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County Rx discount card saves residents $500 million
November 14th, 2012
WASHINGTON and WOONSOCKET, R.I. – Residents in counties that participate in the National Association of Counties (NACo) Prescription Discount Card Program have saved over $500 million on their medications since the initiative's launch in 2004, according to data from NACo and CVS Caremark.
More than 1,400 counties nationwide partake in the program, and the average savings per transaction is about 24%, which can add up over time for many families, NACo and CVS said Wednesday.
Administered by CVS Caremark, the Rx discount card is designed to make prescriptions more afforable for uninsured and underinsured consumers. Any resident of a participating county can use the card, regardless of age, income or existing health conditions. All commonly prescribed prescription drugs, including many pet medications, are eligible for a discount.
The card is accepted by a national network of 65,000 pharmacies, including major retail pharmacy operators such as CVS/pharmacy, Walgreens, Rite Aid, Walmart, Giant and Safeway as well as independent pharmacies.
"This program puts cash back into consumers' pockets thanks to their county government and the National Association of Counties," NACo president Chris Rodgers, commissioner of Douglas County, Neb., said in a statement. "Saving American consumers more than $500 million on their prescription costs is an enormous milestone for our program, and NACo is extremely proud of this result."
NACo noted that significant savings have been realized in many counties. For example, savings total $24.3 million in Montgomery County, Md.; $15.9 million in Indianapolis/Marion County, Ind.; $10 million in Snohomish County, Wash.; $7.2 million in Wake County, N.C.; $6.5 million in Maricopa County, Ariz.; $6.2 million in Palm Beach County, Fla.; $2.8 million in Fulton County, Ga.; and $1.9 million in Cook County, Ill.
Rural counties with populations under 50,000 have tallied savings as well: $546,000 in Culpeper County, Va.; $341,000 in Buffalo County, Neb., $184,000 in Baxter County, Ark.; $179,000 in Brookings County, S.D.; and $119,000 in Humboldt County, Iowa. Also, outside the continental U.S., more than $609,000 was saved in Kenai Peninsula Borough, Alaska, and residents in Honolulu City/County, Hawaii saved more than $3.6 million.
"We recognize that medication adherence can positively affect an individual's overall health, while also helping to reduce overall health care costs," stated Jon Roberts, president of the pharmacy benefit management (PBM) business at CVS Caremark. "The NACo Prescription Discount Card Program helps reduce the cost of medications — one of the most frequently cited barriers to taking medications as prescribed — and is one example of the many programs we administer to help support medication adherence and help people on their path to better health."
Created in late 2004, the NACo Prescription Drug Discount Card Program began as a 17-county pilot in partnership with CVS Caremark to provide a membership benefit to counties. The NACo Board of Directors made the program available to members nationwide in May 2005.