Prescription Drug Discount Card Details Shared by Comptroller at West Hartford Senior Centers Holiday Luncheon

Comptroller Sean Scanlon spoke about ArrayRx, Connecticut's new prescription drug discount program, at a luncheon for West Hartford seniors on Dec. 12, 2023. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

ArrayRx launched in Connecticut this fall, and Comptroller Sean Scanlon visited the West Hartford Senior Centers holiday luncheon to share the details.

Mayor Shari Cantor speaks at the West Hartford Senior Centers holiday luncheon on Dec. 12, 2023. At right is Senior Centers Director Becky Sears. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

By Ronni Newton

There was a healthy dose of holiday spirit at the West Hartford Senior Center’s holiday luncheon on Dec. 12 – including Santa and Mrs. Claus, sweet treats, and Christmas songs – and those in attendance also received important information about a resource to use to possibly obtain healthy doses of necessary medications at a significantly lower cost.

The West Hartford Senior Centers held a luncheon on Dec. 12, 2023. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

The state’s new prescription drug program, ArrayRx, launched on Oct. 2, 2023, and the program – which has no enrollment cost – provides savings of up to 80% on prescription medications.

Connecticut Comptroller Sean Scanlon attended the luncheon, held at the Elmwood Community Center, to tout the benefits of ArrayRx. “What that is, is it’s the very first prescription drug discount card that the State of Connecticut has every offered – not just to seniors but to every person in the State of Connecticut.”

The discount card can be downloaded electronically in just minutes, and it can be used at 98% of the pharmacies in the state. “Why did we do this?” Scanlon asked. “Well the answer to that is obvious,” he said, noting the skyrocketing cost of prescription drugs throughout the country. Americans, he said, spend more per capita on drugs than residents of any other country.

Information distributed about ArrayRx. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

That will hopefully improve, Scanlon said, in 2026 when there will be the opportunity for drug price negotiation on Medicare, and out-of-pocket drug costs will be capped at $2,000. In the meantime, however, “we need some relief today, and that’s what this card is for.”

ArrayRx is “another tool in the toolbox,” he said, noting that for those who are unable to download the card via a smartphone or computer, there is a phone number that can be called to obtain the discount card. He offered to field calls through his office as well.

The card can’t be used at the same time as insurance, but many drugs that seniors regularly use aren’t covered by Medicare. In addition, pharmacists are also able to check and compare the pricing via insurance as opposed to through ArrayRx, so consumers can opt for whichever is least expensive. There is also a Find a Drug tool linked on the ArrayRx website where prices of medications can be checked – but those using the tool should ensure they are choosing the accurate form, strength, quantity, and days’ supply for comparison purposes.

Smoking cessation medications, diabetes supplies, and vaccinations such as for flu, shingles, or pneumonia are some of the medications for which the ArrayRx card may be able to provide significant savings.

Some specific examples listed in the news release announcing the program included:

Screenshot from press release from Office of Gov. Ned Lamont

Screenshot from press release from Office of Gov. Ned Lamont

About 14,000 people have already signed up for the ArrayRx program since it launched in October, Scanlon said, and he has been traveling throughout the state encouraging more to participate. It’s not just for seniors, but for people of all ages.

ArrayRx is a multi-state consortium that already was operating in Nevada, Oregon, and Washington, and Connecticut’s involvement was established as part of Gov. Ned Lamont’s health care affordability bill (Public Act 23-171), approved by the General Assembly and adopted in June 2023.  The program is administered through the Office of the State Comptroller,  and uses the leverage of bulk purchasing to provide savings, which the governor’s office said can be up to 80% on generic drugs and 20% on name brands.

Mayor Shari Cantor greeted the seniors at the holiday luncheon and introduced Scanlon, and also thanked Senior Centers Director Becky Sears for organizing the luncheon and for all she does for the community. Sears said the Senior Center can also help members access the ArrayRx card.

Mayor Shari Cantor speaks at the West Hartford Senior Centers holiday luncheon on Dec. 12, 2023. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

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