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AstraZeneca Announces Nexium(esomeprazole magnesium) Savings Program for Purple Plus Members

--Enhanced Purple Plus(TM) Program Provides Instant Rebates and Educational Tools--

WILMINGTON, Del., Nov. 6 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- AstraZeneca (NYSE:AZN) today announced the enhancements to the Purple Plus(TM) Program for patients with gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) who are prescribed NEXIUM(R) (esomeprazole magnesium). This patient support program is designed to make NEXIUM more affordable for patients through instant rebates, and to provide educational tools that can assist patients in staying adherent to their prescribed therapy.

"NEXIUM is a very important treatment option for patients with GERD because of its proven efficacy in healing damage to the esophagus caused by acid reflux," said Doug Levine, MD, Executive Director in Clinical Development for AstraZeneca. "As part of our long-standing commitment to positively impact the gastrointestinal health of patients with acid-related diseases, we are pleased to offer a program that can make NEXIUM, as prescribed by health care professionals, more affordable to patients. The support and education components of Purple Plus(TM) can help patients appropriately partner with their health care professionals in managing their disease through recommended treatment interventions, which optimizes the chances for achieving the best possible outcomes."

Nationwide, NEXIUM costs the majority of patients with prescription coverage less than a dollar a day, based on national average co-pay.(1) Individual costs may vary. Refill data shows that patients who participate in the Purple Plus(TM) program stay on therapy longer than non-members.(2) In addition, patients participating in the Purple Plus(TM) Program can receive instant rebates (up to $30 for insured and $50 for uninsured) on their NEXIUM prescriptions through the Purple Plus(TM) Savings Card. Patients also will receive regular e-mail and direct mail communications containing acid reflux education, refill reminders, newsletters and cookbooks.

Furthermore, patients have access to comprehensive online resources and tools, including a GERD-friendly meal planner, trigger checker, an online dietitian, fitness planner, and more, which are all accessible through the member's own personal web page on

Enrollment in the Purple Plus(TM) program is simple and entails no paperwork. NEXIUM(R) (esomeprazole magnesium) patients can enroll by: 1) Visiting, 2) Calling 1-888-PurplePill, or 3) Activating the Purple Plus(TM) Savings Card they receive from their physician. Once enrolled, each person will receive a Welcome kit in the mail, with subsequent mailings to follow.

The Purple Plus(TM) Program enhances face-to-face interactions between physicians and patients by providing a program that helps educate them about managing acid reflux disease, understanding overall gastrointestinal (GI) wellness, and maintaining a healthy lifestyle.

About GERD

Approximately 60 million Americans experience gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) symptoms more than twice a week.(3) GERD is characterized by frequent and persistent heartburn, which occurs when the lower esophageal sphincter (the valve separating the esophagus and stomach) does not close properly, allowing acid to back up into the esophagus. GERD is chronic and, if left untreated, may lead to more serious medical conditions.

About NEXIUM(R) (esomeprazole magnesium)

NEXIUM is prescribed for the treatment of frequent, persistent heartburn symptoms due to acid reflux disease. These symptoms typically occur on two or more days per week despite treatment and diet change.

For many people, NEXIUM can also heal damage to the esophagus caused by acid reflux. This damage can occur over time, when acid from the stomach erodes (wears away) the lining of the esophagus. Only a doctor can determine if you have this condition, called erosive esophagitis. Most erosions heal in 4 to 8 weeks. Your results may vary.

Common side effects with NEXIUM(R) (esomeprazole magnesium) include headache, diarrhea, and abdominal pain. Symptom relief does not rule out other serious stomach conditions.

AstraZeneca is committed to helping people get the medicines they need. In 2006, 97,614 NEXIUM patients were provided patient assistance through AstraZeneca programs, which equates to patient savings of $105M. Nationwide, NEXIUM costs the majority of patients with prescription coverage less than a dollar a day, based on national average co-pay. Individual costs may vary.(1)

For more information about NEXIUM, talk to your doctor, visit, or call 1-888-Purplepill.

About AstraZeneca

AstraZeneca is a major international healthcare business engaged in the research, development, manufacture and marketing of prescription pharmaceuticals and the supply of healthcare services. It is one of the world's leading pharmaceutical companies with healthcare sales of $26.47 billion and leading positions in sales of gastrointestinal, cardiovascular, neuroscience, respiratory, oncology and infection products. AstraZeneca is listed in the Dow Jones Sustainability Index (Global) as well as the FTSE4Good Index.

In the United States, AstraZeneca is a $12.44 billion healthcare business with more than 12,000 employees. For nearly three decades, AstraZeneca has offered drug assistance programs side by side with its medicines, and over the past five years, has provided over $3 billion in savings to more than 1 million patients throughout the US and Puerto Rico.

AstraZeneca has been named one of the "100 Best Companies for Working Mothers" by Working Mother magazine and is the only large pharmaceutical company named to FORTUNE magazine's 2007 list of "100 Best Companies to Work For." In 2006, for the fifth consecutive year, Science magazine named AstraZeneca a "Top Employer" on its ranking of the world's most respected biopharmaceutical employers.

  For more information about AstraZeneca, please visit:

  (1) Source: Wolters Kluwer Health Source®, Dynamic Claims Analyzer January
      through August 2007. Based on average monthly co-pay amount for
      commercial and Medicare Part D programs. Survey included 4100 plans;
      63% of claims had a co-pay of $29 or less. Does not include other
      types of out-of-pocket costs. DA-NEX-99: Wolters Kluwer Health
      Source(R) Dynamic Claims TM, January through August 2007.
  (2) DOF DA-NEX-98
  (3) Shaker R, Castell DO, Schoenfeld PS, Spechler SJ. Nighttime heartburn
      is an under-appreciated clinical problem that impacts sleep and
      daytime function: The results of a Gallup survey conducted on behalf
      of the American Gastroenterological Association. American Journal of
      Gastroenterology 2003;98(7):1487-1493.

Source: AstraZeneca

CONTACT: Blair Hains, +1-302-885-1813, or Corey Windett,
+1-302-885-0034, both of AstraZeneca

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Posted: November 2007