Drug companies join NACDS to tout Together Rx plan

ALEXANDRIA, VA: The Together Rx program and Pharmacy Care Alliance - a group formed by the National Association of Chain Drug Stores (NACDS) - have joined forces to educate seniors about prescription-drug savings.

ALEXANDRIA, VA: The Together Rx program and Pharmacy Care Alliance - a group formed by the National Association of Chain Drug Stores (NACDS) - have joined forces to educate seniors about prescription-drug savings.

Termed a "grassroots effort by Peggy Heller, spokeswoman for Together Rx, the two groups will target five cities - Cleveland, Memphis, TN, Tampa, FL, St. Petersburg, FL, and Birmingham, AL - to educate seniors on the benefits of enrolling in the program. Representatives from local pharmacies will be available for seniors to ask questions about how to take medications correctly. "People know and trust their local pharmacists, said Heller, "so this creates a window for us to enter the communities and talk about the benefits of enrolling."

The decision to team up is part of an ongoing effort by both groups to demonstrate how retail pharmacies can work with the major drug companies.

It came on the heels of this month's decision by the Senate not to pass prescription-drug-benefit legislation for Medicare enrollees. "We can talk to reporters all we want, but actually going into the communities and involving the local pharmacies shows the intent and enthusiasm drug companies and pharmacies have about getting lower-priced drugs for seniors, explained Crystal Wright, VP of media relations for Pharmacy Care Alliance.

The Together Rx program is a collaborative effort of Abbott Laboratories, AstraZeneca, Aventis, Bristol-Myers Squibb, GlaxoSmithKline, Johnson & Johnson, and Novartis. It allows Medicare enrollees to have one-card access to discounted prescription drugs.

The Pharmacy Care Alliance hopes this initiative will encourage more drug companies to offer discounts through the card.

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