BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) - Buffalo Common Council President Richard Fontana has worked out a deal with a Chicago-based pharmacy management firm to bring all WNY residents prescription discount cards called WNYRx.
Thousands of these cards are showing up in public places, such as libraries across Western New York. Fontana says they are patterned after a program in New York City.
"We have the same discounts as all the people in New York City have. So we are excited about that, to bring that large of a discount to Western New York," Fontana said.
The Common Council President points out the cards are accepted at most pharmacies across the country and the website for card, www.WNYRx.com, can also help you shop for the best price on your prescriptions.
"That residents can find the lowest price, search it out, and actually go get that lowest price. All they need to do is give that card to the pharmacist, and everything else is taken care of from there," Fontana said.
But there are a few qualifiers.
The cards can only be used when you pay cash for a prescription, not in conjunction with insurance coverage, and pharmacist Dennis Galluzzo says you cannot use it to cover your insurance co-pay. You can use it, however, if your prescription is not covered.
"If your insurance deems one of your prescriptions as not on their formulary list and you have to buy it cash, you should always ask your pharmacist for the best cash price out there," Galluzzo said.
The pharmacist cautions that the amount of the discount is not based on the pharmacy's price.
"Be aware of the fact that is a national average price, and the pharmacist in your community will probably give you a better cash price than any discount card could possibly give you," he said.
The manager of the program, based in a Chicago suburb, says its members have saved over $2 billion on prescriptions in the last seven years. The discount is larger for generic drugs than brand names, but you really have to do your homework.
And while you don't have to sign up for these cards, Galluzzo says once you use it, a lot of your private information is gathered electronically.
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