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Partnership for Prescription Assistance Prepared to Help Mississippi Workers Hurt by Recession
Date:3/5/2009

Several Stops to Feature 'Leave It To Beaver' Star Jerry Mathers

JACKSON, Miss., March 5 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The 'Help is Here Express' bus tour will be stopping in Mississippi the week of March 9-13 at various cities throughout the state in order to help uninsured and financially-struggling Mississippians access information on programs that provide prescription medicines for free or nearly free. With the unemployment rate in Mississippi (7.8 percent) now exceeding the national average (7.6 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.

Jerry Mathers, who suffers from diabetes and is traveling with the PPA bus for two days in Mississippi 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 Mississippi locations:

Monday, March 9

EVENT TIME: 9:00am - 11:00am

** This event will feature an appearance by Jerry Mathers **

ADDRESS: Biloxi Salvation Army

575 Division Street

Biloxi, MS

EVENT TIME: 2:00pm - 4:00pm

** This event will feature an appearance by Jerry Mathers **

ADDRESS: Wesley Medical Center

5001 Hardy Street

Hattiesburg, MS

Tuesday, March 10

EVENT TIME: 9:00am-11:00am

** This event will feature an appearance by Jerry Mathers **

ADDRESS: Jackson Medical Mall

350 West Woodrow Wilson Drive

Jackson, MS

EVENT TIME: 1:30pm - 3:30pm

** This event will feature an appearance by Jerry Mathers **

ADDRESS: King's Daughters Medical Center

427 Highway 51 North

Brookhaven, MS

Wednesday, March 11

EVENT TIME: 10:00am - 11:00am

ADDRESS: First Baptist Church of Laurel

607 West 5th Street

Laurel, MS

EVENT TIME: 1:00pm - 2:00pm

ADDRESS: First Baptist Church of Meridian

701 26th Avenue

Meridian, MS

Thursday, March 12

EVENT TIME: 10:00am - 11:00am

ADDRESS: Parking lot near United Way

1021 South Street

Vicksburg, MS

Friday, March 13

EVENT TIME: 10:00am - 11:00am

ADDRESS: Greenville - Percy Library

341 Main Street

Greenville, MS

"The PPA, so far, has helped well over 101,000 Mississippians 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 Mississippi, where there are 103,500 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 5.6 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.

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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