Free pharmacy assisting uninsured Austinites

AUSTIN (KXAN) — Millions of Texans don’t have health insurance. For many, the treatments and medications can get expensive.

People are often left with a tough decision between buying medications for chronic illnesses or paying to put food on the table for their families.

In Austin, help is here with a volunteer organization expanding its free pharmacy for uninsured residents.

Since June, the St. Vincent de Paul Pharmacy of Texas has been filling prescriptions for free for those in need.

Michael Willard is the executive director of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul of Central Texas.

“With the pharmacy program, we’re delivering lifesaving medications to you at your door,” he said.

“You don’t have to spend that money. Instead, you can now spend it on food for your family or paying your rent and utility bills.”

In the Greater Austin area, the charitable pharmacy has already served between 40-50 people while fulfilling over 150 prescriptions.

Marci Roe is the executive director of the Volunteer Healthcare Clinic, a nonprofit providing medical services to uninsured Austinites.

Several of its patients have been prescribed medications sent to the Society of St. Vincent de Paul Pharmacy.

“There’s a lot of people that don’t have access to healthcare and even if they do have access to healthcare, they may not have access to their medications,” Roe explained. “This really allows them to get this medication and stay on track with their treatment plan.”

For those without health insurance, a 90-day supply of Basaglar insulin — which treats diabetes — costs around $750 out-of-pocket.

Society of St. Vincent de Paul of North Texas CEO Luis Gonzalez says those costs are covered through this program.

“We’re able to dispense that to our patients for free,” he said. “It ships out from our Dallas location to the resident, so you’re seeing a tremendous value that’s being added to the community.”

To qualify for free medication through the SVdP Pharmacy, you must complete a brief application process and meet these four qualifications:

  • No health insurance coverage
  • Earn a household income at or below 300% of the Federal Poverty Level
  • Proof of residence in the state of Texas
  • A valid prescription

The St. Vincent de Paul Pharmacy is located in Dallas, and the drugs are shipped directly to your household.

In North Austin, the Society of St. Vincent de Paul has a Central Texas headquarters.

At this location (901 W Braker Ln, Austin, TX 78758), people can learn about the program while utilizing the food pantry and thrift store offered on-site.

To sign up for the SVdP free pharmacy program, you can visit its website.

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