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Capitol Health Call
January 14, 2004

Drug Discount Cards

JAMA. 2004;291(2):172. doi:10.1001/jama.291.2.172-c

The first change Medicare recipients will see as a result of Medicare reform is the appearance of interim drug discount cards, scheduled for launch by June of this year. Insurance companies, drug makers, and other organizations with experience selling pharmaceuticals will be able to apply to sell the cards. To qualify, a group must secure a large retail pharmacy network; no mail order-only programs will be allowed.

Discount card sponsors are expected to negotiate bulk prices from manufacturers and will provide pricing information online ( and via a help line (1-800-Medicare).

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