News release from the United Way of Allen County:
United Ways and FamilyWize Have Helped 5 Million People Save Money and Stay Healthy
12,355 people in Allen County saved more than $1.1 million
(May 15, 2013) – United Way of Allen County, the Allen County Commissioners’ office and FamilyWize Community Service Partnership, the nation’s leading provider of free prescription drug discount cards, along with 1,000 other United Ways across the nation today announced the milestone achievement of having helped more than 5 million people get medicine they otherwise would not have been able to afford. Locally, 12,355 people have been directly helped by this program in Allen County, with a savings of more than $1.1 million.
“Saving people money on necessary prescriptions is vital to the health and well-being of our families and our community,” said Todd Stephenson, president and CEO, United Way of Allen County. “Too often, not taking medicine you need because you can’t afford it begins a series of consequences that has negative effects for the individual, their family, and ultimately our community.”
“United Way is focusing on creating opportunity for all by improving health, education and financial stability,” said Stacey Stewart, U.S. President of United Way Worldwide. “Our partnership with FamilyWize helps us advance that cause, and 1,000 United Ways across America are helping people be healthier and more productive.”
Since 2005, FamilyWize, United Ways and pharmacies around the country have helped people stay healthy and productive in more than 95 percent of all U.S. counties. The partnership has provided free prescription discount cards that help people get the medicine they need, accounting for more than $500 million in direct savings on prescriptions. Individuals in our area have saved $1,150,695 since the program began.
Dan Barnes, president and CEO of FamilyWize, noted the significance of reaching the $500 million milestone, explaining that, “We set an ambitious goal for our partnership – to help families save $1 billion on the cost of medicines by the end of 2015. Now we’re halfway there.”
Studies show the partnership addresses a critical need. According to Consumer Reports, Americans who are financially strapped tend to skip medicine or lower their dosages. A New England Journal of Medicine article reported that the cost of medicine not taken exceeds $100 billion each year on avoidable hospitalizations and $177 billion on additional healthcare costs. And a Harvard University/CVS Caremark study shows that taking medicine as prescribed can save as much as $7,800 per patient annually, money that otherwise would be spent on emergency rooms, hospitalizations, tests and other procedures. Financial complications that often arise when necessary medicine is not taken as prescribed include absenteeism, job losses, mortgage forfeitures and bankruptcies.
“The partnership between United Way, FamilyWize and the Allen County Commissioners’ office helps not only individuals and families, but our community at-large,” Stephenson added. “Free prescription discount cards are available at most of our agency partners, faith-based organizations, and the commissioners’ office so everyone can get the medicine they need.”
Savings average approximately one third of the price charged without the card, which can be used for any FDA approved medicine at most pharmacies. Individuals interested in obtaining a card can contact United Way’s 2-1-1 Services by simply dialing 2-1-1 or 1-877-502-0700, visiting www.familywize.org, or texting the word “family” to 700700 to receive a prescription discount card via text.