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May 2, 2004

Governor announces new Illinois Rx Buying Club promotional efforts during National Senior Citizens Month
State partners with Jewel-Osco to make seniors aware of new discount program, launches public service announcement campaign

CHICAGO –Governor Rod R. Blagojevich announced today that during the month of May, National Senior Citizens Month, the state will run an aggressive campaign alerting seniors about the Illinois Rx Buying Club which helps people over the age of 65 and the disabled save money on their prescription medications.
“In Illinois, about one out of every three people over 65 has no prescription drug coverage whatsoever. They are paying the highest drug prices in the world out of pocket.  We know that’s a huge problem, and that’s why we worked hard to put together a program that helps seniors get a discount on their medications so they can afford to follow their doctors’ orders,” said Blagojevich.  “The Senior Rx Buying Club is already helping more than 64,000 Illinois seniors and disabled residents save on their prescription drugs.  We want to make sure others who qualify know that help is available.”
Jewel-Osco will offer a special incentive to seniors who sign up for the Rx Buying Club at one of its 280 Illinois locations during the month of May.  New applicants will be mailed a $25 Osco gift card and a certificate for a copy of the Health Care Advisory Book (a $14.95 value), a reference book on medications and the immune system.
In addition, Jewel-Osco will promote the Rx Buying Club through in-store posters and circular advertisements during the month of May. 
“I want to thank Jewel-Osco for working with use to spread the word about the discount card program.  We’ll continue building partnerships like this to make the program a success,” the Governor added.
Jewel-Osco joins the drug store chain Walgreens in helping the state raise awareness about its new discount card program.  Through May 15, seniors who sign up for the program at Walgreens will receive a $25 Walgreens gift card.  Both chains volunteered to become Level-One pharmacies in the new program, which means they will offer members of the buying club the deepest discounts available under the plan.  They will also continue to make applications available even after the special offers expire.
The new Rx Buying Club is available to all Illinois residents age 65 and over and the disabled.  Members pay a $25 annual administrative fee and in return receive a discount card they can use when purchasing any prescription medication at more than 50,000 participating pharmacies across the United States.  Since its launch in January, the program has achieved average savings of 21 percent for its 64,500 members.
Today the state also launched a series of television and radio public service announcements promoting the Rx Buying Club.  The announcements, which are being sent to stations across Illinois, contain testimonials from seniors who have taken advantage of the new program as well as basic information on how eligible seniors and disabled individuals can enroll.
For more information about Illinois’ Rx Buying Club, or to obtain an application, visit a local Jewel-Osco or Walgreens pharmacy, call toll free 866-215-3463, (TYY 866-215-3479), or visit the official website at www.illinoisrxbuyingclub.com.
NOTE FOR TELEVISION AND RADIO: IIS will uplink a satellite feed on Sunday, May 2, containing a new public service announcement, the poster that will be displayed in Jewel-Osco pharmacies and b-roll of the Governor talking to seniors about the new Rx Buying Club.


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