A new program is making it possible for low income Iowans to purchase a 90 day supply of common prescription medications for just $3. The Iowa Medication Voucher Program is funded by Iowa’s share of a lawsuit against two pharmaceutical companies accused of consumer fraud violations.
Doctor Bery Engebretsen, with the Iowa/Nebraska Primary Care Association, says the program covers 17 generic medications for conditions such as high blood pressure, diabetes, elevated cholesterol and depression. “Because these illnesses don’t produce symptoms, patients tend to not have them high on their priority list,” Engebretsen said.
“Certainly, in terms of medications, it’s not high on their list and in terms of their general life it’s not high on their list when they look at all the other things they have to pay for.” The program also covers medications for pregnancy prenatal care. Iowans who participate in the program can obtain a voucher to be redeemed at one of 94 pharmacies in the state.
David Fries, executive director of the Iowa Prescription Drug Corporation, says the vouchers are currently available at various clinics and health boards in 54 counties. “Our goal is to get to all 99 counties and we believe we will,” Fries said. The $420,000 program will pay for roughly 52,000 prescriptions.