Area residents saved over $650,000 in prescription drug costs, thanks to a partnership between United Way of North Central Massachusetts and FamilyWize, which provides residents with free prescription discount cards.
"Lowering the cost of prescription drugs allows more people to get the medicines that they may not be able to afford," said Phil Grzewinski of United Way of North Central Massachusetts. "The amount patients save on the cost of complications, disease progression and additional health-related expenses are far greater than just the savings on the medicine."
United Way of North Central Massachusetts initiated the partnership with FamilyWize in 2008; its mission is to reduce the cost of prescriptions through its drug discount cards, which are available throughout the country at over 50,000 community- and faith-based organizations, agencies, doctors, pharmacies and companies.
Grzewinski added that a recent report, the 2011 Health Affairs Study, found that every dollar a patient spends on prescription drugs to treat heart disease and diabetes saves $3 to $10 on other medical services.
"The FamilyWize card provides immediate savings on prescription medicines and can make a difference in staying healthy. We hope everyone will help spread the word to family and friends about this important free help," said Ellen Imber, vice president community outreach for the FamilyWize Community Service Partnership.
Savings on medications can be as much as 75 percent with the free FamilyWize prescription discount card. The card requires no enrollment or activation. Consumers simply give the card to their pharmacists, and discounts are automatically applied, if applicable.
"The cards can be used by everyone in the community, not just people without insurance," Grzewinski said. "They can even be used by people with insurance who have high deductibles or take medicine not covered by their plan, or by people with Medicaid or Medicare when their prescription isn't covered."
The FamilyWize-United Way Card is free and requires no personal information, can be used immediately and unlimited, by anyone, at every chain pharmacy and most independent pharmacies.
To obtain a card, contact United Way of North Central Massachusetts at 978-345-1577 or text "family" to 700700 for a text version of the card or visit www.FamilyWize.org to print a card and compare discounted drug prices at the different participating pharmacies.