Tuesday, December 29, 2015

What Should I Know About Prescription Savings Cards?

Prescription savings cards, like the one offered by FamilyWize, are offered by a number of different organizations, ranging from local government and pharmaceutical companies to non-profit organizations and large retail chains. These cards can save consumers money on prescription drugs. However, if you haven't used them before, you may have some questions. What's important to know about prescription savings card, and how can they help you save money?

The basics about prescription savings cards
A prescription savings card is not insurance. Instead, it provides immediate savings at the pharmacy at the time you purchase medications. There are no claim forms to fill out - just present the card at your pharmacy when you pick up your prescription and the savings will be automatically applied by your pharmacist. To receive benefits through your prescription savings card, you must use a pharmacy that participates in the savings program offered by the card. The card you choose should provide you with a listing of affiliated pharmacies.

What if I have insurance coverage?
Prescription savings cards are not used in conjunction with your insurance coverage - when buying a prescription, you must use one or the other. However, in many cases, the savings offered by the card can mean you end up paying a lower price than if you had used your insurance. If you have insurance coverage, your pharmacist can help you determine how to get the best price. If a prescription medication you need is not covered by your insurance, or if you have insurance with a high deductible, a savings card can be a great alternative.

For individuals with Medicare coverage, a prescription savings card may be used if you are in the Medicare "donut hole" or if you do not have Plan D or another supplemental plan.


How can I choose the right prescription savings card for me? 
There are a few things to consider when selecting a prescription savings card:

Check for a fee. Some prescription savings cards might charge a membership fee to join their program, which could cost you more than any discounts you would receive. Always ask about fees prior to signing up for a card.

Are there any restrictions or eligibility requirements? In some cases, certain medications may not be covered, or other limitations may apply. It’s important to always be aware of eligibility requirements and restrictions when using a prescription savings card. In addition, some prescription savings cards may only allow you to use them on a restricted basis. You should be aware of such restrictions associated with your card.

According to The National Consumers League, discount cards can be a great way to save on prescription medicine. As with any program, it’s important to do research to determine the card that best meets your individual needs.

This year, FamilyWize celebrates its 10th anniversary helping individuals, families and communities save on medications. Our card, the FamilyWize Prescription Savings Card, is free to all consumers, insured or uninsured, and has no eligibility requirements. In addition, the card offers unlimited usage, so friends and family members can receive discounts, too. Anyone can request a card by printing a card through FamilyWize.org or by calling 1-800-222-2818. Try it today and start saving!

Live Healthy. Live Smart.
-FamilyWize


Tuesday, December 22, 2015

'Tis the Season to Save!

The holiday season is here! While many people look forward to this time of year, holiday spending can sometimes leave us feeling overwhelmed and financially strapped come January. Check out the tips below for great ways to save during the gift-buying season.


Make a list
Experts suggest making a list and really sticking to it. It might seem like a common-sense step, but many people simply don’t do it - and end up doing a lot of impulse shopping as a result. A holiday shopping list can help you curb those off-the-cuff shopping decisions and lead to a better-managed budget.

Use cash
Consumers reportedly spend 12-18% more when they use credit cards. Stick with cash wherever possible, and you're more likely t!o curb your spending and stay within your holiday budget.

Be a savvy shopper
There are several apps out there that allow you to find the best price on an item. For example, the FamilyWize app is free to download and use can save you money on prescriptions every time you go to the pharmacy - just show it when you're picking up your prescription and ask for the best price.

You can also check out coupons through sites and apps such as Retailmenot. Whether you prefer printed coupons, smartphone apps or loyalty cards, there are plenty of ways to save on holiday purchases, provided you know where to look.

Travel 
If you're planning on using air travel, make plans early to get the best savings on a flight. Also, shipping bags and gifts ahead of time might result in saving on checked baggage. Flying on the holiday itself is also a way to make sure you get the best savings on airfare. Generally, traveling by car will save you money, if it’s feasible to drive to your destination.

Decorations
Save on power this season by using LED lights to decorate your home, which use 99% less energy than traditional bulbs. If you're looking for a change in holiday décor without the additional cost, arrange a trade with friends and family members. You’ll enjoy a change in decorations this season without the added price tag.

Focus on activities, not gifts.
This is a great time of year to focus on festive seasonal activities such as viewing the lights in the neighborhood or going to holiday events in your area. Making great memories with your family and friends will last much longer than the latest popular gift.

