The Society of St. Vincent de Vincent de Paul’s charitable pharmacy, the first of its kind in Texas, recently expanded eligibility for its services.
The Society of St. Vincent de Paul of North Texas provides emergency assistance to people in need in the forms of rent, utilities, food, clothing, furnishings, and medications. In addition, the Society provides systemic change programs that address after-school education, low interest loans to combat predatory lending, employment opportunities.
Previously, the free community pharmacy served individuals whose household income was 200% below the federal poverty line. Now, because of updated supplier agreements, the pharmacy can serve the uninsured whose household income is at or below 300% of the federal poverty level.
“It began as part of our normal emergency assistance process. When we get a call for help, we typically do a visit to find the best way to help people in their specific situations. Many of the times during home visits we would find out they were either forgoing…medications or maybe not taking their full dosage trying to stretch it out,” said Society of St. Vincent de Paul North Texas CEO Michael Pazzaglini about how the pharmacy got started back in 2018. “We are thrilled about the expanded qualifications, and are confident this new threshold will allow the pharmacy to serve many more North Texans who were previously unable to obtain their needed, often life-saving medications.”
Since March 2020, the pharmacy has served nearly 1,000 patients and filled more than $3.4 million in prescriptions – averaging more than 400 prescriptions per week.
“Throughout the pandemic, the need for a charitable pharmacy and our services became increasingly apparent, as additional individuals experienced distress and were unable to afford their medications,” said Carlos Irula, St. Vincent de Paul Pharmacy pharmacist-in-charge, in a statement. “The cost of medications like insulin can be astronomical, and crippling to individuals who are uninsured and below 300 percent of the Federal Poverty Line. The Pharmacy provides a lifeline for a variety of individuals across the metroplex who hail from all walks of life, and we are proud to ensure access to medication is one less worry they need to entertain.”
Pazzaglini said the hope is to raise money to expand beyond the North Texas area. To find out more about the Society of St. Vincent de Paul and to donate, visit their website.