NYC rolls out discount prescription drug card

May 18, 2011 6:49:46 PM PDT
The skyrocketing price of medicine affects us all, but a red card called the Big Apple RX Discount might help.

"How many times do I hear residents say what does government do for me?! Well here's an example of government working for you directly," said Brooklyn Borough President, Marty Markowitz.

Officials unveiled the program on Wednesday after years of work. It will offer an average discount of 47 percent.

For example;

  • Zocor's retail cost is $69.61, after the big apple discount, $18.51
  • Glyburide for diabetes usually runs $96.08, After the discount just $28.21
  • And finally the anti-inflammatory Celebrex almost $104 retail, but $84.17 with the discount.

    If you already have insurance and you already get a discount on your prescriptions this card probably won't help much. The programs designed mostly for those people who have no insurance at all or very little.

    City Hall devised the discount program with a private company that'll connect 85 percent of all pharmacies in the city.

    "It is a bunch of stores that want to sell to a bigger group and are willing to give a volume discount plain and simple," said Mayor Bloomberg.

    Customers, even those with plenty of insurance said they're excited about the possibility of a discount.

    "Yeah absolutely, I mean in this economic times, anything that saves money is a good thing," said Emily Hanson.

    The discount could help when insurance companies won't pay for certain medicines.

    But again it's mostly designed to help those with no insurance, which at last count was 1.2 million New Yorkers.

    The list of drug chains that will accept the new cards includes Target. The discount cards can be downloaded at or obtained by calling 311, the city's help line.