Today, Craig Fuller, president and CEO of the National Association of Chain Drug Stores (NACDS), testified before the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Health on the Medicare prescription discount cards, the important role of pharmacies and lessons learned from the first two weeks of the Medicare-approved drug discount card program. NACDS and Express Scripts, Inc. aligned to offer the Pharmacy Care Alliance Card, a Medicare-approved drug card.
“We know that seniors and their caregivers must sort through many options to make the best selection possible,” Mr. Fuller said. “We know that seniors trust and look to their pharmacists for information and guidance, and in light of that, the Pharmacy Care Alliance is expending considerable resources to conduct education and training programs to reach thousands of pharmacists and millions of seniors.”
“Our education efforts are extremely important because these cards offer real savings to seniors,” continued Mr. Fuller. One California couple found potential savings of over twenty-four percent, or $260 each month, using the Pharmacy Care Alliance discount card. With pharmacy guidance, the couple found additional savings through manufacturer discount programs and lower-priced generic alternatives bringing their savings to $341 – a thirty-four percent savings.
While acknowledging that no program of such magnitude could be put into action without some bumps in the road, Mr. Fuller said that its almost 43,000 network pharmacies are actively committed to doing everything possible to make the drug-discount card program work for millions of Medicare eligible seniors. “The challenges are real for all stake-holders in implementing this Medicare-approved drug discount card program,” Mr. Fuller concluded. “But with pharmacists continuing to play an important role, these cards can be a real success for the nation’s seniors.” http://www.nacds.org