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Posted: August 17, 2013 8:30 p.m.

Prescription card available

Newton County has officially joined the Coast2Coast Rx Card program.

The new prescription card will allow all county residents, regardless of income, age, or health status, to save on the cost of medications. Distributed free of charge, the card can be used at all pharmacy chains and most independent pharmacies in Newton County. It has more than 60,000 drugs in its formulary.

The Newton County Board of Commissioners voted in June to enter into a one-year contract with Florida-based Financial Marketing Concepts, which offers the Coast2Coast Rx discount cards nationally.

According to the company’s website, the cards can save consumers as much as 75 percent on some prescriptions, though the website says annual savings are generally 55 percent. The cards cannot be used in conjunction with any form of insurance, including Medicaid, so the discount will always be off the retail cost of any prescription drug.

However, those who have Medicaid or private insurance can choose to use either their insurance or the discount card.

"If the cardholder does use our card instead of his or her prescription card, then the cardholder will most likely need to send a copy of the receipt to the insurance company to ensure that the amount paid is applied to the annual deductible," according to the company’s website.

Financial Marketing Concepts offers the cards for free because it gets paid a small fee from pharmacies for every transaction made using the card.

According to a February 2012 story by The Press-Enterprise newspaper in Inland, Calif., pharmacies had to pay a $4.25 processing fee for each prescription filled using the cards.

However, the county actually makes some money off the deal. The county will get a $1.25 royalty fee for every prescription filled.

The Coast2Coast Rx card will be available at local governmental offices, libraries and county health facilities as well as at most participating pharmacies. Residents will also be able to print the Rx card and view the nearest participating locations at www.coast2coastrx.com.

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