Story last updated at 4/22/2009 - 10:59 am
Through a partnership with FamilyWize, United Way of Southeast Alaska has been distributing prescription drug discount cards for the past year to Southeast Alaska residents who do not currently have prescription drug insurance. Since the program began, 464 claims have been made in Juneau and Ketchikan. Alaska's total was 499, so the majority of all claims have been in Southeast, where United Way of Southeast Alaska was the first to initiate the program. The pharmaceuticals purchased totaled $18,636.74 but the submitted fees were $25,397.02, meaning that residents saved $6,730.28 that could be used to pay rent and buy food and other necessities.
Cards are available through United Way of Southeast Alaska, through any participating pharmacy, at any Alaskan Health Fair, at Front Street Clinic in Juneau, A.W.A.R.E. shelter in Juneau, SAIL, Catholic Community Service, and the Glory Hole in Juneau. In Ketchikan they are available through SAIL, United Way of Southeast Alaska's Associate Director Becky Irish, or by printing the card off the Internet. People with Internet access can print a card at www.FamilyWize.com as well as look up drug prices and the list of participating pharmacies.
Most large pharmacies in the United States accept these prescription drug discount cards. They have no usage or age limits, income requirements or registration forms, and can be used immediately to reduce the cost of medicine for anyone that has no prescription drug coverage.
The cards are being distributed free of charge, courtesy of United Way of Southeast Alaska, and more than 425 other United Way agencies around the country.
"Too many American families have insufficient or no prescription drug coverage at all," said Mariya Lovishuck of The Glory Hole, a United Way agency. "Healthcare costs are one of the top concerns for people in our community and the FamilyWize discount prescription drug cards will help families who otherwise could not afford much needed prescription drugs. We hope the entire community will join us in thanking the pharmacies in our community that have agreed to accept the FamilyWize card and provide these discounts to the people in our community with no prescription drug coverage."
Pharmacies in Juneau and Ketchikan that participate in the program are: Costco, Safeway, Wal-Mart, Juneau Medical Clinic, Foodland (Juneau), Fred Meyers (Juneau), Ketchikan Indian Community, and Downtown Drug Store (Ketchikan).
"Membership Services Corporation and its industry partners are very excited to partner with participating United Way agencies to get the FamilyWize card into the hands of families who most need the help," said Dan Barnes, president of Membership Services Corporation. "These cards can reduce prescription drug costs by an average of 20 percent or more. Working with reputable and established charities like local United Way agencies is one of the best way to reach the people who really need to save money on prescription drugs."
United Way of Southeast Alaska is a volunteer-driven, grassroots 501(c)3 nonprofit organization that brings people and resources together to address community-wide issues. Acting as a neutral collaborator and convener to address pressing community issues such as child care, housing, families and youth, UWSEAK has worked for the common good in the areas of health, income stability and education for more than 30 years. Learn more about United Way of Southeast Alaska at www.unitedwayseak.org.