rx.pillbottle.gifPharmaceutical giant Pfizer announced today that it will provide uninterrupted prescriptions for free to unemployed Americans and their families who have recently lost their jobs and are without health insurance. The inspiration for the new program was generated by Pfizer employees who were witnessing friends, family and neighbors struggle to maintain their prescriptions  after losing their jobs.

More than 70 Pfizer primary care medicines will be available in the program, which will be open for enrollment through December 31, 2009. Regardless of prior family income, uninsured Americans who have become unemployed since January 1, 2009 and who are taking Pfizer medicines will be able to continue treatment for free for up to one year.

Pfizer employees proposed the idea to the company’s senior leadership team just within the last month. Pfizer employees also asked to be able to do their part by donating their own money to the program, and the Pfizer Foundation will match their donations.

“The speed with which we created and approved this program is proof of our commitment to helping people,” said Jeffrey B. Kindler, chairman and chief executive officer of Pfizer. “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.”

People who qualify will receive their Pfizer medicines for free for up to 12 months or until they become re-insured (whichever comes first). Those who contact Pfizer Helpful Answers in need of medicines made by other pharmaceutical companies will be directed to the Partnership for Prescription Assistance, a pharmaceutical industry initiative that serves to raise awareness of, and boost enrollment in, more than 475 public and private patient assistance programs.

The Pfizer program, called MAINTAIN (Medicines Assistance for Those who Are in Need), will be fully operational on July 1, 2009. However, people in need now can call 1-866-706-2400 for help.

For more info about all of Pfizer’s patient assistance programs, including the new program, visit www.PfizerHelpfulAnswers.com

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