Millions of persons in the United States lack access to affordable prescription medications. Discount prescription drug card programs address this situation by providing consumers the opportunity to directly purchase prescription drugs at prices discounted below contracted providers' established retail prices.
Discount prescription drug card programs have proven to be highly cost-effective to consumers. As a result, discount drug card programs have expanded rapidly. Today, they have tens of millions of users and actively operate in all 50 states of the United States and its territories.
As discount drug card program membership grows, and as discount drug card programs play an ever more important role in providing consumers access to affordable prescription medications in the country, it is appropriate for discount drug card program operators and marketers to adopt voluntary standards that establish appropriate levels of consumer protection and program integrity, and that promote fair competition among discount drug card programs.
Towards those ends, the Association of Discount Drug Card Organizations (ADDCO) and its members hereby establish this code of conduct. Compliance with the code and each of its terms is mandatory for ADDCO members, unless state or federal law provides conflicting requirements.
IN ORDER TO INSURE THE ABSOLUTE HIGHEST STANDARDS FOR THE USERS OF A DISCOUNT PRESCRIPTION DRUG CARD; WE HAVE PUT FORTH THE FOLLOWING STANDARDS WHICH ALL MEMBERS OF ADDCO (ASSOCIATION OF DISCOUNT DRUG CARD ORGANIZATIONS) MUST FOLLOW.
Discount drug card program operators and independent representatives that are members of ADDCO must comply with those provisions of the code of conduct that are applicable to program operators and independent representatives, respectively. The requirements of the code are minimum requirements. Program operators and independent representatives may offer additional services and protections to their members and users as they deem appropriate.
Marketing Materials and Practices
A discount drug card program operator must ensure that a discount drug card program's advertising, solicitation, and marketing materials and practices do not utilize words and phrases in a manner or context that improperly implies the program is insurance, and are not otherwise deceptive, unfair, or misleading.
A program operator must approve all advertising, solicitation, and marketing materials used by independent representatives and take steps to halt the use of unapproved advertising, solicitation and marketing materials by independent representatives.
An independent representative may only use advertising, solicitation, and marketing materials that have been approved by the program operator, and must not otherwise use any advertising, solicitation, or marketing materials or practices that are deceptive, unfair, or misleading.
All advertising, solicitation, and marketing materials of a discount drug card program must clearly and conspicuously state that the discount drug card program is not insurance or a qualified plan under the Affordable Care Act.
If a discount drug card program is included with insured products, all advertising, solicitation and marketing materials must clearly and conspicuously disclose which services are discount benefits and which services and/or products are insured benefits.
A program operator must ensure that a discount drug card program establishes and operates a fair and efficient procedure for resolution of complaints regarding the availability of discounts, or other matters relating to the implied obligations of the discount drug card program to its members or users. Routine member inquiries and information requests need not be treated as complaints under the complaint resolution procedure. For a complaint about quality of services or discount provided, upon request of a member, the discount drug card program must provide the member the name, phone number and email address of the lead person who is handling the complaint.
A program operator must ensure that a discount drug card program maintains records of all complaints processed under the complaint resolution procedure, and includes in the records a statement of facts regarding each complaint, how the complaint was resolved, and any other material information about the complaint.
An independent representative must promptly inform the program operator of user complaints concerning the discount drug card program or the independent representative's activities relating to the discount drug card program for processing under the discount drug card program's complaint resolution procedure. An independent representative must promptly inform the program operator of government inquiries concerning the discount drug card program or the independent representative's activities relating to the discount drug card program.
ADDCO may promulgate rules and procedures interpreting and applying the code of conduct, including procedures for suspending or terminating membership in ADDCO as a result of non-compliance with the code of conduct. Program operators and independent representatives must maintain records sufficient to demonstrate compliance with the code of conduct, including any applicable rules and procedures promulgated by ADDCO. Program operators and independent representatives must cooperate with any ADDCO review for compliance with this code of conduct.