Finally, don’t forget to save on medication this season, and throughout the year, by using the FamilyWize prescription savings card.
It’s free and anyone can request a card by printing a card through FamilyWize or by calling 1-800-222-2818. You can also get the app on your iPhone, Android, or Windows Phone. Happy holidays, and remember to enjoy the savings!

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Drug Costs & Cancer: 3 Savings Strategies

Current estimates show that roughly a third of all Americans will be diagnosed with cancer during their lifetime. After the initial shock of the diagnosis, the next shock is usually the cost of treatment.

Many cancer patients report exhausting their life savings on cancer drugs, or going bankrupt trying to cover the cost of their treatment. When the average family in the U.S. earns about $52,000/year, but cancer prescriptions often add up to $120,000/year – with an insured patient’s copay responsibility for the drugs running as much as $30,000,  according to NPR stats – it’s easy to see why patients and medical professionals are describing the situation as economically unsustainable. One study shows that, even adjusting for inflation and other factors, anticancer drugs approved between 1995 and 2013 rose 10 percent yearly – roughly $8,500 every year! That same research showed that the cost of drugs for each year the cancer patient lived grew from $54,000 in 1995 to $207,000 in 2013.

And unfortunately, these rising cancer drug costs are resulting in about 10-20% of cancer patients skipping their treatment, according to this 2013 study.

But in spite of the dark picture that news headlines paint regarding the cost of cancer drugs, there are steps you can take to reduce your spending if you or a loved one is being treated. We’ll cover some of those strategies here.

1. Spend less per prescription using prescription discounts

For those whose medical condition is one that requires more expensive prescription medications, such as cancer treatment drugs, the value of saving through shaving the cost off of each prescription by a few percentage points can be a substantial savings strategy. And it’s even better when the patient can get a discount card that is free! The no-cost FamilyWize card helps you to instantly to start saving up to 75 percent on your prescriptions.
Just print out your personal FamilyWize card (or use our online form to request a mailed FamilyWize card), show it at any of our participating pharmacies nationwide, and ask for the lowest price on your prescriptions.
2. Reach out to the drug companies
If you need a specific drug, some pharmaceutical companies provide assistance to more financially-strapped patients. These patient assistance programs are operated by the drug companies themselves, and in some cases, provide free medications to those who can’t afford them. Check out the list of participating companies at Rx Assist.
3. Ask your doctor for alternatives
In the evolving world of anticancer drug options, it never hurts to ask your doctor about alternative treatments that may achieve the same results at a lower cost. For example, one doctor’s recent research on alternative treatments for colon cancer looked at Zaltrap and Avastin – two drugs that serve similar colon cancer conditions/development states and work similarly on the condition, with both drugs extending median survival by about one and a half months. However, Zaltrap’s monthly cost was $11,000/month, significantly higher than Avistin’s $5,000/month.

While the cost of treatment can be high, taking your medication as prescribed by your doctor is extremely important. Always make sure to explore your savings options before taking a risk with your health!

Ric Moxley
Contributing Writer

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Taking Steps to Reduce Prescription Costs

According to the CDC, nearly 20 percent of the $263 billion spent yearly on retail prescription drugs in the the U.S. was paid out of pocket. And according to the Health Care Cost Institute (HCCI), per-person spending on prescription drugs is now over $700 per year. And for those in the 55-64 age bracket, it's even higher, at more than $1,700 per year.

HCCI’s latest stats also show that health care spending grew nearly three and a half percent in 2014 alone, with most of that increase going to brand name drugs – a $45 jump in per-person spending! The cost of prescriptions went up - even though we used nearly 16% fewer brand prescriptions than in 2013. Women are feeling the pinch the hardest; out-of-pocket spending on prescriptions by women has been higher than spending by men every year since 2010.

With prescription spending high and statistics showing a steady rate of increase over the past five years, it’s time to take constructive steps to manage your prescription costs.

