June 2, 2005
REP. CANDELARIA: BILL TO PROVIDE ACCESS TO FREE
AND REDUCED COST PRESCRIPTION DRUGS PASSES HOUSE
Also Creates a Pharmacy Outreach Program
Hartford, CT – State Representative Juan Candelaria (D-New Haven) is pleased to announce passage of a prescription drug bill, House Bill 6854, from the State House of Representatives. Rep. Candelaria supported the bill, which would create patient assistance programs and discount drug cards from pharmaceutical companies.
The purpose of the bill is to help provide access to free or reduced cost prescription drugs to Connecticut citizens. The bill would establish a Pharmacy Outreach Program to inform underinsured or uninsured patients of help that may be available to them. The bill enables people to obtain information concerning voluntary drug assistance programs offered by pharmaceutical companies.
“I supported this bill because it would provide an empowering resource to many of my constituents who are overwhelmed with the costs of expensive prescription and over the counter medications. The pharmacy outreach program would educate residents about how to access free and reduced cost medications they need, while also informing them about the potential issues associated with the medications,” said Rep. Candelaria.
The bill would set up a Pharmacy Outreach Program to help people obtain reduced cost, no cost prescription medications or nonprescription medications from participating manufacturers, as well as educating them about health care issues relating to their medications.
The legislation would create a single point of access for citizens by maintaining a state-wide toll free telephone number to counsel and advise eligible persons on how to access more than 275 public and private patient assistance programs, including more than 150 programs offered by pharmaceutical companies.
One example of a current program that would be accessed under the legislation is the Together Rx™ program, which offers real savings on more than 155 FDA-approved brand-name prescriptions. The program is available to over 8 million individuals who lack public or private prescription drug coverage. The Together Rx™ participants may receive savings of approximately 20 percent to 40 percent, and in some cases more, on prescriptions for brand-name medicines. The Together Rx™ companies are: Abbott, AstraZeneca, Bristol-Myers Squibb Company, GlaxoSmithKline, members of the Johnson and Johnson Family of Companies, Novartis and sanofi-aventis Group.
Rep. Candelaria serves the 95th General Assembly District. He is vice chair of the Commerce Committee and a member of the Appropriations and Judiciary Committees.