Ailing Economy Fuels Growing Need for Free, Reduced Rxs--March 2009

Jessica A. Smith, Assistant Editor
Published Online: Thursday, March 26, 2009
Follow Pharmacy_Times:
More and more Americans are turning to free or reduced prescription drug programs as they feel the brunt of the economic crisis. With millions of jobs being lost and taking health coverage with them, many are left unable to pay for their prescriptions. Even those fortunate enough not to be among the ranks of the 4.4 million who are unemployed may be caught in a tight spot when it comes to getting their necessary meds. Families are being forced to cut back on expenses, and seniors face the gaping reality that is the Medicare Part D doughnut hole.
 
The Partnership for Prescription Assistance (PPA), an organization run by the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA), said that people seeking help in obtaining medications are flooding the group with requests. The PPA runs the “Help Is Here Express,” a traveling enrollment center that tours the country with the mission of spreading awareness and increasing participation in patient assistance programs. In recent times, patients have been forming long lines at every stop, waiting to board the bus and use computers and cell phones that will help them determine eligibility for prescription programs, reported PPA. The buses make appearances at health clinics, state fairs, senior centers, and community events, connecting patients with providers from a list of hundreds of participating public and private programs.
 
The number of uninsured Americans is estimated at 40 million to 50 million, and although President Barack Obama is promising major reductions in the costs of health care, countless individuals and families cannot wait for the changes to arrive.
 
“No one’s helped by a medicine that sits on the shelf and is out of reach financially,” said Billy Tauzin, PhRMA president and chief executive officer. “We’re going to keep on reaching out across America as long as there are people who need our help.”
 
As of last year, PPA helped close to 5 million individuals nationwide since its inception in 2005.
 
For other articles in this issue, see:
 
Pharmacists: Educate Patients on Medication Poisonings
 
Congress Looking to Pass Health Care Reform This Summer





Related Articles
Although retail pharmacists in California are permitted to sell nonprescription syringes under legislative efforts to prevent HIV transmission among injection drug users (IDUs), recent research uncovered that many pharmacies still limit syringe access.
The American Pharmacists Association (APhA) applauds today’s introduction of H.R. 592, the Pharmacy and Medically Underserved Areas Enhancement Act, which will improve patient access to health care through pharmacists and their patient care services.
mscripts and Avella Specialty Pharmacy have recently completed analyzing data demonstrating the effectiveness of mobile pharmacy apps in helping HIV patients better manage their disease through improved medication adherence. Results from this analysis show that HIV patients using a mobile app which provides refill reminders, dosage reminders and other prescription management functionality are 2.9 times more likely to be adherent.
A community pharmacy can collaborate with a local hospital to provide quality medication education and adherence coaching.
Latest Issues
  • photo
    Pharmacy Times
    photo
    Health-System Edition
    photo
    Directions in Pharmacy
    photo
    OTC Guide
    photo
    Generic Supplements
  • photo
    Pharmacy Careers
    photo
    Specialty Pharmacy Times
    photo
    Generic
$auto_registration$