Pfizer Extends Commitment To Help Unemployed Americans
Number of Potential Beneficiaries Increases with Availability of Many Legacy Wyeth Medicines
New Interactive Tool Makes it Easy for People to Learn if They May Be Eligible for Pfizer MAINTAIN™ or other Pfizer Patient Assistance Programs
NEW YORK, NY, December 10 – Pfizer today announced it will extend its MAINTAIN™ (Medicines Assistance for Those who Are in Need) patient assistance program for an additional year, through December 31, 2010. In addition to the more than 70 Pfizer primary care medicines currently available through MAINTAIN, Pfizer will extend the benefits of MAINTAIN to many legacy Wyeth medicines.
Pfizer launched MAINTAIN in May to help unemployed and uninsured Americans stay on their Pfizer medicines. The program, an employee-driven initiative, is part of Pfizer Helpful Answers®, Pfizer’s family of patient assistance programs that helps uninsured and underinsured Americans get Pfizer medicines for free or at a savings. Seventy-five percent of people who have applied to Pfizer’s MAINTAIN program have been enrolled.
Coupled with testimonials from MAINTAIN members and other interactive features, Pfizer released the MAINTAIN widget, an online tool that guides users through a short series of questions that determine whether they may be eligible for MAINTAIN or for another Pfizer patient assistance program.
Gail Grime, a MAINTAIN member from Ohio, lost her employment and health insurance after a 23-year career working for a U.S.-based auto parts manufacturer. Ms. Grime learned about MAINTAIN in a newspaper article, which she has subsequently shared with her family and many of her former co-workers.
“When I lost my job, I found myself without medical coverage for the first time in years. But thanks to MAINTAIN, I don’t have to cut back on my Pfizer medicines, or go without them,” Ms. Grime said. “The application was easy but, most importantly, the folks in customer service answered every one of my questions. In these rough times, it’s nice to have someone looking out for you.”
By extending the benefits of the MAINTAIN program for another year and to patients needing help with legacy Wyeth medicines, Pfizer is responding to the continued economic challenges facing hard-working Americans. Although the economy appears to be on the mend and the number of job losses has begun to slow, data show that unemployment remains at a 26-year high.
“In the last year, we have witnessed a great deal of suffering. Yet, our families, friends and neighbors have exhibited true American spirit, finding innovative ways to manage during tough times,” said Jorge Puente, Pfizer’s regional president of Worldwide Pharmaceuticals and a leading champion of the initiative. “Signs are pointing to recovery; however, millions of people are struggling without the benefit of insurance and without a regular income. As the world’s largest biopharmaceutical company, we believe we have a corporate responsibility to help our fellow Americans who need the medicines Pfizer offers, but who do not have insurance to help pay for them. By extending MAINTAIN, we are hopeful that we can continue to relieve some of the burden created by the recession.”
Pfizer has long been a leader in making medicines accessible to uninsured Americans, and MAINTAIN is just the latest example of Pfizer’s innovation in the area of improved access. In 2004, the company expanded Pfizer Helpful Answers, the company’s family of patient assistance programs, becoming the first pharmaceutical company to help anyone in the United States without prescription insurance, no matter their age or income.
Pfizer Helpful Answers has been helping uninsured and underinsured patients get Pfizer medicines for free or at a savings for more than two decades. In the last five years alone, Pfizer has helped more than 5 million uninsured patients get access to more than 51 million Pfizer prescriptions valued at more than $4.8 billion at wholesale cost through its patient assistance programs. The reach of Pfizer’s patient assistance programs in each state is illustrated in one of the charts accompanying this release.
“Pfizer MAINTAIN is a response to the evolving needs of uninsured Americans. Access programs are, simply put, ingrained in our corporate culture,” Puente said.
MAINTAIN Eligibility Requirements and Application
The MAINTAIN program has four eligibility requirements. Applicants must:
- Be able to demonstrate loss of employment on or after January 1, 2009;
- Lack prescription coverage;
- Attest to financial need; and,
- Have been on their Pfizer medicine for at least three months prior to unemployment and enrolling in the program.
The program is user-friendly, with a one-page application that Pfizer will typically process within two to three weeks. Applicants may download the one-page application from www.PfizerHelpfulAnswers.com, or request one by calling 866-706-2400, where live operators can help callers find out if they may be eligible for one of Pfizer’s patient assistance programs.
The program will accept applications through December 31, 2010. If eligible for MAINTAIN, patients can get their medicines for free for up to one year after enrollment or until they become insured, whichever comes first. People who are uninsured and still need help after being on MAINTAIN for a year can apply to one of Pfizer’s other patient assistance programs.
About Pfizer Helpful Answers®
Pfizer Helpful Answers is a family of patient assistance programs for the uninsured and underinsured who need help getting Pfizer medicines. Today, it is the largest and most extensive set of patient assistance programs in the United States. Pfizer Helpful Answers provides Pfizer medicines for free or at a savings to patients who qualify. Some programs also offer reimbursement support services for people with insurance. Pfizer Helpful Answers is a joint program of Pfizer Inc and the Pfizer Patient Assistance Foundation™.
About Pfizer Inc: Working together for a healthier world™
At Pfizer, we apply science and our global resources to improve health and well-being at every stage of life. We strive to set the standard for quality, safety and value in the discovery, development and manufacturing of medicines for people and animals. Our diversified global health care portfolio includes human and animal biologic and small molecule medicines and vaccines, as well as nutritional products and many of the world’s best-known consumer products. Every day, Pfizer colleagues work across developed and emerging markets to advance wellness, prevention, treatments and cures that challenge the most feared diseases of our time. Consistent with our responsibility as the world’s leading biopharmaceutical company, we also collaborate with health care providers, governments and local communities to support and expand access to reliable, affordable health care around the world. For more than 150 years, Pfizer has worked to make a difference for all who rely on us. To learn more about our commitments, please visit us at www.pfizer.com.
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