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April 8, 2007

Pfizer Brings ‘Help Is Here Express’ Bus Tour to Connecticut To Help Patients in Need Obtain Prescription Medicines

February 8, 2007

Ed Belkin
(202) 835-3460
Michelle Wade
United Way
(203) 772-2010 ext. 201

New Haven, Connecticut (February 14, 2007) – The “Help is Here Express” national bus tour will be in New Haven on Wednesday, February 14 from 3-6pm in front of the New Haven City Hall to help people who are having trouble affording their prescription medicines. Since its launch in April 2005, the bus tour -- sponsored by America’s pharmaceutical research companies -- has visited all 50 states and more than 1,000 cities to raise awareness about patient assistance programs. The “Help is Here Express” is part of the Partnership for Prescription Assistance (PPA), a national effort that has helped more than 3.4 million patients, including more than 25,000 in Connecticut, find programs that provide prescription medicines for free or nearly free.

The “Help is Here Express” is staffed by trained specialists able to quickly help low-income, uninsured or under-insured patients access more than 475 patient assistance programs, including more than 180 programs offered by pharmaceutical companies. When the “Help is Here Express” moves on, patients in need can visit PPA’s easy-to-use Web site (http://www.pparx.org/) or call the toll-free phone number (1-888-4PPA-NOW) where trained operators field calls in more than 150 languages.

“The Partnership for Prescription Assistance is changing thousands of lives everyday,” said PhRMA President and CEO Billy Tauzin. “No one's helped by a medicine that sits on the shelf and is out of reach financially. We will keep coming back to Connecticut as long as there are people who need our help.”

On a national level, the PPA is represented by Emmy-winning syndicated 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.
More than 1,300 national, state and local partners, including Pfizer and the United Way of Greater New Haven, are working with America’s pharmaceutical 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-access Web site and toll-free number.

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 healthcare clinics and has connected more than 100,000 patients with clinics and health care providers in their communities.

“As an organization focused on addressing the most urgent social issues in this region and, thereby improving lives, we are painfully aware of the challenges many citizens have obtaining affordable health and prescription coverage,” says Jack Healy, President and CEO of United Way of Greater New Haven. “We are committed to this community and will continue to work to improve lives through our traditional funding activities as well as looking for new and creative collaborations and opportunities like this one.”

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 https://mail.americas.apco.net/exchweb/bin/redir.asp?URL=https://mail.americas.apco.net/exchweb/bin/redir.asp?URL=http://www.pparx.org/.


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