Friday, May 15, 2009

Pfizer offers 70 medications free to unemployed

Pfizer Inc. is unveiling a new program Thursday that will let people who have lost their jobs and health insurance keep taking some widely prescribed Pfizer medications - including Lipitor and Viagra - for free for up to a year.

The world's biggest drugmaker will provide more than 70 of its prescription drugs at no cost to unemployed, uninsured Americans, regardless of their prior income, who lost jobs since Jan. 1 and have been on the Pfizer drug for three months or more.

Applicants will have to sign a statement that they are suffering financial hardship and provide a "pink slip" or similar employer notice. Applications will be accepted through Dec. 31, with medication provided for up to 12 months after approval - or until the person becomes insured again.

Starting Thursday, patients can call a toll-free number, 866-706-2400, to sign up, and those whose drugs are not included in the program will be referred to other company aid programs. Starting July 1, patients can also apply through the Web site, http://www.PfizerHelpfulAnswers.com , which has information about the other Pfizer aid programs.