Category Archives: Patient Assistance

Patient Assistance Explored In-Depth at CBI Annual Meeting

(L-R) Janice Monks, President and CEO, American Association of Service Coordinators; Leslie McGuire, AmeriCares Director of U.S. Medical Assistance; Jen McGovern, AstraZeneca Director of Patient Assistance programs

(L-R) Janice Monks, President and CEO, American Association of Service Coordinators; Leslie McGuire, Director of U.S. Medical Assistance, AmeriCares; Jen McGovern, Director of Patient Assistance Programs, AstraZeneca

AstraZeneca’s patient assistance programs have provided millions of people throughout the U.S. with free medicine for more than three decades.  These programs, however, cannot be successful without the support of partners such as AmeriCares, the American Association of Service Coordinators and other patient foundations and clinics that work tirelessly to ensure that the people they serve are aware of and utilizing the services and resources available to help them afford their medications.

On Friday, March 7, AstraZeneca’s director of patient assistance programs, Jen McGovern, along with President and CEO of the American Association of Service Coordinators Janice Monks and AmeriCares Director of U.S. Medical Assistance Leslie McGuire, participated in a panel discussion at CBI’s PAP 2014 annual meeting in Baltimore, Md. titled: Gaining Access to Medicines for Varying Patient Populations – Areas of Need for Patient Assistance Programs.  The panelists addressed topics critical to their organizations and to the continuity of patient assistance programs for the individuals they serve.

In 2013, AstraZeneca provided nearly $975 million in savings to more than 567,000 patients in the United States through its patient assistance programs.

In 2013, AstraZeneca provided nearly $975 million in savings to more than 567,000 patients in the United States through its patient assistance programs.

As the U.S. health system continues to evolve as a result of healthcare reform – from Medicaid expansion to the implementation of healthcare exchanges and other changes arising from the Affordable Care Act – those involved in patient assistance are working to evaluate how these changes are impacting their programs, and are looking for ways to address new challenges.   While the need for patient assistance remains, organizations and clinics must adapt.

In addition to the impact of healthcare reform on the organizations that offer and support patient assistance programs, the panelists also discussed changes and emerging trends among the specific patient populations they serve.  For example, organizations and clinics are starting to see more patients with coverage through Medicaid expansion or through the exchanges.   As a result, many of these patients (who have traditionally been unfamiliar with insurance processes) now need additional patient advocacy services to help them better understand their benefits, how to navigate through them, and where additional support services may be needed.

The panelists also discussed the synergies between their respective organizations and how they are working together to improve access to medication and care for patients, including by leveraging their networks to raise visibility around patient assistance programs so qualified participants nationwide can continue to take advantage of the benefits they deliver.

MedStar Official Addresses Importance of ACC Patient Navigator Program

By Dr. Stuart F. Seides, Physician Executive Director at MedStar Heart Institute

From left: Dr. Allen Taylor, Chief of Cardiology at MedStar Heart Institute; Rich Buckley, VP Corporate Affairs North America, AstraZeneca; Shal Jacobovitz, CEO of the American College of Cardiology; Dr. Stuart Seides, Chief Executive at MedStar Heart Institute

From left: Dr. Allen Taylor, Chief of Cardiology at MedStar Heart Institute; Rich Buckley, VP Corporate Affairs North America, AstraZeneca; Shal Jacobovitz, CEO of the American College of Cardiology; Dr. Stuart Seides, Chief Executive at MedStar Heart Institute

As the Physician Executive Director at MedStar Heart Institute in Washington, D.C., it is my responsibility to ensure that we provide patients with the best in cardiac care. From the moment patients arrive, through their treatment, discharge and then follow-up care—the MedStar Heart Institute strives to provide a seamless continuum of services.

Several weeks ago, I attended an event at MedStar Washington Hospital Center to celebrate the launch of the American College of Cardiology (ACC) Patient Navigator Program, sponsored by AstraZeneca. The program provides personalized support to heart attack and heart failure patients as they transition from hospital to home, which is vital because cardiovascular disease impacts every patient differently.

The ACC Patient Navigator Program truly puts cardiovascular patients and their caregivers first as they discharge from the hospital—a process that can be confusing and overwhelming for many. I commend the ACC and AstraZeneca for working together to bring this innovative program to my hospital, and I look forward to sharing the results with my peers.

Dr. Stuart F. Seides is the Physician Executive Director at MedStar Heart Institute, one of the highest volume heart care programs in the United States. Dr. Seides is an interventional cardiologist, practicing in Washington, D.C. since 1978.

