David B. Crabiel


September 27, 2002

H. James Polos

Middlesex County Senior and Disabled Citizens who are paying full price out-of-pocket for prescription medicines are going to be provided with a discount program that is being presented by the Middlesex County Board of Freeholders.

Tired of waiting for other elements of government to deliver on promises and with heightened concern about the welfare of these Middlesex County citizens, David B. Crabiel, Director of the Middlesex County Board of Chosen Freeholders, is announcing a new program to bring financial relief to the senior and disabled population in the county.

This creative program, unlike any other available nationwide, is targeted at helping those who are not covered by an employer or retirement prescription program or New Jersey's PAAD program which protects seniors whose incomes fall below state income limits.

This creative program, developed by Freeholder H. James Polos, will allow anyone over age 55 or disabled, to purchase generic and name brand prescription medicines by using a county issued membership card, which will allow a discount off of the medication's wholesale price. Polos noted, "One of the ideal aspects of the program is that it will allow seniors to continue to purchase their prescriptions from the pharmacy they've been dealing with."

Freeholder Jane Brady, who chairs the county's committee on Human Services and participated in the development of the program said it was aimed at helping as many as possible of the 140,000 senior and disabled citizens living in the county.

" With all good conscience, I know we who govern the county, can't wait any longer for these citizens to be given financial relief and not be faced with a choice between getting the medication they need for continuation of their health and providing the food essential to their daily nutrition," said Crabiel in embracing the program being launched by the Freeholders.

"We are going to be able to establish this very significant cost saving program through an arrangement worked out by county government with a third party agency that will provide all prescription medication at a discount off of the established wholesale price," noted Polos, adding, "the program will not impinge on the county tax dollar."

The program will require senior and disabled citizens to enroll and by doing so will protect all eligible members of their family. They will be provided with an ID card acceptable at pharmacies throughout Middlesex County. The program as designed contains no income or purchase limits. The sole requirement for eligibility is being over age 55, disabled and a resident of Middlesex County.

Polos and Crabiel, point out that both name and generic medications identified in the wide-ranging pharmacy "Red Book" will be available through the program.

"The key to this program," observed Polos, "is that we reach out to every Senior and Disabled Citizen in the county who are eligible so they can benefit from this initiative which will be a financial life-saver to their budgets. "

"The tradition of Middlesex County government is to be responsible to the needs of its people and to promote where it can smarter and more beneficial programs and together, Freeholder Polos and I intend to see a continuance of that legacy," stated Crabiel.

This program is the culmination of a two-year study by a commission chaired by Polos, which included Freeholder Brady as well as senior citizens on its panel. They discarded a number of program options before designing this unique prescription benefits program.

Details of how those eligible for this program's benefits can enroll will be forthcoming in the near future.