Governor, State of Oklahoma
Speaker of the House of Representatives
President Pro Tempore of the Senate
Co-President Pro Tempore of the Senate
Director, Oklahoma Department of Human Services
From: The Oklahoma Pharmacy Connection Council
March 24, 2009
Following is the 2008 report of the Oklahoma Pharmacy Connection Council, as set out in Title 56 O.S. Section 1010.21. The Council filed a previous report dated March 10, 2008.
The purpose of the Council is to improve access to prescription drugs for citizens who have no health insurance, inadequate health insurance, or limited resources for the purchase of medically necessary prescription drugs.
HB 1853, the Rx for Oklahoma Act, was passed by the Oklahoma State Legislature in 2005. This program provides the uninsured or underinsured Oklahomans with assistance in obtaining medications through patient assistance plans (PAPs). Some pharmaceutical manufacturers, for many years, made these plans available to low-income and uninsured persons. The legislature appropriated funding in the amount of one million dollars to establish the Rx for Oklahoma Program. The Oklahoma Department of Commerce administers the program and disburses the funds. The Oklahoma Department of Commerce awarded bids, in December 2005 to the Central Oklahoma Community Action Agency (COCAA). The program established partnerships with Area Agencies on Aging and Oklahoma Community Action Agencies to provide this service on a statewide basis. The program has a statewide toll free number to ease access to assistance.
Rx For Oklahoma (Oklahoma Department of Commerce)
- More than 22,000 clients have been impacted with free and discounted medication assistance that provided a better quality of living for individuals and families since December 2005.
- Approximately 59 percent of clients utilize savings to meet other essential needs, 29 percent maintain prescribed medication dosing, and 10% improve their Overall Health.
2008 Performance Quick Facts:
- Approximately 3,300 new Clients received free or discounted medications
- Eligible Oklahomans received an estimated 12, 900 prescriptions
- $7.2 million in estimated savings
- Estimated savings per client $2,190 / per month
- Assistance with approximately 3.8 prescriptions per month
Program Awards and Recognitions:
- Excellence in Public Health awarded by Oklahoma Public Health Association
- Governor’s Commendation of Excellence awarded by the Office of Personnel Management
- Champion of Public Health Recognition awarded by Blue Cross Blue Shield
- International Association of Business Communicators awarded:
- Bronze Quill – Award of Excellence
- Silver Quill – Award of Merit
Older Americans Act Network
- Area Agencies on Agencies assisted with more than 1,000 Medicare Part D enrollments.
Next Steps and Future Direction for the Council
- Continue to cultivate and consult with local officials, including local and state legislators, during implementation steps including funding and service delivery.
- Assure the continued assistance of availability to uninsured and underinsured in Oklahoma.
- Serve as a resource for pharmaceutical benefit issues.
- Coordinate resources with Rx for Oklahoma and other agencies to increase awareness of legal discount medication programs available to all Oklahomans.
- Communicate information to government officials and advocacy groups.
- Continue to proactively review and consider taking a position on pending legislation relating to prescription access and affordability for all Oklahomans.
The Rx for Oklahoma program, including information on the Oklahoma Pharmacy Connection Council, is on the OKDHS website as a link. The State statute requires posting of this report on the OKDHS website as follows: http://www.okdhs.org/.
The Council Co-chairs also requested members to post the report on their organizations’ website.
Respectfully submitted by:
Mary B. Buckner, DPh, Council Co-Chair, OKDHS
Justin Wilson, PharmD, Council Co-chair
Claire Dowers-Nichols, Staff Liaison, OKDHS Aging Services Division