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City of Seattle promotes efforts to lower prescription drug costs for uninsured residents

City of Seattle promotes efforts to
lower prescription drug costs for uninsured residents

Mayor, Councilmember highlight new National League of Cities discount card
and Washington Prescription Drug Program

SEATTLE – The City of Seattle today promoted a new program to help provide residents with some relief from the high cost of prescription medications. Through the new program sponsored by the National League of Cities (NLC) the City is making free prescription discount cards available to Seattle residents. The discount cards offer residents an average of 23 percent savings off the retail price of prescription medications. The City also promoted the Washington Prescription Drug Program, an existing program for those who need prescription medications that are not covered by insurance. Residents may enroll in both programs. There are 195,000 uninsured adults in Seattle and King County.

The Washington Prescription Drug Program (WPDP) was created by the legislature at the request of Governor Gregoire in 2007. Any resident of Washington State can enroll in WPDP and get a discount card; the program is meant for people who need prescription medications that are not covered by insurance – the uninsured or underinsured. According to the State, there are currently about 180,000 people enrolled, with a collective savings of $21 million on prescription drugs. Enrollment can be done online at http://www.rx.wa.gov/. Residents can also call 18009134146 or fill out a paper application.

The NLC Prescription Discount Card can also be used by all residents of Seattle and has no restrictions based on a resident’s age, income level, or existing health coverage. The card can be used at most major pharmacy chains and independent pharmacies in and around Seattle, as well as at more than 60,000 participating retail pharmacies across the country.

“These programs can help those in need of relief from high health care costs,” said Mayor Mike McGinn. “I thank the National League of Cities for their assistance in bringing this new program to Seattle. And I thank Councilmember Rasmussen for his leadership on the City Council on this issue.”

“Not all Seattle residents have health insurance, or prescription drug insurance benefits that fully meet their needs”, said Councilmember Rasmussen. “By having the City of Seattle participate in this program, I expect that people will realize some savings on the costs of their health care.”

Residents can obtain a free NLC Prescription Discount Card in a number of ways. They can print them www.caremark.com/nlc . Residents can also use www.caremark.com/nlc to locate the nearest participating pharmacy or call tollfree at 1.888.620.1749 for assistance with the program.

“We’re pleased to have joined forces with Seattle to help their residents by offering a program that provides significant cost savings and is easy to use,” said Marc Shapiro, Program Director, National League of Cities. “We hope that the Prescription Discount Card program brings to residents welcome relief from the high cost of prescriptions.”

CVS Caremark administers the NLC Prescription Discount Card program.

About NLC

The National League of Cities is dedicated to helping city leaders build better communities. NLC is a resource and advocate for 19,000 cities, towns and villages, representing more than 218 million Americans. To learn more about NLC, go to www.nlc.org.

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