FamilyWize prescription cards available at United Way offices


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ST. THOMAS - Uninsured and underinsured locals stand to benefit from a nationwide program that grants discounts on prescription medications.

FamilyWize came to the territory in 2011, and it is expected to stay for at least a decade more.

This week, FamilyWize, which has partnered with United Way for the past 10 years in the states, distributes free prescription savings cards to all individuals and families that would like the cards.

The cards are accepted at 60,000 pharmacies, according to FamilyWize. Walgreens, Kmart, Walmart, CVS, Rite Aid and Target are just a few of the national chains that accept the cards, though even local pharmacies accept the cards, according to St. Thomas-St. John Executive Director Vinod Dadlani.

"There's no charge, and the pharmacy can put the card into the system," Dadlani said, noting that the cards can be acquired at the United Way offices on St. Thomas or St. Croix, or at the organization's website, FamilyWize.org.

On St. Thomas and St. John alone, more than 13,200 people have used their cards, receiving discounts on everything from regular to emergency prescriptions, Dadlani said. The discounts can knock off as much as 75 percent of the price, according to a prepared statement from FamilyWize. The average discount is about 40 percent, the statement said.

"The FamilyWize card is the primary prescription benefit for millions without health insurance and a critical backup benefit for the underinsured when medicine isn't covered by their health plan, which, sadly, statistics show the majority of American families struggle to pay for prescriptions," said Dan Barnes, president and CEO of FamilyWize.

Dadlani believes that many more people in the territory could benefit from the program, as it is catching on in the states. Since its inception in 2005, FamilyWize has helped more than 6 million people save more than $600 million in costs for prescriptions.

"I really want more people to take part," Dadlani said.

- Contact Jenny Kane at 714-9102 or email jkane@dailynews.vi.

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