Take steps to reduce your prescription costs


Data from the National Health Interview Survey showed that, to save money, almost 8 percent of U.S. adults did not take their medication as prescribed, which can be dangerous. Specifically:
  • Adults under 64 were nearly twice as likely as adults older than 65 to have not taken their medication as prescribed to save money
  • Among adults under age 64, uninsured adults were more likely than those with Medicaid or private coverage to have not taken their medication as prescribed to save money
  • The poorest adults were the most likely to not take medication as prescribed to reduce prescription spending
  • Some adults ameliorate their prescription costs by reducing the dosage and frequency recommended
Rather than taking a potentially serious risk to manage your costs, consider the following smarter strategies to safely reduce your spending:
  • Ask your doctor if a less expensive but equally effective medication is available. For example, there are time-released brand name drugs prescribed to treat ADHD that can cost 10 to 20 times more per month than the non-time-released version of Ritalin
  • Buy generic versions of drugs whenever your doctor/pharmacist agrees to this cost-saving alternative to name brand drugs
  • Use the free FamilyWize Prescription Savings Card or FamilyWize smartphone app, available in the Apple App StoreGoogle Play, or the Windows Store - this can save you as much as 75% off the cost of your prescriptions, and guarantees you'll get the lowest price
  • See if you may qualify for free preventive care services under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) - the right preventive care can sometimes keep you from needing a prescription at all
  • If you are on Medicare, use the Medicare National Mail-Order Program, which not only saves on ongoing prescription costs, but on gas money as well
  • If you receive insurance through your work, check to see if your employer has a Flexible Spending Account (FSA) benefit, which can save you as much as 30% yearly on out-of-pocket medical expenses
  • Check your mail’s weekly ad flyers and coupon books, which may have neighborhood drug store discounts on prescription drugs
  • Join your pharmacy’s loyalty program if they have one
  • Use the FamilyWize Drug Price Lookup Tool, which can help you compare prices at different pharmacies in your area
For more cost savings strategies, download our free Live Healthy, Live Smart® eGuide, written by an expert pharmacist with over 30 years of experience.

Ric Moxley
Contributing Writer




Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Medicine Cabinet 101: What You Need to Know

Your medicine cabinet isn’t something you probably think about often. However, it's one of the most important parts of any home, and failing to take care of it could lead to serious consequences. Here’s what you should know about your medicine cabinet in order to stay safe and healthy.

According to the National Health Service, basic supplies you should keep stocked in your medicine cabinet include:

Pain relievers such as aspirin or ibuprofen
Antihistamine tablets and creams to treat allergies and insect bites
Bandages, sterile dressings and tape in a variety of sizes for cuts, sprains and other injuries
Antiseptic to clean cuts
A thermometer to check for fever
Tweezers to remove splinters
Eyewash solution to dislodge dirt, grit and other eye irritants

While this is just a basic list, your pharmacist can help you determine other products you should have on hand based on your family’s individual needs. Don't be afraid to ask your local pharmacist for tips and advice when it comes to your medication!


Despite what most people may assume, your medicine cabinet isn’t necessarily the best place to store your prescriptions, which are best kept in a cool, dry place. Medicine cabinets are typically not suggested because of the moisture and humidity in the bathroom. However, your medicine cabinet is a great place to stock any of the supplies listed above.

When it comes to disposing of medication, it’s important to check all of your items regularly for expiration dates. Even common over-the-counter items such as pain reliever, antihistamine, antiseptic and eyewash solution should be disposed of in a proper manner. There are several ways to safely dispose of medication:

Medicine take-back programs are a good way to dispose of medicines, according to the FDA. Check Dispose My Meds for help with locating a drug disposal program in your area.

Flushing your medicines is acceptable in some cases, but not always. Check with your pharmacist about whether your medication may be safely flushed.

 If no other means of disposal is available or appropriate, you can mix medicines with something that is unappealing, such as kitty litter, dirt or used coffee grounds, and put the mixture in a sealed plastic bag before throwing it away. Always make sure you remove the labeling on any empty pill bottles or packaging before disposing of the container to ensure privacy.

If you’re looking for more helpful hints to stay safe with your medications and supplies, check out the free FamilyWize 10th Anniversary eBook. It's a great way to ensure you're staying smart when it comes to your medications, and is written by an expert pharmacist with over three decades of experience.

And don’t forget to use your FamilyWize Prescription Savings Card when purchasing your medications! The card is free to all consumers, insured and uninsured, has no eligibility requirements, and features unlimited use. Showing the card to your pharmacist when you pick up your prescription guarantees you'll get the lowest price - last year, users of the FamilyWize card saved an average of 42%. Print out a card today by going to FamilyWize.org, order one by calling 1-800-222-2818, or download the free app available on iOS, Android, and Windows Phones!


