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New Together Rx Access Card offers uninsured Americans prescription drug savings

WASHINGTON, D.C., January 11, 2005 -- Approximately 36 million uninsured Americans will be eligible to receive meaningful savings on a wide range of brand-name and generic prescription products through the Together Rx Access Card program, just launched by 10 companies.

Together Rx offers savings at the pharmacy counter on the broadest range of pharmaceuticals of any industry program through a free, easy-to-use card. The card will help uninsured Americans gain better access to prescription products. Enrollment has already begun for Americans who meet income and age eligibility requirements.

"The Together Rx Access Card will make life-saving and life-enhancing prescription medicines more affordable for millions of uninsured patients," said Tommy G. Thompson, Secretary of Health and Human Services, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. "Solving the complex issue of helping the uninsured in this country gain access to healthcare must take a united effort by all sectors of society, and I commend these companies for stepping forward to be part of the solution. The Together Rx Access Card is a common-sense, pragmatic way to give the uninsured access to prescription medicines."

Participating drug companies include Abbott, AstraZeneca, Bristol-Myers Squibb, GlaxoSmithKline, members of the Johnson & Johnson Family of Companies, Novartis, Pfizer, Sanofi-Aventis Group, Takeda, and TAP Pharmaceutical Products. Together, the participating companies are offering savings on more than 275 brand-name prescription products. These products include those used to treat diabetes, hypertension, high cholesterol, cancer, allergy, asthma, arthritis, and depression, which are among the most common conditions affecting Americans. Eligible uninsured individuals can expect to save approximately 25-40 percent, and sometimes more, on the prescription products directly from the manufacturers, as well as on a wide range of generic products. Together Rx Access also can help direct individuals to various additional resources for help on obtaining coverage or products.

The benefits of the Together Rx Access Card extend to 80 percent of the 45 million Americans -- including more than eight million children -- who are uninsured and don't have prescription drug coverage. Approximately eight out of 10 Americans without healthcare coverage are in families that are actively employed, working at full-time jobs or a series of part-time jobs that do not offer health insurance. About one-third of Hispanics are uninsured, a rate three times higher than for non-Hispanic whites.

Broad eligibility

To qualify for the Together Rx Access Card, applicants must be legal U.S. residents under age 65 and otherwise not eligible for Medicare, without public or private prescription drug coverage and with incomes of up to $30,000 for a single person or $60,000 for a family of four (income eligibility is adjusted for family size).

In addition to participating in Together Rx Access, each of the 10 participating companies independently offers Patient Assistance Programs (PAPs). People applying to enroll for Together Rx Access will be automatically notified if they may be eligible for further savings -- and in some cases free medicines -- through these PAPs.

Pharmacies nationwide have shown strong support for the Together Rx Access Card. The Together Rx Access Card savings will be available at the majority of pharmacies nationwide and in Puerto Rico by mid-February 2005.

How to enroll:

Those who qualify can enroll immediately in the Together Rx Access Card program free of charge by calling 1-800-444-4106 or visiting The Together Rx Access Card will be effective mid-February, 2005. Enrollment forms and information also will be available through participating pharmacies and in physicians' offices.

The founding group is encouraging other companies to join in this initiative.

Posted: January 2005