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Partnership for Prescription Assistance Prepared to Help Arkansas Workers Hurt by Recession

LITTLE ROCK, Ark., April 9 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The 'Help is Here Express' bus tour will be stopping in Arkansas throughout the week of April 13 -- April 17 at various cities in order to help uninsured and financially-struggling Arkansans access information on programs that provide prescription medicines for free or nearly free. With the state's unemployment rate now hitting 6.4 percent, the Partnership for Prescription Assistance (PPA) is ready to help state residents who face layoffs and loss of health care benefits find programs that provide prescription medicines for free or nearly free.

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 Arkansas locations:

    Monday, April 13
      EVENT TIME:  10:00am - 11:30am
      Craighead County Health Unit
      611 East Washington Avenue
      Jonesboro, AR 72401
      Goodwill Superstore

      EVENT TIME:  1:30pm - 2:30pm
      Greene County Health Department
      801 Goldsmith Rd
      Paragould, AR 72450

    Tuesday, April 14
      EVENT TIME:  9:00am - 10:30am
      Mississippi County Health Department
      1299 North 10th Street
      Blytheville, AR 72315

      EVENT TIME: 1:30pm - 2:30pm
      Forrest City Convention Center
      1335 North Washington Street
      Forrest City, AR 72335

    Wednesday, April 15
      EVENT TIME: 10:00am - 11:30am
      First Presbyterian Church
      800 Scott Street
      Little Rock, AR 72201

      EVENT TIME: 1:30pm - 2:30pm
      Health and Human Services Department
      1222 West 6th Avenue
      Pine Bluff, AR 71601

    Thursday, April 16
      EVENT TIME:  9:00am - 10:30am
      Bradley County Health Unit
      208 Bragg Street
      Warren, AR 71671

      EVENT TIME: 1:30pm - 2:30pm
      Ouachita County Health Unit
      740 California Avenue SW
      Camden, AR 71701

    Friday, April 17
      EVENT TIME: 10:00am - 11:30am
      Ark-La-Tex Health Center
      1414 Arkansas Blvd.
      Texarkana, AR 71854

"The PPA, so far, has helped well over 84,000 Arkansans 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 Arkansas, where there are more than 88,000 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 277,000 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 ( 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 more than 5.7 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

SOURCE Partnership for Prescription Assistance
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