Monday, November 30, 2015

The Huffington Post: 8 Questions To Ask Your Pharmacist

More than 4 billion prescriptions were filled at retail pharmacies in 2014, according to data from the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. Of those prescriptions, roughly half to three-quarters were used incorrectly, says pharmacist Linda Bernstein, a volunteer clinical professor at University of California-San Francisco School of Pharmacy and a spokeswoman for familywize.org. Whether it’s a medication you’ve been taking for 20 years or just a few days, it’s important to ask your pharmacist these seemingly obvious but crucial questions…

To learn which questions you should be asking, read the full article from Huffington Post Healthy Living here

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Your Complete Guide to Medicare Open Enrollment

Choosing your own health plan can be an intimidating and often confusing process, particularly for those who are already enrolled in Medicare but are interested in how other plans on the market compare with Medicare Advantage or Medicare Part D.

With Open Enrollment season ending December 7th, time is running out to select the plan that fits your needs along with your budget. Fortunately, our friends at My Medicare Matters have developed a guide to help you through it.



The Complete Guide to Medicare Open Enrollment gives you an overview of the essential facts of the Open Enrollment period, including when it starts and ends, which parts of your Medicare plan you can change, and when your new coverage will begin. It also lets you know who should consider changing their coverage during this period; for example, certain people may find plans that offer better prescription drug coverage than their current plan, while others may need to switch in order to keep their doctor in-network. You can also sign up for reminders by email to learn more about when Open Enrollment starts and ends.

Not sure how your current Medicare plan stacks up? Use My Medicare Matters’ short Medicare Questionnaire. By answering a few simple questions, you will be provided with an online price comparison tool that will allow you to do your own research and find the plan that is right for you.



We’ve partnered with My Medicare Matters because like us, they are dedicated to offering free, easy ways to help people save money on their health. Together with our free Prescription Savings Card, which saved an average of 42% off the retail cost of prescription medication in 2014, there are more options than ever to help people, insured or uninsured, save on the rising cost of proper healthcare.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

United Way of Miami-Dade Reaches $10 Million Saved With FamilyWize

This week we're celebrating an important milestone with our partners at United Way of Miami-Dade. They've helped their community save over $10 million on prescription medications by sharing the FamilyWize Prescription Savings Card with people in need!

United Way of Miami-Dade, an organization focused on improving the health and well-being of individuals and families in their area, began partnering with FamilyWize in 2008. We're happy to report that the card has helped more than 140,000 people in Miami-Dade!

“The United Way/FamilyWize partnership has proven to be successful in our community, allowing people to save money while making proper, healthy decisions,” said Harve A. Mogul, the president and CEO of United Way of Miami-Dade. “We are proud of reaching this $10 million milestone and will continue to do all we can to keep our community healthy.”

Since 1924, United Way of Miami-Dade has been an innovative force for their community, successfully responding to emerging needs and transforming people’s lives. We are proud to partner with organizations that share our vision for a stronger community and embody the spirit of collaboration.

Celebrate with us

If you live in the Miami-Dade area, come join us as we help United Way to celebrate this milestone at the Borinquen Health and Education Fair  on November 21.

The fair is from 9 AM - 4 PM, and will feature various free health screenings and educational materials for attendees, plus food, music, and gift cards, while supplies last. We will also be offering free flu shots as part of our partnership with Walgreens.

You needn’t be a Miami-Dade resident to benefit from the FamilyWize card’s discounts. In fact, pharmacies throughout the U.S. accept the FamilyWize card, including CVS Pharmacy, Walgreens, Kmart, Costco, Publix, and Target, and more! For a full list of participating pharmacies or to look up drug prices, visit www.familywize.org.

For the past 10 years, we have lowered the cost of medication for people without insurance or take medications not covered by their health plan - and even for those with insurance, the card often gives the better discount. Here's what you should know about the FamilyWize card:
  • It has unlimited use
  • Getting one does not require any personal information from you
  • There is no eligibility criteria
  • If you’re a business owner or employer, you can request FamilyWize cards in bulk for your employees
To print a card, go to familywize.org/card, or request a card by calling us toll-free at 800-222-2818. You can also download a card through the smartphone app.

And if you haven't done so yet, get your free copy of our Live Healthy. Live Smart.® eBook. This educational guide provides valuable information about prescription medications — from how to talk to your pharmacist to how to get the best prices at the pharmacy.

We are dedicated to improving people's lives by helping to make their prescription medication more affordable. With help from organizations like United Way of Miami-Dade, our goal looks more achievable than ever.

