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Partnership for Prescription Assistance Prepared to Help Illinois Workers Hurt by Recession
Date:4/2/2009

Program Celebrates Four Year Anniversary With Appearances by Actor Jerry Mathers

SPRINGFIELD, Ill., April 2 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The 'Help is Here Express' bus tour will be stopping in Illinois the week of April 6th - April 10th at various cities throughout the state celebrating its fourth anniversary of helping more than 5.7 million uninsured and financially-struggling Americans get access to the medicines they need for free or nearly free. With the state's 8.6 percent unemployment rate now exceeding that of the nation (8.1 percent), the Partnership for Prescription Assistance (PPA) is ready to help state residents who face layoffs and loss of health care benefits.

Jerry Mathers, who suffers from diabetes and is traveling with the PPA bus for two days in Illinois to raise awareness of this devastating chronic disease, is an American icon, best known for his portrayal of "Beaver" in the television classic, "Leave It To Beaver." Currently shown on TV Land and in countries throughout the world, "Leave It To Beaver" has made Jerry Mathers one of the most well-known actors in television history. He has also appeared in movies such as Alfred Hitchcock's "The Trouble With Harry," and as a starring character in the Tony-winning Broadway musical "Hairspray."

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 Illinois locations:

    MONDAY
    Event Time: Monday, April 6th, 2009
                10 AM to 12 Noon
    Location:   Trinity Regional Hospital
                ** With Actor Jerry Mathers **
                7th Street Campus
                500 John Deere Rd.
                Moline, IL

    Event Time: Monday, April 6th, 2009
                2 PM to 4 PM
    Location:   Galesburg Cottage Hospital
                ** With Actor Jerry Mathers **
                Cottage Medical Plaza-Kellog Bldg Parking Lot
                765 North Kellogg
                Galesburg, IL

    TUESDAY
    Event Time: Tuesday, April 7th, 2009
                10 AM to 12 Noon
                ** With Actor Jerry Mathers **
    Location:   Peoria Heartland Community Clinic
                1701 West Garden Street
                Peoria, IL

    Event Time: Tuesday, April 7th, 2009
                2 PM to 4 PM
    Location:   City of Bloomington Township Center
                ** With Actor Jerry Mathers **
                607 S Gridley St - corner of Gridley and Oakland
                Bloomington, IL

    WEDNESDAY
    Event Time: Wednesday, April 8th, 2009
                10 AM to 12 Noon
    Location:   Burchard Hills Medical Office Building
                1010 West Fairview Drive
                Freeport, IL

    Event Time: Wednesday, April 8th, 2009
                2 PM to 4 PM
    Location:   Lee County Health Department
                309 S Galena Ave
                Dixon, IL

    THURSDAY
    Event Time: Thursday, April 9th, 2009
                9 AM to 11 AM
    Location:   Provena United Samaritans Medical Center
                812 N Logan Ave
                Danville, IL

    Event Time: Thursday, April 9th, 2009
                2 PM to 4 PM
    Location:   St. Mary's Hospital
                1800 E Lakeshore Dr.
                Decatur, IL

    FRIDAY
    Event Time: Friday, April 10th, 2009
                9 AM to 11 AM
    Location:   St. Mary's Good Samaritan Hospital
                Centralia, IL

    Event Time: Friday, April 10th, 2009
                2 PM to 4 PM
    Location:   Collinsville Public Library
                408 W Main St
                Collinsville, IL


"The PPA, so far, has helped well over 456,000 Illinoisans find out if they may qualify for free or discounted medicines and as we move forward into 2009, the assistance is still available," said Ken Johnson, senior vice president of the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA). "That's good news for the citizens of Illinois, where there are well over a half a million [570,000] 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 (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 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 Johnson 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," Johnson 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.

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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SOURCE Partnership for Prescription Assistance
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