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Thursday, March 19, 2009

Pharma Companies Anticipate My Survey Results and Expand Prescription Savings Program to Cover More Americans in Time of Crisis

According to a Pfizer press release, Pfizer Inc announced today that Together Rx Access™, a prescription savings program sponsored by Pfizer along with several other leading pharmaceutical companies, has expanded the program’s eligibility income levels to help even more uninsured individuals and families save on the medicines they need to stay healthy and to manage chronic conditions. Under the new income levels, nearly 90 percent of uninsured Americans will now be eligible for the Together Rx Access Program (see " Pfizer-Sponsored Prescription Savings Program - Together Rx Access™ - Expands Eligibility Criteria in Response to Challenging Economic Times").

This is one of the options I included in the "How to Earn Back the Public's Trust Survey" that Pharma Marketing News hosted online between February 4 and March 14.

One question in that survey asked. "Regarding solutions for improving the industry's reputation, please indicate you level of agreement or disagreement with the following suggestions:"
  • The drug industry should freeze or lower prescription drug prices for everyone. The drug industry should freeze or lower prescription drug prices for everyone.
  • It should not lower prices across the board, but it should help by re-imbursing all or part of co-payments made by people with prescription drug coverage. It should not lower prices across the board, but it should help by re-imbursing all or part of co-payments made by people with prescription drug coverage.
  • It should greatly expand its patient assistance programs to cover more people (eg, the unemployed). It should greatly expand its patient assistance programs to cover more people (eg, the unemployed).
  • It should be much more transparent in reporting clinical trial results. It should be much more transparent in reporting clinical trial results.
  • It should do more to promote comparative studies to prove the efficacy of prescription drugs. It should do more to promote comparative studies to prove the efficacy of prescription drugs.
  • It should support Medicare's right to negotiate prices under Part D. It should support Medicare's right to negotiate prices under Part D.
  • It should ramp up its PR effort (eg, pay much more attention to the media by "engaging" and "educating" them). It should ramp up its PR effort (eg, pay much more attention to the media by "engaging" and "educating" them).
The third option on the list was one of the most popular options selected by respondents and was one of the options that consumer and pharma respondents were in agreement on (see chart).

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