Donated Prescription Drugs Aid Thousands Of Iowans

Ruzanna Harutyunyan's picture

In its first full year of operation, the Iowa Prescription Drug Donation Repository Program helped more than 3,000 low-income Iowans receive needed medications. Nearly 428,000 doses of prescription medications with a retail value of $646,699 were distributed to participating free clinics, community health centers and doctor's offices.

The number of Iowans who are having difficulty paying for prescription medications continues to grow," said program Executive Director David Fries. "Without this program, many individuals would have gone without their medications." The program assists low-income Iowans by authorizing medical facilities and pharmacies to re-dispense prescription drugs and supplies that have been donated and would otherwise be destroyed. The majority of donations come from long-term care pharmacy providers, physician medication samples and private individuals.


Any medication, except for controlled substances, may be donated if the medication is sealed in its original, tamper-evident packaging. A single, unit-dose or blister pack with the outside packaging opened may be accepted if its packaging remains intact.

Patients who fall below 200 percent of the federal poverty level or who are uninsured or underinsured are eligible to receive donated medications from participating providers.

The Iowa Prescription Drug Donation Repository Program began operating in May, 2007 and is administered by the Iowa Prescription Drug Corporation, a not-for-profit corporation. Grants from the Iowa Dept. of Public Health (IDPH) and the Iowa Collaborative Safety Net Provider Network support the operation of the program.


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