Article by The Virginian-Pilot – By Fadel Allassan – 05/12/2017
A new program aims to provide free medicine to vulnerable residents of Virginia.
The Dominion Energy Charitable Foundation and Rx Partnership announced on Friday the Access to Medication Program, which will provide generic medications to low-income and uninsured patients, according to a Dominion news release.
The program, announced at the Olde Towne Medical and Dental Center in Williamsburg, was initiated with a $25,000 grant from Dominion’s philanthropic arm. Olde Towne will be the first participant, and organizers hope to expand throughout the state.
Balderson said Rx Partnership, a nonprofit that aims to provide medication to vulnerable Virginians, will operate the program, while Olde Towne will provide the medication to its patients.
Olde Towne will ask for a $1 donation every time someone picks up his or her medication, but those who cannot make the payments will still receive medication. Rx Partnership Executive Director Amy Yarcich said the chronic-care medications the program will provide are for a 90-day supply, which would typically cost $10 or more at a retail pharmacy.
Patients at Olde Towne who are uninsured and have household incomes at or below 250 percent of the poverty level – $30,150 for an individual and $61,500 for a family of four – will qualify.
According to an AARP estimate, more than 25 percent of prescriptions nationwide aren’t filled because people can’t afford them. Yarcich said this sometimes leads those who are already medically vulnerable to skip critical doses of medication.
William Mann Jr., Olde Towne’s executive medical director, said the clinic will likely provide about 600 prescriptions a month through the program.
Yarcich said she hopes initial success at Olde Towne Medical will propel the program to go statewide. She said because the medication will come from orders from medical facilities to suppliers, “location is no barrier.”
“We’re excited about launching this and where its going to go,” Yarcich said.