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County looks at prescription discount plan

According to the 2006 U.S. Census report, 47 million Americans at that time had no prescription drug coverage. With that in mind, a Lawrence County Commissioner has offered a way to help Lawrence Countians better afford the drugs they need, regardless of whether they have health insurance.

Commissioner Les Boggs wants the county to take advantage of a discount program sponsored by the National Association of Counties (NACo) and administered through CVS Caremark. He explained his plan Thursday to his fellow commissioners at their meeting.

Boggs said any county resident may use the discount program, regardless of income or whether they have health insurance.

He expressed concern that some residents must split pills or prescriptions in order to afford them and others must choose between buying food and filling prescriptions because they don’t have enough money for both. Still others have insurance but it is limited, or capped and others may have health insurance and drug coverage but may take drugs not covered under their drug plan.

Boggs said the average savings on prescriptions is 23 percent. The average savings on a prescription after using the card is $13.10.

“Using the NACo prescription discount card is easy,” Boggs said. “A cardholder will simply present it at a participating pharmacy.

There is no enrollment form, no membership fee and no restrictions on limits or frequency of use. Cardholders and their families may use the card any time their prescriptions are not covered by insurance.”

Boggs said more than 15 pharmacies in Lawrence County will accept the card.

Boggs stressed there is no cost to the county or consumer. There are no enrollment fees and it will not cost the county any money.

The cost of the program is paid through contracts between Caremark and participating pharmacies.

“There is no downside to this whatsoever,” Boggs said.

The discounts apply to both mail-in orders and those picked up at a local pharmacy.

Boggs said once the plan is established in Lawrence County, Caremark will call area pharmacies to alert them to the new program. It could be in effect as early as Oct. 1.

The commission Thursday agreed to forward the plan to the prosecutor’s office for review before giving its approval.

Information about where and when to get a discount card will be available in the near future if the commission approves the idea.

The NACo plan was begun in 2005 with 17 participating counties in several states. It now has 1,100 participating counties and more than 60 participating pharmacies.

Thirteen of Ohio’s 88 counties are now members of the program.