Private sector to push drug assistance effort

A national program to assist Americans who lack prescription-drug coverage was announced yesterday by the Partnership for Prescription Assistance, a national coalition of pharmaceutical companies, doctors, healthcare providers and community groups.

The program includes an awareness-raising news campaign as well as an informational website and telephone network. The goal is to boost patient enrollment by offering a single point of access for more than 275 public and private patient-assistance programs.

More than 50 organizations are involved in the program, including the Pharmaceutical Research Manufacturers of America (PhRMA), the NAACP and United Way of America.

In a teleconference with reporters yesterday, PhRMA President and CEO Billy Tauzin said the drug industry is committed to this effort over the long haul.

Kari Lundgren and Bob Cusack