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NLC program offers savings for small cities.

Small cities can make a big difference to their residents through their participation in NLC. Residents in Clarksburg, W.Va., know this firsthand. In less than one year, the City of Clarksburg has saved its residents more than $100,000 as a result of the city's participation in the NLC Prescription Discount Card Program.

The NLC Prescription Discount Card Program was previewed last December and launched nationally in January of this year. Clarksburg was among the first cities in the country to sign up for the program.

The program, one of NLC's new Enterprise Programs, is available at no cost to member cities to help residents of those cities cope with the high cost of prescription drugs. Using a customized city prescription discount card, residents who are without health insurance, a traditional pharmacy benefit plan or have prescriptions not covered by insurance can save an average of more than 20 percent off the retail price of prescription drugs.

Residents in Clarksburg, have received average savings of more than 30 percent off the price of their needed prescriptions. Since the program started last January, the city has saved its residents $102,142.

"For a small city like Clarksburg (population: 16,743), the program has been a stunning example of what any city can do to help its residents in need," said Councilman James C. Hunt.

The program is not just for small cities. Memphis, Tenn. has saved its residents nearly $25,000 in just three months in the program.

More than 325 cities across the country are participating in the NLC Prescription Discount Card Program from Saint Agatha, Maine, to San Jose, Calif. In total, the program has saved 45,000 residents of these cities more than $1 million in its first year.

"The NLC Prescription Discount Card Program provides member cities with a value-added service that brings tangible results to city residents at a time when many are watching what they spend." said NLC Executive Director Donald J. Borut. "The success of the program in just one year has demonstrated the savings to residents of cities of all size. I encourage all of our members to sign up for the program so we can help more city residents across the country."

In November, the following cities joined the Prescription Discount Card Program: Pratttville, Ala.; Fort Smith, Ark.; Fontana, Calif.; Frisco, Colo.; Poncha Springs, Colo.; Lauderdale Lakes, Fla.; Orlando, Fla.; Palm Bay, Fla.; Sunrise, Fla.; Columbus, Ga.; Prairie Village, Kan.; White Castle, La.; Gaithersburg, Md.; Fenton, Mich.; Englewood, N.J.; Clayton, Ohio; Lyndhurst, Ohio; Oberlin, Ohio; Garland, Texas; Midlothian, Texas; and Moulton, Texas.

It is easy for any NLC member city to participate in the program at NO COST to the city. The city is provided with customized discount cards, press releases, posters, a sample Web page and other materials.

The role of the city is to promote the program to residents and place the discount cards at locations around the city where residents can simply pick up a card and take it with their prescriptions to any local participating pharmacy, including all major chains (CVS, RiteAid, Walgreens, WalMart, etc.) and most local independent pharmacies. There is no enrollment form for residents and no limits on how often the card may be used. One card can be shared by all family members. The discount cards may also be used for some pet medications.

Details: For more information, visit the NLC website: www.nlc.org/prescriptioncard or contact Marc Shapiro at (202) 626-3019 or shapiro@nlc.org.
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Title Annotation:National League of Cities
Author:Shapiro, Marc
Publication:Nation's Cities Weekly
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Dec 21, 2009
Words:585
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