By Kyle LoJacono
Betty Weymouth spends between $150 and $300 for her bi-monthly trip to fill her four prescription medications.
The Wesley Chapel resident suffers from high blood pressure, joint pain and breathing problems. It has become difficult for her to maintain her prescription drug regimen, but a new Pasco County program will make things a little easier.
Points of Care, which started Feb. 1, allows Pasco residents to save from 10 to 50 percent off their prescriptions, diabetes materials, hearing aids and other medical supplies. There are no qualifications for age, income or pre-existing conditions.
Scott Stromer, Pasco County’s purchasing director, said the program was created for those who do not have prescription drug coverage with their health insurance, or in Weymoth’s case, if there are medications not covered.
“The board of county commissioners actively sought a program at no expense to the county that reduces prescription costs for residents and generates revenue to support the Human Services Division,” Stromer said. “First and foremost, the program is designed to help residents save money, especially those who are unable to secure insurance or experiencing financial difficulties in the current economic environment.”
Universal Rx will administer the program.
“We are excited to help the residents of Pasco County save money on prescription medications,” said Jan Sessor, president of Universal Rx. “During difficult economic times, savings is important and can mean the difference of prescriptions being purchased or not each month. We are confident that our savings program will make a difference for the people in Pasco County, and more importantly, bring a little relief to the high cost of medications.”
Weymouth, 68, was very happy to hear about the new program.
“Oh that’s a Godsend,” Weymouth said. “Sometimes I wonder if I’ll have enough. My husband and I are both retired and this will really help.”
The county did have a plan to help with prescription costs as part of the National Association of Counties, but it was dropped to save money to place the current budget.
The new agreement will actually earn the county money, $1.52 per prescription filled. Stromer said the county expects to raise as much as $250,000 per year with the program. Money raised will go to Pasco’s human services department to help needy families pay their electricity and other bills.
Residents can visit www.PascoRxCard.com to print a card, which is free, that will let them participate. The cards can also be picked up at any county community services office or library.
Once they have a card, people just have to present it at one of the more than 45,000 participating pharmacies nationwide, including CVS, Kmart, Publix, Sam’s Club, Sweetbay, Target, Walgreens, Wal-Mart and Winn-Dixie.
For more information on the program, call (727) 847-2411.