October, 2001: GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), one of the world's leading research-based pharmaceutical and healthcare companies, has now taken the lead to offer a significant discount on outpatient medications to seniors and others who are eligible for Medicare and have limited incomes. This is the first program of its kind. On October 3, 2001, the CEO of GlaxoSmithKline, Jean-Pierre Garnier, stated:
"The GlaxoSmithKline Orange Card program assists low-income seniors who have no prescription coverage... We support a Medicare prescription drug benefit, but while the issue is still being debated in Congress, GSK wants to provide relief now for America's most needy seniors... We spend a great deal of time and effort in developing effective medicines. With the Orange Card, we hope to help participants be able to afford to follow their doctors' prescribed treatment and realize the full value of those medicines through a longer healthier life."1
Health and Human Services Secretary Tommy Thompson lauded the program, commenting:
"The GlaxoSmithKline Orange Card is a dynamic, effective and very practical way for seniors to receive significant price reductions... The application process is easy, quick and understandable to everyone. This is exactly the kind of approach we need - innovation and competition in the private sector, not counterproductive price controls."1
What is the Orange
The Orange Card is issued by GSK, and is used "like a coupon" at your pharmacy to receive discounts on GSK outpatient medications.
How much is saved by
using the Orange Card?
The discount is based on GSK's price to wholesalers, so the amount of the discount will vary depending on the prices various pharmacies charge for the medications. It is expected that the average savings will be approximately 30%.
What are the eligibility requirements?
- Participants must be seniors 65-years-old or other persons eligible for Medicare
- Annual income must be at or below 300% of
federal poverty levels
- $26,000 for single individuals ($30,000 in Hawaii, $33,000 in Alaska)
- $35,000 for couples ($40,000 in Hawaii, $44,000 in Alaska)
- Participants must have no public or private insurance that covers prescriptions.
How does one get an Orange Card?
- Pick up an application from your health care provider or pharmacy
If your providers do not have the applications, phone 1-888-ORANGE6.
- Eligible applicants will receive their card within 4 weeks after their application has been received, but not before January 1, 2002.
- There is no charge for the Orange Card.
What medications are covered by the Orange Card?
- Advair Diskus® (Fluticasone propionate and salmeterol inhalation powder)
- Augmentin® (amoxicillin/clavulanate potassium)
- Avandia® (rosiglitazone maleate)
- Bactroban Cream® (mupirocin calcium cream, 2%)
- Combivir® (lamivudine/zidovudine)
- Coreg® (carvedilol)
- Epivir® (lamivudine)
- Epivir-HBV® (lamivudine)
- Eskalith CR® (lithium carbonate)
- Flonase® (vluticasone propionate)
- Flovent® (fluticasone propionate)
- Imitrex® (sumatriptan succinate)
- Lamictal® (lamotrigine)
- Lanoxin® (digoxin)
- Paxil® (paroxetine HCL)
- Requip® (ropinirole HCL)
- Serevent® (salmeterol xinafoate)
- Trizivir® (abacavir sulfate, lamivudine, and zidovudine)
- Valtrex® (valacyclovir HCL)
- Wellbutrin SR® (bupropion HCL)
- Aiagen® (abacavir sulfate)
- Zofran® (ondansetron HCL) Oral
- all other GSK outpatient prescription products
GSK's Orange Card has the potential to enable those with limited incomes to get better health care and do more with their precious dollars. In these days when the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) estimates that 80% of retired persons use at least one prescription drug daily, it's heartening to see a corporate leader initiating such programs. GSK is to be commended for taking this step rather than waiting for legislation to pass to assist patients who might otherwise not be able to afford their medications. Let's hope this is the first of many such programs.
1 GlaxoSmithKline press release. "GlaxoSmithKline Launches The Orange Cardsm -- An Innovative Prescription Medicine Savings Program for Seniors in Need." October 3, 2001.
>>To read the "Key Facts" and press release about the Orange Cardsm, please follow the links below.