DeKalb residents can now join other Georgians in free participation in a new program which gives access to the lowest prices possible for prescriptions.

Pharmacies began offering the statewide prescription drug card program, titled Georgia Drug Card, on July 14. The program has given state residents savings from 30 to 75 percent, said Brian Oliver, senior vice president of program administrator United Networks of America.

More than 104,000 users have seen $1.4 million in savings since the program was introduced in its "soft launch" phase on Oct. 1, said Ryan Jumonville, president and CEO of United Networks of America.

The Georgia program has proven more popular than the other 39 states it is available, he said.

"We have had a lot of support from the physician community," Jumonville said.

The program provides cardholders the lowest plan price on prescriptions at participating pharmacies. Medication pricing and discounts are calculated on the plans' lowest negotiated contract price and the pharmacy's "usual and customary" price.

Medical Association of Georgia is a key supporter, he said.

Medical Association of Georgia President Gary C. Richter, M.D., said the Georgia Drug Card is ideal for people who either don't have health insurance or have health insurance coverage with no prescription drug benefits.

"And that's fairly commonplace with a lot of today's health savings accounts and other high-deductible health plans," Richter said in a prepared release. "We see this as a simple and cost-effective way to help our patients get the prescriptions they need."

The card is accepted at more than 50,000 pharmacies nationwide. It is sponsored by pharmacies nationwide.

Most major pharmacies offer the program. Participants can go online, visit www.georgiadrugcard.com, and download the card, search drug pricing, and locate participating pharmacies.

Those who choose not to use a computer to access the program can obtain cards at most major pharmacy chains and hospitals. Even without a card, participants can go to any CVS pharmacy and their prescription will be processed through the program on request.

Information: visit www.georgiadrugcard.com.