Prescription Drug Costs Going Down?

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Going to the pharmacy has become just as painful as going to the gas pump. Doctors write orders for drugs, but they worry the patients aren't taking the pills.

"The doctor prescribes the medication and they cannot afford to buy the medication," said Wewahitchka Medical Center’s Dr. Peter Obesso.

So the Wewahitchka Medical Center is looking for a way to help patients pay for prescription drugs. The program takes advantage of a law passed by Congress 14 years ago.

The legislation created prescription drug discount for patients who used federally funded medical centers like Wewahitchka, but the medical center had to have a pharmacy premises to take advantage of the program.

A company called Rx Strategies is now helping match local pharmacies with the facilities in the North Florida Medical Center Network. Wewahitchka Medical is part of that network.

"This is the seventh center we have in our network and on the average, across the other six centers which have already done this, we have seen savings between 45 and 52 percent," said North Florida Medical Center CFO Don Potterfield.

Charles Pitts says his pharmacy should be able to provide similar returns.

"I feel like we should be able to save 25 to 50 percent on prescriptions, at least," said Pitts.

Wewahitchka Medical Center's doctor says this program is just what the doctor ordered.

"It's gonna be 40 to 50 percent savings. Then the patients will be able to buy the medication and get well," said Dr. Peter Obesso.

North Florida Medical Center says uninsured people are the biggest winners in the new program, saving as much as 75 percent on prescription drugs.