Help Is Here Express Bus Tour Coming to Fort Wayne To Help Patients in Need Access Prescription Medicines

Fort Wayne, Ind. (Oct. 8, 2007) — The "Help is Here Express" bus tour will be coming to Fort Wayne on Friday, October 19, stopping at St. Joseph Hospital from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. to help uninsured Americans find programs that provide prescription medicines for free or nearly free. The bus tour is part of the Partnership for Prescription Assistance (PPA), a national effort sponsored by America's pharmaceutical research companies. The PPA has helped more than 4 million patients, including more than 190,000 in Indiana. Since its launch in April 2005, the PPA bus tour has visited all 50 states and more than 1,500 cities to raise awareness about patient assistance programs.

The "Help is Here Express" is staffed by trained specialists able to quickly help low-income, uninsured or underinsured patients access more than 475 patient assistance programs, including over 180 programs offered by pharmaceutical companies. When the "Help is Here Express" moves on, patients in need can visit PPA's easy-to-use website ( or call the toll-free phone number (1-888-4PPA-NOW) where trained operators field calls in 150 languages.

Through the PPA, parents, guardians, healthcare providers and others can learn about public and private patient assistance programs — including the State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) — that are available to help children in need. America's pharmaceutical research companies support the reauthorization of SCHIP, and more than 40 of the assistance programs through the PPA focus on the medication and healthcare needs of children. Through SCHIP, more than six million uninsured, low-income children today receive a wide range of health services, including regular checkups, immunizations, prescription drugs, laboratory tests, x-rays, hospital visits and more. To help make it easier for parents to learn about these efforts, including SCHIP, the PPA has dedicated a new website,

"The Partnership for Prescription Assistance is changing thousands of lives everyday," said Billy Tauzin, President and CEO of the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA). "No one's helped by a medicine that sits on the shelf and is out of reach financially. We will keep coming back to Indiana as long as there are people who need our help."

On a national level, the Partnership for Prescription Assistance is represented by Emmy-winning syndicated talk show host Montel Williams, who serves as PPA's national spokesman. In addition, nationally recognized Telemundo talk show host and author Mayte Prida leads the PPA's Hispanic outreach effort.

More than 1,300 national, state and local partners, including Indiana Hospital&Health Association and the Indiana State Medical Association, are working with America's pharmaceutical companies to spread the word about the program. Trained specialists work with doctors, pharmacists, healthcare providers and community groups, educating them on the process and use of the PPA's easy-access Web site and toll-free number.

Over 2,500 different brand-name and generic prescription medicines are available through participating patient assistance programs. In addition, the PPA provides information on nearly 10,000 free healthcare clinics and has connected more than 135,000 patients with clinics and healthcare providers in their communities.

"We're excited that the 'Help is Here Express' is coming to Fort Wayne," said Kirk Ray, chief executive officer of St. Joseph Hospital. "Now even more people will see how easy it is to get help by calling PPA's toll-free number, using the website, or by visiting the bus. And that translates to more people getting the help they need."

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