Locals may get cheaper medications | VailDaily.com

Locals may get cheaper medications

Melanie Wong
Vail, CO Colorado

EAGLE COUNTY ” A trip to the pharmacy can be expensive, but a new discount program will lower the cost of prescription medications for many Eagle County residents.

Once the program is in place, uninsured residents will be able to present a card at participating pharmacies and receive anywhere from 13 to 35 percent off their prescriptions.

Average savings are 20 percent, and the discount cards are accepted at more than 57,000 pharmacies nationwide. County officials said they hope the program will be up and running in about a month.

The discounts are available to residents of any age, income, or health status, unless they already have a prescription drug coverage plan, said County Commissioner Peter Runyon.

However, if someone with an existing drug plan needs a medication that is not covered, they may be able to use the discount, too, he said.

Runyon said the county heard about the program, which is free to all members of the National Association of Counties, six months ago and began looking into it.

“I’ve talked to other participating counties about this, and it really is what it purports to be ” a 20 percent discount for the uninsured on drug bills,” Runyon said. “This is a no brainer.”

Right now the county is getting the discount cards ready to distribute and talking to local pharmacies. Most major pharmacies, including City Market, Costco and Wal-Mart should be included in the program, said county communications director Justin Finestone.

According to the program’s Web site, residents can get up to 50 percent discounts on mail-order prescriptions, and generic drugs will be e discounted mor than brand-name medications. The list of medications and participating pharmacies can be found on the program’s Web site.

The discount program is especially helpful for the county, since many families struggle with high health costs and lack of insurance, Runyon said.

“It’s the case with everybody. You start spending more and more money on health care. Whatever we need to do to lessen that burden, we’re going to go for it,” he said.

Staff Writer Melanie Wong can be reached at 748-2928 or mwong@vaildaily.com.

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