Magazine article Drug Topics

West Virginia Charity Pharmacy Expands

Magazine article Drug Topics

West Virginia Charity Pharmacy Expands

Article excerpt

The West Virginia Board of Pharmacy recently granted West Virginia Rx a mail-order pharmacy license, which will allow it to serve more than 12,500 patients and become the largest charity pharmacy in the nation.

"We're approving people every day, around 50 to 60 a day," said Brenda Dane, executive director of West Virginia Rx. The license is helping facilitate membership in the program as well as agreements with Charleston-area hospitals and Partners in Health, which serves 13 counties around the Charleston area, where the charity pharmacy is located.

According to a West Virginia law passed in 2008, all charitable pharmacies in the state must be licensed. "We got our license, we got our oversight, and that helps us increase our relationship with drug companies, Dane said.

Already, nine pharmaceutical manufacturers, including Abbott, AstraZeneca, Johnson & Johnson, Merck, and Novartis are assisting West Virginia Rx. "We are in discussions with three more ... which will increase our formulary by 100 percent," Dane said. The current formulary in the two-year-old pharmacy program consists of 105 drugs.

Meanwhile, West Virginia Rx is expanding, adding 10,000 patients from Partners in Health and hospitals that provide charity care in West Virginia. "After all the systems got built, we went to all the points of entry, includ- ing charity-care patients at hospitals, who are at 200 percent of the federal poverty level. The idea was to absorb those patients for medications," Dane said.

The West Virginia Health Clinic, which has been established for several years, includes a pharmacy of 18,000 square feet. …

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