A local nonprofit is celebrating a milestone right now, as it continues its mission to ensure no family goes without lifesaving medicines.
In 2018, the Society of Saint Vincent de Paul in Dallas opened the state’s first free pharmacy.
But as people lost their jobs during the pandemic and lost access to health insurance, the pharmacy says it has seen a dramatic increase in need.
Last summer, the pharmacy was able to secure more funding to expand its services and dispense prescriptions to homes across the state.
And as of last week, they just surpassed 100,000 prescriptions dispensed so far this year alone – that’s $12 million worth of drugs.
The pharmacy still operates from one location in Dallas and says it needs all the help it can get to maintain goodwill.
“The price of food is going up, the price of gasoline,” said Carlos Irulas, pharmacist in charge at the Saint-Vincent de Paul pharmacy. “So we’re helping families who make the decision to have enough money to buy formula or baby food rather than buying their insulin.”
The cost of drugs is also increasing. For example, the price of insulin has skyrocketed in recent months.
“For a three-month supply, that could be around $3,000 for an uninsured patient,” Irulas said. “So that’s a kind of value that we provide to people across the state.”
The free pharmacy is open to people who do not have health insurance, whose household income is at or below 300% of the poverty level, and those who live in Texas, even if they are undocumented. Those who apply just need a mailing address for the medicine to be shipped.
Click here to learn more about the program and how to apply.