Montel Williams promotes access to cheaper medicines
Talk-show host Montel Williams will join Lt. Gov. James "Duke" Aiona at an outdoor health fair in Honolulu tomorrow to promote a nationwide program that helps uninsured residents gain better access to prescription drugs.
Williams, the national spokesman for the Partnership for Prescription Assistance, will talk about the program with visitors and residents on the grounds outside the Honolulu Zoo during the health fair, which runs from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., according to organizers.
At the fair, people who have trouble affording their prescription medicines can find out about programs that offer free or reduced-price assistance, said Cynthia Moore, a spokesman for the group.
Sponsored by pharmaceutical companies, the program already has helped 4 million people nationwide. A Hawai'i chapter of the organization has been in existence since 2005 in partnership with the state Health Department.
The program uses a toll-free telephone number and Web site to give patients a one-stop way of finding out if they meet criteria for participating in more than 275 public and private programs for discounted or free medications.
The partnership has trained nurses, pharmacists and others in the industry to promote the program, but the health fair, along with the appearance of a high-profile spokesman like Williams, is one of the first efforts to reach a broader public.
The Epilepsy Foundation of Hawaii, the American Cancer Society and the National Kidney Foundation of Hawaii will be among the exhibitors at the fair. Participants can receive free on-site health screenings and risk assessments as well as learn more about other local healthcare resources.