Tool Lets Patients Find Medications at Lowest Cost Using the Discount Card
FamilyWize® Community Service Partnership, Inc., the nation's leading provider of free prescription drug discount cards, unveiled a new shopping tool today on its familywize.org website. This new drug lookup lets patients compare prescription costs using the FamilyWize discount card at different pharmacies located within or nearest to a user's zip code.
“We want to make sure the people who use our prescription discount card have easy access to everything they need to save as much as possible on their prescriptions,” said Carol Brian, VP of Partner Support at FamilyWize. “Most pharmacists can’t quote prices over the phone and it really is important to comparison shop because, even with our discounts, prices do vary by pharmacy.”
The FamilyWize free prescription discount card offers savings as high as 75% or more off the price of prescriptions for people who are uninsured or who take medicine that isn’t covered by insurance, Medicaid or Medicare. To date, the amount saved by users of the FamilyWize Rx discount card exceeds $450 million.
When money is tight, comparison-shopping can help consumers avoid having to choose between purchasing medications and buying other necessities, Brian said, adding that among leading established prescription discount card providers, FamilyWize is the only one that offers users a means of shopping for prescription drugs based on the same real-time pricing process that pharmacists use.
Other cards either don’t provide a comparison-pricing tool, or they use estimated or averaged prices making it difficult if not impossible to calculate actual savings, Brian said, adding that unlike other cards, by not paying counties, organizations or business partners a fee when the prescription discount card is used, FamilyWize is able to provide the lowest possible prices to the consumers who need this help the most.
Since 75% of US healthcare spending goes to treat chronic diseases like asthma, diabetes, and heart disease, pharmacists say adherence to prescribed dosages is vital to minimizing medical complications, emergency room visits, and hospitalizations.
Sharon Galzarano, a Washington, D.C.-based pharmacist of 20 years, warns that “Patients can end up hospitalized or their medical condition can worsen because they did not take their medications as their health care providers directed.”
According to the non-profit New England Health Institute, non-adherence to prescription regimens costs the US as much as $290 billion a year, or 13% of total healthcare expenditures.
Other studies suggest anywhere from one-third to one-half of all patients don’t take their medicines as prescribed. A recent survey by CVS pharmacists cites cost as the number one reason for non-adherence.
A 2012 survey by Kaiser Family Foundation, a private foundation focusing on the major health care issues, found that 60% of uninsured respondents didn’t fill a prescription, skipped doses, or cut pills in half without discussing such choices with their doctors or pharmacists.
While 80% of the millions of people who are uninsured have at least one working adult in the family, most still have lower than average incomes. 38% have annual incomes of $23,070 or less for a family of four. Filling prescriptions is only one of their concerns and many face the painful choice of getting medicine, buying food, or paying for rent or utilities.
As part of its commitment to making a difference in the lives of those who need help, Brian said, FamilyWize also has introduced a new Community Resource area to its website that helps users find free or low-cost health clinics as well as food, rent, mortgage and utility assistance in every state and Puerto Rico.
More than five million people have saved an average of 37% on their prescriptions using the FamilyWize discount card but millions more have no idea that help is available by downloading the free card from nearly 1,000 participating United Ways nationwide or from www.familywize.org
The FamilyWize Community Service Partnership was established in 2005 to help people get the medicine they need. Today, more than 50,000 community agencies, coordinated by nearly1,000 participating United Ways and America’s Promise Alliance Partners in all 50 states coordinate local distribution of the free FamilyWize prescription drug discount cards, which lower the cost of medicine by up to 75%. As of December 2012, the free FamilyWize cards have helped more than five million people save over $450 million. For more information, visit FamilyWize.org/about-us.