Access to affordable prescription drugs is one of the chief concerns of the elderly and others on fixed incomes. The weak economy has caused some people to lose their health insurance along with their jobs. Fortunately, Bradley County is in an economic recovery mode with more than 1,000 new jobs on the horizon in the next 24 months. However some Bradley County residents will continue to be impacted until the economy recovers and possibly forced to choose between buying food and filling a prescription.
That’s why the launch of the Bradley County Prescription Drug Discount Card Program in July 2009 was an important step in helping provide affordable prescription drugs. The card is jointly sponsored by Bradley County and the National Association of Counties (NACo) at no cost to county taxpayers. It provides discounts of up to 20 percent on prescriptions. Since its launch it is clear the Bradley County prescription drug discount program is filling a much-needed void in helping some citizens obtain their prescriptions.
In January 2011, NACo’s records show that 1,371 Bradley County citizens used the discount prescription drug card. That is a huge increase over the 150 people who used the card in July 2009. The records also show card users saved a combined total of $17,614.77 in January and an average of 16.34 percent off the retail price of the prescription.
The Bradley County Prescription Drug Discount Card is available to anyone. There is no enrollment form required, nothing to fill out and no personal information is gathered. Simply pick up your discount card at a participating pharmacy or from my office and begin using it immediately. Each card has a generic ID number so your personal information is not needed.
This innovative program is not insurance. Rather, it is a partnership between Bradley County, NACo and participating pharmacies to help patients save money on their prescription medications when their prescriptions are not covered by insurance. The cards may be used by all county residents, regardless of age, income or existing health coverage. There is no enrollment form, no membership fee and no restrictions or limits on frequency of use. Your entire family can use the same card.
Here’s how it works. The cardholder pays the negotiated discount price or the pharmacy’s retail price, whichever is lower. The average discount is 20 percent.
The program has a safety feature that alerts pharmacists when one drug may conflict with another medication the cardholder is taking, if the prescriptions were obtained with the Bradley County/NACo discount card.
The card can also be used when a Medicare Part D Plan doesn’t cover a drug.
I want to thank the more than 25 retail pharmacies in Bradley County who have signed on to honor the Bradley County/NACo prescription discount card. For a complete list of participating pharmacies, go to www.bradleyco.net, click on the Mayor’s page and look for the link to the discount drug card.
Pick up a card from my office or from a participating pharmacy and begin saving immediately on your prescription drugs.