Public Health Department Director John Volanti says Merced County is one of the first in the Valley to launch the program. It's possible because of a partnership between the National Association of Counties and Caremark Health, a private firm that negotiates directly with participating pharmacies. The cards offer an average savings of twenty percent off the retail price of commonly prescribed drugs.
John Volanti: "It's good for any medication that is not currently covered under their prescription program if they have one, and if they don't have one, then it gives them that additional discount."
We decided to test the card at merced community pharmacy, which is known for offering competitive prescription prices. Turns out, this bottle of a common antibiotic costs 12.99 without the card, but just 9.91 with the discount.
Randy Le/Merced Community Pharmacy owner: "Even if it's a little bit of money, that's going to help patients out."
Especially those who use multiple medications, like Carolyn Wilson. She started taking pills for pain and to prevent seizures after a motorcycle accident several years ago.
Carolyn Wilson/pharmacy customer: "It takes quite a bit when you're on a limited income."
The cards can also be used to pay for prescription pet medications that are available at participating pharmacies.
Right now 25 pharmacies in Merced County accept the cards, and they can be picked up at several locations.
Merced County residents now have an easy way to save money on prescription medicine. County residents can call toll free 1-877-321-2652 or locally at 209-381-1291