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Helping Neighbors Starts at Home

A Good Prognosis for a Neighbor in Need

May 11, 2015

When Cindy was diagnosed with glaucoma, she and her husband Bill knew they could never afford the eye drops she needed. Both in their seventies, their only income came from social security and disability benefits. They could barely afford Bill’s medications for seizures, chronic pain and hypertension, and Cindy had stopped taking some of her other medications to save on costs months ago.

Vincentian volunteers did some research and found that, while the glaucoma drops were not covered by the Prescriptions For Our Neighbors in Need program, they could cover the cost of Bill and Cindy’s other medications. This would save the couple about $300 per year, which will help them afford Cindy’s glaucoma drops.

Cindy has begun her treatment for glaucoma and is hopeful the drops will prevent any further damage to her eyes, allowing her to continue to make memories with her grandchildren for years to come. The couple sent several handwritten thank you notes to their local conference to express their deep gratitude for the Vincentians who helped improve their health and quality of life. 

The Society of St. Vincent de Paul’s Prescriptions For Our Neighbors in Need program serves low-income families and individuals, including those without medical insurance, seniors with a gap in coverage and families on Medicaid. Vincentians provide vouchers to people in need, who give the vouchers to their physicians to fill out.  The pharmaceutical company processes the vouchers, and the client receives their medications at no charge. The Society partners with LDI to provide pharmaceuticals. 

In fiscal year 2015, the Society has already provided nearly 1,300 prescription medications for 410 unduplicated clients. This is a drastic increase compared to last year, when the Society provided a total 1,542 prescription medications for 739 unduplicated clients for the entire fiscal year.

A possible explanation for this increased need is Missouri’s decision to opt out of Medicare expansion. According to the Missouri Medicare Coalition, about 260,000 workers fall into a coverage gap because they do not have access to employer-based coverage through their job and only have limited income available to purchase coverage on their own.

The Prescriptions For Our Neighbors in Need program is made possible by the generosity of individuals and corporate partners. The program does not receive government subsidies. To learn more about what you can do to support programs like Prescriptions For Our Neighbors in Need, click here.

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