Record Donation of Respiratory Medicines Headed to U.S. Clinics
Medicines will help uninsured and underinsured patients nationwide
STAMFORD, Conn., May 28, 2013
STAMFORD, Conn., May 28, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- AmeriCares is
providing a record quantity of respiratory medicines to help low-income and
uninsured patients across the United States breathe easier during National
Asthma and Allergy Awareness Month. Pharmaceutical companies donated more than
$2.4 million in prescription medicines – enough to fill about 25,000
prescriptions – for the effort.
The donated products include both maintenance medications such as inhaled
steroids as well as rescue medications for patients experiencing asthma
attacks or difficulty breathing. Sunovion Pharmaceuticals Inc. and AstraZeneca
are the major sponsors, with both companies donating truckloads of medications
for free clinics and community health centers nationwide. Sunovion donated
enough quick-relief medicines that are used to treat acute asthma attacks for
approximately 22,000 children and adults suffering from asthma. AstraZeneca
donated enough respiratory therapies to provide preventive treatment for more
than 3,000 children and adults with asthma.
AmeriCares is making the medicines available to hundreds of free clinics and
community health centers serving low-income and uninsured patients through its
U.S. Medical Assistance Program. Safety net partners select the products they
want from an online ordering system and AmeriCares delivers them free of
"These are some of the most frequently prescribed respiratory medicines, and
some of the most difficult for low-income patients to obtain," said Leslie
McGuire, AmeriCares director of U.S. programs. "Uninsured and underinsured
patients can receive treatment in safety net clinics and health centers, but
without donated medicines many would leave with scripts in hand they can't
afford to fill. Thanks to AstraZeneca and Sunovion, we are helping patients
avoid unnecessary emergency room visits and hospitalizations."
AmeriCares made a special appeal to pharmaceutical manufacturers and
distributors to donate respiratory medications in May in recognition of
National Asthma and Allergy Awareness Month. According to the U.S. Centers for
Disease Control and Prevention, more than 18 million adults and 7 million
children in the United States suffer from asthma and struggle with coughing,
wheezing and breathlessness – symptoms that can be triggered or exacerbated by
"Sunovion is very pleased to partner with AmeriCares to help our asthma
medicines get to those patients most in need," said Rick Russell, executive
vice president and chief commercial officer of Sunovion. "We hope this
donation will provide strong relief to many struggling to breathe."
So far this year, AmeriCares U.S. Medical Assistance Program has provided more
than $50 million worth of donated medicines to clinics and health centers
serving the uninsured and underinsured. The program is rapidly expanding,
adding safety net partners every week.
"Since AstraZeneca began collaborating with AmeriCares in 2005, we have been
able to provide important medications to the people that need them most and
help to improve the lives of people with little or no access to basic health
care," said Jennifer McGovern, director, patient assistance programs,
AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals LP.
In addition to providing medicines to clinics across the country, AmeriCares
has patient assistance programs that provide patients in the U.S. with free
prescription medicines and operates free clinics serving the uninsured in its
home state of Connecticut. The organization's Emergency Response Team also
responds to tornadoes, hurricanes and other disasters in the U.S. with medical
aid and relief supplies.
AmeriCares is a nonprofit global health and disaster relief organization that
delivers medicines, medical supplies and aid to people in need around the
world and across the United States. Since it was established in 1982,
AmeriCares has distributed more than $11 billion in humanitarian aid to 164
countries. For more information, visit americares.org
About Sunovion Pharmaceuticals Inc.
Sunovion is a leading pharmaceutical company dedicated to discovering,
developing and commercializing therapeutic products that advance the science
of medicine in the Psychiatry, Neurology and Respiratory disease areas and
improve the lives of patients and their families. Sunovion, an indirect,
wholly-owned subsidiary of Dainippon Sumitomo Pharma Co., Ltd., is
headquartered in Marlborough, Mass. More information about Sunovion
Pharmaceuticals Inc. is available at www.sunovion.com
AstraZeneca is a global, innovation-driven biopharmaceutical business that
focuses on the discovery, development and commercialization of prescription
medicines, primarily for the treatment of cardiovascular, metabolic,
respiratory, inflammation, autoimmune, oncology, infection and neuroscience
diseases. AstraZeneca operates in over 100 countries and its innovative
medicines are used by millions of patients worldwide. For more information
about AstraZeneca in the US or our AZ&Me™ Prescription Savings programs,
please visit: www.astrazeneca-us.com or call 1-800-AZandMe (292-6363).
Leslie Gianelli (203) 658-9692
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