Patient Advocate Foundation Announces Additional Support for Patient Co-Pay Relief Program Serving Breast Cancer, Colon Cancer,

To-Date, Co-Pay Relief Program Has Provided Over $130 Million in Direct Financial Support for Pharmaceutical Co-Payments to Insured Patients in Medical and Financial Need

HAMPTON, Va., Aug. 22, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Patient Advocate Foundation (PAF), a national non-profit organization that seeks to safeguard patients through effective mediation assuring access to care, maintenance of employment and preservation of their financial stability relative to their diagnosis of life threatening or debilitating diseases, is pleased to announce that it has received additional funding support to serve patients suffering from breast cancer, colon cancer and hepatitis C, who are unable to access care due to financial barriers, through its Co-Pay Relief Program (CPR).

PAF's Co-Pay Relief Program provides direct financial support for pharmaceutical co-payments to insured patients, including Medicare Part D beneficiaries, who financially and medically qualify.  Since the program's inception in April 2004, CPR has distributed more than $123 million in assistance to more than 50,000 patients who were unable to afford their pharmaceutical co-payments. On August 1, CPR announced significantly expanded program offerings, including a new operational model, additional technology tools and enhanced 24-hour service for both providers and patients.

"The Co-Pay Relief Program began after PAF recognized extreme increases each year in the number of patients seeking co-pay assistance, despite the fact they were insured. Thanks to the receipt of this generous donation, we are pleased that we will now be able to offer even greater support to these patients suffering from breast cancer, colon cancer and hepatitis C so that they might access the life-saving medications they need to battle their disease," said Nancy Davenport-Ennis, Founder and CEO of PAF. "Patient Advocate Foundation is committed to improving the quality of life of patients facing medical and financial hardship through our professional case management and Co-Pay Relief services."

Globally, breast cancer is second only to lung cancer as a leading cause of cancer death in women.  According to the National Breast Cancer Foundation, it is estimated that each year nearly 200,000 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer and more than 40,000 will die. Approximately 1,700 men will also be diagnosed with breast cancer and 450 will die each year.

Excluding skin cancers, colon, or colorectal, cancer is the third most common cancer diagnosed in both men and women in the United States. Each year, according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), over 100,000 patients are diagnosed with colon cancer and half of those die.

Hepatitis C is the most common chronic bloodborne infection in the United States with approximately 3.2 million persons chronically infected, as stated by the CDC. The hepatitis C virus infects the body and attacks the liver, making it the leading cause of liver transplants in the U.S.

In FY2010/2011, CPR assisted 13,781 patients, a 23.4 percent increase from FY2009/2010, and allocated approximately $34.5 million to patients to help alleviate the financial burden of out-of-pocket pharmaceutical co-payments.  Over 65% of CPR patients assisted in FY2010/2011 were Medicare beneficiaries which indicates that seniors and the disabled are facing financial obstacles due to both medical and cost-of-living debt crises..

Patient Advocate Foundation and its companion organization, the National Patient Advocate Foundation (NPAF), were founded on the principle that health care is a basic human need and shared social responsibility.  Annually, PAF receives thousands of contacts requesting information and assistance via their toll-free hotline, as well as online, with complete direct, sustained case management services provided to patients from all fifty states free of charge.  For more information about PAF, visit or call toll free (800) 532-5274. For more information about PAF's Co-Pay Relief Program visit or call toll free (866) 512-3861.

SOURCE Patient Advocate Foundation