Pharmacy Times

Millions Receive Rx Assistance

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The pharmaceutical industry's efforts to help patients with their drug costs are paying off. In 2004, patients across America received 22,119,664 prescriptions with a wholesale value topping $4.17 billion, compared with 2003 when 18 million prescriptions were filled with an estimated wholesale value of $3.4 billion.

The record level of assistance was reached in part due to a series of pioneering new state programs that serve as clearinghouses for the >275 public and private prescription assistance programs available. Last year, the industry also initiated a "dynamic forum"on its Web site (www.helpingpatients.org) that made completing the forms easier and faster.

"Regardless of where you live, help is available today for those Americans who are having trouble affording their prescriptions. No one who needs help should go without their lifesaving medications,"said Billy Tauzin, president and chief executive officer of the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA).