CHARLOTTE, N.C. - NC MedAssist, the only statewide non-profit pharmacy in North Carolina, celebrates our 25th Anniversary of Dispensing Hope to the residents of North Carolina. We provide prescription and over-the-counter medications to our neighbors in need at no cost. We believe that no one should ever have to choose between purchasing food or buying their medicine.
NC MedAssist began in 1997 (as MedAssist of Mecklenburg) through the efforts of the Mecklenburg Medical Society Alliance with the assistance of a $55,000 grant from the employees of Presbyterian Hospital. The mission was to serve low-income, uninsured, senior adults in Mecklenburg County with prescription medication coverage.
In 2005, we expanded our program to include all adults in Mecklenburg County. Four years later, through a grant from the Attorney General's Office, MedAssist developed the Free Prescription Pharmacy Program for the entire state of NC and changed our name to NC MedAssist. We continue to grow and evolve boldly, addressing the needs of our patients.
Our Free Pharmacy Program now provides free prescription medications to North Carolina residents who are uninsured and fall at or below 300% of the Federal Poverty Level. This statewide program is the answer for those who do not have the means to obtain life-saving medications to treat chronic diseases such as heart disease, diabetes, and asthma.
In 2012, we were presented the opportunity to distribute over-the-counter medication through a relationship with Second Harvest Food Bank. We realized how immense the need was; thus, our Mobile Free Pharmacy Program was born. In 2021, we held 50 events in 40 different counties and served almost 49,000 individuals. In addition, we operate an OTC Free Store, the Gerhart Community Medicine Shoppe, at our office in Charlotte, where individuals can come in monthly and shop for OTC medication to help take care of their health. We served over 9,000 shoppers in 2021.
NC MedAssist has served 69,095 of our neighbors in need through various programs dispensing over $65 million in prescription and over-the-counter medications in the last year. And there is still more to do.
We hear from patients all the time that tell us what a difference NC MedAssist makes in their lives and the lives of their families. Patients like Jim from Burke County. Jim told us:
"I had no insurance when I was diagnosed with a heart problem that could kill me if I didn't take medicine every day. The cost of the prescriptions would cost me over $1,500 a month. My wife is disabled, and we have two young children. I only bring home about $2,000 a month. We scraped by every month as it was, yet the price of everything kept going up. I couldn't afford medicine to keep me alive to take care of my family. I felt like a failure, even though I had to be strong so my wife and kids wouldn't worry about me. Finding NC MedAssist doesn't just help me but the three other people that depend on me."
We know there are more patients like Jim out there, and we are dedicated to finding them and helping ease their burden. We can continue our mission with the support of our donors and volunteers. NC MedAssist has helped so many in the last 25 years, and we know that there are many more to help. We hope you'll continue joining us to help ensure that none of our neighbors should ever have to choose between purchasing food or buying their medicine by getting involved today. Learn more about NC MedAssist at www.medassist.org.