AstraZeneca and the Philadelphia Department of Public Health Provide Free Medicines to Pennsylvania's Uninsured

Saturday, November 21, 2009 General News
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WILMINGTON, Del., Nov. 20 AstraZeneca (NYSE: AZN) and the Philadelphia Department of Public Health announced today at a press conference at Philadelphia Health Care Center #6 that AstraZeneca will provide free medicines to the city's Health Centers to help uninsured Philadelphians access both the medical care and medications they need.

By participating in the AZ&Me(TM) Prescription Savings program for healthcare facilities, the Philadelphia Department of Public Health will be better equipped to provide medicine to its patients. Eligible patients will be referred by their physician to receive their medications at health center pharmacies.

"I am glad to see companies like AstraZeneca stepping up to support important health needs of Philadelphians. This program will make care at our centers more comprehensive and helps make the city a healthier place to live," said Mayor Michael Nutter.

"During these tough economic times for both patients and government agencies, I am delighted to announce this public-private collaboration between AstraZeneca and the City of Philadelphia to bring free medications to those most in need, who use our health centers," said Donald F. Schwarz, MD, MPH, Health Commissioner, the Philadelphia Department of Public Health. "With the help of companies like AstraZeneca, we can reduce the barriers that often lead to some patients doing without medicines that are critical to their health."

The Philadelphia Department of Public Health operates eight health centers located in neighborhoods throughout the city. It is the mission of the health centers to provide high quality, comprehensive health care to all Philadelphians regardless of their insurance status.

The services provided by the health centers include primary and preventive care for adults and children as well as key public health services. The Philadelphia Department of Public Health aims to protect and promote the health of all Philadelphians through the delivery of services at the health centers.

"At AstraZeneca, we want to go beyond making innovative medicines to making sure that the people who need these medicines can get them," said Jennifer McGovern, Director, Patient Assistance Programs, AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals LP. "We look forward to partnering with the Philadelphia Department of Public Health to improve the health of our local community."

In 2008, AstraZeneca provided $13.7 million in savings to more than 8,300 patients in Pennsylvania. Nationally, the company helped more than 440,000 patients save $612 million on their medicines.

The AZ&Me(TM) Prescription Savings program for healthcare facilities provides medicines free of charge to community free clinics, community health centers, hospitals and other qualifying facilities that serve the uninsured. The program is available to non-profit organizations that have a licensed outpatient pharmacy or dispensary on site and meet other program criteria. Patients are eligible for AstraZeneca medicines through this program if they do not have prescription drug coverage and have a household income at or below $30,000 for an individual, or $60,000 for a family of four.

"The City's budget crisis has forced us to find creative ways to maintain services to those in greatest need," said Dr. Thomas P. Storey, MD, MPH, Director of the City Health Centers. "We are grateful to AstraZeneca for their prescription savings program which will provide free medications to low income health center patients, many of whom have complex health care needs."

With this program, AstraZeneca builds on its more than 30-year history of helping patients afford the medicines they need.

To learn if your organization qualifies for the AZ&Me(TM) Prescription Savings program for healthcare facilities, please call 1-866-325-8198. Program specialists are available Monday through Friday between the hours of 9:00 AM and 5:00 PM EST.

Prescription savings programs are available regardless of which medications your doctors prescribe. To find out more about the more than 475 savings programs covering 2,500 medications, please visit or call 1-888-4PPA-NOW (1-888-477-2669).

About AstraZeneca

AstraZeneca is engaged in the research, development, manufacturing and marketing of meaningful prescription medicines and in the supply of healthcare services. AstraZeneca is one of the world's leading pharmaceutical companies with global healthcare sales of $31.6 billion and is a leader in gastrointestinal, cardiovascular, neuroscience, respiratory, oncology and infectious disease medicines. In the United States, AstraZeneca is a $13.5 billion dollar healthcare business. For more information about AstraZeneca in the US or our AZ&Me(TM) Prescription Savings programs, please visit: .

About the Philadelphia Department of Health

In 1969 the city of Philadelphia opened its first primary care health center in North Philadelphia, which provided comprehensive health care services in addition to the traditional public health services. Since that time 7 other health centers have been established in neighborhoods throughout the city. The health centers provide residents access to comprehensive quality healthcare services, regardless of insurance status. Annually, the health centers deliver services to close to 90,000 Philadelphians and conduct over 349,000 visits. Over half of the patients seen are uninsured, however, annually counselors at the health centers interview approximately 24,000 patients for insurance coverage and successfully enroll 2,500 patients into a health insurance plan. The health centers recognize the diversity of their patient population. Currently, on site interpreters are available at three health centers and dual hand set phones for interpretations are available at all eight health centers. A total of 36 languages are spoken in the health centers. With the increasing demand for services the health centers continue to explore ways to improve the quality and delivery of healthcare services and remain committed to their mission.

The health centers provide services on both an appointment and walk-in basis, however appointments are preferred. New patients are required to submit verification of city residency and income. Insurance information, if applicable should also be submitted.

For general information about available services, or to find out where a Health Care Center in your area is located, contact: (215) 685-6790, Monday - Friday, 8:30 am - 5 pm.

SOURCE AstraZeneca

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