Sanofi-Aventis (New Jersey) Announces Steps To Protect Access To Prescription Drugs For Low Income Medicare Patients

BRIDGEWATER, N.J., May 22 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Sanofi-aventis, one of the world's largest pharmaceutical companies, announced today that it will continue to provide low income patients and Medicare beneficiaries with access to its products through its Patient Assistance Programs (PAP)s and will continue to advocate for solutions that will protect patients in need.

"Sanofi-aventis has covered and will cover in 2006, Medicare beneficiaries who meet the established income limits and are not enrolled in a Part D plan," stated Tim Rothwell, President and CEO of sanofi-aventis U.S. "In addition, it is a priority for the company to continue to advocate for solutions that permit PAPs to assist patients inside the Medicare Part D benefit as patients have asked us to do. We have taken several steps that will ensure that those patients with the greatest need will continue to receive our products."

In addition, sanofi-aventis: * Is amending its primary PAP eligibility and appeals process to permit physicians to attest to life threatening conditions and request patient access. Pending additional changes in federal requirements, this assistance will not count toward TROOP, or true-out-of-pocket costs. * Will continue its program that provides the company's drug for patients with Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrig's disease. * Will continue its support of appropriately structured and independent co-pay foundations for non-enrolled and enrolled Medicare beneficiaries. * As required by OIG guidelines, the administration of the company's PAP is being adjusted to take advantage of data exchange mechanisms in order to assist a Part D enrolled patient. * Continues to advocate for solutions that permit PAPs to assist patients inside the benefit, as many patient groups have requested, and has taken several of the steps above to ensure patient safety.

Sanofi-aventis met with the Senate Finance Committee and advised them of our intention to provide free drug to Part D patients with life threatening conditions through the appeals process in our patient assistance program. There are no changes to the standard income eligibility requirements of our programs.

About sanofi-aventis

Sanofi-aventis is the world's third largest pharmaceutical company, ranking number one in Europe. Backed by a world-class R&D organization, sanofi-aventis is developing leading positions in seven major therapeutic areas: cardiovascular, thrombosis, oncology, metabolic diseases, central nervous system, internal medicine, and vaccines. Sanofi-aventis is listed in Paris and in New York .

Contact: Marc Greene, sanofi-aventis, 212-551-4400 or 908-243-4263


CONTACT: Marc Greene, sanofi-aventis, +1-212-551-4400 or +1-908-243-4263

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