Thousands save with drug discount card program

A discount prescription drug program marking its second anniversary in San Luis Obispo County says it has saved local residents $1.7 million on prescriptions.

Coast2Coast Rx, which operates in 22 counties, has the backing of the county Board of Supervisors and the local United Way. It offers discount cards to provide more options to people who use prescription drugs.

Rick London, CEO of the San Luis Obispo County United Way, told The Tribune that 3,697 people have used a card.

It could be particularly useful for those whose choices may be limited by the high prices of prescriptions drugs and other health care, according to Coast2Coast spokeswoman Leila Forsythe Alvarez.

London said it is helpful to all sorts of individuals in this economic climate — people with high deductibles, for example. Some people who use it otherwise might go without medication, London said.

The county government, London added, receives money for each transaction, so it is a moneymaker as well.

“Our support of the Coast2Coast Rx program addresses two of the United Way’s impact areas — health and income,” London said.

“We encourage nonprofit organizations, faith-based communities (or) any agency providing social services to contact us,” Alvarez said. “We can provide them a free supply of cards that they can distribute to their constituents.”