CNN/Money One for credit card only hard offer form at $9.95 One for risk-free form at $14.95 w/ $9.95 upsell  
News > Fortune 500
graphic
Pfizer ends discount card for elderly
Newspaper reports 536,000 low-income seniors will lose access to discounted drugs.
September 1, 2004: 8:31 AM EDT

NEW YORK (CNN/Money) - Pfizer, the nation's largest pharmaceutical company, has ended its widely used discount card for the elderly, according to a newspaper report Wednesday.

YOUR E-MAIL ALERTS
The New York Times Co
Consumer Issues
Pfizer Incorporated
Pharmaceuticals

The action left 536,000 low-income Medicare beneficiaries without access to discounts on popular medicines, according to the New York Times.

The newspaper said under the former Pfizer card a 30-day supply of the popular cholesterol treatment Lipitor had cost $15, compared with $68 at one Internet pharmacy or $43.32 at one Canadian Web site.

Pfizer said it had warned cardholders for months it would discontinue the card program on August 31, and encouraged them to sign up for other discount cards available under a new Medicare program that began in June, reported the Times.

But consumer advocates said the new program was so confusing that it had asked Pfizer to keep its discount card until 2006, when prescription drugs become a standard part of Medicare benefits, said the newspaper.

The Times said only about 4.1 million of the nation's 40 million Medicare beneficiaries have signed up for Medicare-approved discount cards.

"An extremely savvy consumer can swim in these waters successfully," Robert AM. Hayes, president of the Medicare Rights Center, a non-profit advocacy group, told the newspaper.

"(But) usually the needier the person, the sicker the person, the more likely they will be shut out of these programs."  Top of page




  More on NEWS
Most notorious recalls ever
The richest Americans in history
What your favorite websites looked like 20 years ago
  TODAY'S TOP STORIES
Think twice before selling your Android phone
These investors are getting killed in Greece
Exploding airbag fix may take 5 years




graphic graphic