Ric Moxley
Contributing Writer

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

What You Should Know About Generic Medication

You probably already know that generic prescription drugs and over-the-counter medications are often cheaper than the name-brand version. However, you may have questions over what exactly "generic" means, and if the lower price means the medication won't work as well. We’re here to help you learn the facts about generic medicine.
Fact #1: Generic drugs contain the same active ingredients
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) defines a generic medication as “a drug product that is comparable to a brand name/reference listed drug product in dosage form, strength, quality, and performance characteristics, and intended use.” The term generic refers to both over-the-counter and prescription medications that have no brand name or registered trademark. A familiar example of a brand name product is Tylenol®, whose generic term is acetaminophen.

The FDA imposes strict standards for the approval of generic drugs, and follows up on these standards through enforcement. Generic products purchased in the U.S. need to be the “bioequivalent” of a name brand, meaning they must have the same active ingredients as their brand counterpart.
Fact #2: Generic drugs are not available for all brand name products
The generic version of a drug is rarely made available until the original brand name manufacturer’s product goes “off patent,” at which time it is no longer subject to patent protection. It usually takes about 20 years for this to occur. Once the patent has expired, other drug companies can then manufacture and sell the generic version of the medication after the FDA has tested and approved it.

Fact #3: Generic prescriptions are required in some circumstances
Unless your doctor mandates on the prescription that no substitutions are permitted, pharmacists in most states are required to dispense the generic version of a drug. In addition, many insurance plans mandate that, when available, the generic form of a drug must be dispensed. To be certain you’re getting the savings available to you via generic alternatives, ask your pharmacist if substituting a generic form of your brand name prescription product is possible. Your pharmacist is trained to know which generic products are acceptable substitutes for the prescription medicine’s brand name product.
Fact #4: Generic forms sometimes cannot be used
Sometimes, a small variation in the amount of drug in the blood stream can make a big difference in how a medicine works. Consequently, switching from a brand to a generic form of the medicine is sometimes inadvisable. Before asking to be switched to a generic, you should always consult your doctor and pharmacist first.  
Fact #5: Generic drugs save you money
According to an economic analysis by the Generic Pharmaceutical Association (GPhA), U.S. consumers save an average of $3 billion every week by buying generic alternatives over name-brand medication. The price of generic medications can be up to 90% less than name-brand prescription equivalents, with average savings closer to 80-85%, according to the FDA.

More on generic drugs and saving on prescriptions

For more tips about generic drugs, check out our free Live Healthy, Live Smart® eBook, which we’re offering to celebrate our 10th anniversary of helping individuals, families, and communities save money on their medication. For more facts and data on prescriptions, visit the FDA’s Facts About Generic Drugs and Understanding Generic Drugs fact page. For further information, check out WebMD’s guide to generic drugs.

Want to save even more on your prescriptions? Try using the free FamilyWize Prescription Savings Card, which is accepted at more than 60,000 pharmacies nationwide and covers all FDA approved prescription medications. You’ll get an average savings of 42% on medication costs - or sometimes, as high as 75%! Simply print out a card from FamilyWize.org or download the free FamilyWize app to start saving today.


Ric Moxley
Contributing Writer

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

The Best Ways to Save on Prescription Medication


The rising cost of prescription medications is a huge burden for many Americans. The good news is that there are ways you can take control. Here are some great tips that can help you save money on your prescription medication.

Go Generic

Whenever the option is available, you can save substantially by choosing generic drugs over brand-name. Generic drugs have the same ingredients, dosage, intended use, side effects, and strength as the original drug. The only difference is that it’s usually much cheaper than its brand-name counterparts – in many cases, 30-80% less!

Compare Prices At Your Local Pharmacies


The cost of a drug can vary from one pharmacy to the next, sometimes significantly. When choosing a pharmacy, compare before you commit.

The FamilyWize  Drug Price Lookup Tool is the perfect tool for this. You can use the tool to check and compare prices at different pharmacies. Simply enter your zip code and the name of the drug you’ve been prescribed, and the tool will search your neighborhood, giving you a list of where the drug is available, and at what price.


Use a Prescription Savings Card

Our free FamilyWize Prescription Savings Card saved an average of 42% off your retail prescription costs, or $29.14 per prescription, based on our data from 2014. In some cases, the savings with the card go as high as 75%! The FamilyWize Prescription Savings Card can oftentimes give you a better deal than your insurance, so whenever you go to the pharmacy, always show your FamilyWize card in addition to your insurance, and ask your pharmacist for the lowest price.

