What would you do if you were unable to afford life-saving prescription drugs? That question has been asked by millions of people who have had to face what appeared to be a hopeless scenario for themselves or a loved one.
Through an innovative program begun in 2003, the Dispensary of Hope has provided an answer to that question. The Dispensary of Hope is a not-for-profit network of dispensing sites, sourcing partners and financial partners that provide medication to Americans who lack access to prescription drug coverage. The network offers short-term and long-term assistance to those under 200 percent of the poverty line. Nearly 10 percent of the nation’s population falls into this category.
Since its founding, the Dispensary of Hope’s goal has been to be the leading provider of pharmaceuticals to uninsured patients. The Maury Regional Health Care Foundation has been a partner in that effort since its inception. In fact, the Foundation entered this effort as one of the Dispensary’s pilot sites.
“No one should be deprived of the medicine they need because they can’t afford it, so when we were approached by the founders of the Dispensary to participate in this project, we were eager to team up with them to make a difference in the communities that we service,” said Foundation Executive Director Joe Kilgore. “We felt the way we could best address the biggest need in our community was through funding an annual subscription of $7,500 for the program at Maury Regional Medical Center,” said Kilgore. “This allows us to help as many as 250 patients annually.”
In 2011, the Dispensary filled 238 prescriptions for 136 patients, dispensing medications with an actual cash value of $116,902.
“That is a wonderful return on our investment, not only financially but certainly in terms of the benefits to the members of our community,” Kilgore said. “Patients who are able to use medications to control high cholesterol, high blood pressure or other conditions that contribute to their illness are less likely to have to be hospitalized.”
The Foundation provides funds for a variety of projects aimed at meeting health care needs throughout the region served by Maury Regional Medical Center and its affiliates