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September 23, 2009 > Drug discount program offers savings on prescription medications

Drug discount program offers savings on prescription medications

By Meenu Gupta

Alameda County residents can now take advantage of discounts on prescription medications. Irrespective of income, age, health status any county resident can participate in the program. Coast2Coast Rx card will be available for residents at most participating pharmacies. Savings can vary but in 2008, the average savings for Coast2Coast Rx cardholders and their families was 38%. Over 60,000 drugs are included in the formulary. "I believe the Coast2Coast card can only be used on prescription drugs, and does not cover off the shelf drugs," said Health & Social Services Policy Analyst, Josh Thurman.

Alameda County began distributing the cards on August 25, and within three days over 400 Alameda County residents used the Coast2Coast card to save money on prescription drugs. Providing savings for residents through the Rx program will come at no expense to Alameda County. Financial Marketing Concepts (FMC) takes care of printing and other costs associated with distributing the Rx card. Not only will Alameda County residents and their families save on prescription drugs by using the discount Rx card, Alameda County will receive a royalty of seventy five cents ($.75) per prescription filled. The royalty does not increase pricing to consumers as it is part of a dispensing fee charged by all pharmacies whether a person has insurance or not. "We are estimating the royalty will generate between $20,000 - $40,000 annually," said Thurman.

All money generated from the royalty will return to health care programs. "With healthcare costs on the rise, prescription drug discounts will help ease some of the financial burdens Alameda County families are facing at a time when they need it the most," said Supervisor Scott Haggerty. The card can be obtained at all of the Alameda County Libraries including the Fremont Main Library, health clinics, and most pharmacies. Residents and family members will also be able to print the Rx card, check their prescription prices and view the nearest participating locations at www.coast2coastrx.com/alamedaca.

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