Davis County Approves Discount Drug Cards

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FARMINGTON, Utah (AP) -- Davis County has approved a prescription-drug card program for residents that is said to provide an average saving of nearly 20 percent to cardholders.

County commissioners on Tuesday approved an agreement with AdvancePCS Health LP and the National Association of Counties to provide the cards.

The cards should be available within two months, said Andrew Goldschmidt, director of membership/marketing for the association, which represents 2,000 counties, including every county in Utah.

The cards have no cost to taxpayers.

The program is funded through transaction fees paid by pharmacies to Caremark Rx Inc., the parent company of AdvancePCS, said company spokesman Dale Thomas.

"We get the revenue, and in return they get the traffic in their stores," Thomas said.

Cardholders simply present their card at participating pharmacies to get an immediate discount on prescription medications. There are more than 57,000 participating pharmacies nationwide, including all major chains, Thomas said.

The program was implemented following a one-year trial in 17 counties around the country. All NACo-member counties can provide the cards to their residents.

In Davis County, the cards will be administered through the health department. Any resident of Davis County can get a card, and there are no income guidelines.

The program will be of most benefit to uninsured and underinsured residents, but even people with some prescription drug insurance coverage or Medicaid may find greater discounts through the card, said Commissioner Dannie McConkie, who also serves as a board member for NACo.

The county could also save money on prescriptions for inmates at the county jail.

Most inmate prescription drugs are bought wholesale at an already discounted price, but the jail sometimes buys the drugs at pharmacies, said medical supervisor James Ondricek.

(Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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