Prescription Drug Discount Cards 
Yes, They Really Save Money and for Many - Lots of it.

Millions of Americans have to pay top dollar for their medications because they have no prescription insurance or they are not part of a large organization that provides their employees with a comprehensive medical insurance plan that includes prescription drug coverage. The people that can afford it the least are charged the most. In fact, over 48 million Americans have no health insurance. 

If you are not insured or your health insurance does not cover medications, the best alternative is a prescription drug discount card. In some cases these cards are more effective than many insurance plans or at least more comprehensive in that they provide discounts on medications not covered by insurance plans. In fact, they provide discounts on every prescription drug approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. That obviously includes any drug your doctor may prescribe. Smoking cessation medications, sexual potency and diabetes supplies are examples of medications that are not normally covered by insurance but can be obtained at greatly reduced rates by presenting the card to your pharmacist. If your insurance requires high co-pays, ask the pharmacist if the drug card will save you money. That is sometimes the case.  And let’s not forget about the Medicade “donut hole.” You can use the cards while you are in it. 

Many people require very expensive medications. Obtaining insurance coverage can become a serious problem and/or very expensive when there is a pre-existing condition. Discount cards can save up to 85% on prescription drugs at over 80% of the pharmacies in the United States and averages 15% on brand names and 55% on generics. These cards can be used over and over by all family members and friends; everyone qualifies.

Organizations such as National Benefits Builders Inc. (highest possible rating by the Better Business Bureau of A+) through their Community Assistance Program have negotiated these discounts with the pharmaceutical companies that manufacture the drugs. Over the past five years practically every one of the pharmaceutical companies have subscribed to the program. They can afford to.
In the annual Fortune 500 survey, the pharmaceutical industry topped the list of the most profitable industries, with a return of 17% on revenue. The high price of prescription drugs is one of the major areas of discussion in the U.S. health care reform debate. Over 80% of the pharmacies in the U.S. have fallen in line as well. They are aware that many of the drug card distributers provide a prescription “look up” capability on their web sites that will allow anyone to locate local pharmacies and price their medications at each pharmacy. Many people are not aware that there can be significant price differences between pharmacies. Shop the pharmacies and save even more money. Hopefully, as the public catches on, the competitive factors will contribute to lower pharmacy mark ups.

The process is very simple with many distributors. Their web sites will allow you to print your card. It doesn’t even have to be printed on card stock. Plain paper will work just as well. It is the Rx bin number and Rx group number that provide the discounts. Just hand it to your pharmacist when you pick up your prescription and their computer will determine your savings.

The bottom line is almost everyone who visits a doctor will find an application for these cards at some point in time. There is even a separate card for your pets. The cards are free. You just provide a space in your wallet so that the next time you are leaving the doctor’s office and going directly to the pharmacy, you don’t have to wonder if you would have saved money if you had the card to present to the pharmacist.

P
rint your free prescription drug discount card at http://www.usarx.org. It is ready for the pharmacist when you are. If economic conditions have reduced your income to the point where you can no longer afford your medications even with a discount card, this site will also assist you in applying for a community assistance program that will make most of the more expensive medications. affordable. Michael Roche, the author of this article is pleased to answer your inquiries at mikeroche01@gmail.com

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Prescription Drug Discount Cards
A Fundraising Vehicle for Non-Profit Associations


If your organization is looking for a charitable fundraiser that provides significant value to your membership and generates a steady stream of revenue for the organization you may want to consider distributing prescription drug cards as part of your strategy for 2011. A high percentage of your members will consider it splendid gift that adds value to their membership.

These cards are legitimate and they are FREE. When card holders present the discount card to their pharmacist they will receive a discount of up to 85% on their medications. Discounts average 15% on brand name drugs and 55% on generics. Over 80% of the pharmacies in the U.S. participate in this program. The discounts are provided by the drug manufacturer and they are highly motivated to continue to do so. Until recently, the general public has only been marginally exposed to this savings vehicle. The drug manufacturers have been providing discounts on their medications through healthcare organizations for over five years and it appears that unless there is a major change brought about by healthcare reform, the discounts will be available for the foreseeable future. With the exception of the possibility of assistance from the pharmaceutical companies for those in the Medicare “donut hole”, the Health Care Reform Bill does not address any changes that would affect the value of the prescription drug cards.

Who benefits from these programs?
     In addition to the uninsured and under insured, almost everyone will have occasion to save money at the pharmacy by presenting their discount card at some point in time - even the well insured. It provides discounts on every prescription medication approved by the Federal Drug Administration including many that are not covered by insurance plans. Smoking cessation medications, sexual potency and diabetes supplies are examples of medications that are not normally covered by insurance but can be obtained at greatly reduced rates by presenting the card to a pharmacist. These cards can be a true salvation to those in the Medicare “donut hole”.

How does the fundraiser work?
    Not every drug card distributor offers a fundraiser program but the ones that do make it very easy to implement. The distributor supplies the organization with plastic cards “branded” to your specifications. The only cost to the organization is the printing charge. You distribute the cards to your membership through any channels that apply. Each time your member fills a prescription; your organization receives a donation from the distributor. The donation is small but it is a game of numbers. Good news travels fast. The members can refer their family, friends and relatives to a designated web site to print a card and the association receives donations from their use as well. There is even a discount card for their pets.

As fundraisers go, this one meets all of the criteria. It provides significant value to the membership, no substantial cost to the association, no creditability risk to the association, residual income that “multiplies” through members referring others, and once introduced to the members, the program requires zero maintenance.