"Help is Here" Bus Stops in Meridian

The "Help is Here" bus tour has made another stop in Meridian Wednesday. The 3-year-old program of the pharmaceutical industry says it is spreading the word about prescription drug assistance that is available for people who don't have health insurance at all or plans that include prescriptions.

"Most people who come on the bus who are qualified for our programs will walk away knowing that their medications will be coming to them for free," said Jeff Gilbert of the Partnership for Prescription Assistance.

PPA says there are almost 500 prescription assistance programs that are available. Since 2005, it says almost 5 million Americans, including 86,000 Mississippians, have received assistance with free or reduced rate prescriptions.

"It was real expensive, like $107, but we can get it now, I'm pretty sure, with this discount probably 50 or 60% off so," said Daniele Lanier, who's visiting from Columbus, Ohio.

Organization officials say the people helped vary in age. In fact, they say more 70% of the people seeking assistance are under the age of 65.

The bus stopped at Wesley House in Meridian, which also helps people apply for assistance.

"It can probably reduce time with them getting it because they do it," said
Andy Hodges of Wesley House. "They're set up with the computers and everything and they do it right on the spot."

The "Help is Here" bus will be back in Mississippi again at some time in the future. It travels to all 50 states. But residents may apply for any of the programs involved in the initiative by calling 1-888-4-PPA-NOW or by visiting the Web site of the Partnership for Prescription Assistance.

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