41 percent of adults say it’s a problem for their family to pay for prescription medications

Farmingdale, NJ –Thousands of prescriptions go unfilled simply because they are too expensive to fill. But free FamilyWize prescription discount cards, provided by United Way of Monmouth County address this problem. Last year, this partnership saved residents $196,364 by cutting the cost of medicines by an average of 35 percent.

“The cost of a prescription really shouldn’t be a factor, but, more and more, we’re finding that the high price of medicine means that people have to make a choice. They can either fill a prescription or put food on the table and keep a roof over their head,” said Timothy C. Hearne, President and CEO of United Way of Monmouth County. FamilyWize free prescription card saves an average of $20 per prescription. Those savings oftentimes mean the difference between taking a medicine or skipping it.”

United Way of Monmouth County is part of a nationwide grassroots effort in conjunction with FamilyWize Community Service Partnership. The free cards are accepted at 95 percent of pharmacies nationwide, including all major chains. Using a card to save on prescriptions doesn’t require enrollment or personal information, so they’re ready to use the minute you receive one, according to Dan Barnes, co-chair of FamilyWize.

“This helps people who have no insurance the most, but it can also help people with insurance if it doesn’t cover their medicine,” said Barnes. “It’s easy, like using a coupon. Just take it to your local pharmacist, and they’ll know exactly what to do to automatically apply all the savings available to you.”

An estimated 16 percent of Americans didn’t fill at least one prescription in 2010, and another 13 percent reported taking expired drugs, skipping a dose (12 percent) or splitting pills without approval from their doctor or pharmacist (8 percent). The alarming statistics are from the 2010 Health Tracking Household Survey, which was funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. In most cases, cost was the reason cited.

FamilyWize was the first organization to offer prescription discount cards for free to everyone, locally and nationwide, struggling with the high cost of medicine. Since its founding in 2005, the organization has worked with almost 1,000 local United Ways across the country to help more than 3.4 million people save over $300 million on their prescriptions.  United Way of Monmouth County has helped area residents realize a savings of $647,685 since implementing the program locally in 2005. 

To get your FamilyWize discount card, call United Way of Monmouth County at 732.938.5988.  Larger supplies are available for area groups, available for mailing upon request.  A list of participating pharmacies and discounts on specific drugs is available on the FamilyWize website, familywize.org.