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April 7, 2005

Governor Blagojevich welcomes baseball great Ernie Banks to his Illinois Rx Buying Club team
Hall of Famer to serve as Illinois Rx Buying Club spokesman

CHICAGO—On the day before the Chicago Cubs play their first 2005 season home game at Wrigley Field, Governor Rod Blagojevich announced that Mr. CubÔ, Ernie Banks will serve as the spokesman for the state’s Illinois Rx Buying Club.  Banks will appear in a series of radio, TV and print advertisements urging seniors and people with disabilities to join the Illinois Rx Buying Club. 
The Club provides seniors, 65 and over, as well as people with disabilities average savings of up to 24 percent on all FDA approved prescription drugs at over 2,200 pharmacies throughout the state.  In 2004, its first year, the Club helped over 66,000 members fill over 300,000 prescriptions for a total savings of over $4.1 million. 
“We’re thrilled to have Ernie Banks on board to help promote and expand the Rx Buying Club to more people who are struggling to afford their medications.  His willingness to get involved shows that he’s more than a living baseball legend – he’s a concerned citizen who understands the challenges facing seniors today,” said the Governor. 
Banks, who is a member of baseball’s Hall of Fame and a former Negro League player, volunteered to help promote the Illinois Rx Buying Club because he has friends and family who could be helped by the program.
“I know people in my life that need help with their prescription drug costs,” said Banks.  “It just tears me up to see them pay so much for their medications.  This program will help.”
The ad campaign coincides with the launch of the Illinois Rx Buying Club’s enrollment drive and “Member Day” promotion.  More than 460 participating pharmacies throughout the state will encourage customers to sign up for the program.  Additionally, a number of partners will offer a “Member Day” benefit once a week or month.  Earlier this year the enrollment fee was lowered to $10.00.  For more details visit the Club’s website at www.IllinoisRxBuyingClub.com.
The Illinois Rx Buying Club provides discounts on all prescription drugs approved by the FDA and is available through participating pharmacies and a mail-order option. The program is not income-based and is open to all Illinois residents who are 65 or older and the disabled. Members pay an 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.  For more information call 1-866-215-3462 or visit www.IllinoisRxBuyingClub.com.


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