Keeping costs of prescriptions down

By KAITLYN NAPLES
STAFF WRITER
Since the inception of the FamilyWize Prescription Discount Program in 2009, 3,675 individuals in the areas of Bristol, Plainville, Burlington, and Plymouth/Terryville have saved over $470,000 on prescriptions, a number that is constantly increasing.
The FamilyWize Prescription Discount Program is distributed locally through the United Way of West Central Connecticut, and is a nation-wide program that benefits individuals who are underinsured, or uninsured.
Colleen Bolingbroke, director of Marketing and Community Relations at the United Way of West Central Connecticut, said the program lowers the cost of medicine by an average of 35 percent or more, for individuals who don’t have insurance or take medications that aren’t covered by their insurance plan. All individuals do is present the FamilyWize card at a local participating pharmacy, and customers save on the cost of their prescription 80 percent of the time. Local participating pharmacies include: Arrow Pharmacy, CVS Pharmacy, Price Chopper Pharmacy, Rite Aid Pharmacy, Stop & Shop Pharmacy, Walgreens Pharmacy and Wal-Mart Pharmacy.
According to the FamilyWize website, the program benefits pharmacies in three ways: FamilyWize directs people with FamilyWize cards to their stores; people are able to fill more of their prescriptions because of the savings; people often buy other things when they go into the store to get their prescriptions.
“The discounts and savings on medications are provided voluntarily by the more than 61,000 participating pharmacies that have agreed to provide prices similar to what they give large insurance companies and employers,” the program’s website stated.
For customers, there are no requirements to obtain a card, and they are  available via the United Way of West Central Connecticut and through the FamilyWize website, which also states that the program has saved $571 million nationwide, helping over 6 million people.
As of September this year, there have been 12,306 claims that have saved residents $273,984. In Plainville, there have been 7,840 claims, with a recorded savings of $171,576.
“United Way is involved locally with distributing these cards because we see the benefits, both through our Health work and our Income work,” Bolingbroke said in an email. “In addition to prescription savings, ensuring that people get the medications that are prescribed to them encourages medical adherence and prevents hospital readmissions. In terms of financial stability, it helps to decrease medical costs and bankruptcies and it helps those who are uninsured or underinsured.”
The card is free, easy to use, can be used immediately upon obtaining it, and for an unlimited number of times. There is no enrollment paperwork or personal information needed and it can be used by everyone in the country.
People with internet access can go to www.uwwestcentralct.org or to www.FamilyWize.org to print a card, look up prescription prices and obtain a list of participating pharmacies.
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