Five major prescription drug manufacturers make drugs available to Medicare discount cardholders

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The Pharmacy Care Alliance (PCA) today announced that AstraZeneca, Johnson & Johnson Pharmaceutical Companies, Inc., Eli Lilly and Company, Merck and Novartis will make many prescription drugs available to qualifying PCA Medicare discount cardholders free of charges from the manufacturer plus a nominal amount to cover dispensing, processing and other costs.

A PCA cardholder whose income is 135 percent or less of the federal poverty level and who qualifies for the federal government's $600 annual prescription drug purchase credit will receive the additional savings after he or she has fully depleted their $600 credit. The nominal amount paid by qualified PCA Medicare prescription discount card enrollees to cover dispensing, processing and other costs will be in the range of $10 to $12 for each prescription depending on the manufacturer, drug and pharmacy. In some cases, the payment could be as low as $5.

Under the Medicare prescription discount card program, while enrollees are still using their $600 credit, copayments are similar -- either five or ten percent of the discounted price of the prescription drug. Enrollees whose income is between 100 and 135 percent of the federal poverty level pay ten percent. Those with incomes below 100 percent pay five percent. "In making additional significant savings easily available to the Medicare beneficiaries most in need of assistance with their drug costs, these five manufacturers have made the PCA Medicare prescription discount card even more valuable and easy to use," said Mary Ann Wagner, President of the Pharmacy Care Alliance. "Also very important, this added benefit continues to be available at the PCA cardholder's local neighborhood network pharmacy," observed Wagner. She emphasized that Medicare beneficiaries who qualify for the $600 credit and thus the manufacturers' additional savings should not delay applying for the Pharmacy Care Alliance Medicare prescription discount card. Medicare-approved drug discount cards are designed to help beneficiaries with prescription drug costs until the new federal prescription drug coverage -- Medicare Part D -- takes effect in January 2006. The Pharmacy Care Alliance The Pharmacy Care Alliance is a not-for-profit 501 (c) (6) organization.

It is an alliance between the National Association of Chain Drug Stores, Inc. (NACDS), which represents 216 chain pharmacies operating more than 35,000 retail community pharmacies, and Express Scripts, Inc., one of the largest pharmacy benefit managers in North America. The Pharmacy Care Alliance discount card will be supported by neighborhood pharmacists in its network of more than 43,000 participating pharmacies, who will provide support and counsel to program members and advise on ways to lower overall prescription drug costs. For more information, visit


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