Prescription drug discount program a success

Anoka County’s partnership with ProAct Inc. to provide prescription drug discount cards at no charge to county residents, who are uninsured or underinsured, has been a success.

In the first year of the program, county residents had saved $653,000 in prescription drug charges or $67.93 per prescription, according to Karin M. Eckdahl, account executive, ProAct Inc., in a presentation to the Anoka County Board Feb. 25.

“This has been a great program for the county and its residents,” said Anoka County Board Chairperson Rhonda Sivarajah.

According to Sivarajah, the county had a prescription drug discount card program with another vendor before January 2013, but that required the county to distribute the cards and use the staff time to do so.

But ProAct Inc. has done all the card distribution itself, not only to eligible county residents who do not have insurance coverage for prescription drugs, but also to the pharmacies, Sivarajah said.

“There is no cost to the county and it’s a win, win situation,” she said.

The fact that ProAct Inc has a local representative also helps make the program run successfully, Sivarajah said.

In an interview following the county board meeting, Eckdahl, who has an office in Elk River, said total claims through the Anoka County program for the year numbered 9,772; that’s not the number of people, but the amount that the cards were used during the year.

Prescription discounts cover both brand name and generic drugs, according to Eckdahl.

The discounts are up to 20 percent on brand name medications and up to 50 percent on generic medications.

All pharmacies in the county have the discount cards available for residents if they ask for them, Eckdahl said.

“There is no cost for residents to get the card,” she said.

In addition to prescription drugs, residents can use the card when their pets need medications, Eckdahl said.

And uninsured and underinsured residents can also receive discounts with the card for eye exams, frames, lenses and contacts; LASIK; and hearing aids, according to the ProAct Inc. website.

“This has been a great partnership with the county,” Eckdahl said.

When the program with ProAct Inc. was introduced in January 2013, the company mailed more than 115,000 discount cards to Anoka County residents.

One discount card can be used for all family members. But the card must be used alone, not in conjunction with another insurance carrier.

The discount cards can also be printed out on the ProAct Inc. website at

ProAct is a wholly owned subsidiary of Kinney Drugs Inc., an ESOP company headquartered in Gouvemeur, NY. Kinney Drugs was founded in 1903.