Wednesday, Oct. 13

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Over 11,000 enrollment forms requested during first week of prescription drug program     Send a link to a friend

[OCT. 13, 2004]  STANDARD -- Gov. Rod Blagojevich announced Tuesday that since the launch of the I-SaveRX program last week, more than 11,000 people have either downloaded the enrollment form from the program's website, www.isaverx.net, or requested enrollment forms through the program's toll-free line, 1 (866) ISAVE33.

I-SaveRx is the nation's first program that allows individuals and families to purchase safe, less expensive prescription drugs directly from pharmacies in Canada, England, Scotland and Ireland. Prescription drugs from those countries cost, on average, 25 percent to 50 percent less than the same medicines sold here in the United States.

I-SaveRx's toll-free line received 2,892 calls in the six days following the program's launch, and the call center has mailed out over 1,000 enrollment forms. The I-SaveRx website has received a total of 15,967 visitors, generating 64,231 page views. The program's enrollment form has been downloaded 10,141 times.

"If current trends continue, this program is poised to be a tremendous success," Gov. Blagojevich said. "The more people use this program, the more money they save, the more they'll tell their friends and family, and the more our program grows. So if you think you're paying too much for your prescription drugs, take a look at I-SaveRx and find out if you can cut your costs in half."

Tuesday the governor was in the Putnam County community of Standard talking to senior citizens about I-SaveRx and how they can save money. Last week, Blagojevich visited senior centers in Rockford, Rock Island, Decatur, Springfield, Peoria, Champaign, Herrin and Collinsville to talk about the program. He also visited four senior centers in Chicago, including centers on the North Side, in Humboldt Park, in Chinatown and on the South Side.

To enroll in the plan, an individual must mail or fax a completed health profile form and signed prescription to the I-SaveRx clearinghouse. Once the clearinghouse has received the prescription and health profile form, it will conduct an initial scan for appropriateness, using the same drug interaction software used in Illinois pharmacies. If the prescription passes the interaction test, it will then be turned over to a network physician in the country from which the medication will be dispensed. The network physician will review and rewrite the prescription for a local network pharmacy. The pharmacy will perform a final safety check to comply with local laws and regulations before dispensing the medication.

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Only prescription refills are eligible for the program so that patients and their doctors have had time to review for unanticipated side effects or interactions. The list of available drugs is limited to those that cannot spoil during the shipping process and have been approved by the FDA for use in the United States to treat chronic or long-term conditions.

The medications dispensed through the I-SaveRx program come from network pharmacies that have been inspected and approved by the state. All the pharmacies have agreed to comply with Illinois pharmaceutical standards and to dispense only drugs that are manufactured for use in Canada, Ireland or the United Kingdom.

"Through our program, you can buy the same prescription drugs you use today but for a lot less money. I know the big drug companies especially don't like it. They make a lot of money off of senior citizens just like you. But I also know that overcharging senior citizens isn't right. I know that trying to scare and intimidate senior citizens isn't right. Just about everyone but the FDA and the big drug companies know that," the governor said. "And that's why we're going to keep doing what we're doing, and it's why we're going to help you and senior citizens all across this state sign up for our program and start saving money on the high cost of your prescription drugs."

[News release from the governor's office]

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