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AZ Provided More than Half a Million Patients with Free Medicine in 2013

For decades, AstraZeneca has specialized in the discovery, development, manufacturing and marketing of prescription medicines that make a meaningful difference in the lives of patients.  But we know that making great medicines is not enough – we have to ensure that those who need them can get them.  And that’s why we’ve been offering patient assistance programs for more than 35 years.

In 2013, these programs, which include the AZ&Me suite of prescription savings programs and the MedImmune Assistance Program, provided nearly $975 million in savings to more than 567,000 patients in the United States.  Click here for a state-by-state breakdown of savings in 2013.

“Patients are top of mind for us at AstraZeneca, whether we’re making medicines to treat some of the world’s most serious diseases, educating the public on health risks or creating programs to ensure we meet evolving healthcare needs,” said Paul Hudson, President, AstraZeneca U.S. and Executive Vice President, North America.  “Our patient assistance programs reflect our commitment to patients, and we continue to work hard to ensure people can access and afford the care they need.”

AstraZeneca’s AZ&Me prescription savings programs provide free medicine to qualifying people without insurance, those in Medicare Part D, those who receive their medications through participating health care facilities, and those who have recently faced a financial challenge. The MedImmune Assistance Program provides medication free of charge to qualified patients who are uninsured, or who have been rendered uninsured by their insurance company.

For more information about the AZ&Me prescription savings programs, visit www.astrazeneca-us.com or call 1-800-AZandMe (292-6363).  For additional information about the MedImmune Assistance Program, visit www.myAccess360.com or call 1-877-778-9010.

Patient Assistance Programs 2013

How Will the Affordable Care Act Impact Rx Savings Programs?

Fundamental changes are coming to the U.S. health system when the new health insurance marketplaces or “exchanges” established as part of the Affordable Care Act take effect on January 1.  Tens of millions more Americans are expected to be covered by health insurance – including prescription drug coverage – as a result of this and other reforms.

We are regularly asked how the new health law will impact our business and what it will mean for our prescription savings programs, which helped 562,000 patients save $1.2 billion on nearly 4.6 million free prescriptions in 2012.

But will there be a need for these savings programs if patients have insurance plans that cover prescription medicine costs? If so, how will the programs be different?

We sat down with Jennifer McGovern, who runs AstraZeneca’s prescription savings programs, to get her perspective about what – if any – changes will be coming to the AZ&Me patient assistance programs.

Watch this brief video for highlights of our conversation, and click here for a full transcript.

The Keystone Center honors AstraZeneca with Leadership in Health Award

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Scott Vitters, Trustee with the Keystone Center and leader at Coca-Cola, presented the Leadership in Health Award to AstraZeneca, accepted by Linda Palczuk, Vice President, Cornerstone and Commercial Excellence, at the 2013 Keystone Awards in Washington, DC.

Since 1994, The Keystone Center has honored leaders for their vision, innovation and commitment to working collaboratively toward long-term advancement in several key areas: energy, environment and health.  This year, the Keystone Center selected AstraZeneca as its Leadership in Health Award recipient based on AstraZeneca’s dedication to improving patient health at the community level, and providing newer, more effective, and more proficient ways to deliver health services and products to citizens in the U.S.The Keystone Center praised AstraZeneca for its dedication to increasing access to healthcare for underserved patient populations with our Patient Assistance Programs, which provided $1.2 billion in savings to more than 562,000 U.S. patients in 2012, as well as with our partnerships with other organizations working to similarly increase access.

The AstraZeneca Hope Lodge was also cited as an impressive model of support for patients and their caregivers, as was the American College of Cardiology Patient Navigator Program of which AstraZeneca is the founding sponsor.

Linda Palczuk, Vice President, Cornerstone and Global Commercial Excellence, accepted the award on behalf of AstraZeneca, saying, “At AstraZeneca, we work to improve the health of patients through great medicines and effective collaboration with partners who share our passion for making a meaningful difference to patient health, and are thrilled to accept this award today.”

AstraZeneca applauds the efforts of all the Keystone Center award winners, who are working to innovate in their own sectors to address the barriers and challenges that exist not only in healthcare, but in the environment in which we all live and work.

AZ helped patients save $1.2 billion on medicines in 2012

AstraZeneca helped patients save $1.2 billion through its prescription savings programs in 2012.

AstraZeneca helped patients save $1.2 billion through its prescription savings programs in 2012.

AstraZeneca announced today that it helped 562,000 patients save $1.2 billion on nearly 4.6 million free prescriptions through its AZ&Me Prescription Savings programs in 2012.

See the table below for details on how many patients in each state received free medicines from AstraZeneca through the programs.