Use Common Savings Strategies

What works for saving money on general consumer purchases may also work with prescription purchases. For example:
  • Check out the pharmacy counters at big-box stores and club stores – they may offer better discounts than you can get through insurance.
  • If it’s a drug that you need long-term and that doesn’t expire too quickly, look for seasonal discounts or sales and stock up.
  • Look for offers and special deals from your local pharmacies.
  • If your insurance company doesn’t cover your medicine, talk with your doctor or pharmacist about alternatives that may be just as effective but cost less money.
  • See if your insurer has a preferred pharmacy or mail order service to help you get the best prices.
  • Ask your doctor or pharmacist to review your medicines to see if you can eliminate any of them safely.
Remember, no matter which strategy you use to save, taking your medication is crucial to staying healthy. A 2013 Consumer Reports poll revealed that more than 50 percent of us are taking potentially dangerous risks to reduce costs associated with our prescriptions, such as skipping doses, taking expired drugs, or not filling our prescriptions at all.

For more common sense tips on prescription drug safety and cost savings strategies, check out our free Live Healthy, Live Smart® eBook. We’re offering you this free booklet of tips to celebrate our 10th anniversary of helping individuals, families, and communities save money on their medication.

Ric Moxley
Contributing Writer

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

What Should I Ask My Pharmacist?


Most people think of their pharmacist as someone who simply fills their prescriptions. They may not be aware that your pharmacist can be an excellent source for information and advice - not only when it comes to prescriptions, but also with nonprescription medications, herbal supplements, and safe use, storage, and disposal of medicine.

If you’re one of the 44 percent of Americans who regularly take prescription medication, this list of questions to ask could come in handy the next time you go to the pharmacy.
  • What is this pill supposed to do for me? If you take a lot of pills, it can get confusing as to what you’re taking and why. Don’t be embarrassed to ask your pharmacist about what the names of your medication are, what the ingredients are, and what the medication is supposed to do - in an emergency, this information could be critical.
  • How do I use this? There are many health aids that can be tricky to know how to use the first few times, such as inhalers or injections. Ask your pharmacist for guidance on items that may take special skills or understanding to use them properly.
  • How, when, and for how long should I take this medication? Medications are only optimally effective when used properly. That means knowing how long you should continue to use them, how many times a day you should take them, and how many you should take at a time. Some things that are good for you in one quantity or duration can be bad for you in another. For example, a short-course medicine, such as an antibiotic to treat an infection, may only be needed for 7-10 days, but must be taken for its full course of treatment, even if you begin to feel better sooner. Your pharmacist can guide you in all this!
  • Is there an optimal time to take this? Some medicines and supplements are best taken at night, because they can cause drowsiness. Others may have a stimulant effect and should best be taken early in the day. Ask your pharmacist if you’re not sure when the best time would be to take your medicine.
  • Can I take this on an empty stomach? What about with food? Some drugs can make you queasy if you don't take them with food. Other drugs may not work as well if taken with food. Your pharmacist can help guide you through any dietary restrictions with your medication.
  • How can I avoid any drug interaction issues? Certain things can interfere with the effectiveness of your medicine. Even something as simple as sunlight exposure can be a problem with certain drugs. Be sure to ask what is safe to do while taking your medicines. To give you the best answer, your pharmacist may need a complete list of medicines you take, including prescriptions, over-the-counter, and herbal products, so have one ready when you call or visit your pharmacy.
  • What's the best way to store or dispose of my medications? How long a drug stays safe or effective often depends on how it is stored. In addition, when you have outdated drugs or medications that you no longer need, keeping them in your home can be a risk to others or yourself. Your pharmacist is an expert on the best way to dispose of drugs.
For more valuable pharmacy and medication tips, download our free Live Healthy, Live Smart® eBook. We’re offering this booklet to celebrate our tenth anniversary of helping individuals, families, and communities save money on their medication - click the link for your free copy, and get more great tips on medication savings and safety!

Ric Moxley
Contributing Writer


Monday, October 19, 2015

FamilyWize Turns 10!



October is a major milestone in FamilyWize history - it's our 10th birthday! Since 2005, we have worked tirelessly to improve the health and well-being of individuals, families and communities.

Originally, we were only focused on Pennsylvania’s Lehigh Valley, where our headquarters is located. However, as our operations have expanded, so has our focus; we now provide prescription savings to consumers in every state!

We are able to provide these discounts by way of our free FamilyWize Prescription Savings Card and our extensive network of partner programs. Today, that network includes the United Way, the National Council on Aging, and the American Heart Association, among others.

With help from these partners, we’ve been able to help more than 8.8 million people save over $925 million dollars on their medication costs.

