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Akron company taking a new approach to distributing prescription medications

My Free Pharmacy is helping folks afford medications they need
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Posted at 9:15 PM, Sep 09, 2023

AKRON, Ohio — An Akron company is taking a new approach to accessing prescription medications. "My Free Pharmacy" is sending out common prescription drugs to folks who need them for one cost a month.

A team of pharmacists works inside the My Free Pharmacy hub in Akron.

My Free Pharmacy pharmacist Mary Miller explained to News 5 how their process has many checks and balances.

"What I'm doing is verifying that the tablets in the bottle match the image on the screen, and then I'm making sure that all of that is consistent with what was ordered on the prescription in the first place," Miller said.

The pharmacy is filling common prescriptions people need but are not able to afford. Generics are available for heart medications, cholesterol medications, anti-depressants and more.

“The doctor e-prescribes that medication, or their prescription, to our computer; it’s processed, it’s filled. And on a truck, before the member even gets home from the doctor’s office," said "My Free Pharmacy" CEO Doug Behrens said.

Behrens said the model works a lot like Netflix. Members pay one monthly fee and access their prescriptions, all for that price. Families pay $29.95, and a single member is $19.95 per month.

“We had a gentleman that had five prescriptions, he paid $2,800 at the retail pharmacies; he now gets those five prescriptions for free," Behrens said.

Medications that cost a lot were a problem for Ted McGibboney and his wife before they tried the program.

"She and I both have Medicare, I even have VA, but there are some medications that aren't available, so we used My Free Pharmacy for our over-the-counter supplements," McGibboney said.

McGibboney found the prescription model so helpful that he created a non-profit called Helping Hands 2 that is now looking to sponsor folks My Free Pharmacy memberships. Recently, Helping Hands 2 met with seniors at the Benjamin Rose Institute for Aging to talk about accessibility to medication.

"Helping people who are uninsured, underinsured, or people who have insurance with a very high deductible so they're paying out of pocket," McGibboney said.

Out of the Akron facility, prescriptions are being sent through the mail to members in all 50 states.

“We love Akron, obviously, we are very proud, but this program is nationwide," Behrens said.

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