Heart of Florida Health Center Pharmacy provides patients with low cost prescriptions

Published: May. 3, 2019 at 3:29 PM EDT
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Many people throughout the country and even right here in North Central Florida, struggle to pay for their medications, but a new pharmacy in Marion county, is looking to ease that burden.

The new pharmacy at the Heart of Florida Health Center located in Ocala is now offering its patients the medicine they need without the financial worry.

The mission of the Heart of Florida Health Center is to provide medical care to residents who otherwise would not be able to access health services due to financial circumstances.

And with this new pharmacy the Health Center can continue do just that.

As pharmacists count the pills so to do many patients count the dollars, wondering if they have enough to purchase the medication needed to keep them healthy.

The Heart of Florida Health Center saw the struggles of it patients and is trying to change that.

“Diabetes, which effects at least 40 percent of our population, on the outside a patient would pay around 500 dollars for a months supply based on their dose. Here we have a range, if they meet the qualifications based on income it could range anywhere from two dollars and 17 cents to about 15 dollars,” said Director of Pharmacy, Dr. Chandra Evans.

The pharmacy can do this through the 340-B Drug Pricing Program, which is a federal government initiative.

“Our pharmacy is an in-house pharmacy and a federally qualified health center some have legislation that supports the way we buy our medications from manufactures. It’s not where we buy medications from wholesalers at a discounted rate so that’s the main difference,” Evans added.

This way uninsured patients can purchase medications at a significantly lower rate than chain pharmacies.

Insured patients can also receive help when paying for co-pays through this program.

“It’s a win win for the entire community. A 340B pharmacy allows patients to, who may be uninsured, who may not be able to afford their medications, if they receive their medications at a reduced cost it keeps them adhered to the medication as well as out of the ER and there’s a healthier outcome,” said CEO of the Heart of Florida Health Center, Jamie Ulmer.

The new pharmacy opened at the beginning of March and is the second of two pharmacy locations operating under the Heart of Florida Health Center.