Gov. Steve Sisolak on Thursday unveiled a new pharmacy discount card designed to help lower the cost of prescription drugs for Nevadans. The ArrayRx digital discount card is free to sign up for and is said to save up to 80% on some medications.
Sisolak, in February, promised to work with Oregon and Washington to lower drug costs through a discount card.
“Prescription medications can get very expensive – too expensive. This program will help Nevadans keep more money in their pockets,” said Gov. Sisolak. “Taking care of yourself and prioritizing your health shouldn’t leave you bankrupt – and I will never stop in my mission to bring more affordable health care solutions to Nevadans.”
It’s just one of the programs working to lower healthcare costs for Nevadans.
Billionaire investor and Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban earlier this year launched Cost Plus Drugs, an online pharmacy for generic drugs where many prescriptions cost a fraction of their retail price.
And last month President Biden signed the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 which also included provisions to lower the cost of prescription medications. The law allows Medicare to negotiate prescription drug prices on some of the highest cost drugs and caps annual out of pocket costs for medications through Medicare Part D.
Data from the Congressional Budget Office shows per capita spending on retail prescription drugs, adjusted for inflation, is seven times higher now than in 1980.
So-called “blockbuster drugs” that treat common, chronic conditions such as blood pressure, high cholesterol, acid reflux and depression are partly to blame for rising costs. They’re so nicknamed because they generate at least $1 billion each in annual sales.
Researchers at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that anywhere from 10% to 40% of adults over 65 have not taken their medications because of cost concerns. For people on a fixed income, the decision could come down to paying for housing and food or medication.
Experts also say that when people don’t take their medications as prescribed it winds up raising healthcare costs across the board because of worsened chronic disease. About 10% of hospitalizations and 125,000 deaths per year are attributed to people not taking their medications as prescribed.
All Nevadans are eligible to sign up for the ArrayRX digital discount card, regardless of age, income or citizenship. Those with insurance can also sign up, and the discount may be applied to prescription drugs not covered by insurance.
Most local pharmacies are participating in the ArrayRX program, with 37 locations in Reno and Sparks.
More details and enrollment are online at https://www.arrayrxcard.com/.
Kristen Hackbarth is a freelance editor and communications professional with more than 20 years’ experience working in marketing, public relations and communications in northern Nevada. Kristen graduated from the University of Nevada, Reno with a degree in photography and minor in journalism and has a Master of Science in Management and Leadership. She also serves as director of communications for Nevada Cancer Coalition, a statewide nonprofit. Though she now lives in Atlanta, she is a Nevadan for life and uses her three-hour time advantage to get a jump on the morning’s news.