Rice County to implement prescription drug program

Rice County commissioners have approved implementing a plan to help people pay for prescription drugs.

Rice County Public Health Nursing Director Mary Ho said the plan is the National Association of Counties Prescription Drug Discount Program. She said the program is free to counties and anyone wishing to participate should pick up a card and start using it. The card cannot be used in conjunction with other prescription drug benefits, but will give an average of a 20 percent discount.

The public health director estimates that the program will be implemented by the end of the year. The cards will be available at the Rice County Public Health Department in Faribault and other locations not yet identified. Officials are also looking for locations in Lonsdale and Morristown.

Ho said at this point all the pharmacies in Faribault have agreed to participate in the program.

Rice County Administrator Gary Weiers learned of the program when he read an article in a newspaper while he was on vacation. He encouraged Ho to look into it and it turned out to be an attractive program for the county, with support from the commissioners.

Weiers said only one other county in Minnesota is using the cards on a limited basis, but to his knowledge Rice is the only county to open the program to all residents.

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