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Hope for Connecticut Residents Who Can't Afford their Meds

June 28, 2010

NEW HAVEN, Conn. - As the recession grinds on, with an increasing number of long-term unemployed, many Connecticut residents are unable to pay for their prescription drugs. A new program is helping some do that, and the hope is to greatly expand it to meet more of the need. Isadora del Vecchio, business development and program coordinator for the Community Action Agency of New Haven, says her organization is using a new software program to connect patients with pharmaceutical companies' existing patient assistance programs.

"The eligibility does vary by company, but in general you need to be uninsured or under-insured, meaning you don't have prescription drug coverage."

She says the program serves both low and moderate-income persons and works through local community health centers to get patients the drugs they need, either free or at a much reduced cost, like 10 dollars for a three-month supply.

Barbara Price of West Haven suffers from both high blood pressure and diabetes and needs a number of life-saving medications.

"At the time I was having so much trouble, because I don't have health insurance, and I can't find a job, and whatever little money I had was going out the window."

Price got connected to the program, and when she had one of her first prescriptions filled, she was ecstatic.

"I couldn't believe it. I thought I was riding on the moon somewhere."

A spokesman for CAFCA, the Connecticut Association for Community Action, said he hopes other member agencies beyond New Haven's will offer the program in the future.

Melinda Tuhus, Public News Service - CT