Governor Gregoire Introduces Free State Prescription Drug Discount Card

For Immediate Release: March 19, 2007

WA Health Care Authority, AARP, Washington CAN join Governor to introduce card that will save Washingtonians up to 60% on their prescription drugs

OLYMPIA – Governor Chris Gregoire today introduced a new, state-sponsored prescription drug discount card that will save Washingtonians an average of 20% on brand-name drugs and 60% on generic drugs. The card will be available to all Washington residents, regardless of age or income.

“We want to get the news out to everyone in the state who is struggling with high prescription drug costs,” said Governor Gregoire. “There is help. Even if you don’t qualify for other discount programs, this card will save you money on prescription drugs.”

Governor Gregoire was joined by AARP and the Washington Community Action Network (Washington CAN), who will also introduce the card today in Spokane and tomorrow in Yakima.

The Washington Prescription Drug Program (WPDP) is a new prescription drug discount program created by the Legislature at the request of Governor Gregoire. It is open to all Washington residents who do not have prescription drug insurance coverage or whose insurance does not cover all their prescription drug needs. There are no other eligibility requirements or fees required for membership in the WPDP.

In 2006, Washington and Oregon formed an interstate agreement establishing the Northwest Prescription Drug Purchasing Consortium. This consortium was designed to pool the two states’ purchasing power on behalf of citizens who are struggling with skyrocketing prescription drug costs.

This agreement marked the first multi-state effort in the nation aimed at garnering discounts for uninsured or underinsured citizens, rather than for government purchasing. More than a dozen other states offer prescription drug discount card programs, but, according to AARP, none offers discounts as steep as the Washington and Oregon programs.

“Because there are no limits on who can enroll in Washington, our potential customer pool is very large,” said Lauren Moughon, Advocacy Director for AARP Washington. “We did our homework. We knew what kinds of discounts other states were getting. And we said, ‘We can do better.’”

The Washington Prescription Drug Program card is available now. Enrollment forms are available on-line at www.rx.wa.gov or by calling 1-800-913-4146. The program is administered by ODS, an Oregon-based pharmacy benefits management company. Mail order and specialty pharmacy services are also available through the program.

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