RUMFORD – Oxford County residents have another option to buy lower priced prescription drugs after county commissioners voted to join the CountyRXCard program.

County Commissioner Steve Merrill said he began exploring the program last year when he read about a similar offering in a magazine published by the National Association of Counties.

“When I attended a Maine county commissioners meeting, I asked the Franklin County commissioners about it,” he said.

Franklin County, along with Penobscot, Knox and Cumberland counties, have similar programs, but not specifically the CountyRXCard. That program is based in Louisiana. The other counties’ program is with the National Association of Counties.

Merrill enlisted the help of Patricia Duguay, director of the River Valley Healthy Communities Coalition, to research a plan that would be the least costly for Oxford County people.

She said of several she explored, CountyRXCard seemed the best.

“They cover 95 percent of prescriptions and provide a discount between 0 percent and 75 percent,” she said Thursday afternoon.

The card is available to anyone living in Oxford County at no charge, and is available at the RVHCC office on River Street, or at the Oxford County building in Paris. By the first of May, 5,000 cards will be distributed to municipal offices, pharmacies that honor the card, and doctor’s offices.

Duguay said participating pharmacies in Oxford County are the Wal-Marts, Hannafords, Rite Aids, and Ketner Pharmacy in Norway.

The card is for people who are uninsured or under-insured for prescription drug costs, although anyone is eligible to obtain one.

Duguay said people looking to lower their prescription costs should weigh all prescription card options for the lowest prices. For example, Wal-Mart and Hannaford provide low prices for their own prescription cards.

“It’s still buyer beware,” she said.

Pharmacists should be able to determine which card is best for the cost of a particular prescription, she said.

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