Governor, State of Oklahoma
Speaker of the House of Representatives
President Pro Tempore of the Senate
Director, Oklahoma Department of Human Services
From: The Oklahoma Pharmacy Connection Council
Report date: February 23, 2012
Following is the 2011 report of the Oklahoma Pharmacy Connection Council, as set out in Title 56 O.S. Section 1010.21. The Council filed the 2010 annual report on March 23, 2011.
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. Rx for Oklahoma assists uninsured or underinsured Oklahomans in obtaining medications through pharmaceutical assistance plans. The legislature appropriated funding in the amount of one million dollars to establish the Rx for Oklahoma Program in 2005. The Oklahoma Department of Commerce (ODOC) administers the program and disburses the funds through Oklahoma Community Action Agencies to provide the service on a statewide basis. The Rx for Oklahoma program has a statewide toll free number to ease access to assistance that took more than 2,000 calls in calendar year 2011. The Rx for Oklahoma program coordinates with the Department of Human Services (OKDHS) Aging Services Division, Oklahoma’s Area Agencies on Aging (AAAs), the Senior Health Insurance Counseling Program (SHIP) in the Oklahoma Insurance Department, and the Oklahoma Health Care Authority (OHCA) through the Oklahoma Pharmacy Connection Council.
Rx For Oklahoma (Oklahoma Department of Commerce)
- More than 36,000 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 33% of clients assisted maintain prescribed medication schedule, 44% of clients assisted utilize savings to meet other essential needs, and 23% improve their overall health.
2011 Performance Quick Facts:
Approximately 2,600 new clients received free or discounted medications
- Eligible Oklahomans received an estimated 18,400 prescriptions
- $6.3 million in estimated savings
- Estimated savings per client $2,400 / annually
- Each client was assisted with approximately 7 prescriptions per month
Area Agencies on Aging and the Older Americans Act Network
- Oklahoma’s Area Agencies on Aging assisted more than 11,000 seniors and persons with disabilities in 2011 with Medicare Part D prescription drug coverage enrollment, extra help with Medicare deductibles and co- pays, assistance with finding additional help with medication costs and other supportive services. The 11 Area Agencies on Aging provide Oklahomans information and assistance services and reached more than 13,000 persons around the state through education and outreach.
Senior Health Insurance Counseling Program (SHIP) (Oklahoma Insurance Department)
- SHIP and the Senior Medicare Patrol (SMP) assisted 13,990 clients in 2011. More than 19,000 Oklahomans attended presentations about the program, and almost 12,000 were reached through health fairs. Another 1,500 were assisted at dedicated enrollment events. Beneficiaries around the state also were reached through over 200 newsletters and newspaper articles. The majority of the clients were between 65 and 74 years old. Disabled beneficiaries numbered more than 1,900, and 3,000 persons receiving counseling were eligible for low-income assistance. The Senior Medicare Patrol, a program targeted on Medicare fraud, waste and abuse, reached over 15,000 people at group education events and provided one-on-one counseling sessions with or on behalf of beneficiaries.
Oklahoma Rx Discount Drug Card Program (Oklahoma Health Care Authority)
- OHCA is coordinating a program through CVS Caremark which offers discounts at many Oklahoma pharmacies and is free to join. It is available at no cost to the member or the state at http://www.rxsavingsplus.com/ (Link opens in new window).
Next Steps and Future Direction for the Council
- Communicate information to government officials and advocacy groups.
- Serve as a resource for pharmaceutical benefit issues.
- Educate about the need for pharmaceutical assistance to better serve Oklahomans
- Coordinate resources with Rx for Oklahoma and other agencies to increase awareness of legal discount medication programs available to all Oklahomans.
- Continue to 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 Web site 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’ web pages.
Respectfully submitted by:
Mary B. Buckner, DPh, Council Co-Chair, OKDHS
Justin Wilson, PharmD, Council Co-chair, OPHA
Jane Garner, Staff Liaison, OKDHS Aging Services Division