FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: February 24, 2012

41 percent of adults say it’s a problem for their family to pay for prescription medications.

Since 2008, the United Way of Dane County/FamilyWize partnership has officially saved Dane County over $250,000 on the cost of prescription medicines. The FamilyWize discount drug card is free of charge – there are no age restrictions, income restrictions or limit on how many times a single card may be used. It can be used by people who do not have health insurance or for medicines that are not covered by their insurance plan. On average, consumers receive a 40 percent discount off the cost of their prescription medicines. Since January alone, the card was used 480 times in Dane County with more than $9,600 in savings.

“We know that almost 13 percent of adults in Dane County don’t have health insurance, and many more are simply not getting the medicines they need, mainly due to high prices. So we are proud to be making a difference in people’s lives, allowing them to make health-conscious decisions,” Leslie Ann Howard, President & CEO, United Way of Dane County, said.

Locally, more than 300 pharmacies accept the prescription discount card, including: Walgreens, CVS, Copps, Target, Wal-Mart, Shopko and Mallatt’s among others.

“The pharmacy community in Dane County has embraced this partnership with open arms,” Sandy Erickson, Director of Community Impact, United Way of Dane County, said. “Together we recognize that making sure people can afford to buy the medicine they need, protects the individual, the family and even the community by preventing more serious and expensive complications and hospitalizations.”

To print a card, visit www.unitedwaydanecounty.org/2-1-1 or request a card by calling by 2-1-1 or (608) 246-4357 from any cell or landline. Local businesses and employers can also get cards in bulk. For a full list of participating pharmacies and to look up drug prices visit www.FamilyWize.org.

About the United Way/FamilyWize Partnership
In the spring of 2005, Dan and Susan Barnes heard of families in the Lehigh Valley, PA who were having difficulty buying the medicine they needed because of the high cost of prescription drugs. They responded by distributing a free prescription discount drug card through family and health centers in the schools in Bethlehem, PA. The family centers then involved the United Way of the Greater Lehigh Valley who asked 25 of its partner agencies to help distribute the cards to individuals and families in need throughout the area. Almost immediately requests from other United Ways came in to request to provide this free assistance in their community. As a result, the Barnes established the FamilyWize Community Service Partnership in the fall of 2005 inviting a group of local and national companies to join together to provide this free assistance through United Ways to people in need across the county. Currently 1,000 participating United Ways coordinate the local distribution of the free FamilyWize prescription drug discount cards. In February of 2012, the total savings from the use of FamilyWize prescription drug discount cards nationally passed $300 million and a new goal was established to reach $1 billion in savings by the end of 2015.

Our Community’s Agenda for Change

EDUCATION

  • Students succeed academically and graduate from high school, regardless of race.
  • Children are cared for and have fun as they become prepared for school.

 SAFETY

  • There is a decrease in family homelessness.
  • There is a reduction in violence toward individuals and families.

 HEALTH

  • People’s health issues are identified and treated early.
  • Seniors and people with disabilities are able to stay in their homes.

 United Way engages our community mobilizes volunteers and strengthens local nonprofits to achieve measurable results and change lives.

United Way of Dane County

United Way of Dane County is addressing the underlying causes of community issues through our community’s Agenda for Change—seven goals focused on three priority areas of Education, Safety and Health that our community identified as most critical to changing lives and strengthening Dane County. Through strategic partnerships and collaborative work, we are achieving measurable results toward making our community better educated, safer, and healthier. United Way provides organizations and individuals the opportunity to give, advocate, and volunteer to change the human condition in Dane County.