Program helps cover medication costs for all ages

Ninety-one-year-old Anna Duncan is uncertain how she would pay for some of her needed medications without assistance from Pharmacy Connect of Southwest Virginia.

The free program saves her about $1,500 monthly in prescription medication costs, she said. Duncan, a Lee County resident, is among thousands of individuals who receive free or low-cost prescriptions through Pharmacy Connect each year. The program serves the uninsured and under-insured of all ages in the counties of Lee, Wise, Scott, Dickenson, Buchanan, Tazewell and Russell and the City of Norton.

Duncan maintains a healthy lifestyle, prioritizing a healthy diet and regular exercise. She stays busy too. Quilting, crocheting, cooking and gardening are among her hobbies. Duncan has an extremely positive outlook and says she has a strong prayer life. Her motto is, “Make every day count.”

Duncan does have some health problems, however, including diabetes and heart problems. Cost of medications to treat those issues prompted her to contact MEOC for assistance through Pharmacy Connect.

Duncan enrolled in Pharmacy Connect in 2009 when she could not afford copayments for her life-saving medications, even though she had Medicare coverage. She currently receives three brand-name medications for free through the program, saving her about $1,500 per month.

“It’s the best program I’ve been in for assistance with medications,” Duncan noted. “The medication assistance worker is always supportive, and having access to these medications makes such a difference for me.”


Pharmacy Connect of Southwest Virginia is a partnership including Mountain Empire Older Citizens, Inc., Clinch River Health Services, Inc., Junction Center for Independent Living, LENOWISCO Health District, Stone Mountain Health Services, Inc., The Health Wagon, Virginia Department for Aging and Rehabilitative Services and Virginia Health Care Foundation. MEOC is the administrator and fiscal agent for the partnership.

Medication assistance caseworkers at each partnership site can access the free Indigent Patient Assistance Programs of more than 250 national pharmaceutical companies. For an individual to enroll in Pharmacy Connect, his or her physician must agree to participate.

Each pharmaceutical company has different eligibility guidelines, so all medications may not be available. It is not unusual for a person to have several different prescriptions from different pharmaceutical companies.

The medication assistance caseworkers provide assistance with applications and other necessary paperwork. Participants must provide income verifications for each household member.

Medications are shipped to the participant’s home or physician’s office.

If you or someone you know may benefit from this program, call MEOC at 276-523-4202 to learn more.