TOGETHER Rx(TM) PROGRAM AVAILABLE NOW IN PUERTO RICO OFFERING VALUABLE ASSISTANCE TO...

TOGETHER Rx(TM) PROGRAM AVAILABLE NOW IN PUERTO RICO OFFERING VALUABLE ASSISTANCE TO LOWER-INCOME MEDICARE ENROLLEES WITHOUT Rx COVERAGE

Eligible Medicare recipients in Puerto Rico will be able to receive savings on more than 150 medicines through a single, easy-to- use prescription savings card


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NEW YORK, NY–(HISPANIC PR WIRE)–September 19, 2002–Certain Medicare enrollees living in Puerto Rico can now apply for the Together Rx (TM) Prescription Savings program, which is also available and in use in the United States. Cards will become effective immediately upon receipt.

Through the Together Rx program, Medicare enrollees in Puerto Rico without public or private prescription drug coverage and with incomes of up to $28,000 ($38,000 for couples) can obtain savings of 20 to 40 percent and, in many cases, substantially more off the price they usually pay for prescription medicines at the pharmacy. Savings are currently available on more than 150 prescription medicines, including medicines used to treat diabetes, hypertension, GERD, high cholesterol, cancer, allergy, asthma, arthritis, and depression, which are among the most common conditions affecting seniors.

Those who qualify can request an application by calling 1-800-865-7211 or by visiting http://www.together-rx.com/ or http://www.together-rx.com/espanol/. Spanish-language enrollment forms and information will be available through participating pharmacies, as well as in physicians’ offices. The card is free; there is no sign-up or renewal fee.

Together Rx is the first prescription drug savings program offered through multiple pharmaceutical companies, and will give access to point-of-sale savings to potentially millions of people enrolled in Medicare with one, easy-to-use card.

“Together Rx will help many people within Puerto Rico’s Medicare population get the prescription medicines they need,” said Dr. Jesse Romeu Velez, Internal Medicine specialist and Assistant Professor at the School of Medicine, University of Puerto Rico. “We applaud this effort to increase access to medicine in Puerto Rico.”

Until the government enacts and implements a prescription drug benefit under Medicare, the companies involved in Together Rx believe that the program provides a significant benefit to lower income Medicare enrollees who do not have prescription drug coverage.

In addition, individuals of more limited income who may meet eligibility requirements for patient assistance programs supported by some of the individual Together Rx companies will be notified that they may be eligible for further savings-and in some cases free medicines through those programs.

Pharmacies across the U.S. and Puerto Rico, including El Amal, Wal-Mart, Walgreens, and Costco will honor the Together Rx Card. In addition to accepting the card at their retail outlets, participating pharmacies have made the commitment to ensure that their customers realize 100 percent of the savings being offered by the pharmaceutical companies.

About Together Rx (TM) LLC

The founding members of Together Rx LLC are: Abbott Laboratories, AstraZeneca, Aventis Pharmaceuticals, Bristol-Myers Squibb Company, GlaxoSmithKline, Johnson & Johnson, and Novartis.

Abbott Laboratories

Abbott Laboratories is a global, broad-based health care company devoted to the discovery, development, manufacture and marketing of pharmaceuticals, nutritionals, and medical products, including devices and diagnostics.

AstraZeneca

AstraZeneca is a major international healthcare business engaged in the research, development, manufacture, and marketing of ethical (prescription) pharmaceuticals and the supply of healthcare services. It is one of the top five pharmaceutical companies in the world, committed to the development of gastrointestinal, oncology, anesthesia (including pain management), cardiovascular, central nervous system (CNS), and respiratory products.

Aventis

Aventis is dedicated to improving life by treating and preventing human disease through the discovery and development of innovative pharmaceutical products. The company’s prescription drugs business is conducted in the U.S. by Aventis Pharmaceuticals Inc. With headquarters in Bridgewater, N.J., Aventis Pharmaceuticals focuses its activities on important

therapeutic areas such as oncology, cardiology, respiratory/allergy, diabetes, arthritis/osteoporosis, anti-infectives, and the central nervous system.

Bristol-Myers Squibb

Bristol-Myers Squibb is a global pharmaceutical and related health care products company whose mission is to extend and enhance human life.

GlaxoSmithKline

GlaxoSmithKline, one of the world’s leading research-based pharmaceutical and healthcare companies, is committed to improving the quality of human life by enabling people to do more, feel better, and live longer.

Johnson & Johnson

Johnson & Johnson is the world’s most comprehensive and broadly based manufacturer of health care products and related services, for the consumer, pharmaceutical and medical devices and diagnostics markets. The company is committed to enhancing people’s lives through products and services across the entire healthcare spectrum. Johnson & Johnson has 197 operating companies, including Ortho-McNeil Pharmaceutical, Inc., Janssen Pharmaceutica Products L.P., and McNeil Consumer & Specialty Pharmaceuticals.

Novartis

Novartis 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 is represented within Together Rx by Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation and Novartis Ophthalmics.

About McKesson Corporation

McKesson Corporation, the largest distributor to the retail pharmacy market, will administer the program on behalf of Together Rx. McKesson is the leading provider of supply, information and care management products and sevices designed to reduce costs and improve quality across healthcare. McKesson solutions empower healthcare professionals with the tools they need to deliver care more effectively and efficiently. McKesson ranks #31 in the Fortune 500.

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CONTACT:

Angela Sustaita (212) 704-8101

TOGETHER Rx(TM) PROGRAM AVAILABLE NOW IN PUERTO RICO OFFERING VALUABLE ASSISTANCE TO LOWER-INCOME MEDICARE ENROLLEES WITHOUT Rx COVERAGE