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Old 04-21-2004, 19:15   #1
NousDefionsDoc
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Group posts Web site for free drug access

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.
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