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Saratoga County drug discount program rolls out

Cards that provide discounts on prescription drugs have started going out to Saratoga County residents, as part of a plan approved by county leaders that is aimed at providing up to a 20 percent discount on brand-name drugs and up to a 50 percent discount on generics.

The county signed a contract with Pro-Act, a subsidiary of Kinney Drugs, in March, and Pro-Act's Michael Maenza came before the Board of Supervisors on Tuesday, Sept. 15, to present an update and urge county and local officers to promote the program.

Maenza said that about 91,000 informational mailings have gone out since the program began earlier this month. Many residents unaware of the plan have contacted local and county offices seeking information, and Maenza asked that such inquiries be directed to Pro-Act's help line, which has fielded 400 calls so far.

We are in the business of administering this program. We can answer those questions, he said.

Twenty-three other New York counties participate in the Pro-Act plan, and judging from Saratoga's size and population, Maenza said he expected about 1,500 new cards to be taken out every month for the first year of the program, which will be used to lower the cost on 3,000 prescriptions for about $100,000 in collective monthly savings.

The card can be used at most area pharmacies, and is not specific to the cardholder. In other words, information about the cardholder or the prescriptions bought is not collected.

Neither the county or residents have to pay to participate; the cost of the discount is assumed by the pharmacy in hopes of attracting other business, Maenza said.

"The pharmacies are paying for this. They are sacrificing their margins for this," he said. "They statistically know thatthey're going to see increased foot traffic in the store."

Residents who have not received a card or mailing can contact the county offices or visit Pro-Act's Web site, www.proactrx.com, where there is more information on the program and a printable card.""

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