Pharmaceutical Donations Support People without Health Insurance

Abbott, Johnson & Johnson Patient Assistance Foundation, Inc., and Novartis Patient Assistance Foundation, Inc., expand support through Direct Relief USA’s network of nonprofit clinics and health centers

Santa Barbara, CA (March 8, 2012): Direct Relief USA, the country’s only non-profit provider of free medicines to clinics and health centers in all 50 states, today announced that Abbott, Johnson & Johnson Patient Assistance Foundation, Inc., and Novartis Patient Assistance Foundation, Inc. have joined a new model of charitable donations of medications for people without health insurance.

Nonprofit Direct Relief USA, which provides medical donations to a network of more than 1,000 nonprofit community clinics and health centers nationwide, announced that the three organizations are participating in a five-state pilot program to donate medicines on a replenishment basis to uninsured, low-income patients. This model is based on a successful pilot conducted in recent years with Abbott.

The expanded pilot initiative announced today will provide needed medications to patients at ten nonprofit clinics and health centers that collectively serve 268,476 patients in medically underserved areas. Nationwide, it is estimated that more than 20 million patients receive primary health care services at community-based nonprofit facilities, which include Federally Qualified Health Centers and free clinics.
“This replenishment model brings new efficiencies to charitable efforts to help patients at clinics and health centers get the medications they need on an ongoing basis,” said Damon Taugher, Director of Direct Relief USA.

“We are pleased that nonprofit safety-net clinics, their uninsured patients, and companies’ charitable resources can each leverage Direct Relief’s unique status as the only nonprofit licensed to distribute medications in all 50 states, the robust information and distribution systems, and extensive network that we have built for this purpose,” said Taugher.

Direct Relief USA provided more than $54 million (valued at wholesale acquisition cost) worth of medicine to its network of clinics and health centers in 2011. Direct Relief was awarded the 2011 Peter F. Drucker Award for Nonprofit Innovation for its aggressive adaptation of commercial technology for humanitarian purposes.

Direct Relief’s program focuses on high concentrations of uninsured patients in America’s nonprofit safety net clinics and health centers and complements existing traditional patient assistance programs (PAPs) through which individual companies provide free or discounted prescription medicine to low-income, uninsured patients.
The benefits of the new approach of the Replenishment Program increases efficiencies through a scalable platform, through which multiple companies participate in a program designed to enhance patient care through a streamlined process. The program aims to:

  • Improve the way patients receive medications at clinics and health centers;
  • Streamline the clinics’ administrative processes spent on PAP enrollment and dispensing;
  • Maximize efficiencies in providing donated medicines to patients;
  • Provide a scalable platform for a national program accessible to additional pharmaceutical companies and recipient clinics.

For participating nonprofit clinics and health centers, which must demonstrate rigorous internal controls for drug dispensing and recordkeeping, the program provides a single point of access to multiple pharmaceutical companies’ drugs. This eliminates the need to manage numerous programs and submit duplicative applications for individual medications, which enables redirection of scarce clinical resources from administrative tasks for improved patient care.

Abbott, Johnson & Johnson Patient Assistance Foundation, Inc., and Novartis Patient Assistance Foundation, Inc. will provide prescription drugs that will assist healthcare providers in the treatment of patients with cardiovascular disease, hypertension, hypothyroidism, neurological disease, mental health disease, HIV/AIDS, infection and other conditions. Recipient clinics will be better equipped to care for their patients by offering them much-needed continuity of care.

“Direct Relief’s Replenishment Program streamlines our ability to provide high-quality care to the patients we serve,” said Sharon Ng, Pharmacy Director of Venice Family Clinic in Venice, California. “With a significant reduction in paperwork and with fewer packages to receive, unpack and update into our inventory, we are able to spend more time with our patients and less time on the administrative component of traditional patient assistance programs. The timesavings provided to us through the Replenishment Program helps keep costs low and patient care the main focus.”

The Replenishment Program will support ten clinics in California, Washington, Texas, Michigan, and Florida.

About Direct Relief International

Direct Relief is California’s largest medical relief organization, active in all 50 states and over 70 countries. It works with more than 1,000 health clinics across the U.S. to assist in emergencies and an ongoing basis, providing them with free medications for people in need. The organization has been among the world’s largest medical suppliers in Haiti after the 2010 earthquake, has top charity ratings, including four-star and “top-notch” rating from Charity Navigator, and a 100% fundraising efficiency rating from Forbes magazine. For more information, please visit www.DirectRelief.org.

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