Discount Prescription Cards

Written by Sarah Provost
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In response to the spiraling costs of pharmaceuticals, discount prescription cards have proliferated widely in the last several years. Some are sponsored by the drug manufacturers themselves. Some are offered by employers to replace their current prescription programs. Others come from private corporations, and still others from federal, state or local governmental bodies.

Discount prescription programs offered by pharmaceutical companies are usually restricted to specific drugs. Typically, these are brand-name drugs for which the patent has expired. With generic drugs available at a lower cost, this discount is designed to ensure brand loyalty.

Private Companies Can Negotiate Bulk Discounts

Discount prescription cards are offered by private companies, who charge a fee for their programs. They are then able to offer discounts ranging from 10 to 50 percent on covered medications. They make their profit by negotiating a lower cost with the pharmaceutical companies, then acting as a broker and passing some of that discount on to you. These programs might make sense for you if the discount adds up to more than the annual fees.

Governmental programs are usually designed for senior citizens or the disabled. There are also some programs for those with lower incomes. They are underwritten by tax dollars, and are free of charge to consumers. The paperwork can be daunting, though. The Department of Aging has instituted a series of outreach programs to educate seniors about benefits available to them. You can also access their website for help in discovering the programs for which you might be eligible.


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