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Merck Expands Co-pay Assistance Program for Raltegravir (Isentress)

SUMMARY: Merck announced last week that it has expanded its co-pay assistance program for the integrase inhibitor raltegravir (Isentress). The program will now offer assistance for eligible patients with private insurance who have out-of-pocket copays.

Below is an excerpt from a Merck press release describing the changes. The full release, including raltegravir safety information, is available online.

Merck Announces Expanded Co-Pay Assistance
Program for Isentress (raltegravir)

Enhanced Program Provides Assistance to People Living with HIV-1 Who are Privately Insured and Have Out-of-Pocket Co-Pays


Whitehouse Station, N.J. -- October 22, 2010 -- Merck today announced an enhanced co-pay assistance program for people living with HIV-1 who are taking the Company's first-in-class HIV-1 integrase inhibitor, Isentress (raltegravir) Tablets. The program provides important savings for privately-insured patients with out-of-pocket costs for Isentress, and is part of Merck's ongoing commitment to providing access to treatment.

People who have been prescribed Isentress who meet certain requirements are eligible to participate in the program, in which they can receive a Savings Coupon for up to $400 toward out-of-pocket costs on each of up to 12 eligible prescriptions of Isentress, regardless of the number of tablets supplied on the prescription. The program applies to eligible patients who have private health insurance with a co-payment for the prescription. Savings are limited to co-pay amount and eligibility restrictions, terms and conditions apply.

"This effort, along with Merck's ongoing collaboration with AIDS Drug Assistance Programs (ADAPs), further reinforces the Company's long-standing commitment to providing access to our medicines," said Patrick Bergstedt, senior vice president and general manager, Merck Infectious Diseases Franchise. "Given today's economic climate, programs that help alleviate the high co-pay costs that many HIV-1 patients face are increasingly important.

The program is not available to patients who are covered under Medicaid, Medicare, a Medicare Part D or Medicare Advantage plan (regardless of whether a specific prescription is covered), TRICARE, CHAMPUS, Government Health Insurance Plan ("Healthcare Reform"), or any other state or federal medical or pharmaceutical benefit program or pharmaceutical assistance program, or to residents of Massachusetts. Participants must be residents of the United States or the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico to be eligible for the program.

Eligible patients can enroll in the Savings Coupon program and receive additional information about co-pay assistance by calling 1-877-264-2440 or at The Savings Coupon for Isentress expires Sept. 30, 2012.

Important information about Isentress

Isentress is indicated in combination with other antiretroviral agents for the treatment of HIV-1 infection in adults. The label for Isentress is based on analyses of plasma HIV-1 RNA levels through 96 weeks in three double-blind controlled clinical studies of Isentress. Two of these studies were conducted in clinically advanced, three-class antiretroviral (ARV) [non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitor (NNRTI), nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitor (NRTI), protease inhibitor (PI)] treatment-experienced adults and one was conducted in treatment-naive adults.

The safety and efficacy of Isentress have not been established in pediatric patients. The use of other active agents with Isentress is associated with a greater likelihood of treatment response.


The SUPPORT Program is designed to help patients who have been prescribed Isentress or Crixivan (indinavir sulfate). The SUPPORT Program is a two-part program that consists of free reimbursement support services and a patient assistance program for eligible individuals through a single toll-free call to 1-800-850-3430. For Information about this program and others, please visit

About Isentress

Isentress is the first medicine to be approved in a class of antiretroviral drugs called integrase inhibitors. Isentress works by inhibiting the insertion of HIV-1 DNA into human DNA by the integrase enzyme and has demonstrated rapid antiviral activity. Inhibiting integrase from performing this essential function limits the ability of the virus to replicate and infect new cells. Other HIV-1 drugs in use inhibit two other enzymes critical to the HIV-1 replication process -- protease and reverse transcriptase -- but Isentress is the only approved drug that inhibits the integrase enzyme. Isentress is now approved in more than 90 countries worldwide. Merck is continuing to move forward with filings in additional countries around the world for use of ISENTRESS in both treatment-experienced and treatment-naive patients.

About Merck

Today's Merck is a global healthcare leader. Merck is known as MSD outside the United States and Canada. Through our prescription medicines, vaccines, biologic therapies, and consumer care and animal health products, we work with customers and operate in more than 140 countries to deliver innovative health solutions. We also demonstrate our commitment to increasing access to healthcare through far-reaching policies, programs and partnerships.

For more information, visit


Merck. Merck Announces Expanded Co-Pay Assistance Program for Isentress (raltegravir). Press release. October 22, 2010.




















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