County exploring possible prescription discount program

Hennepin County officials are looking into the county participating in a prescription drug discount program.

The Hennepin County Board of Commissioners approved a resolution offered by Commissioner Randy Johnson (District 5) to explore that possibility. Similar programs are offered by other counties and are credited with considerable savings for residents off the full retail cost of various prescription medications. Programs are tailored to each county yet offer similar savings to residents.

The board was briefed about the discount programs by the National Association of Counties (NACo) in 2007. At that time, Ramsey and Dakota counties implemented programs. NACo officials said that since that time, residents have saved more than $448 million for more than 32 million prescription purchases at local pharmacies.

Hennepin County officials could distribute the discount cards through its libraries, human services sites, NorthPoint Health and Wellness Center and employment service providers. The program would be of no cost to the county or to taxpayers.

The county administrator will prepare a Request for Proposals to identify/develop such a program and bring a recommendation to the board by Aug. 21.