Tuesday, August 7, 2012
A program that offers residents discounts on prescription drugs was renewed by the San Diego County Board of Supervisors today.
The Coast-to-Coast Rx Card gives users access to discounts on medications at 59,000 pharmacies across the United States.
Between May 2011 -- when the benefit was introduced in San Diego County - - and April 2012, more than 100,000 prescriptions were filled for 17,000 cardholders, with a savings to customers of 58.1 percent, according to a county staff report. The program is intended to supplement health insurance, not replace it.
Board Chairman Ron Roberts said enrollment is now up to more than 21,000 people.
"I think many people in San Diego have benefited significantly from this discount card,'' Roberts said. "Usage is easy, it's free of any charge and it has no eligibility requirements.''
Cardholders can also receive discounts on laboratory tests; dental, vision and hearing care; and veterinary services.
The county receives $1.35 each time a card is used, with the money directed into promotional and educational material. In the fiscal year that ended June 30, the county took in about $115,000 from the program, according to the staff report.
The supervisors' unanimous approval, as part of its consent calendar, renews an operating agreement for this fiscal year with the firm that runs the program, Financial Marketing Concepts, and earmarks the revenue to promote the discount cards to uninsured and under-insured residents.
The cards are available at community clinics and county Family Resource Centers. They have also been distributed at community events and through nonprofits like the United Way.
San Diego is one of 25 counties in California taking part in the program. County officials plan to celebrate the one-year anniversary of the plan on Wednesday.
The supervisors also voted to install a prescription drug drop-off box at the County Administration Center. The county has 22 such boxes throughout the region where residents can safely discard old and unused medications in order to avoid abuse or the accidental mixing of drugs.
County officials estimate that 400,000 visitors conduct business annually in the downtown county building, making it an appropriate location as a collection site.