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Partnership for Prescription Assistance Prepared to Help Texas Workers Hurt by Recession
Date:2/18/2009

WASHINGTON, Feb. 18 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The 'Help is Here Express' bus tour will be stopping in Texas throughout the week of February 23-27 at various cities throughout the state in order to help uninsured and financially-struggling Texans access information on programs that provide prescription medicines for free or nearly free. With unemployment rates in Texas having risen for seven straight months, standing today at 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.

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 Texas locations:

Monday, February 23

Waco, TX

10:00am - 12:00pm

Waco Family Health Center

1600 Providence Dr. Waco Texas 76707

Killeen, TX

2:00pm - 4:00pm

Killeen City Hall

101 North College St., Killeen, Texas 76541

Tuesday, February 24

San Marcos

10:00am - 12:00pm

Communicare Health Center - San Marcos

1340 Wonder World Dr., San Marcos, Texas 78666

Wednesday, February 25

New Braunfels

10:00am - 12:00pm

Comal County Court (Public Health Dept.)

199 Main Plaza, New Braunfels, Texas 78130

San Antonio

2:00pm - 4:00pm

Communicare Health Center

3066 E. Commerce St., San Antonio, Texas 78220

Thursday, February 26

Corpus Christi

10:00am - 12:00pm

Greenwood HUB Health

4040 Greenwood Dr., Corpus Christi, Texas 78416

Victoria

2:00pm - 4:00pm

Community Center

603 R. Murray St., Victoria, Texas 77901

Friday, February 27

Beaumont

10:00am - 12:00pm

Jefferson County Courthouse - County Health Dept.

1149 Pearl, Beaumont, Texas 77701

Orange

2:00pm - 4:00pm

Memorial Hermann Baptist Hospital

608 Strickland Dr., Orange, Texas 77630

"The PPA, so far, has helped well over 440,000 Texans 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 Texas, where the unemployment rate has jumped from 4.1 percent to 6 percent since February 2008 and where some 712,000 people are now 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 5.5 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, including the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners, Texas Pharmacy Association, Gateway to Care, Hispanic Health Care Professionals Association, Texas Medical Association, NAMI Texas and the Texas Healthcare and Bioscience Institute, 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.

"We're excited that the 'Help is Here Express' is coming to Texas," said Richard Cron from The Texas Healthcare Access Network. "Now even more people will see how easy it is to get help by calling PPA's toll-free number, using the Web site, or by visiting the bus. And that translates to more people getting the help they need."

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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