LA Councilman Reyes introduces new prescription discount card

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Uninsured and underinsured Angelenos may have an easier time from now on when they pay for medications at the pharmacy. Los Angeles City Councilman Ed Reyes has introduced a new prescription discount card at St. Barnabas Senior Center in the Westlake District.

The citywide program is a partnership between L.A., the National League of Cities, and CVS Caremark. The initiative is aimed at working adults and seniors with little or no medical insurance.

Timothy Ryan, 82, says it’s tough stretching a fixed monthly budget to include prescription drugs.

“I’m speaking from experience because I use some medication and the high cost of medication is prohibitive for people who are not rich,” he said.

About 70,000 people live in the Westlake District. Reyes says most of them are working class.

“Unfortunately we also struggle, up to 40 percent living at or below poverty," he said. "So, we know this’ll bring great relief to our folks living in these areas.”

Reyes says any uninsured person - regardless of age, or immigration status – may use the prescription card.

Average savings at the cash register will be about 20 percent.

The program is already up and running in several other cities, including Atlanta, Detroit and Orlando. Its organizers have eliminated requirements like application fees that’ve generated strong criticism for similar programs.