BUFFALO, N.Y. New Yorkers who lack prescription coverage or have trouble paying for the medication they need will now have a place to turn to for help. The state chapter of the Partnership for Prescription Assistance a nationwide initiative that brings together doctors, pharmaceutical companies, and other health-care providers was launched on Aug. 23 during a news conference in Buffalo. The partnership provides access to hundreds of patient-assistance programs, helping people select from more than 2,500 brand-name medicines and a wide range of generic drugs. Those in need may qualify to get prescriptions for free or at a very low cost, and receive help on how to contact government-assistance programs. "This program will help thousands of people across the state who lack prescription coverage get the medicines they need," said Dr. Kimberly Zammit, president-elect of the New York State Council of Healthcare System Pharmacists. Overall, its estimated that at least 2 million New Yorkers either lack coverage or have trouble affording their medications, said Andres Garcia, vice president for community and government affairs for Kaleida Health. Since the federal program was implemented this past spring, new state chapters have been established around the country. Under the initiative, consumers are matched with the assistance program that best fits their need. Trained specialists are also made available to guide patients through the application process. People may find out whether they qualify by calling 1-888-477-2669 or on the Internet at www.pparxny.org.