Magazine article Drug Topics

MedAssist Recruits Pharmacists for N.C. Central Fill Pharmacy

Magazine article Drug Topics

MedAssist Recruits Pharmacists for N.C. Central Fill Pharmacy

Article excerpt

Pharmacists and pharmacy technicians are being brought on board a not-for-profit pharmacy in North Carolina as the state rolls out its central fill pharmacy for free clinics.

Using $2.3 million in grants from the state's share of legal settlements with pharmaceutical companies, Med- Assist, a not-for-profit pharmacy in Mecklenburg, N.C., is in the process of hiring pharmacists and other staff to develop the central fill pharmacy.

"We are hiring at least one additional pharmacist, several techs, and people to take calls," says Lori Giang, executive director of Med- Assist of Mecklenburg. "We will have a customer service call center, so we can perform the eligibility enrollment process [with patients] over the phone."

Administered through the state At- torney General's office and the North Carolina Association of Free Clinics (NCAFC), the central fill pharmacy will serve free clinics in Cleveland and Onslow counties. The NCAFC plans to expand the program to three more counties by the end of this year.

While some free clinics in the state have pharmacy services, they are not as broad as the central fill pharmacy program. "They will continue to provide prescription assistance programs for a while, until we get the same formulary," said Jason Baisden, executive director of the NCAFC, which has a membership of 78 clinics.

The program's proponents want participating patients to receive free medications not just at free clinics, but at other "points of entry" such as hospitals, emergency rooms, phy- sicians' offices, and clinics. …

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