information on programs that provide prescription medicines for free or nearly free. With the state’s unemployment rate now hitting 8.2 percent – compared to 5.1% a year ago – the Partnership for Prescription Assistance (PPA) bus tour is raising awareness of patient assistance programs among state residents who face layoffs and loss of health care benefits.

The PPA, a nationwide effort sponsored by America’s pharmaceutical research companies, provides a single point of access to more than 475 patient assistance programs that help those who are uninsured or struggling financially. Nearly 200 of the programs are provided by pharmaceutical companies.

The “Help Is Here Express” bus will be at the following Pennsylvania locations:

Monday, July 27, 2009

WHEN: 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon
WHERE: Family Services of Western Pennsylvania
Central City Plaza
310 Central City Plaza
New Kensington, PA

WHEN: 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.
WHERE: Washington Christian Outreach
119 Highland Ave
Washington, PA

Tuesday, July 28 2009

WHEN: 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon
WHERE: Shenley Square (near Joseph’s Market)
2700 Block of Mercer Rd.
New Castle, PA

WHEN: 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.
WHERE: Butler County Assistance Office
108 Woody Drive
Butler, PA

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

WHEN: 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
WHERE: Hoss’s Steak and Sea House
9016 William Penn Highway
Huntingdon, PA

WHEN: 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.
WHERE: Southgate Shopping Center
171 Ceder Street
Chambersburg, PA

Thursday, July 30, 2009

WHEN: 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon
WHERE: 6th Street and Cherry Street Parking lot
Reading’s City Center

WHEN: 2:00 p.m. to 4:00
WHERE: Fairlane Village Mall
7211 Fairlane Village Mall
Pottsville, PA

Friday, July 31, 2009

WHEN: 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
WHERE: St. Mark’s Church Frankford
4442 Frankford Ave.
Philadelphia, PA

“The PPA, so far, has helped well over 292,000 Pennsylvanians find out if they may qualify for free or discounted medicines and as we move forward into 2009, the assistance is still available,” said PhRMA President and CEO Billy Tauzin. “That’s good news for the citizens of Pennsylvania, where there are more than 531,000 people out of work.”

Patients who qualify for help from the PPA’s participating patient assistance programs have access to more than 2,500 brand-name and generic prescription medicines. In addition, the PPA provides information on more than 10,000 free health care clinics in America and has connected more than 281,000 patients with clinics and health care providers in their communities.

Patients seeking help from PPA can call a toll-free number (1-888-4-PPA-NOW) to talk to a trained operator or access the PPA Web site (www.pparx.org). It only takes 10 to 15 minutes to find out if someone may qualify for free or discounted medications.

To help spread the word about the assistance available, the PPA’s “Help Is Here Express” buses continue to visit communities all over the country with trained specialists on board to provide information on how to access patient assistance programs. All 50 states and more than 2,500 towns and cities have been visited so far, and nearly 6 million patients have been helped nationwide since the PPA began in April 2005.

“At a time when national unemployment is the highest in almost two decades, the PPA has become an important lifeline for a growing number of patients,” PhRMA’s Tauzin said. “Millions of Americans have been added to the jobless rolls over the last several months and there could be a sharp increase in the number of our citizens losing health care benefits.’’

“PPA is currently helping thousands of people every day,” Tauzin added, including those who need treatments to fight such debilitating chronic diseases as cancer, heart disease, diabetes and asthma.

On a national level, the Partnership for Prescription Assistance is represented by Emmy-winning syndicated television talk show host Montel Williams, named PPA’s national spokesman in January 2006. In addition, nationally recognized Telemundo talk show host and author Mayte Prida leads the PPA’s Hispanic outreach effort.

“Since January 2006, I’ve been traveling the country talking about the Partnership for Prescription Assistance, urging people to pick up the phone, log on to the Web site or visit the big, orange PPA bus to see if they may qualify for assistance,” said Williams. “As a patient who must cope every day with the effects of multiple sclerosis, I understand only too well the importance of having access to the medicine you need.”

More than 1,300 national, state and local partners are working with America’s pharmaceutical research companies to spread the word about the program. Trained specialists work with doctors, pharmacists, health care providers and community groups, educating them on the process and use of the PPA’s easy-to-access Web site and toll-free number.

To find out if there are patient assistance programs that may meet their needs, patients should call toll-free 1-888-4PPA-NOW (1-888-477-2669) to speak with a trained specialist or visit www.pparx.org.

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