New Yorkers have saved more than $1.5 million since program’s inception
Brooklyn, NY (October 12, 2011) – Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz, the New York City Department of Health & Mental Hygiene, and Brooklyn community partners today marked the success of the City-wide BigAppleRx prescription discount card program and distributed them on Fulton Mall outside of a Duane Reade, one of the participating pharmacies. Since its launch on May 18, 2011, the BigAppleRx card has saved New Yorkers over $1.5 million in prescription drug costs with more than $295,000 in savings for Brooklyn residents. The free card provides discounts on all prescriptions including brand name and generic medications as well as some over-the-counter medications, such as smoking-cessation aids and diabetes supplies. In an effort to create greater success for the program in Brooklyn, the Borough President announced that he is reaching out to Community Boards and neighborhood groups to get the card into every Brooklynite’s hands.
“With an increasing demand for quality, affordable health care, BigAppleRx helps ensure that discounts are available for life-improving—and life-sustaining—prescription drugs,” said Brooklyn Borough President Markowitz. “I am thrilled that the card has already saved Brooklynites tens of thousands of dollars, and my office is committed to spreading the word about BigAppleRx—and we won’t stop until everybody in this city knows about it. BigAppleRx is a prescription for good health—and just what the doctor ordered.”
“The BigAppleRx Card is one of the many ways the City is working with public and private sector partners to expand access to affordable health care, promote preventive care and engage New Yorkers to improve their health and the health of their communities,” said Dr. Amanda Parsons, Deputy Commissioner at the Health Department. “By making prescription drugs more affordable, especially for persons without health insurance or with limited drug coverage, we are assisting more people to live longer and healthier lives through quitting smoking, controlling their high blood pressure or managing their diabetes.”
The BigAppleRx prescription discount card has helped Brooklyn residents save on drugs for a variety of therapeutic classes, such as hypertension, diabetes, cholesterol management, antibiotics, and pain medications. One cardholder saved $35.97 on a prescription for amlodipine, a medication that is often prescribed to treat high blood pressure. The original price of the medication was $42.99, with the BigAppleRx card the patient paid $7.02. Another cardholder saved $59.77 on a prescription for simvastatin, a cholesterol lowering medication. The original price for the medication was $69.99, with the BigAppleRx card the cardholder paid $10.22.
“At first, many thought the program was too good to be true, but these figures prove that the program is providing New Yorkers with valuable discounts and access to the lowest cost medications available, said Michael Oshins, Senior Vice President at HealthTrans. “We are pleased to continue providing a program that ensures New York City residents won’t have to compromise their health in an effort to keep costs down.”
The BigAppleRx card, a program sponsored by the NYC Department of Health & Mental Hygiene, is free and available to everyone living in, working in, or visiting NYC, regardless of age, income, citizenship, or health insurance status. The card provides an average overall savings of 47% on prescription medications; 15% average on brand name drugs; 53% average on generic drugs. The discount card is available at over 700 distribution points throughout the city, including city agencies, City Council offices, neighborhood businesses, community and faith-based organizations. The card can also be printed online at www.nyc.gov (search term “BigAppleRx”) or at BigAppleRx.com. If a printer is not available, just write down the card numbers or have the information texted to your mobile phone.
The BigAppleRx card’s iPhone application allows consumers to present the prescription discount card right from their phones at the local pharmacy, as well as locate the nearest pharmacy. Any New Yorker or organization interested in learning how to obtain or distribute the BigAppleRx card should visit BigAppleRx.com or call 311.
Chanel Caraway (Department of Health & Mental Hygiene): (347) 396-4177
Mark Zustovich (Brooklyn Borough President’s Office): (718) 802-3830
Shane Kavanagh (HealthTrans/The Marino Organization): (212) 889-0808