MedChi, the Maryland State Medical Society, has agreed to work with the Maryland Rx Card Program to distribute cards so that more Marylanders can afford their medications. The card, which is free to all state residents, provides savings of up to 75 percent on prescription drugs at most pharmacies in the state including those at Giant and Safeway. This program has no restrictions to membership, no income requirements, no age limitations and there are no applications to fill out.

"Part of MedChi's mission is to help Marylanders have access to quality, affordable health care. The high cost of medications has put so much strain on many Maryland families that we are seeing many of our patients stop taking them. We can't tolerate that and this is one other way that we can help them," MedChi President Murray Kalish said in a statement.

Some of the participating pharmacies include CVS, Long Drugs, Shoppers Pharmacy and several others.

According to the agreement between MedChi and Maryland Rx Card, MedChi will ask its members to make registrations forms available in their offices to their patients. MedChi will then process the registrations and send them their card, which they can use immediately. Those interested will also be able to apply for their Maryland Rx Card by going directly to MedChi's Web site at www.medchi.org or to Maryland Rx Card's site at www.marylandrxcard.com and downloading an application.

The Maryland Rx Card program is available to people who have health insurance coverage with no prescription benefits, which is common in many health savings accounts and high deductible health plans. Additionally, people who have prescription coverage can use this program for nonformulary or noncovered drugs.