“At AstraZeneca, we believe it is not enough to simply make medicines,” said Jennifer McGovern, Director, Patient Assistance Programs. “We work with patients and caregivers to help make sure that people who need our medicines have access to them – including by providing them free to qualifying patients under our prescription savings programs.”

AstraZeneca’s prescription savings programs include:

  • AZ&Me Prescription Savings program for people without insurance: AstraZeneca medicines are provided at no cost to qualifying individuals without prescription drug coverage and who have an annual income at or below $35,000 for an individual or $70,000 for a family of four.
  • AZ&Me Prescription Savings program for people with Medicare Part D: AstraZeneca medicines are provided at no cost to qualifying individuals enrolled in Medicare Part D and who have an annual income at or below $35,000 for an individual or $48,000 for a couple.
  • AZ&Me Prescription Savings program for healthcare facilities: AstraZeneca medicines are provided in bulk at no cost to qualifying nonprofit organizations, such as disproportionate share hospitals, community health centers, and community free clinics that have an on-site, nonretail, outpatient licensed pharmacy or dispensary.  Qualifying individuals without prescription drug coverage, through private insurance or government programs, and who have an annual income at or below $35,000 for an individual or $70,000 for a family of four may obtain their AstraZeneca medicines for free from these facilities.

Here are state by state details (click on the state name to see the full news release for that state):

Patients Value Prescriptions
Alabama 11,186 $24,293,948 96,921
Alaska 309 $941,977 2,784
Arizona 1,853 $5,908,769 18,060
Arkansas 7,398 $17,984,917 72,272
California 20,276 $46,329,788 151,172
Colorado 14,874 $27,224,197 96,094
Connecticut 1,020 $2,664,950 9,334
Delaware 565 $1,436,751 5,840
DC 48 $204,463 681
Florida 50,597 $109,158,857 406,465
Georgia 30,450 $64,696,429 228,812
Hawaii 192 $577,681 2,026
Idaho 3,824 $9,721,643 34,979
Illinois 19,224 $44,827,122 157,549
Indiana 19,968 $38,446,814 170,104
Iowa 10,282 $21,222,745 68,424
Kansas 4,872 $14,491,779 48,462
Kentucky 16,239 $36,660,862 153,623
Louisiana 27,858 $46,396,296 195,828
Maine 1,594 $3,804,794 16,042
Maryland 2,111 $5,560,306 20,892
Massachusetts 581 $1,854,730 5,773
Michigan 13,922 $37,428,694 129,910
Minnesota 1,191 $3,295,911 10,646
Mississippi 6,480 $16,305,149 57,916
Missouri 12,747 $29,406,995 109,791
Montana 2,298 $4,799,158 18,881
Nebraska 2,994 $8,174,557 27,867
Nevada 1,720 $3,779,024 12,140
N. Hampshire 2,597 $6,805,106 30,277
New Jersey 3,870 $10,657,358 36,766
New Mexico 1,490 $4,030,701 12,160
New York 5,059 $14,175,725 49,862
North Carolina 35,663 $79,627,757 316,135
North Dakota 902 $2,355,260 8,517
Ohio 30,975 $69,864,428 256,345
Oklahoma 6,254 $19,288,186 53,172
Oregon 4,519 $11,910,762 40,357
Pennsylvania 10,805 $27,722,205 102,691
Puerto Rico 527 $1,670,554 7,072
Rhode Island 1,315 $3,625,946 12,825
South Carolina 17,759 $37,327,407 140,145
South Dakota 1,116 $3,700,205 11,927
Tennessee 12,781 $41,269,206 119,864
Texas 85,059 $140,613,835 576,342
Utah 1,883 $6,401,974 17,857
Vermont 86 $225,236 755
Virgin Islands 4 $7,999 19
Virginia 32,956 $61,551,053 275,450
Washington 3,080 $9,438,314 27,622
West Virginia 10,917 $23,358,853 99,265
Wisconsin 5,734 $16,267,077 54,450
Wyoming 682 $1,623,883 5,063
Total 562,706 $1.2 billion 4,584,227

AZ simplifies enrollment for people with Medicare Rx coverage

People with Medicare prescription drug coverage will find applying to AZ&Me faster, easier

Applying to AstraZeneca’s AZ&Me Prescription Savings Program just got a whole lot easier for people who have prescription drug coverage through Medicare.

Beginning Jan. 1, AstraZeneca will no longer require that people with Medicare prescription drug coverage spend 3 percent of their annual household income on out-of-pocket costs for prescription medicines within the calendar year to qualify for its prescription savings program.

Those who qualify for the program receive their AstraZeneca medicines for free, delivered to their home or doctor’s office.

