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Card helps reduce prescription drug costs in Clayton

By Joel Hall

jhall@news-daily.com

Starting this week, Clayton County residents will be able to take advantage of savings on many of the medications they need.

The National Association of counties (NACo) and Clayton County have teamed up to offer a free prescription discount card program. The card, recognized by 78 participating Clayton County pharmacies, offers an average savings of 20 percent off the retail price, on many commonly prescribed drugs.

The program, which was approved by the Board of Commissioners (BOC) in March, through the efforts of Commissioner Virginia Gray, is available to anyone with a Clayton County address, regardless of whether they are insured.

The beauty of the card, Gray said, is that there are no enrollment forms, no associated fees, or limitations on usage. In addition, the program doesn't cost the county a cent, she said.

"The uninsured and under-insured are the main focus [of the program]," said Gray. "There are a lot of people who have insurance, but their medicines are not covered, or they are too expensive.

"The thing about [the program] is that it costs nothing," said Gray. "NACo assumes the cost. I've been talking about it to the county since its inception three years ago. We should have had it before, but to have it now, the timing is perfect."

The free prescription discount card program through NACo is a nationwide savings program recognized by 59,000 pharmacies across the country. Starting this week, Clayton County will join a list of 25 Georgia counties currently participating in the program.

Gray said the program will be a "positive service" for Clayton County, particularly for the aging.

Eldrin Bell, BOC chairman, said, "Clayton County is proud to be one of the counties nationwide participating with NACo." He said he is currently working on bringing a similar dental assistance program to the county, and hopes to have it installed by early next year.

"Some of our seniors are having to decide between food and medicine, so this will help them with those choices," said Bell. "Given the economic times for our people in Clayton County, this is just another means in which we can help them."

Cards can be obtained at the Clayton County Administration Building, senior centers, local libraries, recreation centers, the Clayton County Health Department, and the Department of Family and Children Services (DFCS). Information about the cards and participating pharmacies is available in English and Spanish at the Clayton County Administration Building.

For more information, call (770) 477-3208, or visit www.co.clayton.ga.us.