Insight News

Feb 10th

West Side Community Health Services plans to expand medicine assistance

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Copyright 2007 David Sherman Photography (Photo by David Sherman)

Celebrating Pfizer's Sharing the Care third anniversary partnership with La Clinica are (from left) Pfizer Representatives Carrie Connell and Bill Walker, La Clinica executive director Mavis Brehm, Pfizer senior medical director Dr. Daniel Wilson, La Clinica pharmacist Dan Rehrauer and La Clinica medical director Dr. Mary Nesvig on August 23, 2007 at La Clinica in St. Paul, Minnesota.

Clinica, and Pfizer's Sharing the Care program celebrated last Thursday, August 23rd, the three-year anniversary of a partnership that provides access to medicines for clinic patients who otherwise could not afford them. Born on the West Side of St. Paul in 1969, West Side Community Health Services (WSCHS) is a federally qualified health center serving over 35,000 low-income community members annually at 18 clinics throughout St. Paul. La Clinica, like all of WSCHS' clinics, offers comprehensive health care and social services through a bilingual/ bicultural staff and a sliding fee scale.

Sharing the Care was launched in 1993 in partnership with the National Association of Community Health Centers. Sharing the Care is one of the many patient assistance programs offered by Pfizer. It's part of the Pfizer Helpful Answers family of patient assistance programs, which helps patients without prescription coverage get access to Pfizer medicines for free or at a savings. In the past five years, Pfizer Helpful Answers has helped over 5 million patients receive 50 million Pfizer prescriptions, a savings valued at over $4 billion.

Since joining Pfizer's Sharing the Care program on August 23, 2004, La Clinica has dispensed more than $851,665 in much-needed medicines to more than 2,200 patients. Without this program, nearly 6,000 unique prescriptions could not have been filled

"When I was working, I had health insurance to help cover medicines like Lipitor," said Sylvia Hayes, a La Clinica patient with Type 2 diabetes and high cholesterol. "But after I lost my job, I no longer had insurance and the money to afford my medicines." Because of the La Clinica-Pfizer partnership, Hayes has access to the healthcare and medicines she needs to successfully manage her condition.

The success of the three-year partnership is prompting West Side Community Health Services, working with Pfizer, to expand the program to East Side Family Clinic in 2008. East Side Family Clinic also serves over 8,000 low-income patients in the St. Paul area.

"Pfizer's Sharing the Care program is transparent and extremely convenient for patients, allowing for immediate access to medicine without having to rely on samples," said West Side Community Health Services' pharmacist Dan Rehrauer. "Sharing the Care is one of several programs that are in place at La Clinica so we can offer services to help patients receive the free medicine or sliding scale pricing they need along with education on the medicines they're taking and information about its proper use."

Pfizer's Sharing the Care program is part of a larger family of programs called Pfizer Helpful Answers® which helps people without prescription coverage receive free or discounted Pfizer medicines regardless of age or income. Nationally, there are over 430 health centers, including La Clinica, in 49 states participating in Sharing the Care. Since the program's launch in 1993, Pfizer has donated over $1 billion in free medicines to participating health centers across the country.

"We're extremely proud of the success of our partnership with La Clinica," said Dr. Dan Wilson, a senior medical director for Pfizer in Minnesota. "Sharing the Care is just one way Pfizer is helping patients across the state. In the past year alone, more than 8,400 uninsured patients in Minnesota rec

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