In the spring of 2005, Dan and Susan Barnes heard of families in the Lehigh Valley area of Pennsylvania who were having difficulty buying the medicine they needed because of the high cost of prescription drugs. They responded by distributing a free prescription discount drug card through family and health centers in the schools in Bethlehem, PA.
The family centers then involved the United Way of the Greater Lehigh Valley who asked 25 of its partner agencies to help distribute the cards to individuals and families in need throughout the area. Almost immediately, Dan and Susan received requests from other United Ways to provide this free assistance in other communities. As a result, they established the FamilyWize Community Service Partnership in the fall of 2005, inviting a group of local and national companies to join together to provide this free assistance through United Ways to people in need across the county.
Currently, more than 900 participating United Way agencies and America’s Promise Alliance Partners in all 50 states coordinate the local distribution of the free FamilyWize prescription drug discount cards. In March of 2010, the total savings from the use of FamilyWize prescription drug discount cards passed $100 MM and a new goal was established to reach $1 billion in savings by the year 2020. For more information, visit www.FamilyWize.org.