Health care reform is once again getting a lot of media coverage. Both local and national stories have featured individuals who have to choose between paying the rent, buying food or paying for prescriptions. Here in Charlottesville and the surrounding counties, the United Way-Thomas Jefferson Area has been offering the RxRelief Prescription Assistance Program since November 2007. To date, Helen Frye, our Medication Assistance Caseworker, has helped hundreds of individuals get free prescriptions from pharmaceutical companies for their chronic conditions like diabetes, heart disease and mental illness. To date, more than $1 million in free prescriptions have been received locally through our program. Helen can be reached at 972-1701. She keeps regular hours at the Charlottesville Free Clinic as well as at Region 10 and can also meet patients at Martha Jefferson Hospital satellite locations.
I help a lot of people get medications that they can't afford. The cost of medication is always rising, and I see people who have low incomes and can't pay for their medication. Lately I've seen an increase in patients who have lost their jobs or their hours have been cut so they're no longer eligible for health insurance. They were used to just going to the pharmacy and getting their medications for a small co-pay. Now they are faced with having to pay full price for the meds out of the unemployment that they receive.
I was able to sign up one lady over the phone right away and she was able to go directly to the pharmacy and get her prescription filled. She said, "I don't know what I would have done without your help". The cost of her meds without insurance was close to $500/month. She said there was no way she could get them and pay her normal household bills too. It made me feel really good to be able to help.
I love what I do and have never had such a rewarding job. I never get tired of hearing how the program has helped the patients. I'm happy to be able to help!
Medication Assistance Caseworker
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