Submitted for Virginia Association of Free and Charitable Clinics
RICHMOND, Va. – With recent news that drug manufacturer Eli Lilly & Co. will reduce the cost of insulin for patients, leaders with the Virginia Association of Free and Charitable Clinics (VAFCC) are reminding Virginians about the availability of low and no-cost prescriptions available at local clinics.
One in four Virginians report not filling prescriptions or cutting pills in half due to concerns about cost, according to a survey by Altarum’s Healthcare Value Hub, an initiative focused on addressing high healthcare prices.
The VAFCC represents 60 free and charitable clinics that serve over 63,000 vulnerable patients annually. Many of these clinics offer prescription medications through a variety of programs and partnerships to help patients in Virginia with low-incomes access the medication they need to stay healthy.
One partner, called Direct Relief, provides donations of medicines and medical supplies and at times, financial support to health centers and free and charitable clinics on an ongoing basis and during times of disaster. These medical resources are mobilized for providers free of charge to help support patients who are low-income and lack health insurance.
“It is a privilege to work with the Virginia Association of Free & Charitable Clinics and their member clinics to provide access to healthcare for thousands of patients in need across the state,” said Katie Lewis, Associate Director of U.S. Programs for Direct Relief. “By working together to expand the availability of lifesaving medical care and medicines, we can create a healthier, more equitable world where everyone has the opportunity to thrive.”
In a recently released report, Direct Relief reported donating $2.98 million in wholesale medical aid to 31 Virginia-based free and charitable clinics in 2022.
“Patients at free and charitable clinics receive critical medications that would have cost hundreds of dollars – regardless of their ability to pay,” according to Amy Yarcich, Executive Director of Virginia-based Rx Partnership.
Rx Partnership (RxP) started providing access to brand medication in 2004 and in 2017 began adding critical generic medications to support low-income, uninsured patients with diabetes, hypertension and over 10 other chronic conditions. Working with 30 clinic partners serving 86 Virginia localities, RxP provided nearly 50,000 prescriptions valued at $13.5 million in FY22 according to their recently released 2022 Impact Report.
RxP has won two national awards recognizing its efficient and unique model for medication access and continues to add new programs, like mail delivery, to support patient health.
People are encouraged to reach out to a local clinic to learn about its program and medication access services. A searchable list of clinics is available through the VAFCC’s Free Clinics Care website.