Friday, December 21, 2007

Florida Discount Drug Card Program

The Bush administration has refused to allow the federal government to negotiate prices with prescription drug companies. The result is increased cost to taxpayers. Envision Pharmaceutical Services buys drugs in huge quantities like Wal-Mart. They get pharmaceutical companies to cut costs. This allowed the Florida state government to offer to discount program.

Under the Florida Discount Drug Card program, that same person would pay $95 for a 30-day supply of Prevacid. Envision would receive $1.50 of that amount, Kise said.

Lowest price applies. On occasion, pharmacies may offer a lower price than that offered under the new drug card program. In such a case, the customer would pay the lower price, according to a news release from Crist's office.

The Florida program will offer drug coverage for people 60 or older without a current plan. Under 60 people qualify if they are 300 percent below the poverty line. I find that too steep. Families also qualify.

All in all, this is a solid program. Four million Floridians will qualify. People will save up to 42 percent on drugs. More people will be able to afford mecdicine and the state will save money, since no taxes are used.

The St. Petersburg Times has a comparison between the Florida, Ohio, Oregon and Costco plans. Costco easily wins out.

Florida plan - 1

Ohio plan - 2

Oregon plan - 3

Costco - 4

Combivent (brand asthma inhaler) $93.25 (1), $92.71 (2), $90.14, (3), $90.30 (4)

Metformin (1000 mg, a generic diabetes drug) $15.75 (1), $9.37 (2), $8.42 (3), $5.49 (4)

Aricept (10 mg, a brand name drug for dementia) $162.09 (1), $160.74 (2), $156.97 (3), $166.86 (4)

Simvastatin (10 mg, a generic choloresteol lowering drug) $18.75 (1), $19.00 (2), $6.67 (3), $6.32 (4)

Yasmin (brand birth control) $55.39 (1), $57.79 (2), $52.31 (3), $51.04 (4)

I will end this post here before a morph into Ezra Klein.

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