"Help is Here Express" comes to Lawton tomorrow

Lawton_In a press release from Partnership for Prescription Assistance, the organization has announced:

The "Help is Here Express' bus tour will be in Lawton Wednesday, March 12, stopping at the Great Plains Improvement Foundation to help uninsured and financially-struggling Oklahomans access information on programs that provide prescription medicines for free - or nearly free.  The bus tour is part of the Partnership for Prescription Assistance (PPA) - a nationwide effort sponsored by America's pharmaceutical research companies - raising awareness of patient assistance programs and the need to effectively address the rising and alarming rates of chronic diseases such as cancer, heart disease, diabetes, and asthma.

To date, the PPA has helped nearly 5 Million patients, including nearly 80,000 Oklahomans.  Since its launch in April 2005, the PPA bus tour has visited all 50 states and more than 1,500 cities to raise awareness about patient assistance programs.  The "Help is Here Express" is staffed by trained specialists able to quickly help uninsured patients in need of access information on more than 475 patient assistance programs, including nearly 200 programs offered by pharmaceutical companies.  When the "Help is Here Express" moves on, patients can visit PPA's easy-to-use website, www.pparx.org, or call the toll-free number at 1-888-4PPA-NOW, where trained operators field calls in 150 languages.

"With the number of people affected by chronic disease increasing every year, the PPA and its message of hope is now more relevant than ever," said Billy Tauzin, President and CEO of the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA).

The Milken Institute, along with the Partnership to Fight Chronic Disease - www.fightchronicdisease.org - not there are more than 2.2 million cases of common chronic diseases in Oklahoma, including cancer, diabetes, heart disease, hypertension, stroke, mental disorders, and pulmonary conditions.  Those diseases are responsible for seven out of every 10 deaths in the United States, and the Milken Institute research states that more than 318,000 have heart disease, 158,000 are affected by diabetes, and 135,000 suffer from cancer.  Innovative medications and treatments - along with improved access to prescription assistance program information through the PPA - may help to reduce the number of deaths caused by chronic disease every year, according to Partnership to Fight Chronic Disease.  New medicines in development by America's pharmaceutical research companies include 277 life-saving and life-improving medicines for heart disease and stroke, 646 medicines to treat several types of cancer, and 95 medicines are in development for diabetes.

"The PPA is meant to help people who are uninsured and financially struggling," added Tauzin.  "But, for patients in Oklahoma suffering from chronic disease, it is especially important for them to know that help is here."

In addition to stopping in Lawton on March 12, the "Help is Here Express" will bring the Partnership for Prescription Assistance to several other Oklahoma cities, including Guthrie, Tulsa, Pauls Valley, Duncan, Oklahoma City, Weatherford, Woodward, Ponca City, and Blackwell.

The "Help is Here Express" will arrive Wednesday, March 12, and will be open from 2 p.m.-4 p.m. at the Great Plains Improvement Foundation, #2 East Lee Blvd., #200 in Lawton.  For more information, visit www.pparx.org.