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[IP] Fw: drug news

This was sent to me by a nice friend at calOPTIMA, and with the recent
threads about insurance, I thought it would be a good thing to share. If
some of the drugs one needs for their other problems, then they could go for
this and mabe have a bit extra to cover pump supplies. Or if they don't use
a pump they may still need the things available.
Pommy Mommy.
Jenny S.

Subject: drug news


Rx DRUG COSTS: Many Unaware of Free Drug Programs

The "best kept secret" of the
&byr=2000&go=Search> pharmaceutical industry, the Wall Street Journal
reports, is that "drug companies ... give away millions of dollars worth of
drugs each year." According to the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers
of America, U.S. drug companies gave away 2.8 million prescriptions worth
about $500 million in 1998. Patients who qualify for free drugs generally
are those who have too high of incomes to qualify for government assistance.
Bristol-Myers Squibb allows qualified individuals to receive free drugs for
six months, with no limit on how often patients can reapply. Patients in
Glaxo-Wellcome's program can receive approval by phone and then go to a
pharmacy to fill a 30-day prescription for a $5-$10 co-payment. After an
application form is mailed, the patient receives another 60-day supply.
Glaxo said it gave away $28 million in free drugs last year, filling more
than 14,000 free prescriptions each month. Through its Lilly Cares program,
Eli Lilly distributed $113 million of free drugs last year, but spokesperson
Joan Todd "would disclose very little about the program." Other private
organizations help people apply for programs. Patients in the
<http://www.themedicineprogram.com> Medicine Program pay $5 per
prescription, generally receiving a three-month supply. Cindy Hogg, the
program's administrator said that people taking "maintenance drugs" like
blood-pressure medicines generally have incomes of $30,000 or less, while
those with catastrophic illnesses such as AIDS may have incomes of $50,000
or more and still qualify. Unfortunately, most patients and doctors are
unaware of such programs, mostly because they "aren't widely publicized and
often require both patients and doctors to file extensive paperwork." Hogg
said, "In my opinion [drug companies] want to keep it a secret. They do it
so they can tell Congress, 'We give away medicine for free,' but then they
don't tell anybody about it and make it hard for people to apply"
(Parker-Pope, 7/28).

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