Saturday, September 30, 2023

Upcoming drive-thru pharmacy to supply free over-the-counter meds to low-income families [Free]

A volunteer delivers medicines through MedAssist’s drive-thru pharmacy event in September 2020. (Port City Daily/Courtesy of MedAssist)

NEW HANOVER COUNTY — A nonprofit pharmacy will be bringing up to $100,000 of free over-the-counter medications to a drive-thru event on Jan. 15, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., to help serve those in need.

NC MedAssist’s mission is to make sure low-income families can receive proper medications so that choosing between buying groceries or caring for their health isn’t a worry.

NC MedAssist will host a Mobile Free Pharmacy, in partnership with Humana, at Wilmington Health (1802 South 17th St.). It will be available to individuals or families over 18 years old who need medicine; no ID is required. 

“We want everyone to stay healthy this winter and to have the medicines needed to combat flu and cold season,” North Carolina director Patrick Farley, who works for Humana, said in a press release.

Medicines offered include allergy and sinus, adult cold and cough, digestive aids, pain relief, vitamins, eye care, laxatives/hemorrhoids, skin treatment, stop smoking aids, children’s pain and fever relievers, children’s allergies, children’s cold and cough, and miscellaneous treatments.

The Mobile Free Pharmacy will follow Covid-19 protocols and be set up as a drive-thru service. All participants are encouraged to pre-order medicines online (select the New Hanover County event) and remain in their vehicles as volunteers fulfill their orders. Folks unable to pre-register still will be able to receive medicines.

The Mobile Free Pharmacy hosts events all across North Carolina and serves upward of 1,000 people. Volunteers help run the event, some in partnership with other organizations; roles include pharmacy consultation, client “personal shoppers,” and sorters. Anyone interested in volunteering at New Hanover County’s event can sign up here.

“We understand there is a pressing need, especially in the midst of the cold and flu season,” Sheila Kidwell, director of foundations and communication at NC MedAssist, noted in a press release. “Our goal in this partnership with Humana is to improve the health of the community, one family at a time.”

Last year NC MedAssist distributed $76 million of prescription and over-the-counter medicines to statewide residents. The nonprofit also hosts a Free Pharmacy Program for low-income, uninsured North Carolinians, and mails prescription medications to patients directly without charge, and has a Transitional Jobs Program to help individuals overcome barriers to employment.

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Shea Carver
Shea Carver
Shea Carver is the editor in chief at Port City Daily. A UNCW alumna, Shea worked in the print media business in Wilmington for 22 years before joining the PCD team in October 2020. She specializes in arts coverage — music, film, literature, theatre — the dining scene, and can often be tapped on where to go, what to do and who to see in Wilmington. When she isn’t hanging with her pup, Shadow Wolf, tending the garden or spinning vinyl, she’s attending concerts and live theater.

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