Help is Here Express comes to town - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Help is Here Express comes to town

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April 10, 2007

Albany   --   Many of you need help paying for expensive prescription medication. Proof of that is the number of people who lined up Tuesday for the Help is Here Express.    

Today marked the Partnership for Prescription Assistance's third stop in Albany. Six-thousand south Georgians recently lost prescription assistance when Phoebe Putney ended its Gateway for Care program.                     

Sandra Gray is diabetic and has a herniated disk.  For the last three years, the Gateway for Care grant helped her pay for necessary prescriptions.  Now that grant has run out for Gray and six thousand other south Georgians.   

"Well, Celebrex, I went to get a prescription filled for that, and it's $244, so there's no way that I could pay for that," she said.   

"It just underscores the tremendous need that there is in our area, and across the state of Georgia, and throughout the country for affordable and accessable healthcare, and a key component of that health care is affordable prescription drugs," said Rep. Sanford Bishop.   

"When the programs end it hurts a lot of senior citizens and people that can't afford the medications," Gray said.   

Phoebe Putney says even without Gateway to Care, it offers more than a half million dollars in prescriptions to indigent patients. Medicare Part D picks up some slack, but more help is needed.   

"When a patient is seen by a physician, it's one thing to diagnose a problem, but if a person can't actually get the drugs to remedy the situation, or control their problem, quite frankly they haven't been able to make a difference," said Joel Wernick, Phoebe Putney President & CEO.   

Through the help of pharmaceutical research companies, the Partnership for Prescription Medicines found help for Sandra Gray in one of 180 programs offered. "Some of the medicines that Gateway didn't get for me, he just found a medical, a company, a pharmaceutical company, that I can get my medicines," Gray said.   

Putting necessary medicines into patients hands and not leaving them on the shelf out of financial reach.  In the last two years, they Partnership for Prescription Assistance helped 185,000 people in Georgia. 

If you missed the bus, there is still help available.  Call 1-888-4PPA-NOW, or go to www.pparx.org .

    

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