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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 20, 2004

Gov. Blagojevich meets with hundreds of Chicago area ministers to promote I-SaveRx and encourage enrollment of church members
Governor continues to barnstorm state talking to seniors, uninsured workers about how I-SaveRx can save them money

CHICAGO – At the Statewide Ministers’ Breakfast at the Apostolic Church of God in Chicago, Governor Rod Blagojevich continued his effort to heighten awareness about how the I-SaveRx program can save seniors money. The Governor explained the program to more than 200 Chicago area ministers and urged them to help members of their congregations, especially those who work but are uninsured, enroll in the program.

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.

"Since we launched I-SaveRx, I’ve traveled up and down this state explaining how this program can save you money because you shouldn’t have to choose between putting food on the table or being able to afford the medicines that you need," said Gov. Blagojevich. "So far, we’ve seen thousands of people interested in signing up for our program and we are proud of that interest. Now, I ask you to talk to your congregations and help the members of your church cut their prescription drug costs in half. This is not a program only for seniors – members of your church that work, but don’t have insurance, may find significant savings by enrolling in our program."

In addition to meeting with ministers at the Apostolic Church of God in Chicago, the Governor spoke today with senior citizens in Danville in East-Central Illinois and Clinton in Central Illinois about how to enroll in I-SaveRx. He also met with a group of Chicago Aldermen and hundreds of senior citizens at Curie High School.

Since launching the I-SaveRx program earlier this month, the Governor has visited Rockford, Rock Island, Decatur, Springfield, Peoria, Champaign, Herrin, Collinsville, Standard, as well as senior centers in four Chicago neighborhoods.

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. The network physician will then 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 in order to allow patients and their doctors 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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