Free-Market Solution

Published January 1, 2004

Pfizer, the largest manufacturer of prescription drugs, will reduce prices on its drugs for all people without health insurance, regardless of income or age. Millions of uninsured Americans will be eligible to get Pfizer drugs for free or at deep discounts under the program. The program starts in August 2004.

The new plan provides:

  • Free medicine to uninsured individuals earning less than $19,000 and families making less than $31,000 per year;
  • Average savings of 37 percent and savings up to 50 percent for uninsured individuals earning less than $30,000 ($45,000 for families);
  • Average savings of 15 percent and savings up to 25 percent for uninsured individuals earning more than $30,000 ($45,000 for families);

The free medicines will be given to patients from their physicians’ offices and from community health centers and hospitals.

The Pfizer plan provides choice, simplicity, and access to help people get the medicines they need even if they can’t afford to buy health insurance. This is a ground-breaking free-market commitment to help people gain access to prescription medicines without the heavy hand of government.

Louisiana Senator John Breaux says this is very good news for all Americans who are uninsured, and especially for low-income citizens, including seniors.

Pfizer’s discount, combined with the Medicare drug discount card and the future Medicare drug insurance program, takes a big bite out of the high cost of prescriptions.

IT’S YOUR HEALTH is written by Conrad Meier, senior fellow in health policy at The Heartland Institute. This program is produced as a public service by Radio America. Meier passed away unexpectedly on March 18, 2005.