My Neighbor's Charitable Pharmacy opens for business, making medicine accessible in the Ozarks
When it opened its doors in late February 2023, My Neighbor’s Charitable Pharmacy (NCP), already looked different from other pharmacies. A quick scan revealed no shelves, no over-the-counter medicines, no fragrance counter, no makeup, or candy. But what could be seen were much needed medications and pharmacists and technicians at work filing the prescriptions. This is because My Neighbors Charitable Pharmacy is not like other pharmacies, in fact there is not another one like it in the state.
This first-in-the-state pharmacy is innovative in its approach in seeking to close the gap of medication non-adherence, filling a hole which currently exists in healthcare. By making access to vital medications, medical devices, immunizations and disease management, NCP has expanded resources to those living above the federal poverty limit but still without means to afford medications and other critical care items that support good health.
NCP was born out of the mission of Faith Community Health (FCH) which is to provide affordable healthcare in order to promote wellness of mind, body and spirit. “The FCH team and board recognized access to medication as a crucial element to improving a patient's health,” said Dr. Heather Lyons-Burney, the founder of the Pharmacy. Lyons-Burney worked closely with legislators and the state pharmaceutical board to create the Class Q charitable Pharmacies designation. “As a charitable pharmacy, we can close the gap in health disparities in our rural corner of Southwest Missouri.”
By working with charitable relief organizations such as Dispensary of Hope, Direct Relief and local health-systems, NCP is able to gain access to otherwise costly medications. In addition, when name brand medications are the only option, the pharmacy works with those companies through a Patient Advocacy Program (PAP). “Our team of technicians and staff work with pharmaceutical companies and relief organizations in order to provide medications at no cost to the patient,” said Jesse Wright, Director of Development. In addition to national partners, NCP has received grant funding from Taney County through ARPA funds as well as a generous multi-year grant from The Skaggs Foundation. These grants help to pay for salaries and costs associated with operating the pharmacy.
According to the website, Individuals who qualify will pay a $10 a month membership fee which gives them access to their prescription medication and other pharmacy services. “Our pharmacy does not charge for prescriptions, but we do charge a small membership fee to help support the work and services we can offer,” says Wright. Services include access and ability to manage prescriptions via app, a review of all prescriptions, pharmacist support and advocacy. “Through the additional services, we become a trusted partner in the wellbeing of our patients, by actively building confidence through our knowledge and understanding of the nuances of medicine and health.”
”It is our hope that the natural ‘handshake’ which occurs so often between diagnosis and treatment will build confidence in our patient population and the result will be a community that is living fully,” said Kyle David, Executive Director of Faith Community Health. “We are building a community that is thriving and access to quality medical care and resources is an important piece of that community and its overall health.”
To learn more about the pharmacy and to see if you qualify for services, please visit the website, www.myneighborscharitablepharmacy.org/eligibility.
My Neighbor’s Charitable Pharmacy is located at 1232 Branson Hills Pkwy Suite 102, Branson.