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Federal program helps uninsured get medications

Posted April 2, 2010

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— A Person County clinic and a federal program are helping the uninsured buy medications in the county with the highest unemployment rate in North Carolina.

Prescription plan aids Person Co. patients Prescription plan aids Person Co. patients

A 2008 report found that 19 percent of people in Person County don't have health insurance. Staff at Person Family Medical and Dental Center believe the rate has become much higher as more people have lost their jobs.

Tammy Oliver said she's been in that situation since she lost her job last May. She takes medications to control her blood pressure and cholesterol.

"I'm on two prescriptions that are $300 apiece," Oliver said.

Person Family Medical and Dental Center recently applied for the federal 340B program. It allows patients to save up to 60 percent on their medications.

"We buy the medications at a minimal amount, and then in turn, we can let the patient have them for the same amount," explained Person Family Medical outreach coordinator Susan Burnette.

The medication is distributed through an approved pharmacy – in this case, Community Pharmacy. Patients are charged on a sliding scale based on what they can afford.

About 400 patients have signed up since the program started in Roxboro a month ago.

Any patient at Person Family Medical can qualify for the program. Patients receive cards that they can take to Community Pharmacy to get the discounts on their prescriptions. Pharmacy staff said that most drugs are discounted.

"My philosophy is the pill is only as good as the person who takes it, and if I can help them find the means to take that pill, then, absolutely, we want to do it," said nurse practitioner Elizabeth Boozer, with Person Family Medical.

Oliver said she can't begin to describe how much the program has helped her get the medications she needs.

"I wouldn't be able to take it if I didn't have those discounts," she said.

8 Comments

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  • Bob12345 Apr 7, 2010

    THEN WHY DO WE NEED OBAMA CARE

  • JustOneGodLessThanU Apr 6, 2010

    Are you people saying that everyone can get access to every drug that they need? LOL

    If you think you have a simple answer to a complex & devastating problem such as this, why don't you notify "Person Family Medical outreach coordinator Susan Burnette" and tell her your "solution". (336) 599-9271

    I'm sure Ms. Burnette will be thrilled to learn that everyone can get all the meds they need after all. ;-)

  • affirmativediversity Apr 6, 2010

    Gosh this program wouldn't have been necessary IF Obama hadn't made that backroom deal with Big Pharma to let them charge what they want with NO IMPORTS from Canada,

    in return for their "support" of Obamacare!

    Hey, by the way...isn't Obamacare suppose to have solved all the problems of the "uninsured"...we're paying taxes for it already????

  • Z Man Apr 6, 2010

    It's all socialism. Regardless of whether it's the feds or drug companies paying for or discounting drugs for those that can't afford it, who do you think is really paying? It's the taxpayer or the people that actually PAY MONEY to the drug companies for their prescriptions. The drug companies are not going to reduce profit by giving away drugs. They simply include the cost of these giveaways in the price the charge those that DO PAY.

  • whatelseisnew Apr 5, 2010

    "Oliver said she can't begin to describe how much the program has helped her get the medications she needs."

    ANother brain-dead American. The program is doing nothing. The Government is stealing money from someone else to pay for her pills. Gotta love the proud American beggars.

  • NCPictures Apr 5, 2010

    "Just FYI, nobody needs to be dependent on the federal or state government for prescriptions. Virtually every pharmaceutical company has programs for those people that cannot afford to pay for their meds (I said afford, not don't want to pay). Call the company that makes the meds you need (pharmacist can give you the number) and there will be someone there to help." ---chris9

    Thats exactly what I thought when I read this. Why is the government putting in more bureaucracy into something that is already taken care of by the private sector and doesn't cost the taxpayers anything?

  • goodejrg Apr 5, 2010

    Since when did the government get into the business of actually helping people?

  • chris9 Apr 2, 2010

    Just FYI, nobody needs to be dependent on the federal or state government for prescriptions. Virtually every pharmaceutical company has programs for those people that cannot afford to pay for their meds (I said afford, not don't want to pay). Call the company that makes the meds you need (pharmacist can give you the number) and there will be someone there to help.