“We regularly evaluate how we can simplify our program enrollment process and saw an opportunity to do so for people with Medicare,” said Jennifer McGovern, Director, AZ&Me Prescription Savings Programs. “Removing the out-of-pocket spend requirement means that people will no longer have to gather documentation from their pharmacy before completing their enrollment, saving them time and helping them get their AstraZeneca medicines sooner.”

To be eligible for the program, a person with Medicare must:

  •  Be enrolled in a Medicare Part D plan.
  • Have an annual household income at or below $35,000 for individuals or $48,000 for couples.
  • Not be enrolled in the Medicare Limited Income Subsidy.

To learn more about how the AZ&Me programs work and who is eligible, please visit www.azandme.com or call 1-800-AZandMe (292-6363).

AstraZeneca donates $250,000 to American Red Cross

AstraZeneca, a proud partner of the American Red Cross, has contributed $250,000 to the organization’s 2012 disaster relief efforts, including helping those impacted by Hurricane Sandy.

The contribution is split between the national Red Cross and the Delmarva region Red Cross. The money goes toward the Red Cross’ Disaster Responder Program, which mobilizes volunteers and resources to provide food, clothing and shelter to people in need.

In response to Hurricane Sandy, the Red Cross has provided more than 23,000 overnight shelter stays since Saturday and deployed 2,300 workers to support relief efforts.

In addition to our corporate donation, we work with the Red Cross to enable our employees to provide personal donations through the Red Cross/AstraZeneca Employee Giving program – which is a secured online site for AZ employees that enables them to make donations in support of Red Cross relief and recovery efforts.

To learn more about the American Red Cross, visit www.redcross.org. To learn more about how we work with partners to ensure those impacted by natural disasters get the medicines they need, please click here.

Help when a hurricane strikes

Helping people maintain access to their medicines and receive medical and humanitarian aid are among the most pressing priorities in the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy.

We collaborate with several different organizations year-round to prepare for disasters such as this and encourage those who need assistance getting their medicines or who have other health-related needs to take advantage of the help they can offer.

Access to medicines, medical and humanitarian aid

As noted here, AstraZeneca works with partners such as AmeriCares and Direct Relief International to help get our medicines along with humanitarian aid to patients who have been struck by disaster. Both organizations have disaster relief teams working with local clinics and pharmacies to assess the need and provide aid.

Through our participation in the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA), AstraZeneca supports RxResponse. Rx Response provides a number of tools and resources designed to help communicate information and support the bio-pharmaceutical supply chain during a public health emergency. These include a pharmacy status reporting tool that helps state emergency management officials and the general public identify open pharmacies in their local area during a public health emergency.

AZ&Me Prescription Savings Program

The AZ&Me Prescription Savings Program has policies in place to help patients maintain a consistent supply of their AstraZeneca medicine while they are managing through this kind of crisis.

Here, Jennifer McGovern, Director of the AZ&Me Prescription Savings Program, explains what patients and health care providers need to know about receiving medicines through our program in the wake of natural disasters such as Sandy.

AstraZeneca supports AmeriCares’ work in Guatemala

The Obras Sociales de Hermano Pedro in Antigua, Guatemala provides charitable care to the country’s neediest residents

With more than 50 percent of its citizens living in poverty, shortages of medicines and medical supplies are commonplace in Guatemala. AmeriCares – a nonprofit disaster relief and humanitarian aid organization – recently invited AstraZeneca and other supporters to join them on a 24-hour tour to witness the profound need that AmeriCares addresses every day.

AmeriCares began working in Guatemala in 1986 and has provided more than $24 million in assistance in the last year alone. The need for this aid is great not only because Guatemala is among the 10 poorest countries in Latin America, but also because half of its children age 5 and younger are malnourished, making children especially vulnerable.

Kate Sparich, Senior Manager, Patient Assistance Programs at AstraZeneca, traveled with AmeriCares to Guatemala. She saw the important work that is being done by AmeriCares and its community health partners during her visits to a public hospital, clinics, a home for disabled children and adults, and a nursing home.

“It was a privilege to be part of the AmeriCares 2012 Airlift visit to Guatemala and to witness firsthand the impact that medical donations can have to patients so desperately in need,” Sparich said.

AstraZeneca is committed to improving the health of patients through great medicines and effective collaboration with partners who share our passion for making a meaningful difference to patient health. Our work with AmeriCares is one way we deliver on that commitment. We are proud to support AmeriCares’ work in the US and countries in need around the world.

To learn more about the AZ&Me Prescription Savings Programs, please visit www.azandme.com.

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