Prescription Discount Card
How it Works
What It Is
The Franklin County Rx card program helps consumers save money on their prescription medications any time their prescriptions are not covered by insurance. The free cards are distributed through Franklin County and may be used at any participating retail pharmacy. Call (614) 525-5268 or complete the online form to have a card mailed to you.
Savings average 20 percent; some discounts may be more, and some less, depending on the drug and quantity purchased. Cardholders are eligible for higher discounts on a three-month supply of some medications through mail service. Cardholders also can save on pet prescriptions at participating pharmacies.
Who It's For
The cards may be used by all county residents, regardless of age, income or existing health coverage. There is no enrollment form, no membership fee, and no restrictions or limits on frequency of use. Cardholders and their family members may use the card any time their prescriptions are not covered by insurance.
What it Costs
Unlike many other card programs, there is no enrollment cost or membership fee. The cardholder pays the negotiated discount price or the pharmacy's retail price, whichever is lower. The average discount is 20 percent.
More than 57,000 pharmacies nationwide accept the card, including most chain pharmacies and many independents. Wal-Mart pharmacies participate in the program.
The program has a safety feature that alerts pharmacists when one drug may conflict with another medication the cardholder is taking, if the prescriptions were obtained with the Franklin County Rx card. The Franklin County Rx card program remains a useful option now that Medicare Part D has been implemented. For example, the card can be used when a Medicare Part D plan doesn't cover a drug
The program is administered by Caremark Rx, Inc., a leading pharmaceutical services company with broad experience in managing drug discount card programs for sponsoring clients. Caremark negotiates with pharmacies to offer a discount off their retail price. Most pharmacies contract to participate because it draws customers to their stores. Caremark derives revenue from the program in the form of a small fee the pharmacy pays on each transaction. The fee is a small fraction of the total transaction amount.
Discount Card Details
- Rebates: Few manufacturers pay rebates on the discount card program. Caremark shares a portion of the rebate with the consumer at the point of sale via an increased discount. The retail pharmacy is reimbursed for this additional discount.
- Data Collection: Cardholder information remains confidential and is not resold to a third-party for any reason.
- Drug Distribution: Caremark negotiates with retail pharmacies to offer discounts off retail prices at the point of purchase. Some news reports have incorrectly stated that Caremark purchases prescription drugs and distributes them to retail pharmacies.
Tips to Save More
Consult with your physician about alternative therapies
Before you begin a new prescription medication, talk with your doctor about non-prescription modifications to your lifestyle, diet or exercise. These changes may postpone, reduce or avoid the need for the cost of and taking a new medication.
Review your other medications
Disclose all the medications that you are taking to your physician and pharmacist before they prescribe or dispense a new medication. Some medications may intensify or reduce the effectiveness of another, or may even possibly duplicate the effects of another drug you are taking.
Select the lowest-cost alternative
Many brand-name prescription medications have a generic equivalent. Generic drugs are approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for safety and effectiveness, and are manufactured under the same strict rules that apply to their brand-name twin. So ask your physician and pharmacist if there is a generic drug that will save you money. If no generic equivalent is available, there may still be a lower-cost alternative within the same class of drugs that performs the functions your care requires. Once again, consult with your physician on these money-saving alternatives.
Obtain a larger supply
In most instances, your cost per dosage will decrease as the amount you have dispensed at one time increases. If you will be taking a medication for an extended period of time, ask your physician if it would be appropriate to prescribe a 90-day supply rather than a 30-day supply.
Shop only at preferred pharmacies
All chain pharmacies and most independent pharmacies have been given equal opportunity to serve you via this program. Participating pharmacies are required to offer you deep discounts and assist in performing some fairly complicated drug management procedures for card holders, and not all pharmacies agree to participate. However, that gives you the confidence of knowing that pharmacies participating in this program are concerned with your health and saving you money, and therefore, are deserving of your business and loyalty.
Show your card every time
To ensure your medication is checked for safety and billed at the correct price, your pharmacist needs to transmit valuable information in your card. In some instances, the pharmacist may store your card information in their computer. However, to be certain you receive the maximum benefit, you need to show your card each time you have your prescriptions filled.
Understand your drug therapy
You invest a lot of money in medications. In order to get the most value for your dollar, you need to understand how to use your prescription drugs effectively. Make sure your physician and pharmacist explain how and when to take each prescription medication. Some factors to consider when trying to get the most from your medication are the effects of:
- Food and water being taken with your medication.
- The time of day you take your medication.
- Effects of other medications, including over-the-counter drugs, on your prescription.
Store your medications properly
Most medications will lose their effectiveness when they are subject to heat, moisture, light, or time. A steamy bathroom or a purse left in a hot car are examples of bad places to keep medicine. Store your medications in a cool, dark place. Remember to carry your daily or weekly medications in a pillbox to avoid damaging your entire supply of medication. Also, always remember to check expiration dates and dispose of expired medications by flushing them down the toilet.
Talk with your physician
Make sure that your physician knows that saving money is important to you. Ask that they prescribe a generic equivalent or lower-cost alternative if at all appropriate. Also, make sure that they know about any other drugs you are taking that may alter the effectiveness of the medication they are prescribing. Finally, make sure that you understand the drug therapy they prescribe so that you obtain the most value from the drugs that you are about to invest in.
About your savings
Ask your doctor about generic drugs. On average, generics cost 20-70 percent less and produce the same results as comparable brand-name drugs. Your cost for medication will be the discount price offered through this program, or the pharmacy's usual and customary retail price, whichever is lower. This means you are assured the lowest price in that store, at the time you purchase the medication.
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