Local News

Program helps N.C. residents in need get medicine for free

Posted January 27, 2010 1:04 p.m. EST
Updated January 27, 2010 1:26 p.m. EST


— North Carolinians who cannot afford their prescription medicines can now get them for free, Attorney General Roy Cooper announced Wednesday.

A pilot program that began last March to give low-income residents free access to needed prescription drugs was expanded on Wednesday to serve residents statewide.

“Times are hard and people are sacrificing to make ends meet, but they shouldn’t have to sacrifice their health,” Cooper said in a statement. “Qualified low-income North Carolinians can now get access to the medications they need to stay healthy.”

The program, administered by NC MedAssist, creates a mail-order central pharmacy to provide free brand-name and generic drugs. The drugs are donated by participating pharmaceutical companies.

“The NC MedAssist program is designed to help the thousands of people in our state ease that dangerous burden of choosing between everyday necessities in life – buying groceries, paying the utility bill or filling a prescription,” Jason Baisden, executive director of the North Carolina Association of Free Clinics, said in a statement. “Having prescription medications to help maintain a healthy lifestyle is a necessity.”

North Carolina residents who meet one of the following criteria are eligible to enroll in the program:

  • Adults and children living at or below 200 percent of the Federal Poverty Level.
  • Adults and children who do not qualify for: Medicaid, Veterans Administration or private health insurance.
  • Medicare Part D participants who fall in the “donut hole” may be eligible after consultation with NC MedAssist.

Eligible residents can enroll in the program by downloading an enrollment packet from the NC MedAssist Web site, or by calling at 1-866-331-1348.