10,514 Area Residents Save $998,638 on Prescriptions Through FamilyWize Drug Discount Card Partnership

United Way of the Dutchess-Orange Region and FamilyWize Community Service Partnership, a provider of free prescription drug discount cards, report that 10,514 area residents have saved $998,638 on their medications since 2006 through the use of cards.

FamilyWize essentially acts like a huge consumer group buying service for the uninsured and underinsured. The discounts and savings on medications are given voluntarily by the more than 61,000 participating pharmacies throughout the country that provide prices similar to what they give large insurance companies and employers. In Dutchess and Orange counties, many independent pharmacies and chains such as Rite Aid, Walgreens and CVS as well as retail and grocery stores with in-house pharmacies like Hannaford, Stop & Shop, Price Chop and Target participate in the plan.

“Through United Way’s partnering with FamilyWize we are able to assist many of our neighbors who are struggling to pay for the medications they or their family need,” said United Way of the Dutchess-Orange Region President and CEO Don Hammond. “Often people have to make the hard choice between paying for a prescription or buying food or paying for other necessities. The card aids their economic stability as well as helps ensure that they and their children maintain or regain their health.”

United Way of the Dutchess-Orange Region along with 1,000 other local United Ways have helped more than 5 million people in more than 95 percent of all U.S. counties since the program was founded in 2005. Use of the card accounts for more than $500 million in direct savings on prescriptions, reports FamilyWize.

Dan Barnes, president and CEO of FamilyWize, noted the significance of reaching the $500 million milestone, explaining that, “We set an ambitious goal for our partnership - to help families save $1 billion on the cost of medicines by the end of 2015. Now we’re halfway there.”

The discount card can be used for any Food and Drug Administration approved medication at most pharmacies. Savings by are often as high as 75 percent off the price that would be paid without it, with an average savings of about $20 per prescription. There are no age or income restrictions on getting the free card, and no enrollment or personal information is needed. Cards can be printed by going to the United Way website at www.uwdor.org. Or, you can text “family” to 700700 for a card on your phone and show the text message to your pharmacist. Discounts are available immediately and there is no limit to the card’s use.

“We provide the free FamilyWize prescription discount cards to local social service agencies, faith-based organizations, schools, community centers, local government and healthcare providers so everyone can get the medicine they need,” said Hammond. “United Way of the Dutchess-Orange Region is committed to removing the barriers for safe and healthy life choices. By providing the discount cards remove a barrier to much needed medications for many of our neighbors.”