Legislature approves bills to setup a discounted prescription drugs program

Tuesday, March 15th 2005, 6:04 am
By: News On 6

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) -- The Oklahoma Legislature approves measures that would offer free or discounted prescription drugs to needy Oklahomans.

The House and Senate acted on separate measures Monday to create a statewide program modeled after the successful Prescription Assistance Program started in Norman last year.

The pilot program has served more than 1,300 low-income or uninsured Oklahomans, saving them close to $9-million in prescription costs.

The program is aimed at increasing access to prescription drugs through a public-private partnership with pharmaceutical companies that offer free and discounted prices on prescription drugs.

Staffed mostly by volunteers, the program helps participants apply for up to 80 discount programs.

Shawnee state Representative Kris Steele says his bill will provide about $1-million to the state Department of Commerce to establish access points through community action agencies and county health departments.

The state House also passed a bill requiring criminal background checks for nursing home employees.