Saratoga County signs up for drug discounts

Saratoga is joining 13 other counties around the state in offering its residents cards for discounted prescription drugs through Pro-Act, a subsidiary of Kinney Drugs, Inc. located in Liverpool.

The Saratoga County Board of Supervisors voted to enter into a contract with Pro-Act at their Tuesday, March 17, meeting, and once the details are finalized residents will simply receive a card in the mail, an event that Saratoga Springs Supervisor Joanne Yepsen hopes will be occurring in a matter of months.

Participants will have the potential of saving between 10 and 20 percent on brand-name drugs, and between 20 and 50 percent on generics. There is to be no cost to the county or to residents, who don't have to sign up for the card. Once it's received in the mail, they need only present it when filling a prescription, even outside of the county.

According to Pro-Act, more than 60,000 pharmacies nationwide accept the card.

All pharmacies will accept it, and the biggest benefit will come to those who are uninsured, said Yepsen, who spearheaded the effort through the Public Health Committee.

Schenectady County adopted the same plan last month. Other participating counties include Delaware, Franklin and Fulton. Albany County is putting out bids for a discount card program.

Kinney is a chain of 95 drug stores, and the drug discount card is an effort to drive traffic into pharmacies more than anything else. By selling more drugs, a pharmacy might also be able to purchase them in volume for a lower price.

Every resident of the county is set to receive a card, said Yepsen, and it will not be a one-time offer. Simply being a resident qualifies one for the card.

"Each supervisor will receive as many extra cards as they want to distribute to their constituents," said Yepsen.

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