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Published Online: Sunday, February 1, 2004

Maine Program Lowers Drug Prices

Approximately 275,000 residents of Maine now have access to lower prescription drug prices, thanks to the new Maine Rx Plus program, which was launched by Gov. John Baldacci and legislative leaders. On January 17, 2004, the state began issuing membership cards for the Maine Rx Plus program that gives discounts of up to 25% for brand name and 60% for generic drugs.

As of press time, more than 100 pharmacies were participating in the program. Residents with incomes at or below 350% of the federal poverty level can receive discounts. As a pharmaceutical benefits manager for residents without drug insurance, Maine will negotiate lower prices from manufacturers. The new program will assist those whose incomes are below $31,440 (for individuals), $42,420 (for couples), and $64,400 (for a family of 4). The existing program, Drugs for the Elderly, will be incorporated into Rx Plus, and Rx Plus also will be coordinated with the Medicare drug benefit once it becomes available, said Baldacci.

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