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Carolinas HealthCare System sponsored two free events that brought NC MedAssist’s Over the Counter (OTC) Medicine Give Away program to Shelby and Wadesboro in April and May. The events were open to any individual or family needing OTC medication. NC MedAssist is a statewide non-profit pharmacy that gives free prescription medicine to low-income and uninsured people.
A total of 1,334 community members were served at the events and a total of $240,000 worth of free medication was given away. Everyone received $100 worth of OTC products which included items such as allergy relief, pain relief, indigestion relief, cold medicine, first-aid and vitamins. NC MedAssist’s overall goal is to help ease the cost for those who are making the choice between buying food or purchasing medication.
The OTC Give Away Day had a huge impact on the community. One recipient told a Carolinas HealthCare System volunteer, “This will be the first month in a while that I will be able to take all my diabetes medication. Typically, I can’t afford it but because of this event, I will have my medicine this month.”
The OTC program relied on community volunteers. Serving over 1000 individuals in one day takes many hands to make sure the program runs smoothly and that all patients are served before the door closes. NC MedAssist partnered with Carolinas HealthCare System to have volunteers serve in roles such as pharmacy consultation, client ‘personal shoppers’, and OTC sorters.
Last year, NC MedAssist gave away more than $1.9 million dollars of donated OTC medication to North Carolina individuals and clinic partners. This year, the organization plans to give away more than $2 million.