Archived Story

Progress: Freeborn County residents save thousands on prescriptions

Published 3:54pm Wednesday, May 2, 2012

FamilyWize prescription discount cards saved Freeborn County residents $63,675 in 2011, at a time when 41 percent of adults say it’s hard for their family to pay for medications.

Thousands of prescriptions go unfilled simply because they are too expensive to fill. But free FamilyWize prescription discount cards, provided by United Way of Freeborn County, address this problem. Last year, this partnership cuts residents’ costs of medicines by an average of 35 percent.

The FamilyWize card saves an average of $20 per prescription. Those savings oftentimes mean the difference between taking a medicine or skipping it.

United Way of Freeborn County is part of a nationwide grassroots effort in conjunction with FamilyWize Community Service Partnership. The free cards are accepted at 95 percent of pharmacies nationwide, including all major chains. Using a card to save on prescriptions doesn’t require enrollment or personal information, so they’re ready to use the minute you receive one, according to Dan Barnes, co-chairman of FamilyWize.

“This helps people who have no insurance the most, but it can also help people with insurance if it doesn’t cover their medicine,” Barnes said. “It’s easy, like using a coupon. Just take it to your local pharmacist, and they’ll know exactly what to do to automatically apply all the savings available to you.”

To get your FamilyWize discount card, call 507-373-8670 or visit www.unitedwayfc.org/familywize. Cards are also available at Curt’s Pharmacy, Hy-Vee Pharmacy, Shopko, Mayo Clinic Health System in Albert Lea, Sterling Drug, Walgreens and Walmart.

 

Important facts to know

• 16 percent of Americans weren’t able to fill a prescription in 2010 because of cost. That number is estimated at 21 percent for 2011.
• Patients not taking medicine as prescribed cost the U.S. health care system roughly $290 billion per year in extra treatment and related costs.
• Every dollar spent on medication decreases total health costs to patients, insurers and government health programs by about $10.10 for people with high blood pressure, $8.40 for congestive heart failure patients and $6.70 for those with diabetes.
• There were more than 100 million Americans in 2011 who were uninsured for all or part of the year — about 35 percent of the population.
• FamilyWize is free, does not require enrollment or personal information and is available to anyone. Discounts vary depending on the drug, but the program can save up to 75 percent. Average savings are 35 percent.