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Stamford, Conn. – May 22, 2014 – AmeriCares is providing a record quantity of medicines to help low-income and uninsured patients across the United States breathe easier during National Asthma and Allergy Awareness Month. Pharmaceutical companies donated more than $3.5 million in medications for the effort – enough to fill 21,000 prescriptions for patients with acute and chronic respiratory conditions.
The donated products include both maintenance medications such as inhaled steroids, as well as rescue medications for breathing difficulties as a result of asthma or other respiratory conditions. AstraZeneca is the major sponsor of the campaign for a second year in a row, donating the majority of respiratory therapies to the program.
“At AstraZeneca, patients are at the heart of all we do,” said Jennifer McGovern, director of Patient Assistance Programs for AstraZeneca. “Through our patient assistance programs and strong, long-standing partnerships with organizations like AmeriCares, we have provided countless individuals, many with limited access to basic health care, with the medications that they need to live healthier, more productive lives.”
Sanofi Foundation for North America, Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals, Inc., Allergan and Nephron Pharmaceuticals Corp. also donated medicine for the campaign. AmeriCares is making the medicines available to hundreds of free clinics and community health centers nationwide serving low-income, uninsured patients through its U.S. Medical Assistance Program. Clinics select the products they want from an online ordering system and AmeriCares delivers them free of charge.
“Respiratory medicines are among the top needs of safety net clinics serving the uninsured,” said Leslie McGuire, AmeriCares director of U.S. Partnerships and Programs. “Many of the products donated for this campaign are out of reach for low-income patients who need them to manage very serious medical conditions. By providing these critical medicines free of charge we are helping patients avoid unnecessary emergency room visits and hospitalizations.”
Funded in part by the GE Foundation, AmeriCares U.S. Medical Assistance Program is the nation’s largest provider of donated medical aid to the U.S. health care safety net. The GE Foundation supports AmeriCares domestic work as part of its Developing Health Program to help increase access to primary care for underserved populations, by fostering partnerships with independent, nonprofit community health centers. AmeriCares made more than 3,000 shipments to U.S. clinics last year, providing $70 million in prescription and over-the-counter medicines as well as medical supplies for patients in need.