Commission helping ease burden

Published 10:26 pm Wednesday, February 11, 2009

The Pike County Commission has taken steps to ease the burden of prescription drug purchases on local residents.

After the commission approved the use of these cards before the end of last year, Tuesday officially kicked off the new county prescription drug discount card program that will take an average of 22 percent off medicine purchases for residents who don’t have prescription coverage.

District 1 Commissioner Homer Wright, who was one of the major sponsors of the program, said people without insurance will benefit especially from the card.

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

But, those who have prescription coverage can use the card on medicine that isn’t covered to have some discount.

Wright and Commissioner Charlie Harris said they learned about the program by attending a National Association of County Commission’s conference in Washington D.C. a few years back.

“If you’re not there, you don’t get any money,” Harris said.

But even after the conference, Wright and Harris said they had to work for years to get other commissioners on board to approve the discount cards, which are offered at no cost to Pike County.

Harris said particularly in hard economic times this card will be a benefit to the county’s residents.

“You look at people getting laid off, and when you get laid off your insurance goes too,” Harris said.

Though the program has not been in place long, Wright and Harris both said already residents have benefited from the program.

“So far it’s been real successful,” Harris said.

“The cards I’ve given out, people have come back and said ‘thank you for the help.’”

And Wright said he thinks it will be a big help once residents become more familiar with the program.

“It’s going to help a lot once people learn how to use them and find out who will take them and not take them,” Wright said.

NACo prescription drug cards can be picked up at the Pike County Commission Office between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.

The program comes through NACo organization.