Pfizer, Inc. is announcing a new program on Thursday that will help those who have lost their jobs and health insurance remain on their medications.
The program will allow those who have been taking Pfizer medications including Lipitor and Viagra to receive the pills for up to a year free of charge.
The company will be providing more than 70 of its prescription drugs to Americans who became unemployed and uninsured regardless of what their prior income was as of January 1. To qualify a patient would have had to have been on the medicine prior to October 2008.
New York Daily Times reports:
“Everybody knows now a neighbor, a relative who has lost their job and is losing their insurance. People are definitely hurting out there,” Dr. Jorge Puente, Pfizer’s head of pharmaceuticals outside the U.S. and Europe and a champion of the project, told The Associated Press in an exclusive interview Wednesday. “Our aim is to help people bridge this point.”
To sign up for the program applicants have to sign a statement saying that they are having a financial burden and provide a “pink slip” or some form from their former employer. The program will accept applications until December 31 and those accepted will be provided up to 12 months or until the person is covered by insurance.
Patients may call 866-706-2400 to sign up for the program or sign on to PfizerHelpfulAnswers.com.
Pfizer has seven programs that offer free or reduced cost medication.
Pfizer employees proposed the idea to the company’s senior leadership team last month. The employees have also donated some of their own money to help with the costs and the Pfizer Foundation is matching those donations.
“The current economic environment has added considerable new stress to the daily life of millions of hard-working Americans, and our colleagues are responding to help their neighbors in the communities where they reside,” said Jeffrey B. Kindler, chairman and chief executive officer of Pfizer. “The speed with which we created and approved this program is proof of our commitment to help people access the medicines they need to live healthier lives. With the launch of this initiative, which I am proud to say was proposed by our colleagues, we are doing what we can to ensure that recent loss of employment does not preclude people from managing their health.”