Illinois Rx Card Media Center

Are prescription drug discount cards a good idea?

When it comes to healthcare and prescriptions you are probably looking for the best price. Some deals may not be as good as you may think though. With so many people unemployed and uninsured, local pharmacists said discounts for prescription drugs have been on the rise.

Pharmacists said not all of them will get you the lowest price. A new card that came out this week, Illinois RX, anyone can get online. The discount card is for uninsured and underinsured. The Illinois RX card could get you a discount of 30% on prescription drugs, but one local pharmacist said cards like these can be good and bad.

"You have to be very careful with the exact price that the card is going to dictate. Sometimes it's going to be better for the patient, sometimes the programs that are out there now for cash, like the $4.00, $10.00 programs are going to be better than that card," Illini Clinic Pharmacy owner Jeff Merideth said.

Merideth said patients are not the only ones who need do their research when it comes to discount cards.

"There is a $1.80 fee we have to pay to the middle man who came up with this idea so, we loose profit on every prescription we send through," Merideth said.

That means local money is going elsewhere. Patients should talk to their pharmacist to see what the best deal really is.

"We have quick access to those cards, the benefits and the downsides to those prescription savings cards. In the long run we will find the best price for the patient on each individual prescription," Merideth said.