FamilyWize and the United Way team up to combat nation’s mental health problems and help millions in need of prescription assistance
Partnership enabled $197 million in national savings on mental health medication
Bethlehem, Pa., July 8, 2014 – With the ongoing increase in efforts to effectively address mental health nationwide, FamilyWize Community Service Partnership, Inc. and the United Way have teamed together on a prescription savings program that has helped people throughout the U.S. save $197 million on prescription medications they otherwise might not have been able to afford.
More than one in five U.S. adults suffers from mental health issues, while one in 10 young adults experience a period of significant depression, according to MentalHealth.gov. One in 20 Americans lives with a serious mental illness, such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder or major depression.
As part of May’s recognition of National Mental Health Awareness Month, President Obama issued a proclamation addressing the growing issue of mental illness in the nation.
“Over the course of a year, one in five adults will experience a mental illness, yet less than half will receive treatment. Because this is unacceptable, my Administration is fighting to make mental health care more accessible than ever,” Obama’s proclamation read, in part.
FamilyWize, a unique national community service initiative offering free prescription assistance to millions of Americans, is dedicated to reducing the cost of prescription medicine for individuals and families through distribution of prescription savings cards. Its partnership with the United Way extends the opportunity for people in need of prescription assistance to receive a FamilyWize card through community agencies and partners, in addition to accessing the card directly through FamilyWize.org.
Since 2005, FamilyWize and the United Way have helped 7 million people nationwide save nearly $700 million on the medicines – including $197 million in mental health prescription cost-savings – they need to live healthier, more productive lives.
“Mental health is a key component in overall health and wellbeing and for some, prescription medicine is crucial for maintaining that health. Yet for many uninsured and underinsured individuals the high costs often act as a barrier,” said Dan Barnes, FamilyWize’s CEO. “People should not have to choose between taking their medication and paying for a meal, and our partnership with the United Way helps more people not have to face that decision.”
Failure to take prescribed medicine is an ongoing problem with mental illness treatment.
Not taking antipsychotics as directed is likely the single-biggest factor “contributing to psychotic relapse and hospitalization,” according to a study published in the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry. And the average rate of non-adherence is about 50 percent, according to the Journal of Clinical Psychopharmacology.
"United Way is focusing on creating opportunity for all by improving health, education and financial stability,” said Stacey Stewart, U.S. president of United Way Worldwide. “Our partnership with FamilyWize helps us advance that cause, and 1,000 United Ways across America are helping people be healthier and more productive."
As the only prescription assistance service of its kind to pass through 100 percent of its savings directly to its members, FamilyWize brings together millions of uninsured and underinsured individuals and families into one umbrella-buying group to negotiate these discounts.
The average discount is 40 percent and is sometimes as much as 75 percent or more – similar to what pharmacies give the largest insurance companies and employers.
The FamilyWize no enrollment or activation. Consumers give the card to their pharmacist every time a prescription is needed and discounts are automatically applied. The FamilyWize card is accepted at more than 60,000 pharmacies nationwide, including CVS, Walgreens, Rite Aid, Kmart, Target and Walmart. For more information, or to download a free prescription card or compare the discounted price of prescriptions at nearby pharmacies, visit www.FamilyWize.org.
The FamilyWize Community Service Partnership was established in 2005 to help all people get the medicine they need. Today, more than 80,000 community agencies, thousands of United Ways and the America’s Promise Alliance Partners coordinate local distribution of the free FamilyWize prescription drug discount card, which lowers the cost of medicine as much as 75% or more. The free FamilyWize cards have helped 7 million people save almost $700 million. For more information, visit familyWize.org/about-us.
About United Way
United Way is a worldwide movement of nearly 1,800 community-based United Ways in 41 countries and territories. It advances the common good by focusing on education, income and health – the building blocks for a good quality life. The United Way movement mobilizes millions to action – to give, advocate and volunteer – to improve conditions in their local community. For more information about United Way, please visit: www.UnitedWay.org.
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