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Free Drugs From Pfizer is Latest Concession to the Recession

Posted Aug 27 2009 11:37pm

Drug giant Pfizer is the latest health care player to step forward and offer assistance to the recently unemployed.  Through its new MAINTAIN program, Pfizer will give away more than 70 of its most widely prescribed drugs, for up to a year, to people who have lost their jobs.  The program open to those who became unemployed since Jan. 1 and have been taking a drug for three months or longer. Enrollment is required and will be open until December 31, 2009. The company says the program was inspired by employees who have been witnessing the hardships suffered by friends and family members.  But Pfizer is not the first health care giant to realize that huge chunks of its market could be evaporating as a growing number of Americans are unable to afford needed health care.  “ Nearly 46 million Americans lack health insurance coverage, and that number is increasing as unemployment rates reach their highest levels in 25 years,” the company noted in its press release.

Wallgreens recently started offering free health care at their Take Care in-store clinics to people who lost their jobs after March 31, 2009.

Many pharmaceutical companies have long had programs that help people obtain prescription drugs when they can’t afford them.  According to the Wall Street Journal, “over the past six month, there has been a 10%-to-15% increase in the number of people contacting a PhRMA clearinghouse program for information about assistance.”  The Partnership for Prescription Assistance can be contacted here.

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