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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 18, 2004

Nearly 15,000 enrollment forms requested during first two weeks of Gov. Blagojevich's prescription drug program
Governor talks with Quad Cities seniors about I-SaveRx

EAST MOLINE – At North Hill Retirement Village in East Moline, Governor Rod Blagojevich today announced that since the launch of the I-SaveRx program October 4th, almost 15,000 people have either downloaded the enrollment form from the program's website (www.isaverx.net) or requested enrollment forms through the program's toll-free hotline (1-866-ISAVE33). 
 
I-SaveRx is the nation's first program that allows individuals and families to purchase safe, less expensive prescription drugs directly from pharmacies in Canada, England, Scotland and Ireland.  Prescription drugs from those countries cost, on average, 25-50% less than the exact same medicines sold here in the United States.
 
As of today, I-SaveRx's toll-free hotline has received 3,850 calls and the call center has received more than 1,000 requests for enrollment forms.  The I-SaveRx website has received a total of 18,700 visitors, generating 81,472 page views.  The program's enrollment form has been downloaded 13,898 times.
 
"We are very proud of the interest we are seeing in this program," Governor Blagojevich said.  "The more people use this program, the more money they save, the more they'll tell their friends and family, and the more our program grows.  So, if you think you're paying too much for your prescription drugs, take a look at I-SaveRx and find out if you can cut your costs in half." 
 
Today, the Governor visited East Moline to talk with senior citizens about how I-SaveRx can save them money.  Since launching the program on October 4th, Gov. Blagojevich visited senior centers in Rockford, Rock Island, Decatur, Springfield, Peoria, Champaign, Herrin, Collinsville, and Standard to talk about the program.  He also visited four senior centers in Chicago, including centers on the North Side, in Humboldt Park, in Chinatown and on the South Side.  
 
To enroll in the plan, an individual must mail or fax a completed health profile form and signed prescription to the I-SaveRx clearinghouse. Once the clearinghouse has received the prescription and health profile form, it will conduct an initial scan for appropriateness using the same drug interaction software used in Illinois pharmacies.  If the prescription passes the interaction test, it will then be turned over to a network physician in the country from which the medication will be dispensed, who will review and re-write the prescription for a local network pharmacy.  The pharmacy will perform a final safety check to comply with local laws and regulations before dispensing the medication.   
 
Only prescription refills are eligible for the program so patients and their doctors have had time to review for unanticipated side effects or interactions. The list of available drugs is limited to those that have been approved by the FDA for use in the United States to treat chronic or long-term conditions, and that cannot spoil during the shipping process.   
 
The medications dispensed through the I-SaveRx program come from network pharmacies that have been inspected and approved by the state. All the pharmacies have agreed to comply with Illinois pharmaceutical standards, and to only dispense drugs that are manufactured for use in Canada, Ireland or the U.K.
 
“Through our program, you can buy the same prescription drugs you use today, but for a lot less money.  I know the big drug companies especially don't like it.  They make a lot of money off of senior citizens just like you.  But I also know that overcharging senior citizens isn't right.  I know that trying to scare and intimidate senior citizens isn't right.  Just about everyone but the FDA and the big drug companies know that,” the Governor said.  “And that's why we're going to keep doing what we're doing, and it's why we're going to help you and senior citizens all across this state sign up for our program and start saving money on the high cost of your prescription drugs.”
 
For more information, log on to I-SaveRx.net or call 1-866-I-SAVE33.


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