View Full Version : Group posts Web site for free drug access

04-21-2004, 19:15
The drug industry lobbying group PhRMA published a new Web site aimed at helping poor people get discounted or free drugs offered by the drug companies.

The drug companies have been under fire in the U.S. Congress and the media for fighting efforts to import low-cost prescription drugs from other countries, notably Canada.

The Internet site, at <http://www.helpingpatients.org>, promises "one-stop-shopping" for various patient assistance programs, the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America said.

It connects to a database paid for by the pharmaceutical companies but also carries information about government and private patient-assistance programs, PhRMA said.

The group, which advocates on behalf of commercial drug companies, said patient-assistance programs helped more than 6.2 million underinsured or uninsured patients fill nearly 18 million prescriptions in 2003.

"The estimated wholesale value of medicines distributed though company patient assistance programs last year totaled almost $3.4 billion," PhRMA said.

01-19-2005, 15:30

"Millions of uninsured Americans could save money on prescriptions under a discount program that 10 major drug makers unveiled Tuesday.

The Together Rx Access Card program allows those who meet income and age requirements to save 25 percent to 40 percent - and sometimes more - on more than 275 brand-name prescription drugs and a host of generic drugs..."

"To qualify for the card, applicants must be under 65, not eligible for Medicare and have no other private or public drug coverage. They also must have incomes no higher than $30,000 for a single person, $40,000 for couples and $60,000 for a family of four..."

"The new cards join an ever-growing muddle of drug discount programs for the poor and elderly. Seven of the 10 companies also joined in 2003 to offer a discount card for low-income seniors, the Together Rx card, which has enrolled nearly 1.5 million cardholders. .."

"Those who qualify for the new program can enroll by visiting the Web site, www.TogetherRxAccess.com, or by calling 1-800-444-4106. The card will be effective by mid-February..."

"Companies participating in the program include Abbott; AstraZeneca; Bristol-Myers Squibb; GlaxoSmithKline; Janssen Pharmaceutica and Ortho-McNeil Pharmaceutical, Inc., part of the Johnson & Johnson family of companies; Novartis; Pfizer; sanofi-aventis Group; Takeda Pharmaceuticals North America, Inc.; and TAP Pharmaceutical Products, Inc..."

01-24-2005, 02:24

01-24-2005, 02:35
How many of these indigent people are likely to have computers, Internet access, and be informed of the program?

All of them, I'd bet, as soon as that magic word "free" gets around. :rolleyes:

It's easy to be conflicted on this. While I certainly sympathize with those burdened by the cost of very expensive meds, I also understand that those gigantic profits are what gives big pharma the will and means to keep researching and producing the next crop of drugs to keep people alive longer, ease their pain, and improve their lives.

01-24-2005, 02:43
How many of these indigent people are likely to have computers, Internet access, and be informed of the program?

Yeah, screw it, why are they even bothering. It'll never work... :rolleyes:

01-24-2005, 02:57