Star of popular TV sitcom to visit Kannapolis Wednesday

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, December 1, 2009

By Emily Ford
KANNAPOLIS ó The Beav is coming to Kannapolis.
Actor Jerry Mathers, star of “Leave It To Beaver,” will roll into town Wednesday morning with a bus tour that helps people find financial assistance for prescription drugs.
Mathers has diabetes. He travels around the country with the “Help is Here Express” bus tour, part of the Partnership for Prescription Assistance.
The partnership promotes prescription assistance for people with chronic diseases like diabetes.
The bus will stop at the Cabarrus Health Alliance at 1307 South Cannon Blvd. from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
The bus doesn’t provide prescription medications, but people can apply to enroll in a number of assistance programs that offer medicines for free or nearly free.
The Partnership for Prescription Assistance is a nationwide effort sponsored by pharmaceutical research companies.
“They act as a clearinghouse for all prescription assistance programs,” North Carolina consultant Paola Learoyd said.
State and federal government, as well as pharmaceutical companies, offer more than 475 assistance programs and discount cards to cut the cost of prescription drugs.
While many discount programs are aimed at people who are uninsured or struggling financially, some are not income-based, Learoyd said.
Those interested in applying should have a list of all their prescriptions and doses when they visit the bus, she said.
Since its launch in April 2005, the bus tour has visited all 50 states and more than 2,000 cities to raise awareness about patient assistance programs.
Nearly 6 million Americans have received help buying medicines through the Partnership for Prescription Assistance, including more than 231,000 patients in North Carolina, Learoyd said.
The bus tour will stop at several other North Carolina cities.
Dr. William Pilkington, director of the Cabarrus Health Alliance, will be out of town Wednesday.
“I hate that I’m going to miss the Beaver,” he said. “I grew up watching him.”