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Humanitarian, Author, Talk Show Host Montel Williams to Help


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Educate Americans about Drug Assistance Programs

http://www.prnewswire.com/cgi-bin/stori ... 080&EDATE=

WASHINGTON, Jan. 16 /PRNewswire/ -- Montel Williams, an Emmy-winning

syndicated talk show host, author and motivational speaker, has been named the

national spokesman of the Partnership for Prescription Assistance (PPA), a

patient assistance program clearinghouse launched last April. Since then, the

PPA has matched more than 1.2 million Americans to public and private patient

assistance programs that may provide them with free or nearly free medicines.

Williams, who is well-known for his work with charitable and patient

organizations, has agreed to become national PPA spokesman as America's

pharmaceutical research companies expand their efforts to raise public

awareness of the more than 475 public and private patient assistance programs

available to people in need.

A prominent feature of the PPA's nationwide effort is the "Help is Here

Express" -- two buses that crisscross the country, stopping in hundreds of

towns and cities to educate uninsured and under-insured patients about drug

assistance programs. Efforts are made to match patients with programs that

appear to meet their needs.

In addition, a major national advertising campaign will be launched this

month to draw attention to the free or nearly free medicines available to

millions of Americans.

Williams has recorded national television ads and public service

announcements for the PPA and will appear with a bus in a number of cities

across the nation to promote the 475 drug assistance programs, beginning with

a stop in San Diego on January 23 at Scripps Mercy Hospital.

Billy Tauzin, President and CEO of the Pharmaceutical Research and

Manufacturers of America, said the naming of Williams as national PPA

spokesman gives the effort "an articulate, compassionate advocate whose views

are well-respected throughout America. Montel has embraced our goal of

reaching as many uninsured, under-insured and low-income Americans as possible

in what is going to be a continuing, long-term effort to assist people who

need a helping hand."

The Partnership for Prescription Assistance (toll-free, 1-888-4PPANOW;

http://www.pparx.org) is the only source that provides a single point of

access to the more than 475 patient assistance programs, which include more

than 180 programs offered by the pharmaceutical industry. The PPA educational

effort is supported by America's pharmaceutical research companies working

with doctors, pharmacists, health care providers, patient advocacy

organizations and community groups. More than 70 major national

organizations, including the American Academy of Family Physicians, the

National Urban League, United Way of America, Easter Seals and the National

Alliance for Hispanic Health, are involved in the campaign. PPA now has more

than 1,200 local and state partners located throughout America as well.

"Millions of patients are already receiving free or nearly free drugs from

these programs, but it is clear that millions of other Americans from all over

the country -- in cities and rural areas alike -- are not taking advantage of

the help that is available to them," said Williams, who regularly addresses

critically important societal issues on his show.

"The PPA is a concerted and effective effort to reach those who still need

help. And I'm going to do everything I can to get the word out. As a patient

who must cope every day with the effects of multiple sclerosis, I understand

only too well the importance of having access to the medicine you need."

Prior to hosting his own television show, Williams was a special duty

intelligence officer in the Navy, specializing in cryptology. A graduate of

the Naval Academy, he received a number of military awards and citations

during his naval career. Before attending the Academy, he had enlisted in the

Marine Corps after graduating from a Baltimore, Maryland high school. Last

year, he was named chairman of the National Veterans Association (NVA) and has

taped public service announcements for both NVA and the Paralyzed Veterans of

America (PVA).

He has worked with an array of charitable organizations, including The

Make A Wish Foundation, The Joey DiPaolo AIDS Foundation, Diamonds for

Humanity and The Humane Society of the United States. Currently, he serves on

the boards of the We Are Family Foundation, devoted to promoting tolerance and

diversity through educational programs aimed at the youth of America, the PVA

and The Montel Williams MS Foundation.

Williams' 2004 autobiography, "Climbing Higher," a New York Times

best-seller, details his struggles with multiple sclerosis. He is also the

author of another New York Times best-selling autobiography, "Mountain Get Out

of My Way."

To view the first PPA television ad, click on to the website


National Partner Organizations

November 14, 2005

Action CF

Alliance for Aging Research

Alliance of Minority Medical Associations

American Academy of Family Physicians

American Academy of Nurse Practitioners

American Academy of Physician Assistants

American Autoimmune Related Diseases Association, Inc.

American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists

American Cancer Society

American College of Emergency Physicians

American College of Nurse Practitioners

American College of Osteopathic Emergency Physicians

American College of Osteopathic Family Physicians

American College of Rheumatology

American College of Osteopathic Internists

American Lung Association

American Osteopathic Academy of Orthopedics

American Osteopathic Association

American Pain Foundation

American Psychiatric Association

Asthma & Allergy Foundation of America

Association of Black Cardiologists, Inc.

Black Women's Health Imperative

Community Health Charities

COSHAR Foundation Inc.

Cuban American National Council

Dia de la Mujer

Easter Seals

Emergency Nurses Association

Epilepsy Foundation of America

Foundation for Allergy & Immunology Research

Hoosier Veterans Assistance Foundation

Interamerican College of Physicians and Surgeons

League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC)

Lupus Foundation of America, Inc.

Lymphoma Research Foundation

MANA - A National Latina Organization

Men's Health Network


National Alliance for Hispanic Health

National Alliance for the Mentally Ill

National Asian Pacific Center on Aging

National Association of Chain Drug Stores

National Association of Neighborhoods

National Association of Psychiatric Health Systems

National Coalition for Homeless Veterans

National Coalition for Women with Heart Disease

National Council for Community Behavioral Health Care

National Family Caregivers Association

National Health Council

National Hispanic Council on Aging

National Hispanic Medical Association

National Kidney Foundation

National Latina Health Network

National Medical Association

National Mental Health Association

National Minority Health Month Foundation

National Puerto Rican Coalition

National Rural Health Association

National Urban League

National Women's Health Resource Center

Ovarian Cancer National Alliance

Retire Safe

Sjogren's Syndrome Foundation

Society for Women's Health Research

Spina Bifida Association of America

The AIDS Institute

The National Grange

United Way of America

Women Impacting Public Policy

Y-ME National Breast Cancer Organization

SOURCE Partnership for Prescription Assistance

Web Site: http://www.pparx.org

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