The community pharmacy that gives prescription medications to Charlotte County residents ‘in need’ is expanding due to population growth and increased need. The St. Vincent de Paul Community Pharmacy of Charlotte County is opening a satellite office in Englewood. And they hope to do the same in Punta Gorda next year. Executive Director Paul Ringenberger says over the last six years the pharmacy has dispensed more than three and a half million dollars of free medications to those whose expenses exceed their income – young and old alike.
“If it isn’t the elderly who have experienced problems with this Medicare D or other programs it certainly does come back to folks who work in the service industry because they aren’t receiving health insurance so we’re seeing more and more working families come to us for assistance.”
Pharmacists donate their time and physicians donate their samples.
There are three other St. Vincent De Paul community pharmacies in the U.S. This is the only one in Florida.
The St. Vincent DePaul Community Pharmacy needs volunteers to staff its new office in Englewood. It’s operated for six years out of an office in Port Charlotte and is expanding for the first time.
The pharmacy has provided more than 3-point-5 million dollars in free prescription medicine to Charlotte County residents in need. Executive Director Paul Ringenberger says about 75 percent of the drugs are donated by physicians who give up their samples.
“Just like a pharmacy we maintain shelves and we monitor inventory and when we run low on something if it’s not being donated we go ahead and cut a check and buy it.”
The pharmacy is licensed and regulated by the state and run by volunteer pharmacists who give about four hours a month to fill prescriptions. It gets by with donations, grants, county government funding and fundraising. The Englewood office opens in October. Plans are underway for a Punta Gorda office to open early next year.
Monday, 21 August 2006 01:00
Community PharmacyWritten by WGCU Newsroom