Democratic Gov. Steve Sisolak on Thursday announced the launch of ArrayRx, a prescription drug discount card, which he says will help Nevadans save up to 80% on generic prescription drugs and 20% on brand name prescription drugs, regardless of income, age or nationality.
Nevada joins Oregon and Washington in ArrayRx Solutions, formerly known as the Northwest Prescription Drug Consortium, which allows states to negotiate lower prices by aggregating purchase volume. Sisolak announced the program in February to the state address of the state.
The origins of ArrayRx Solutions began in Washington, when the state legislature wanted to find a solution to rising prescription drug costs. In 2006, Washington and Oregon joined together to form the North West Prescription Drug Consortium and using combined state resources to reduce costs by negotiating rebates with manufacturers and establishing rebates based on purchase volume.
Nevada residents can sign up online to receive their free digital discount card, which applies to all Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-approved prescriptions, including insulin, psychiatric drugs, and medications. against asthma.
Fifteen counties in the state now have access to the service, with efforts underway to have pharmacies in Esmeralda and Storey, said Beth Slamowitz, senior policy adviser for the Department of Health and Human Services on pharmacy.
Pharmacy deserts are low-income communities that either have limited access to cars and are more than half a mile from a pharmacy, or more than a mile from a pharmacy, regardless of location. access to a car, according to research linking pharmacy access to health outcomes by University of Illinois.
“There are certainly pharmacy deserts that exist in this state as they exist in all states, especially in rural areas,” she said. “There are over 50,000 participating pharmacies in the United States and the card can be used outside of state lines.”
In Nevada, there are more than 40 towns that are more than 10 miles from the nearest pharmacy, several near the Oregon border, according to the state pharmacy desert map by telehealth company Telepharm.
The program’s interstate collaboration allows people living in a pharmaceutical wilderness near the Oregon border to use the rebates there or use them in Washington state, Slamowitz said.
In these 15 Nevada counties that are currently participating, 94% of pharmacies are participating, with 11 of those counties having 100% of their participating pharmacies. The ArrayRx discount card can be used at major pharmacies like Walgreens and CVS alongside independent pharmacies like Refill Pharmacy, where the press conference took place, she said.
The card can also be used for vaccination and certain over-the-counter medications.
The program will especially benefit those with high-deductible plans or those who are uninsured or underinsured. It will also increase access to prescription drugs for low-income families and non-citizens or undocumented people, Slamowitz said.
Although an in-state address is required, it can be any address in Nevada, allowing more transient and at-risk populations to access prescriptions.
Each time a pharmacy submits a claim to ArrayRx, they charge a transaction fee of less than $2, but this fee is rolled into the rebate the pharmacy accepted in order to participate in the program.
Nevada lawmakers have tightened the Nevada Drug Transparency Program with Senate Bill 380, which requires the state to track the price of prescription drugs over $40. A separate measure, Senate Bill 396allows the state to enter into multi-jurisdictional purchasing agreements like ArrayRx to reduce the cost of prescription drugs.
The program allows people to choose the best price between their insurance or ArrayRx. However, the price on ArrayRx may not always be the best deal.
At the August 17 Interim Finance Committee meeting, the state approved $250,000 in funding for public service campaigns in English and Spanish to promote the new service. These announcements have not yet been launched.
“Between 2003 and 2022, 1.2 million participants in Oregon and Washington have benefited from ArrayRx services,” said Donna Sullivan, Chief Pharmacy Officer for the Washington Health Care Authority. “We invite Nevada residents to enjoy the same prescription drug discounts through the ArrayRx card.”
Each household member must register for their own card. To enroll in the free program, Nevada residents can visit arrayrxcard.com
“It’s simple to sign up and all you have to do is walk up to the counter, you’ll see how much the prescription is going to cost, and it’s going to lead to significant savings for a lot of people,” Sisolak said.
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