While there are small signs that the economy is beginning to turn around, pink slips are still being issued by many companies still trying to survive the recession. For those people losing their jobs, it may mean losing the only health insurance they can afford.
And, for many, that means not being able to pay for prescription medications they need.
This has serious implications for people like diabetics. They can suffer major complications if they don’t test their blood sugar levels several times a day and take appropriate medication.
Yesterday, Pfizer, the world’s largest drug manufacturer announced that it will provide medicines for up to a year to Americans who have lost jobs since January 1, 2009. “Our aim is to help people bridge this point,” said Dr. Jorge Puente, Pfizer’s head of pharmaceuticals outside the US and Europe.
To take advantage of this program, which covers 70 of Pfizer’s most widely prescribed medication including Lipitor and Viagra, patients can call a toll-free number 866-706-2400 to sign up. Pfizer currently has several assistance programs, so those whose drugs are not included in this new program will be referred to other company aid programs.
Starting July 1, you can also apply through the website, www.PfizerHelpfulAmswers.com. Right now, this website only has information about other aid programs.
In order to qualify for the free medications, you will have to sign a statement that you are suffering a financial hardship and provide your pink slip or other employer notice. The application period ends December 31, 2009.
Pfizer will provide the medication for up to 12 months after approval, or until you become insured again.
See Your Doctor To Save Your Liver and Kidneys
This is certainly good news for people who have recently lost their health insurance as a result of layoffs. But, while continuing needed prescription drugs is important, it is also critical that patients continue to see their doctors regularly.
These powerful medications can sometimes put extra stress on your liver or kidneys. It is very important that your doctor monitors your progress closely to assure that your vital organs are not damaged. This is particularly true if you take several medications.
My Dad lost the functioning of his kidneys in the final months of his life. Dialysis did not work for him. His kidney problems were apparent to the nephrologists at the local hospital three years earlier when he was admitted for a heart problem.
But, my Dad didn’t want to pay for the specialists. He just didn’t understand the importance.
Please see your doctor regularly.
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