By Joel Hall
Riverdale residents -- even those without insurance -- are now able to fill many of the prescriptions they need at a discount that could be as much as 20 percent off the purchase price.
Last week, Riverdale, in cooperation with the National League of Cities (NLC), joined a program giving residents access to free prescription drug discount cards.
The NLC cards can be used at more than two dozen pharmacies around the city, as well as 59,000 participating pharmacies nationwide, for discounts on commonly-prescribed medicines.
Iris Jessie, city manager of Riverdale, said the cards are available at the Riverdale Fire Services building, which adjoins City Hall. They will bear the emblems of the City of Riverdale, as well as the NLC.
" I think this is a small way to help out," Jessie said. "It is less stress on people who might go without some medications because they can't afford them," she added.
"It can make a difference in your bottom line, so to speak," Jessie said. "It's pretty instant and it's very easy to use. You don't get a rebate, you just pick up the card and go to your pharmacy.
"Even if you are working, all of your prescriptions might not be covered by insurance," Jessie added. "While the city can't offer a 20 percent discount, our partnership with the NLC makes this program available for our residents. It may not be a lot of money for some people, but if you have multiple prescriptions, it can add up."
Marc Shapiro, NLC communications and corporate programs manager, said the discount drug cards promote business by giving people an incentive to visit smaller, independent pharmacies. He said the program helps cities, because it is an outreach that is free to taxpayers.
"The city's only job is to promote the cards to the media, and put them in places where people can access the card," said Shapiro.
"The benefit of the program for the independent [pharmacy] chains is that it puts them on a level playing field," he continued. "They're able to offer a particular drug at the same price as a national chain."
The discount card program is administered by CVS Caremark. For more information and a list of participating pharmacies, call 1-888-620-1749, or visit www.caremark.com/nlc.