RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.C., Sept. 16 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- GlaxoSmithKline (NYSE: GSK) today announced that it is making free medicines easier to obtain for patients who are unemployed, uninsured or struggling to make ends meet.
GSK is improving access to its patient assistance program, Bridges to Access, by offering two ways to apply -- self-enrollment with a simple, one-page application or enrollment by telephone with the help of a healthcare advocate such as a nurse, pharmacist or social worker. Previously, all patients were required to apply through an advocate.
When using the self-enrollment form, a free 90-day supply of medicine is mailed to eligible patients two days after receipt of the application, a prescription and verification of income. For patients who need medicine immediately, they can enroll by telephone with the help of their advocate and then immediately pick up a 60-day supply of medicine at any retail pharmacy for a $10 co-pay. Most GSK medicines used in an outpatient setting are available through Bridges to Access.
"We are proud to discover and deliver medicines that can help people do more and feel better," said Deirdre Connelly, GSK President North America Pharmaceuticals. "At the same time we recognize these are difficult financial times that can take a toll on people's ability to pay for care. We want to do what we can to support better health, especially for those who may find themselves suddenly in difficult financial situations."
In 2008, GSK patient assistance programs provided medicines valued at more than $438 million wholesale acquisition cost (WAC) to almost 415,000 patients through approximately 2.5 million 30-day prescriptions.
Patients who have prescription drug benefits through any private or public program are not eligible for the program. The program will provide free medicines to eligible people with incomes of not more than $27,075 for a single person household; $36,425 for couple; and $55,125 for a family of four. Patients with incomes above this amount may qualify through an adjustment to their income for certain out-of-pocket medical expenses.
Patients, their family members and healthcare advocates may use the new Prequalification Calculator at www.BridgesToAccess.com to see if they might qualify for the program. Enrollment applications are available at the website and by calling 1-866-PATIENT (1-866-728-4368).
GSK offers a number of other programs to help patients get access to the medicines they need. Information on all of the programs can be found at www.gskforyou.com. The programs are:
GlaxoSmithKline -- one of the world's leading research-based pharmaceutical and healthcare companies -- is committed to improving the quality of human life by enabling people to do more, feel better and live longer.
Cautionary statement regarding forward-looking statements
Under the safe harbor provisions of the U.S. Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, GSK cautions investors that any forward-looking statements or projections made by GSK, including those made in this announcement, are subject to risks and uncertainties that may cause actual results to differ materially from those projected. Factors that may affect GSK' s operations are described under 'Risk Factors' in the 'Business Review' in the company' s Annual Report on Form 20-F for 2007.
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