Will prescription cards in your mail save you money? - WFLA News Channel 8

Will prescription cards in your mail save you money?

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TAMPA, FL (WFLA) -

A wallet-sized card showing up in mailboxes across the Tampa Bay region advertises users can "save up to 75 percent on your prescriptions instantly!"

But is it for real?

The white card, with a red and blue logo, bears the name "United States Prescription Discounts" and comes with a member ID.

But one Bay area pharmacist says he won't accept it.

Dan Fucarino, who owns Carrollwood Pharmacy, says he doesn't accept any discount cards. He says the cards don't usually save patients money, and he's been burned before when his business was charged after processing prescriptions using other cards.

"They sent us a bill for $140-some odd dollars," he said.

The pharmacy ended up losing money on the prescriptions, he said.

The "United States Prescription Discounts" card company's website says it gets fees from a "pharmacy benefit management system," and a recorded phone message says it gets fees from pharmaceutical companies when the card is used.

As a pharmacist, Fucarino called to find out whether he might have to pay by processing the "United States Prescription Discounts" card, but said he didn't get an answer from the individuals answering the phone.

He later ran the card on the computer system at his pharmacy for a generic form of Lipitor, and he says the results indicated he would have to pay $21.80 to fill the prescription using the card.

The results quoted a patient price of $29.95 – the same price Fucarino says a patient would pay at his pharmacy without using a discount card.

"No savings at all," he said.

A customer representative who answered a call made by News Channel 8 said you have to use specific pharmacies, but directed more specific questions to corporate officials. News Channel 8 has not been able to reach anyone from the corporate office.

The company's recorded message also says the card works like a coupon, no personal information is tied to the card and "we are not affiliated with the government."

Some pharmacies do accept the "United States Prescription Discounts" card, including a Tampa area Target pharmacy contacted by News Channel 8 and Walgreens.

Related Content: Affordable Health Care Act

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