Ray Bullman, Executive Vice President of the National Council on Patient Information and Education (NCPIE), another FamilyWize partner, says, “FamilyWize has a long tradition of delivering value to consumers and raising awareness of the need to talk about medications, from access to affordability to advocacy, through their partners. We congratulate them on their successful 10-year milestone and look forward to working together to promote safe, smart prescription use.”

To make this anniversary even more significant, we’ve just launched a new educational campaign in support of "Talk About Your Medicines Month," established 30 years ago by NCPIE in an effort to promote the wise use of medicines through trusted communication for better health.

The centerpiece of our campaign is the release of our Live Healthy. Live Smart.® eBook. This free educational guide provides valuable information about prescription medications — from what you should ask your pharmacist, to how to get the best prices at the pharmacy, to how to dispose of your medication safely.

"We are thrilled to partner with NCPIE as part of Talk About Your Medicines month and our own 10th Anniversary. We believe that it is critical that all consumers not only have access to the medications they need, but also have access to information on issues surrounding prescription medications, whether that be the importance of taking your prescriptions regularly or how to save on prescription medication costs,” said Joseph Sanginiti, President and COO of FamilyWize.

To get your free eBook of helpful pharmacy tips and advice, click here to download it or read it online. The eBook also includes a FamilyWize Prescription Savings Card, which is accepted at over 60,000 pharmacies nationwide and can help you save an average of 42% on prescription medication. Here's to another decade of helping people save!

Ric Moxley
Contributing Writer











Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Did You Get Your Flu Shot Yet?



Each year, the flu is responsible for infecting millions, causing hundreds of thousands of hospitalizations, and resulting in thousands of deaths. In addition, the flu can be costly and result in missed time at work and school. A report from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services indicates that parents spent between $300 and $400 in flu-related medical expenses for their children in 2012. In addition, parents reportedly missed between 11 and 73 days of work caring for children affected by the flu.

The flu can and does affect individuals of all ages. However, certain groups are more at risk than others:

  • Men and women 65 years of age and older.
  • Children younger than 5 years old are especially susceptible to the flu. Studies indicate that 2 year old children are at particular risk.
  • Those with chronic health conditions such as asthma, diabetes, heart disease, cancer, AIDS and HIV put individuals at higher risk for complications of the flu.
  • Pregnant women.
Medical professionals agree that getting a flu vaccine is the most important step you can take to prevent the flu. The CDC recommends a flu vaccination for everyone 6 months of age and older. Unfortunately, many individuals don’t get their flu shots due to the cost.

In preparation for flu season, FamilyWize is working with Walgreens to help curtail this costly and potentially deadly virus by distributing thousands of free flu shot vouchers to individuals across the country. Visit the FamilyWize website for a list of event dates and locations.

Since the program’s inception in 2011, Walgreens, together with the U.S. Department of Health and Human services and organizations such as FamilyWize, has helped to distribute more than $40 million worth of flu shot vouchers. It’s just one of the ways FamilyWize has been helping families and communities stay healthy and save money for over ten years.

If you don’t already have a FamilyWize Prescription Savings Card, cards will be available at all of the flu shot events. While other cards may require registration or a membership fee, the FamilyWize Presscription Savings Card is free to use and may provide additional savings on medication costs. The FamilyWize Prescription Savings Card is accepted at more than 60,000 pharmacies nationwide.

FamilyWize and Walgreens are making it easier than ever to get your flu shot. So, don’t forget to protect yourself and your family from the flu this season by taking advantage of this opportunity!

Live Healthy. Live Smart.
-FamilyWize

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Drugs & Diabetes: Six Cost-Saving Strategies


According to the CDC, diabetes is the seventh leading cause of death in the United States, with more than 600,000 deaths annually. It also creates high health costs for many families, with sources estimating the national cost of diabetes at over $132 billion a year. If you suffer from diabetes, these six tips can help you ease those costs and stay healthy.
Tip #1: Use mail-order services for prescription discounts
Under Obamacare, Medicare now has a National Mail-Order Program, which can save you quite a bit on lancets, test strips, batteries, and other common diabetes supplies. Plus, it’s all delivered straight to your door, which can save you time and gas.
Tip #2: Use Obamacare’s free preventative care options
Most of the plans under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) are required to provide free preventive care services, which would include screening for diabetes if you’re an adult with high blood pressure or if you’re pregnant. Though the coverage rules vary by state, ACA’s free preventive care also includes medical nutrition therapy for those with diabetes.
Tip #3: Use your FSA
If your employer offers benefit plans with a Flexible Spending Account (FSA), you can save substantially – up to 30% – on your out-of-pocket medical expenses.

