Free prescription medications from the Dispensary of Hope.

The Dispensary of Hope is an organization that has created a nationwide network of prescription medication dispensing sites. The locations are available for low to moderate income patients and the service will assist people who lack prescription drug coverage. It provides them with free or heavily discounted medications and drugs.

The organization provides both short-term and long-term assistance to those individuals and families who earn under 200 percent of the federal government income poverty line, which today accounts for about 10 percent of the nations entire population. So millions of people could benefit from the Dispensary of Hope programs.

This not-for-profit organization will collect and distribute a wide variety of prescription medication from a variety of sources including drug manufacturers, pharmaceutical companies, physicians' offices, and distributors who send them their excess inventory of medication as well as donated medication. It has been operating since 2003. It primarily helps those people without prescription drug coverage or health insurance.

Dispensary of Hope is one of the nations’ leading providers of pharmaceuticals and medicines to uninsured patients. The network they use to distribute the free medications is rapidly growing, and it is sustained by local partnerships. To date, the Dispensary of Hope has collected and distributed tens of millions of dollars worth of pharmaceuticals to those who need assistance. They have also filled for free more than 200,000 prescriptions for patients who otherwise couldn't afford to pay for their medications. The program hands out close to 100,000 prescriptions a year in 30 states. For more information, dial (888) 428-4673.

Currently the organization has dozens of offices located in several different states states. They work directly with doctors and other companies in those states to get patients their much needed medicines. They also work with drug companies and their patient assistance programs.





How does the Dispensary of Hope program work?

They ask physicians in the local communities to donate a portion of their sample medications and surplus meds so that they can be used to help uninsured residents in the local area. For example, currently in Knoxville Tennessee they have over 400 doctors that are donating medications to the local Dispensary of Hope branch. On average, just in Knoxville, they help almost 200 patients a month by providing them free medicines.

The Dispensary of Hope will track, sorts and pass out unused sample drugs to patients. Pharmacies use a Web-based system to order the meds, and patients pay little money for prescriptions, or they can them for free. According to the journal Medical Care, pharmaceutical companies across the nation distribute over $18 billion in free drug samples every year to doctors and others. However, up to $4 billion worth of those drugs go unused, and get discarded. The Dispensary collects those unused medicines (before they are discarded!) and passes them to people in need.

Another service they offer is referrals. If you're in need of any type of medicine and for some reason do not qualify for Dispensary of Hope's services, there are other avenues and programs they may refer you to. One other option that they can help with is they can ask your doctor about going directly to the drug manufacturer for your medications.

The programs operates nationwide as a non-profit organization. While income restrictions and other conditions are in place, those who are interested can dial 615-736-5075 for details.



By Jon McNamara

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