Commission endorses free discount prescription cards for residents

By BRAD GASKINS / Staff Writer

COLUMBIANA – The Shelby County Commission has endorsed a program that would offer free discount prescription cards to county residents.

The commission voted Monday morning to enter into a contract with Financial Marketing Concepts, the Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla.-based company sponsoring the discount prescription cards.

“The Coast2Coast RX card is free, does not require registration before using it, and can be used at all major pharmacy chains and many independent pharmacies in all 50 states,” according to the commission’s resolution, which passed unanimously.

The program requires the county to enter into a one-year contract with FMC. The contract can be discontinued with 30 days written notice, according to Reggie Holloway, the county’s manager of community services who outlined the program in a briefing memo to commissioners.

According to Holloway’s briefing memo:

The county would make the Coast2Coast prescription cards available to all county residents. The card could be used by those with or without insurance. Those without insurance or the underinsured would get the largest discounts on medication.

Shelby County would receive a $1 royalty for every prescription filled until usage reaches 1 percent, at which point the royalty would increase to $1.25 per prescription. The county would invest the royalties it receives into community services program.

A cardholder could save up to 65 percent on individual prescriptions, with annual savings generally ranging from 20 to 40 percent. Savings amounts would depend on the type of medication.

A cardholder can use the card for his or her entire family. Cardholders would take the card to the participating pharmacy, where the pharmacist would register them at that time.

A health insurance prescription card can’t be used at the same time with the Coast2Coast Rx card, as only one card can be used when filling a prescription.

If a health insurance prescription plan doesn’t provide a discount for a particular drug, it is likely that the Coast2Coast Rx card would provide a discount for that medication, as more than 60,000 formularies are included in the prescrition card plan.

There are more than 59,000 pharmacies in the network, including all major pharmacy chains and many independents.

As part of the contract with FMC, the county is required to hold a press conference to endorse and launch the program.