According to a new study released May 8, by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Urban Institute, cost kept a larger percentage of Tennesseans out of the doctor’s office from 2000 to 2010 than it did citizens of any other state. Approximately 857,000 Tennesseans between the ages of 19 and 64 said they didn't go to the doctor because they couldn't afford it. The number grew to 10.8 percent from 2000 to 2010, higher growth than any other state.
“Tennessee was seeing increases in unmet need in particular for both the insured and uninsured that were large relative to the national averages,” said study co-author Steve Zuckerman. “But the deterioration for the uninsured was particular pronounced.”
With sky-rocketing prescription fees adding to the problem, residents in Bradley County and across the state could use free or reduced-cost prescription medicine. To date, the Partnership for Presciption Assistance has already helped more than 275,000 Tennesseans in need by connecting them to patient assistance programs that provide medicines for free or nearly free. With the recent floods and tornadoes causing widespread damage in Tennessee, the Partnership for Prescription Assistance stepped up its efforts to reach out and help Tennessee residents.
“Given massive property losses throughout Tennessee and the high number of uninsured individuals in the state, it’s important that people remember help is available through the PPA,” said Billy Tauzin, President and CEO of the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America. Since its debut in April 2005, the agency has helped thousands of local residents in Bradley County and nearly 7 million Americans nationwide.
In an effort to continue to help Americans who are uninsured and struggling, the Partnership for Prescription Assistance recently launched new online resources designed to expand the program’s community partnerships and enhance PPA’s mobile and Internet presence to make it even easier to obtain information about its programs.
These new resources include a text hotline and smart phone application, in addition to the existing toll-free hotline and website, helping to ensure around-the-clock access to information about the more than 475 programs offered through the PPA. Nearly 200 of the programs are provided by 98 different pharmaceutical companies, according to its website.
Each specific patient assistance program may have different requirements, depending upon your income and insurance coverage. But if you do not have insurance and have a hard time affording your medicines, many patient assistance programs may provide the medicines free of charge.
While companies are committed to getting free or nearly free prescription medicines to eligible patients as quickly as possible; each participating patient assistance program has its own timeline. Patients can call the organization sponsoring their patient assistance program to ask when they will receive their medicines. The programs are designed to help those who have an immediate need for prescription medication help.
Patients who qualify for help have access to more than 2,500 brand-name and generic prescription medicines. In addition, the PPA provides information on more than 10,000 free health care clinics in America and has connected more than 300,000 patients with clinics and health care providers in their communities. Anyone seeking help with their medicines can call the toll-free number: 1-888-477-2669 to talk to a trained operator during business hours. It only takes 10 to 15 minutes to find out if someone may qualify for free or nearly free medications.
For further information, visit www.pparx.org.