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Nassau Extends Discount Prescription Card

Comptroller Howard Weitzman announced, County residents could keep receiving a discount on prescription medications with their NassauRx card until at least the end of 2009.

Weitzman, whose office created the plan, had county legislative power to extend the three-year program for two more years based on its achievement.

Weitzman said, "The NassauRx card provides a great discount, averaging 24 percent, for those who do not have drug insurance and the program costs county taxpayers nothing."

Weitzman's office worked out a deal with Caremark, a chief pharmaceutical distributor and discount card issuer to administer the program, the largest of its kind in the nation, he said.

The announcement was made at a CVS (NYSE:CVS) pharmacy in Farmingdale since, Weitzman said, "More NassauRx prescriptions are filled at CVS drugstores than anywhere else."

Caremark officials said, although free to any county resident, 40 percent of those who use the card are seniors. Weitzman said it is believed that seniors registered in Medicare Part D use it generally when they hit the coverage gap called "the donut hole", when their drug cost goes beyond $2,400 a year, they should bear the full cost of the drugs until their out of pocket costs get to $3,850.

Until now, Weitzman estimates the plan has saved residents about $8 million. He said, "In 2007, more than 5,500 seniors saved over $700,000 with the card."

Nassau Health and Human Services Chairman David Mejias (D-North Massapequa), who joined Weitzman, said, "The Rx card can make the difference between a person being able to afford their prescribed medication or not."



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