clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Low-cost meds? It's legit

PROVO — Psst. Want a good buy on drugs?

Do a couple of guys in downtown Provo have a deal for you.

Troy Gundersen and Doug Webber are owners of a company called MedCare Solutions that specializes in providing legal prescription drugs at a fraction of the normal retail price.

As in, practically free.

They can't offer their services to everyone. Restrictions do apply. But to anyone who meets three simple requirements, Doug and Troy are kind of like the Welcome Wagon and Clearing House Sweepstakes rolled into one.

The requirements are: (1) You must be a legal resident of the United States, (2) You must pay for your medications on your own, with no prescription coverage, (3) You must not have an annual income of more than $18,000 a year if you're an individual, or $24,000 for a couple.

Anyone who makes it through those three hoops — students, seniors, the out-of-work — is eligible to receive more than 1,300 prescription medications from more than 150 pharmaceutical companies absolutely free . . . plus a $25 enrollment fee, and a $12 per-prescription, per-month service charge that MedCare Solutions charges to dot the I's and cross all the T's.

Doug and Troy are quick to point out that this isn't their program. It's the pharmaceutical companies who are offering these drugs at no charge to people with low income. What MedCare does is streamline the process and negotiate through the red tape.

But if a person wants to work directly with the pharmaceutical companies, they can eliminate the MedCare middle men — or other companies that offer a similar service — and not pay a dime.

What Doug and Troy find amazing about the cheap drugs program — maybe even more amazing than the part about so-called greedy pharmaceutical giants having such a big heart — is that it is so hard to sign people up.

They work with seniors mostly — people who have a hard time believing they can get something for practically nothing.

"I had one woman tell me to leave her house because she just knew it couldn't be true," says Doug. "Another woman handed me the $25 and said, 'I know this is gone. I know I'll never see you again.' Then she got her meds. Three of her friends called that week and the woman took fliers to the senior citizen center."

The program can make a serious dent in the cost of prescription drugs. Doug and Troy have plenty of case studies. They have one client, for instance, with eight medications that cost $665.26 a month at the pharmacy. The cost with MedCare is $108 ($12 per medication) — a monthly savings of $557.26.

Another client takes just one drug, but it's an ultra expensive one at $630 a month. With MedCare it's $12 a month.

Troy tells the story of an elderly woman whose monthly Social Security check of $480 was eaten in half every month in drug expenses. She was so strapped she bought dog food for groceries. But since MedCare and the pharmaceutical companies came to the rescue, the woman spends $48 a month on her meds and no longer eats dog food.

"Every month we see people break down and cry," says Troy. "They tell us, 'Now I can put food back on my table.' It's very satisfying. We like the idea we're really helping people."

They're also making a profit, which makes it a win-win. But Doug and Troy know they're just scratching the surface. Their research shows that 67,000 people between Ogden and Provo alone would qualify for the free drug program, and yet they are still a long way from their saturation point of about 3,000 clients.

"It's legit," says Doug. "People need to know about this. Not for us, for them."


Please send e-mail to benson@desnews.com and faxes to 801-237-2527.