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Need help getting your prescription drugs?

Tuesday, July 22, 2003

Rx Depot, 2629 Murray Ave., Squirrel Hill, 412-421-5889, www.rxdepot.com

Physician Medicine Assist Program at Family Professional Center, 330 Curry Hollow Road, Pleasant Hills, 412-653-4900, www.fpcmeds.com

People struggling to pay medical bills should also check to see if they are eligible for local, state and federal programs to receive discounts. Options include:

PACE and PACENET. The state's Pharmaceutical Assistance Contract with the Elderly program provides savings for people 65 and over and who make less than $14,000 a year and couples with a household income below $17,200. A related program, PACENET, offers savings to a slightly higher-income group. Go to www.aging.state.pa.us or contact the Pennsylvania Department of Aging at 1-717 787-7313.

Rx Council of Western Pennsylvania. A nonprofit group, RxCouncil aids low-income uninsured clients in using drug companies' indigent care programs. Call 412-471-9570.

BenefitsCheckUp Rx. Checks eligibility for 240 prescription drug assistance programs at www.benefitscheckuprx.org.

Coordinated Care Network. Some federally funded community health centers sell drugs at considerable savings to patients treated by center doctors. The network operates a pharmacy program at six locations in Western Pennsylvania. Call 412 349-6300. Alma Illery Medical Center in Wilkinsburg also provides discounts only to patients at the center. Call 412-244-4700.

To check on the record of a Canadian pharmac:y

-- National Association of Boards of Pharmacy runs the Verified Internet Pharmacy Practice Sites. Call 847-698-6227 or visit www.nabp.net.

-- Manitoba Pharmaceutical Association regulates pharmacies there. Call 1-204-233-1411. Many of the pharmacies operate in Manitoba because other provinces prevent pharmacies from selling to Americans.

- Christopher Snowbeck

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