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'Help Is Here Express' to make two stops in county

October 19, 2009

The "Help Is Here Express" bus tour will make two stops in Washington County on Friday.

The tour will stop at the Tri-State Community Health Center at 130 W. High St. in Hancock from 9 to 11 a.m. and the Community Free Clinic at 249 Mill St. in Hagerstown from 1 to 3 p.m.

The bus tour is part of the Partnership for Prescription Assistance (PPA), a nationwide effort sponsored by America's pharmaceutical research companies to raise awareness of patient-assistance programs among those facing layoffs or a loss of health care benefits in the current economy, according to a PPA press release.

Uninsured and financially struggling people can learn how to access information on programs that provide prescription medicines for free or nearly free, according to the release.

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People who visit the bus also can learn about new medicines in development to fight chronic diseases such as cancer, heart disease, diabetes and asthma, according to the release.

The "Help Is Here Express" is staffed by trained specialists who are able to quickly help people access information on more than 475 patient-assistance programs, including nearly 200 programs offered by pharmaceutical companies, according to the release.

People also can go to the PPA's Web site (www.pparx.org) or call 1-888-4PPA-NOW, where trained operators field calls in 150 languages, according to the release.

The PPA, which was launched in April 2005, has helped nearly 6 million people, including more than 90,000 in Maryland. The bus tour has visited all 50 states and more than 2,500 cities to raise awareness about patient-assistance programs.

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