Access Pharmaceuticals MuGard Included in Harvard Pilgrim's Prescription Drug Coverage

Recent Announcements of CVS Caremark, TRICARE and Harvard Pilgrim Bring MuGard Covered Lives to Over 60 Million

DALLAS and NEW YORK, July 21, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- ACCESS PHARMACEUTICALS, INC. (OTCBB: ACCP), a biopharmaceutical company leveraging its proprietary drug-delivery platforms to develop treatments in areas of oncology, cancer supportive care and diabetes, announced that its lead product for oral mucositis, MuGard, is being covered by Harvard Pilgrim and has been added to its pharmaceutical drug benefit program. Covering over one million lives, Harvard Pilgrim is a premier insurance provider in the New England region.  Reimbursement coverage for MuGard is available under the company's various insurance plan options with standard pharmacy benefit copayment in Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Maine and Vermont.  The news comes on the heels of the Access receiving CVS Caremark and TRICARE coverage for MuGard in North America.  

"Our goal over the past months has been to increase awareness of MuGard by exploiting the clinical and economic value MuGard provides cancer patients and insurance providers," said Anthony Mottola, Vice President, Managed Care and Market Access, Access Pharmaceuticals, Inc.  He continued, "Being added to Harvard Pilgrim's prescription drug coverage program is testament to our team's ability to execute on the multi-faceted payer strategy set forth to further build demand for wide reimbursement of MuGard throughout the U.S."

About Harvard Pilgrim:

Harvard Pilgrim Health Care is a not-for-profit health plan that provides a variety of insurance plan options and self-funding arrangements to more than one million members in Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Maine. In the fall of 2008, Harvard Pilgrim, for the fourth consecutive year, was named the #1 commercial health plan in America according to a joint ranking by U.S. News & World Report and the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA)*. For more information, please visit www.harvardpilgrim.org.

About MuGard:

MuGard is a novel; ready-to-use mucoadhesive oral wound rinse and coating for the management of oral mucositis, a debilitating side effect of many anticancer treatments. Up to 40% of all patients receiving chemotherapy and radiotherapy develop moderate to severe mucositis, and almost all patients receiving radiotherapy for head and neck cancer and those undergoing stem cell transplantation develop mucositis. Updated clinical practice guidelines for the prevention and treatment of mucositis recommend the use of a preventive oral care regimen as part of routine supportive care along with a therapeutic oral care regimen if mucositis develops. The market for the treatment of oral mucositis is estimated to be in excess of $1 billion world-wide.  For more information, please visit www.MuGard.com.

About Access:

Access Pharmaceuticals, Inc. is an emerging biopharmaceutical company that develops and commercializes proprietary products for the treatment and supportive care of cancer patients. Access' products include MuGard™ (www.MuGard.com), which has received FDA marketing clearance for the management of patients with mucositis, ProLindac™, a second generation DACH Platinum in Phase 2 clinical testing of patients with ovarian cancer, and Thiarabine™, a novel nucleoside analog that has demonstrated both pre-clinical and clinical activity in certain cancers; currently in a Phase 1/2a trial in hematological malignancies at M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, Texas.  

The company also has other advanced drug delivery technologies including CobaCyte™-mediated targeted delivery and CobOral-oral drug delivery, its proprietary nanopolymer delivery technology based on the natural vitamin B12 uptake mechanism.  For additional information on Access Pharmaceuticals, please visit our website at www.accesspharma.com.

This press release contains certain statements that are forward-looking within the meaning of Section 27a of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and that involve risks and uncertainties. These statements include those relating to: our cash burn rate, clinical trial plans and timelines and clinical results for ProLindac, MuGard, Thiarabine and Cobalamin and other product candidates, our ability to achieve clinical and commercial success and our ability to successfully develop marketed products. These statements are subject to numerous risks, including but not limited to Access' need to obtain additional financing in order to continue the clinical trial and operations and to the risks detailed in Access' Annual Reports on Form 10-K and other reports filed by Access with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Contact: Company

Contact: Investor Relations

Christine Berni

Donald C. Weinberger/Diana Bittner (media)

Director of Investor Relations

Wolfe Axelrod Weinberger Assoc. LLC

Access Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

(212) 370-4500

(212) 786-6208




SOURCE Access Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

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