Magazine article Drug Topics

Discount Program Targets Patients without Rx Benefit

Magazine article Drug Topics

Discount Program Targets Patients without Rx Benefit

Article excerpt

A new company called MedAdvantage is offering discounts on prescription drugs to patients who are not covered by a drug benefit.

As described to Drug Topics by Steve Shirar, who is the chief operating officer of MedAdvantage, Detroit, patients join the program by paying an annual enrollment fee. The fee starts at $39.95 for individuals and rises to $59.95 for a couple and $79.95 for three or more people.

"We see ourselves as being a benefit manager for the individual consumer, versus being a benefit manager for a corporate or a sponsored group," he said.

Patients receive a MedAdvantage card, which they take to a participating chain drugstore or supermarket pharmacy, he explained. They use the card to charge their prescriptions, and the charge is billed to a personal account that is set up for the patient with either Visa or MasterCard.

"What we've built is an on-line data link that goes out to the Visa and MasterCard number and validates a credit transaction, said Shirar. "When we enroll our members, we ask them to decide which of their Visa or MasterCard accounts they want their purchases billed to, and we build a little database that links [the cards] up."

Once a quarter, the patients receive a statement that indicates the savings they have achieved by purchasing their drugs through MedAdvantage. …

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