July 30, 2019; Columbus Dispatch
Now joining a variety of attempts to work around the high cost of medical care is the Charitable Pharmacy of Central Ohio, which has been limited over its 10 years of existence to Franklin County but is now poised to expand with widespread support.
The pharmacy provides medication at no cost to those living below 200 percent of the poverty line. Its pharmacists work directly with 50 to 60 patients each day; the medications are reportedly donated by wholesalers, pharmaceutical companies, and charitable distributors.
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The pharmacy has been granted $500,000 for expansion by the Franklin County commissioners under the newly piloted Catalyst Grant Program, designed to meet the needs of area residents in that area. The wider base of the project’s partners includes the city of Columbus, United Way of Central Ohio, OhioHealth, and Nationwide Children’s Hospital.
Left unaddressed, of course, is the basic problem of a malfunctioning healthcare system that includes enough charitable contributions from pharmaceutical companies to underwrite overall price gouging of those in need. Last year, the original pharmacy location dispensed about $6.7 million worth of medications, so you see the scope of the problem.—Ruth McCambridge