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Free Drugs for A Year to Unemployed

May 15, 2009

Pfizer Offers Year of Free Meds to Unemployed

Drug giant Pfizer said unemployed people who have been taking its branded products could receive them free for up to a year in a new program — with some exceptions.

The program, called MAINTAIN, will provide access to more than 70 Pfizer drugs including atorvastatin (Lipitor), celecoxib (Celebrex), pregabalin (Lyrica), and sildenafil (Viagra).

But the program excludes biologics, most cancer drugs, and other of Pfizer’s most expensive products.

Individuals who became unemployed after Jan. 1 of this year are eligible for the program and may sign up through Dec. 31.

Other eligibility requirements include having taken the branded Pfizer drug for at least three months prior to losing a job, having no other prescription drug coverage, and being able to attest to financial hardship.

Income prior to becoming unemployed is not a factor, Pfizer said. But participants who regain employment or prescription drug coverage will have to start paying again.

A stock analyst quoted by the Associated Press pointed out that the program is likely to prevent some current Pfizer drug customers from switching to generic equivalents.

The company said it was taking signups today, although the program would not be fully operational until July 1.

Pfizer said signups and additional information on the MAINTAIN program would be available at Pfizer Helpful Answers or by calling 866-706-2400 toll-free.

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