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WA Lowers Prescription Costs - For Everyone

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 By Chris Thomas/Eric Mack, Contact
March 19, 2007

It's free, it's easy to get, and it can save you big money at the pharmacy. Washington's new prescription drug card offers discounts averaging 20 percent for name-brand drugs and 60 percent for generics. And it's free to all Washington residents, no matter what their age or income. The new "Washington Prescription Drug Program" is aimed at the 860,000 people in the state who don't have health insurance, but Lauren Moughon of AARP Washington says you don't have to be uninsured to get a card.

"If you have insurance coverage but you're afraid that you might lose it, or if you have insurance coverage and it doesn't cover one of the drugs that you take, you can sign up for this card and have it as a safety net, or use it at the pharmacy for the drug that's not covered."

Moughon adds that if your health insurance already includes prescription coverage, you probably don't need the card. For everyone else, the sign-up process to get one is simple.

"You don't have to prove anything to get this card. It's very easy to enroll, and it's free. All you need to do is include your name, address and phone number - and we'll ask your birthdate and gender, just for tracking purposes, as well. But that's it!"

Moughon notes that Washington and Oregon pooled their buying power for better deals on drug prices. About a dozen states already offer similar prescription cards, but the Washington discounts are among the biggest. You can sign up for the program by calling 1-800-913-4146, or enroll online, at It takes about two weeks to get a card.

The WPDP card program is a joint effort of the Washington State Health Care Authority, AARP, and the Washington Community Action Network, and it's administered by ODS, an Oregon-based pharmacy benefit management company.

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