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Judge Lifts Ban on Medicare Pharmacy Discount Cards

November 08, 2001|Associated Press

WASHINGTON — A federal court has ruled that Medicare can move forward with its plans to promote private pharmacy discount cards as a way for cash-strapped senior citizens to save money on prescriptions.

U.S. District Judge Paul L. Friedman this week lifted an injunction he granted in September that prevented the start of the program.

After paying a onetime enrollment fee, senior citizens could get discounts of about 10% on some medicines, company officials say.

"We believe a drug discount plan is a first step to provide needed help to seniors--but not a substitute for a drug benefit," Tom Scully, administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, an arm of the Department of Health and Human Services, said Wednesday.

The agency will continue to work with Congress on adding a prescription drug benefit to Medicare, he said.

One-third of about 40 million senior citizens and disabled people pay full price for medicine because they lack drug coverage.

Los Angeles Times Sunday November 11, 2001 Home Edition Part A Part A Page 2 A2 Desk 2 inches; 53 words Type of Material: Correction
Drug discount cards--A story in Wednesday's edition misstated action by U.S. District Judge Paul L. Friedman on an injunction prohibiting the Bush administration from starting a program to promote private pharmacy discount cards to Medicare beneficiaries. The judge granted a stay of the injunction while the Department of Health and Human Services revises its proposal.

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