County signs contract for discount drug card

With the uncertain economy, an aging population and the ever-rising costs of pharmaceuticals, Schenectady County has signed an agreement with ProAct, Inc., that could help Schenectady County residents save money on prescription drugs.

The Schenectady County Legislature entered into the contract with ProAct, Inc., at its Tuesday, Oct. 14, meeting.

The plan is for discount drug cards to be distributed to every family in the county via mail.

I think this is an excellent program for the people in Schenectady County, said county legislator and area physician Brian Gordon, D-Niskayuna, in an interview before the meeting.

The program offers county residents what has been described as a hassle-free way to save money on prescription drugs. There are no enrollment forms to fill out, no membership fees and no income requirements.

There is also no cost to county residents, taxpayers or participating pharmacies, according to legislators.

"It's really a win-win for everyone," said County Legislator Martin Finn, D-Niskayuna.

"All county residents can take advantage of it," said Finn.

The card provides a break of anywhere from 10 to 50 percent, depending on the drug. It will mainly benefit consumers who don't have prescription drug coverage through their health insurance, or citizens who have a specific prescription drug that is not covered through their health plan.

The card is not eligible for use in conjunction with other prescription plans and won't discount co-pays.

The cards aren't user specific. "As a physician, it's very common for us to have patients with multiple medical problems that are receiving care but are unable to afford the prescriptions that are prescribed [to them]," said Gordon.

"This program should help promote the overall health of the residents of Schenectady County while decreasing the financial burden to the individual patient," said Gordon.

ProAct, Inc., which is a subsidiary of Kinney Drugs, a company located in Central New York, is a pharmacy benefits company that makes a profit from the increased business at pharmacies that they hope comes from the distribution of these cards. Through the increased business at participating pharmacies, drug manufacturers are able to lower prices.

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