Old Meds Benefit Patients In Need [AUDIO]
The Wyoming Department of Health is giving Wyomingites a way to help people who are struggling to pay for prescribed medications. Natasha Gallizzi, medication donation program manager and pharmacist, says that the health department will sort unused, and non-expired, prescription medications and distribute them to people who can't afford them.
Prescriptions don't buy medicines:
"The medication donation program just lets us reuse medications that people aren't using anymore to help people in need that can't afford their prescription. The times when people donate the medication is when a loved one passed away."
And often there are just medicines left over. Also, Ms. Gallizzi says there really is a need.
Food, shelter, or medication:
"People can apply directly; they can call us to find out if they're eligible. A lot of our clients that are low-income have to make a hard choice between affording food, paying their rent bill, or affording a prescription, so our program helps people who can't afford a prescription get the medicine they need."
And, the other benefit is that medications that cannot be used will be properly disposed of.
Flushing meds contaminates water supply:
"So our program will accept all medication donations, and we'll sort through them to see what can be reused, and those that cannot, we'll incinerate to be safely disposed."
Residents may call the program toll free at 1-855-257-5041 to see if they qualify and if the medication they need is available. “We can mail medications to qualified residents throughout Wyoming,” Gallizzi said.
To donate unused medications:
Mark out any patient identifying information (name, address, phone number, Rx number), but leave the drug name on the container.
Complete a donor form, which is available online at http://www.health.wyo.gov/healthcarefin/pharmacy/DonorToolkit.html.
Mail donations to: Wyoming Medication Donation Program, Wyoming Department of Health, Office of Healthcare Financing, 2508 E. Fox Farm Road, Suite 2A, Cheyenne, WY 82007. In Cheyenne, donations may also be dropped off at the same address Monday through Friday, from 9 am to 12:30 pm and 1:30 through 5 pm.