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Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation (NVS) Makes Accessing Prescription Assistance and Disease Management Programs Simpler and Easier for Patients


7/31/2008 7:42:22 AM

EAST HANOVER, N.J., July 30 /PRNewswire/ -- Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation today announced the launch of Patient Assistance Now -- a new, comprehensive resource that integrates both Novartis and non-Novartis programs that may help uninsured Americans afford their Novartis medicines and find information to take care of their health. Now patients can access an easy-to-use Web site that provides specific information about programs and services available. Patients and caregivers can visit www.PatientAssistanceNow.com or call toll-free 1-800-245-5356 to find programs that may be right for them.

Novartis is offering solutions for improved access to affordable medicines for the more than 47 million Americans who have no prescription drug coverage(1). While many assistance programs and resources are available to benefit the uninsured, patients are often unable to find these programs, or are confused when determining which programs best fit their individual needs.

"We at Novartis are proud to offer Patient Assistance Now to make it easier for patients to find options that help them access important programs to learn more about their health conditions and available treatments. For years, Novartis patient assistance programs have been providing free medicines to millions of uninsured patients," said Kevin Rigby, Vice President of Public Affairs at Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation. "By integrating our programs and resources, Novartis continues to seek to have a meaningful impact on patients' lives."

Patient Assistance Now provides patients with access to all of the information and tools offered by Novartis to assist patients with managing their health, including:

-- Novartis Access to Medicines Programs, some of which provide free Novartis medicines to qualified patients who experience financial hardships and who have no prescription drug coverage.

-- Novartis Disease Management and Education, offering resources on specific diseases, conditions and medicines in areas such as ADHD, asthma, cancer, cystic fibrosis, diabetes, eye health, hypertension, infectious diseases, Parkinson's Disease and senior health. Please visit www.PatientAssistanceNow.com for a complete list.

-- Novartis Clinical Trials, including information to help patients make educated decisions about participating in a clinical trial and understanding the clinical trial process.

-- Novartis Medicines, including links to information on Novartis prescription medications.

"Too many Americans feel frustrated and worried about their ability to get the medicines they need to manage their health. Many important prescription drug programs and educational resources offer assistance, yet unfortunately, few people know these exist or they have difficulty finding information," said Myrl Weinberg, President of the National Health Council. "By putting all the information in one place, programs such as Patient Assistance Now provide patients with easier access to information, including prescription drug assistance programs and disease education. Such programs play a vital role in helping patients get the care and resources they need."

Novartis is partnering with health organizations and working with healthcare providers and elected officials to spread further awareness about Patient Assistance Now to those who need help accessing the prescription medicines and health information they need.

"I applaud Novartis for taking action to address the need of all Americans to have access to quality healthcare," said Tommy G. Thompson, Former Secretary, US Department of Health and Human Services. "Uninsured patients are often sicker and have higher overall medical costs due to untreated or poorly managed conditions. Today, Novartis takes us a step in the right direction by improving access to programs that can immediately help people who can't afford the medicines they need."

The Patient Assistance Now program builds on Novartis Group initiatives dedicated to ensuring that patients have access to quality healthcare:

-- In 2007, Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation provided medicines with a value of more than USD 69 million free to nearly 109,000 Americans through the Novartis Patient Assistance Foundation, Inc.

-- Last year, Novartis provided more than 66 million treatments of Coartem, a life-saving malaria medicine, without profit, for patients in Africa

-- Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation works with over 50 free clinics and organizations in 13 states, and has provided medicines with a value of more than USD 5 million to 8,000 uninsured patients

-- Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation participates in the Partnership for Prescription Assistance (PPA), a single point of access to more than 475 patient assistance programs that has matched more than five million patients to one or more patient assistance programs

-- Through a partnership with AmeriCares, a nonprofit disaster relief and humanitarian aid organization, Novartis Group companies provided short-dated products with a value of USD 104 million for international medical missions between 1997 and 2003

-- Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation is a founding member of Together Rx Access(TM), a prescription savings card that helps uninsured Americans better afford the prescription medicines they need

Patients and caregivers who need help accessing Novartis medicines and finding information to help manage their health can visit www.PatientAssistanceNow.com or call toll-free 1-800-245-5356.

Disclaimer

The foregoing release contains forward-looking statements that can be identified by terminology such as "launch," "may," "continues to seek," "improving," or similar expressions, or by express or implied discussions regarding potential future results of Patient Assistance Now or regarding potential impact on future revenues from Patient Assistance Now. Such forward-looking statements reflect the current views of the Company regarding future events, and involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that may cause actual results to be materially different from any future results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by such statements. There can be no guarantee that any Novartis prescription medicine will be provided discounted or free as a result of Patient Assistance Now. Nor can there be any guarantee that any information provided through Patient Assistance Now will impact an individual's health or disease or condition management. Neither can there be any guarantee that Patient Assistance Now will have any particular impact on Novartis revenues. In particular, management's expectations regarding Patient Assistance Now could be affected by, among other things, unexpected changes to program eligibility or qualification factors; unexpected changes to insurance or prescription drug coverage plans; unexpected regulatory actions or delays or government regulation generally; competition in general; government, industry and general public pricing pressures; the company's ability to obtain or maintain patent or other propriety intellectual property protection, and other risks and factors referred to in Novartis AG's current form 20-F on file with the US Securities and Exchange Commission. Should one or more of these risks or uncertainties materialize, or should underlying assumptions prove incorrect, actual results may vary materially from those anticipated, believed, estimated or expected. Novartis is providing the information in this press release as of this date and does not undertake any obligation to update any forward-looking statements contained in this press release as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.

About Novartis

Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation researches, develops, manufactures and markets leading innovative prescription drugs used to treat a number of diseases and conditions, including those in the cardiovascular, metabolic, cancer, organ transplantation, central nervous system, infectious disease, dermatological, GI and respiratory areas. The company's mission is to improve people's lives by pioneering novel healthcare solutions.

Located in East Hanover, New Jersey, Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation is an affiliate of Novartis AG , which provides healthcare solutions that address the evolving needs of patients and societies. Focused solely on healthcare, Novartis offers a diversified portfolio to best meet these needs: innovative medicines, cost-saving generic pharmaceuticals, preventive vaccines, diagnostic tools and consumer health products. Novartis is the only company with leading positions in these areas. In 2007, the Group's continuing operations (excluding divestments in 2007) achieved net sales of USD 38.1 billion and net income of USD 6.5 billion. Approximately USD 6.4 billion was invested in R&D activities throughout the Group. Headquartered in Basel, Switzerland, Novartis Group companies employ approximately 98,000 full-time associates and operate in over 140 countries around the world. For more information, please visit http://www.novartis.com.

References

(1) "Income, Poverty, and Health Insurance Coverage in the United States: 2006." U.S. Census Bureau, August 2007, table 6, p. 21.

CONTACT: Gina Moran of NPC Communications for Novartis Media Relations,
+1-862-778-5567, direct, or +1-973-476-3643, gina.moran@novartis.com

Web site: http://www.novartis.com/
http://www.PatientAssistanceNow.com/


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