Over the course of a little more than one year, Galt residents have saved about $5,000 on prescriptions through a discount medical card program offered through the city.
The free cards provide an average discount of 20 percent on prescription drugs and can be picked up at all the pharmacies in Galt. The City Clerk also has the cards available at City Hall.
The cards are for uninsured residents or people who have medicines not covered in their insurance plan.
They were used 318 times from when they were first offered in March 2009 through March 2010, with customers saving a total of $5,044.
The cards are paid for as a perk of Galt belonging to the National League of Cities. Councilman Andrew Meredith coordinated the program and said it is working better than expected.
"A lot of people didn't understand at first exactly how significant the savings would be," Meredith said.
The league tracks when the cards are used and in March 2009, the cards were used 3 times. By March 2010, the cards where being scanned 47 times.
People can pick up the cards at the pharmacy and do not have to sign any forms to receive them. Sue Cory, deputy city clerk, said they just direct people to the cards, no questions asked.
Meredith said the pharmacies were key in the increase in the number of people using them.
"The initial numbers were word of mouth," Meredith said. "Everything since then is because the clerks have been recommending them."
Customers rarely ask about the cards, but employees at Raley's pharmacy will recommend they use them, said Lisa Eberle, a pharmacist technician.
"Anytime someone pays cash, we will just give them the card. … If you are paying $100 for medicine with cash, we'll try to save them some money," Eberle said.
Meredith has heard from people in the community about the cards, and said it varies on how much residents can save. He heard a story from one woman who picked up Vicodin or a similar pain pill, and the card saved her more than half on her prescription, so it only cost $22.
Meredith pointed out that the city has used the cards and saved more than Rancho Cordova, which has a much larger population. Residents of Rancho Cordova have used the cards 297 times and saved $3,741.
The cards will be accepted at all Galt pharmacies, including the Galt Wal-Mart, Meredith said. The card is also good for mail order or online purchases, too.
How to get a prescription discount cardThe cards are offered in the City Clerk's office at City Hall, 380 Civic Drive.
They are also offered at Raley's, 10430 Twin Cities Road, RiteAid, 10570 Twin Cities Road, and CVS, 1063 C St.