Iowa AG Miller unveils prescription drug plan

Associated Press Modified: September 22, 2009 at 3:06 pm •  Published: September 22, 2009

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Low-income Iowa residents will be able to get help with their prescription drug costs under plan unveiled Tuesday by Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller.

The $420,000 program will be funded by the state's share of a settlement of a lawsuit against the pharmaceutical industry. Under the program, state residents who earn up to twice the federal poverty level would get common prescriptions for as low as $3 a month for up to 90 days.

Miller said that cost can be waived in cases of extreme financial hardship.

"We're driving the price as low as we possibly can, essentially a dollar a month," said Miller. "We're trying to cast the net pretty far and wide."

He said the recession is putting financial pressure on many people, and prescriptions are often the first to go.

"One of the things they do to make their income stretch is to skip the drugs," Miller said.

At a news conference, Miller said the program would provide up to 52,000 prescriptions for prenatal care and conditions such as high blood pressure, diabetes, high cholesterol and depression.

The program will be administered by the Iowa Prescription Drug Corporation, a nonprofit agency that administers programs offering prescriptions to low-income residents. Spokesman David Fries said there are participating pharmacies in 95 of the state's counties and the agency expects the program to be offered statewide.

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