The way a Flexible Spending Account works is by letting you set aside pre-tax money from your salary to put towards expected medical expenses. By doing this, you effectively reduce your taxable income. You can then use the money you set aside to cover many medical expenses not covered by your health plan, such as copays and over-the-counter medications.
Tip #4: Use a free discount prescription card
You can save an average of 42% on your prescriptions by using the free FamilyWize Prescription Savings Card or the FamilyWize smartphone app.  To download the app, follow these links to the Apple App StoreGoogle Play, or the Windows Store. Last year, the FamilyWize card saved over $175 million on prescriptions!
Tip #5: Take advantage of other discounts via coupons and rebates
There are many things you can do as part of your regular shopping routine to save money. For example:
  • Watch the weekly ad flyers or coupon books coming to you in the mail from your drug store.
  • Keep an eye on your area drugstores’ websites for digital coupons you can print or save on your phone.
  • Ask if your pharmacy has a loyalty program. A higher volume customer, such as a person with diabetes, can often get frequent discounts on general merchandise or even prescription medications.
Tip #6: Go generic
Buying generic (unbranded) versions of drugs can reduce your cost of diabetes care, sometimes significantly.  Read more on the cost advantages of buying generic drugs at WebMD.

The most important thing: Do not let limited funds keep you from your necessary diabetes drugs.  According to a 2004 University of Michigan study, 11 percent of diabetes patients skip diabetes medication doses because of the high cost. Inevitably (as confirmed by other studies), this worsens blood sugar control. By using the tips provided here, you can help ensure you're leading a savings-smart, healthy life.

Ric Moxley
Contributing Writer

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Cost-Cutting Tricks for Everyday Items

Consumers everywhere are on the look-out for cost-cutting tricks to use for everyday items, from groceries and clothing to prescription medications and entertainment. For these everyday purchases, there are plenty of ways for savvy shoppers to apply numerous cost-cutting tricks. Here are a few ways:


Groceries: Whether you clip coupons or rely on smartphone applications, there are plenty of opportunities to apply cost-cutting tricks to your purchases at the grocery store. Check out sites such as coupons.com or smartsource.com for great savings on grocery items. Also, consider sharing a warehouse membership with another family, and enjoy additional savings on everyday items.

Prescription Drugs: A simple way to apply savings to prescription drugs is by using the FamilyWize Prescription Savings Card at your pharmacy. The card is free to for all consumers - both insured and uninsured - with no registration or membership fee, and it can garner significant savings on your prescription medications. Additional cost-cutting tips for prescriptions include:

  • Asking about generic prescription drugs, which are often less expensive than name brands, but just as effective.
  • Checking out your insurance provider’s preferred pharmacy and mail-order options for your prescription drug needs.
  • Speaking with the pharmacist regarding cash pricing on prescription drugs.

Clothing: There are many ways to save on everyday items such as clothing. Here are a few cost-cutting tips:

  • Before shopping, check out sites such as Saving Star and Retail Me Not for deals and coupons.
  • Shop sale and clearance merchandise first for savings on clothing.
  • Consider second-hand, especially for designer goods and larger ticket items such as winter coats and boots.
  • Ditch dry-clean only merchandise. Over time this cost-cutting trick alone will result in savings in the clothing department.

Entertainment: Readers can try free electronic downloads from Project Gutenberg, or borrow books from the public library. While foodies can look for deals through sites such as Eatdrinkdeals.com to enjoy savings and deals at a variety of restaurants. In addition, for a less costly way to enjoy on-screen entertainment, movie fanatics can replace going to the movies with a movie night at home.

Other:  Cost-cutting tricks can apply to items such as energy costs, too.  Programs such as the Low Income Energy Assistance Program (LIEAP) help provide financial assistance and services to cut heating and cooling costs. In addition, apps such as Gas Buddy allow users to check out the cheapest gasoline prices in the area. Compare cell phone, cable television, and Internet plans by using My Rate Plan and check out a variety of plans and determine the most appropriate one for your specific needs.

With all the cost-cutting tricks available for everyday items, it’s easier than ever for consumers to save money. By incorporating cost-cutting tricks, you can enjoy the same lifestyle without breaking the bank.

Live Healthy. Live Smart.
-FamilyWize