GRIFFITH | A prescription discount card distributed through Lake Area United Way has saved region residents more than $1 million in medication costs over the last three years, organization officials said.
The free card, which is accepted at 61,000 pharmacies across the country, saves $17.63 or 33 percent per prescription, on average.
"It's probably one of the area's biggest kept secrets," said Bob Scott, vice president of marketing and communications for Lake Area United Way.
Local United Way members heard the program was successful in other parts of the country before signing on.
"We adopted it in April of 2010," Scott said. "Since then, local residents have racked up over $1 million in savings on prescriptions."
The organization partners with FamilyWize Community Service Partnership for the card, called the Lake Area United Way-FamilyWize Prescription Discount Card.
No enrollment, sharing of personal information, application or card activation is required. People hand the card to their pharmacist each time they pick up a prescription, and the discount is applied.
If the card does not lower the medication price, the customer already is getting the lowest possible price, Scott said.
Anyone can use the card, even insured people who have a high deductible or those who have prescriptions that are not covered by insurance.
Local residents have used the cards more than 47,000 times, according to the organization.
"Everything is so tight nowadays," Scott said. "Every little thing you can save can be used for some other life need."
Cards can be printed from www.lauw.org, or people can text "family" to 700700 for a card on a smartphone to show to their pharmacist.
People can also visit www.familywize.org to print a card and compare discounted prices at different participating pharmacies.
Those without home Internet access can use a library computer or call (219) 923-2302 for a card.