May 19, 2011
By Kismet Barksdale
The Big Apple Rx card is now available to anyone regardless of age, income, citizenship or health insurance status. The cards will save an average of 47 percent on prescription medications and can be used by anyone who lives, works or visits the City. This drug card program will help all New Yorkers get the most cost effective medication whether or not they have insurance.
“All too often, the rising costs of prescription drugs place a burden on New York City households. And this is particularly true for the more than one million New Yorkers who don’t have health insurance,” said Mayor Bloomberg. “Having access to a free prescription drug card can mean the difference between being able to afford prescriptions and being forced to skip doses. That’s why we pledged to issue a New York City card on the campaign trail in 2009 and now we’re fulfilling that promise with the launch of The Big Apple Rx card.”
New Yorkers can instantly download and print the card, access educational information about prescriptions, compare drug prices and locate the nearest participating pharmacies. The Big Apple Rx card also has an iPhone application that allows consumers to locate their nearest pharmacy and present the card to pharmacists right from the phone.
New Yorkers who suffer from diabetes can save up to $831 per year on generic glucose control medication, while those with asthma can potentially save $667 by using the BigAppleRx card to fill their inhaler prescriptions. Allergy sufferers, those who use birth control, people who take medication for high cholesterol or to help manage heart disease can all benefit from BigAppleRx’s discounts up to 15 percent on brand name drugs and 53 percent on generic drugs.
HealthTrans Access one of the nation’s largest discount drug programs will assist in administering the program at more than 2,000 (85 percent) of the City’s pharmacies. HealthTrans has 10.6 million discount pharmacy cardholders across the nation and the BigAppleRx card can be used at more than 58,000 pharmacies nationwide. Any New Yorker or organization interested in learning how to get or distribute the BigAppleRx card should visit www.bigapplerx.com or call 311.
“The City’s ability to produce the first official prescription drug discount card identifies the growing need for savings for our constituency and this City,” said Council Member Letitia James. “New Yorkers facing health needs are particularly vulnerable to high priced prescriptions and often inconvenienced by the pick up. This discount card allows for easy use by all demographics and provides a safety net to those who profoundly need it.”