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Teva's 'Patient First' Initiative Highlights Struggle Against High Health Care Costs, Reminds Lawmakers of Reform Goals

Friday, September 18, 2009 General News J E 4
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Real Americans Share Experiences, Common Need for Patient-Centric Reform

WASHINGTON, Aug. 20 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Teva Pharmaceuticals USA, the world's leading generic pharmaceutical company, today announced the start of its "Patient First" project as part of the Year of Affordable Healthcare campaign. The initiative, available at: www.yearofaffordablehealth.com/patients, features a first-hand perspective of everyday Americans as they struggle with the enormous and sometimes insurmountable expense of paying for their prescription medicines.

The Patient First initiative features compelling, real-life stories like that of Rob Day, a father of two from Port Huron, Michigan. At age 19, Rob was diagnosed with Paroxysmal Nocturnal Hemoglobinuria (PNH), an extremely rare blood disorder. As his video and profile demonstrate, Rob has spent half his life waiting for a medicine to treat his rare condition. Now that he finally has it, he can't afford to keep it.

The medicine for his condition, a biologic, is extremely expensive, costing $389,000 a year. Rob knows that he must take this medicine for the rest of his life in order to stay alive but doesn't know how he and his family will continue to be able to afford his care.

An FDA approval pathway for generic biologic drugs that provides real, market-based competition, could yield more affordable versions of these biologic medicines for Rob and millions of other Americans in the years to come. In addition to greater access, the benefit of timely competition will be further incentives for innovative biologic medicines that treat diseases including diabetes, multiple sclerosis, Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, psoriasis and cancer. An approval pathway, like the one supported by the Obama Administration and many members of Congress, would do just that - provide relief to people like Rob while introducing billions of dollars in savings for our healthcare system.

"Rob's story is just one of a number of Patient First stories that chronicle the struggles of patients across America," said Debra Barrett, Senior Vice President of Teva Pharmaceuticals USA. "The common thread is the hope for meaningful health care reform that provides relief to those that need it most. Their stories should remind Congress and the White House of what this debate is all about."

To learn more about Rob's story, and other like his, visit the Patient First initiative on-line at: www.yearofaffordablehealth.com/patients

Teva's Year of Affordable Healthcare is a nationwide campaign to recognize the important role that generic drugs play in providing competitive and more affordable healthcare. In addition, the campaign calls upon federal legislators to enact further reforms, including passage of a competitive regulatory approval pathway for generic biologics to increase American access to affordable and lifesaving medicines.

Individuals and organizations can to lend their voices to the Patient First initiative by contacting the Year of Affordable Healthcare campaign at info@yearofaffordablehealth.com

About the Year of Affordable Healthcare

The Year of Affordable Healthcare campaign (www.yearofaffordablehealth.com) is a nationwide call for increased access to affordable healthcare for American citizens. The program coincides with the 25th anniversary of the landmark Hatch-Waxman Act, which created the modern generic pharmaceutical industry and has saved billions of healthcare dollars. For more information, additional videos and details on upcoming events, please visit the Year of Affordable Healthcare Campaign website at: www.yearofaffordablehealth.com.

About Teva

Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd., headquartered in Israel, is among the top 20 pharmaceutical companies in the world and is the world's leading generic pharmaceutical company. The Company develops, manufactures and markets generic and innovative human pharmaceuticals and active pharmaceutical ingredients, as well as animal health pharmaceutical products. Over 80 percent of Teva's sales are in North America and Europe.

Media Contact: Denise Bradley

Phone: (215) 591-8974

E-mail: Denise.Bradley@tevausa.com

SOURCE Teva Pharmaceuticals USA
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