Express Scripts To Launch Nationwide Generic Medication Discount Program for Low-Income U.S. Residents
Missouri-based Express Scripts, one of the largest U.S. pharmacy benefit managers, on Monday announced plans to launch a new program this week that will offer discounts on dozens of generic medications to low-income U.S. residents nationwide, the AP/Las Vegas Sun reports.
Under the program, individuals with annual incomes of $23,000 or less and families of at least four with annual incomes of $47,000 or less -- regardless of age and health insurance status -- will qualify for discounts on more than 50 medications for arthritis, asthma, cancer, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, diabetes, depression and heartburn. Program participants will pay $18 for a three-month supply or $30 for a six-month supply of medications, which only are available by mail.
Express Scripts Vice President Cynthia Meiners said that the average pharmacy price for a three-month supply of the medications included in the program is $100. "Folks don't need to make choices here," Meiners said, adding, "It is designed to complement whatever other means folks have to obtain medications." About 70,000 low-income U.S. residents have enrolled in a trial version of the program that Express Scripts will expand nationwide on Wednesday.
Dee Mahan, deputy health policy director for Families USA, said that although the program is not a substitute for prescription drug coverage, "certainly anyone who's on a generic drug that's not one of the cheapest generics should look into it" (Sherman, AP/Las Vegas Sun, 11/8).