By John Schaffner
johnschaffner@reporternewspapers.net

The city of Atlanta has launched a new free prescription discount card program designed to help residents deal with the high cost of medication. The discount card offers an average 20 percent savings off the retail price of prescription medications.

Sponsored by the National League of Cities, the card can be used by those who do not have insurance or by those who have prescriptions not covered by insurance.

The card can also be used on some pet medications and is accepted at most pharmacies throughout Atlanta as well as 60,000 participating pharmacies across the country.

“With the NLC Prescription Discount Card, we are ensuring that prescription drugs are affordable for those who need them,” said Mayor Kasim Reed in announcing the program on Nov. 8. “Until now, many people in this community have faced a terrible dilemma every month: ‘Should I pay for my prescribed medicine or should I pay the heating bill? Should I do without my prescriptions or do I give up half my groceries?’ These are agonizing choices. Nobody should ever have to make them.”

Since the program’s inception in January 2009, participating cities have saved their residents more than $3 million on the cost of their prescriptions, according to a press release from the city about the program.

In the press release, Mayor Reed added, “I am very excited to announce another important healthcare victory for the City of Atlanta and its citizens.”

The free discount cards may be used by all Atlanta residents and there are no restrictions. The city of Atlanta Discount Cards are available at Atlanta City Hall and at all city recreation centers.

“The discount cards can also be printed via the Internet at www.atlantaga.gov or at www.caremark.com/nlc. Residents can also locate the nearest participating pharmacy from the same website or call toll-free at 1.888.620.1749 for assistance with the program or the Mayor’s Office of Constituent Services at 404-330-6023.

The NLC Prescription Discount Card Program is administered by CVS Caremark.