Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Pinellas residents can get free discount drug cards

Prescription drug costs can be a financial burden, especially for the estimated 200,000 Pinellas County residents who live without health insurance.

Now there's a new option for those looking to lessen that load, thanks to a program sponsored by the National Association of Counties.

Simply get a NACo Prescription Discount Card available at Pinellas health and human services offices, as well as state Health Department offices and other locations, and start saving.

There's no enrollment form, income limits, membership fee or restrictions on how frequently you use the card, which offers an average savings of 22 percent off the retail price of commonly prescribed drugs.

The card can be used at Walgreens, Costco, CVS, Wal-Mart, Albertsons, Target and other participating pharmacies in the county.

It may not be used in conjunction with any health insurance plan, including Medicare and Medicaid, but will help those seeking discounts on drugs not covered by their plans or who lack health insurance.

"We do so much work with the homeless and the indigent," said Lynn Kiehne, a county health care administrator, "this is something that we could offer to all citizens."

The National Association of Counties provides the discount cards through an agreement with CVS Caremark, a company that negotiates with pharmaceutical companies for price breaks.

When you present the card to pay for a prescription, you're entitled to the retail price of the drug being offered by the pharmacy, or the negotiated "card price," whichever is lower.

Though a pharmacy may at times offer a lower price on a given drug, the card price is the better deal 84 percent of the time, said Andrew Goldschmidt, NACo's director of membership marketing.

Built into the card price is a fee of $3.50. About a dollar of that goes to Caremark, Goldschmidt said, and the rest to the pharmacy.

"Obviously, Caremark makes money on this program," he said, "but we don't make any money on the program, nor do the counties."

You can also use the card to get discounts on drugs for your pets — as long as they aren't covered by insurance. That's because many medications, including certain antibiotics and antianxiety drugs, are prescribed to both humans and animals.

NACo took the card program nationwide in 2005. Today, more than 1,000, or about a third, of the nation's counties participate.

Hernando County was the first in Florida, back in 2005. Including Pinellas, the card is now available in 46 Florida counties.

"I'm very happy with it," said Jean Rags, Hernando's health and human services director. "It's been very helpful to a number of residents who are under-insured or uninsured."

Will Van Sant can be reached at or 445-4166.


To learn more

The card is available at county health and human services offices in Pinellas, state Health Department offices and county government offices and senior/community centers. For locations, go to To learn more, call health and human services grant coordinator Kathy Mitchell at (727) 464-8410 or e-mail her at Residents also may call 1-877-321-2652 or visit

Pinellas residents can get free discount drug cards 05/08/08 [Last modified: Friday, May 9, 2008 5:41pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Gov. Rick Scott could soon be the all-time king of line-item veto


    2016: $256,144,027

    2015: $461,387,164

    2014: $68,850,121

    2013: $367,950,394

    2012: $142,752,177

    2011: $615,347,550

    Only once has Scott used the line-item veto sparingly. That was in 2014, the year he ran for re-election, when he removed a paltry $69 million from the budget.

    Gov. Rick Scott waves a veto pen at The Villages in 2011.
  2. Rays morning after: An up-and down day for Jose De Leon


    Rays RHP Jose De Leon had a busy Monday - getting called up to join the Rays for the first time and making his way from Pawtucket, R.I., to Boston and the flying to Texas, working 2 2/3 eventful innings to get the W in the 10-8 victory over the Rangers, and then getting optioned back to Triple-A.

  3. Resignation of communications director Dubke could signal more changes within White House staff


    WASHINGTON — Mike Dubke has resigned as White House communications director, a senior administration official confirmed Tuesday, in the first of what could be a series of changes to President Trump's senior staff amid the growing Russia scandal.

    President Donald Trump speaks at the Memorial Amphitheater in Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, Va., Monday, May 29, 2017, during a Memorial Day ceremony. [Associated Press]
  4. Trump pays somber tribute to fallen troops on Memorial Day


    ARLINGTON, Va. — President Donald Trump expressed the nation's "boundless" gratitude for the ultimate sacrifice paid by Americans defending the United States, dedicating his first Memorial Day address as commander in chief to a top Cabinet secretary and two other families who lost loved ones.

    Brittany Jacobs, left, watches as her 6-year-old son Christian Jacobs meets President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence in Section 60 of Arlington National Cemetery, Monday, May 29, 2017, in Arlington, Va. Jacobs father, Marine Sgt. Christopher Jacobs, was killed in 2011. [Associated Press]
  5. Florida education news: Budgets, discipline, charter schools and more


    BUDGETING: Florida school district officials keep a close eye on their spending plans as they await word on the Legislature's budget. Gov. Rick Scott