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Drug discount card use drops

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CANTON — Use of a prescription drug discount card has dropped, a trend St. Lawrence County officials hope to counteract.

ProAct, a division of Kinney Drugs, started the drug discount program in 2005 as a way to help uninsured residents pay for prescriptions.

“No one has to pay the full cash price for their prescriptions,” communications coordinator Terrance O’Neill told county legislators recently.

The discount card cannot be used in conjunction with health insurance, but it can help pay for some prescriptions that are not covered. It can be a benefit for those with a high deductible and those who have no insurance.

Through 2011, ProAct has processed 367,692 claims and saved county residents more than $7 million, Mr. O’Neill said. St. Lawrence County has the second highest savings in the state.

In 2012, ProAct processed 50,304 claims in the county, a dip from the previous year, when it handled about 57,000 claims, and from 2010, when more than 60,000 claims were filed.

“We are seeing a slight decrease in utilization,” Mr. O’Neill said.

The decline could be because residents are finding jobs that offer them prescription drug coverage or because they have moved away while others are unaware of the program.

“We want to increase and promote awareness,” Mr. O’Neill said. “Word of mouth is extremely important.”

Legislators agreed to have pamphlets on the program available at county offices and to have them distributed to service clubs and sites where meals are provided.

“That would get it out to the truly needy people,” said Legislator Joseph R. Lightfoot, R-Ogdensburg.

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