Seven Years - Over Seven Million Patients Served

Seven Years - Over Seven Million Patients Served

04.05.12 | By Christian Clymer

Happy birthday, PPA.

Seven years ago, PhRMA launched the Partnership for Prescription Assistance. Since then, more than 7 million patients have been matched through the PPA with programs that could help them get their medicines for free or nearly free. Like I do on my own birthday, I'd like to take a moment to look back at how far we've come and be proud of what we've achieved.

In 2005, we launched a partnership of more than 1,200 organizations dedicated to helping America's most vulnerable citizens. We drove the first of our orange buses across the country to help spread the word about the more than 475 public and private programs that could offer hope of access to needed medicines. We met a lot of people, cried a lot of tears, but created even more smiles.

One story near and dear to my heart is a woman named Johnsie. Johnsie was a great family friend. For 15 years, I had spent almost every Christmas Eve day at her house - and not just because of the amazing southern delicacies that she served. She had a big heart and an even bigger laugh. She always made you feel special when you were in her presence.

It was at one of those Christmas Eve meals that we discussed her recent health struggles. She had been diagnosed with diabetes and a heart condition. With that one trip to the doctor, her bill at the pharmacy grew to $450 a month. She was on a fixed income and was afraid she wouldn't be able to get all of her medicines. I helped to walk her through the PPA's easy process and quickly identified some programs that could help her. She filled out her paperwork, visited her doctor and submitted her forms to a few company assistance programs. She was approved and her monthly pharmacy bill dropped to about $20 a month.

Johnsie's story is not the most drastic that I heard traveling with PPA, but it was the one that touched me the most. To see that weight lifted from her was really rewarding. We met others who were saving thousands of dollars per month, but I got to see the impact on Johnsie.

We logged millions of miles on our PPA bus tours, added new ways to help patients (free clinic finders, discount cards and co-pay assistance programs), created new social tools and worked with our network of partners to bring help to more than 7 million Americans. I'm very proud of our accomplishments, but understand there are still a lot of people that need help. Please, if you know someone that needs help affording their prescription medicines, please visit www.pparx.org or call 1-888-4PPA-NOW (888-477-2669). There is help.

Happy birthday, PPA. Keep up the good work.

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