Novartis Announces McKesson Will Provide Administrative Services for Novartis Care Card(SM) Discount Program to Medicare Recipients
EAST HANOVER, N.J., Dec. 11 /PRNewswire/ -- Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation announced today that it will work with McKesson Health Solutions to introduce the Novartis Care Card(SM) drug discount program. The Novartis Care Card will make prescriptions more affordable for eligible Medicare recipients who lack drug coverage. "Novartis has taken action to bring financial relief to Medicare beneficiaries that need it most," said Paulo Costa, Chief Executive Officer, Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation. "McKesson Health Solutions' expertise in managing pharmacy-based programs and delivering patient support services will enhance our efforts to bring drug access to those in need." McKesson Health Solutions will be administering the Novartis Care Card Program, including processing applications and issuing Novartis Care Cards to eligible participants. In addition, they will work with participating pharmacies across the country to process prescription claims. "We are pleased to support Novartis in its innovative program to help eligible Medicare recipients obtain the medications they need," said Margaret Pfau, president, McKesson Health Solutions. "We look forward to working with Novartis to deliver its solution to a challenging problem that affects millions of Americans." McKesson Health Solutions will combine its advanced electronic claims transaction processing and adjudication systems, telecommunications links to retail pharmacies, database management expertise and direct to patient fulfillment capabilities to administer all financial aspects of the program as well as patient eligibility, enrollment and ongoing relationship management. How the Novartis Care Card Program Works The Novartis Care Card will be available free of charge as of January 2002. Eligible Medicare recipients should receive a savings of 25% or more on select prescription products. Individuals will qualify if they are a Medicare recipient with an annual income of less than 300% of the Federal Poverty Level (approximately $26,000 for an individual; $35,000 for a couple) and do not currently have alternative prescription drug coverage. Those interested in learning more about the Novartis Care Card or receiving an application can call 1-866-974-CARE (2273), log on to the Novartis website http://www.novartis.com/carecard, or consult their local pharmacist. The program will be officially launched on January 2, 2002. The program will cover select Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation prescription products(1). Novartis also issued an industry-wide call-to-action, encouraging other pharmaceutical companies to create programs to deliver real value to the Medicare community. This target population includes approximately 80% of Medicare enrollees who lack coverage, or about 10 million people. The Novartis list of products includes key products for diseases affecting the senior population, such as Diovan(R) (valsartan)(for high blood pressure), Exelon(R) (rivastigmine tartrate)(for Alzheimer's Disease), Lamisil Oral(R) (terbinafine hydrochloride tablets) (for fungal infections), Lescol(R) (fluvastatin sodium) (for high cholesterol), Lotensin(R) (benazapril hydrochloride) (for high blood pressure), Lotrel(R) (amlodipine and benazepril hydrochloride) (for high blood pressure), and Miacalcin Nasal Spray(R) (calcitonin salmon) (for osteoporosis). Novartis Pharmaceuticals is also working with other Novartis healthcare companies to consider ways of expanding the program. About Novartis Novartis Pharmaceutical Corporation researches, develops, manufactures and markets leading innovative prescription drugs used to treat a number of diseases and conditions, including central nervous system disorders, organ transplantation, cardiovascular diseases, dermatological diseases, respiratory disorders, cancer and arthritis. The company's mission is to improve people's lives by pioneering novel healthcare solutions. Novartis AG (NYSE: NVS) is a world leader in healthcare with core businesses in pharmaceuticals, consumer health, generics, eye-care, and animal health. In 2000, the Novartis Group's ongoing businesses achieved collective sales of CHF 29.1 billion (USD 17.2 billion) and a net income of CHF 6.5 billion (USD 3.9 billion). The Group invested approximately CHF 4.0 billion (USD 2.4 billion) in R&D. Novartis AG is headquartered in Basel, Switzerland. Novartis Group companies employ about 70,000 people and operates in over 140 countries around the world. For further information please consult http://www.novartis.com. About McKesson Corporation McKesson Corporation is the leading provider of supply, information and care management products and services that reduce costs and improve quality of access healthcare. McKesson solutions empower healthcare professionals with the tools they need to deliver care more effectively and efficiently. With revenues of $42 billion for the fiscal year ended March 31, 2001, McKesson ranks No. 35 in the 2001 Fortune 500. More information about McKesson is available on the company's web site at: http://www.mckesson.com. (1) Hospital products that are already covered by Medicare are excluded, as are selected specialty products already covered by Novartis access programs. For full prescribing information for products listed in the press release, visit our website http://www.pharma.us.novartis.com For further information please contact: Brandi Robinson 973.781.5392 or Martha Grant 212.583.2743 MAKE YOUR OPINION COUNT - Click Here http://tbutton.prnewswire.com/prn/11690X52503870RELATED LINKS
SOURCE Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation
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