Feature stories

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Company helps patients get needed medicine

By Terri Rimmer
Updated: 08/16/05
Rx Hope is a "clearinghouse for drug companies to get their medications to the people who need them".

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This story was written by Citizen Journalist Terri Rimmer. We encourage you to click the Tip Jar to support this writer's work. By Terri Rimmer
Happy News Citizen Journalist

Beginning as a grassroots effort, one company has grown into the leading Internet-based patient assistance and sampling web portal in the pharmaceutical industry.

CEO and founder of Rx Hope (www.rxhope.com), Anthony Maris said his business is a very simple one.

"It's a clearinghouse for drug companies to get their medications to the people who need them," he said.

Maris said due to the economy the percentage of people needing medication through his company have gone up 20 percent every year. He said he expects this year to be a particularly heavy year regarding need.

Maris founded Rx Hope in 1999 after having worked in the pharmaceutical industry for 19 years, observing the process of patients trying to get their medications and the drug companies not knowing how to get them to the people.

"I saw there was a need and the patients didn't know how to get the medications that the pharmaceutical companies were trying to get to them," said Maris. "We're very happy helping people. There's nothing worse than not being able to afford your medications. Before trying to get the medications to the patients was very clunky."

Rx Hope, located in Clinton, NJ, is made up of about 30 staff members who are very happy with what they do, Maris said. The company is the only patient-assistance internet initiative financially supported by Pharmaceutical and Research Manufacturers of America (Phrma) and participating pharmaceutical companies. The company began as a grassroots effort of the Patient Assistance Managers and Directors of the Phrma-member companies.

"We don't have any plans for getting into marketing or anything like that. We don't plan to change anything," he said.

Each patient assistance request form has been custom designed to the drug company's rules engine. Rx Hope is an independent company and is not affiliated with third parties who may provide patients with no-cost or low-cost medications.

According to Rx Hope's website, they provide faster processing for doctors requesting samples for their qualified applicants versus the weeks or months it now takes to process these requests. This requires less time and resources because the doctor's office completes the requisition process in just a few minutes. This results in financial savings - less money spent on postage, printed material, opening and sorting requests, and other time-consuming tasks.

Rx Hope, a privately held company, also offers an Assistance Finder which matches patient information against other available federal, state, and charitable prescription drug programs. Patients can download a printable application form that they can bring to their doctor from Rx Hope's website. If the drug the patient is looking for on the site does not have an online application, the patient can select the Patient Assistance Information icon on the screen to search Rx Hope's listing of over 1,000 drugs with printable application forms.

Rx Hope, which contracts directly with the pharmaceutical companies to provide an electronic application process for their patient assistance programs, also has healthcare and pharmaceutical company links and drug info center links on it site.

The 2003 Medicare law included, for the first time in the 40-year-old program's history, broad prescription coverage. In the Sept. 30 fiscal year Medicare will disburse $295 billion.

For more information on Rx Hope, call 908-713-7600 or email customerservice@rxhope.com.


This story was produced by a Happynews Citizen Journalist.

For more information on contributing to Happynews, click here.

This story was produced by Happynews Citizen Journalist Terri Rimmer. Terri Rimmer works from Fort Worth, TX.
For more information on contributing to Happynews, click here.

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