Charitable Pharmacy Expanding Eligibility In North Texas

Robbie Owens reports on St. Vincent de Paul Pharmacy.

Video Transcript

- And writing a prescription for change. A freestanding charitable pharmacy now expanding eligibility to serve even more families. It is one way the Society of St. Vincent de Paul hopes to impact a root cause of systemic poverty. Our Robbie Owens reports.

MICHAEL PAZZAGLINI: They are calling us for rent, or utilities, or help with food. But we found out that they were foregoing medications.

ROBBIE OWENS: There is a clear link, experts say, between poor health and poverty's vicious cycle.

MICHAEL PAZZAGLINI: Well, I'll pay the rent and maybe take half my prescription. And now I'm in a situation where I'm becoming ill or sick and I can't work. And now I just exacerbated the situation.

ROBBIE OWENS: So the Society of St. Vincent de Paul wants to heal families one prescription at a time-- providing certain medications for free at their Northeast Dallas pharmacy.

- It's very important, because she depends on this medicine for her life.

ROBBIE OWENS: Rafael, today, picking up insulin for his teenage daughter-- a type I diabetic.

CARLOS IRULA: A diabetic pen would cost about $750 for a three-month supply for an uninsured patient.

ROBBIE OWENS: And for families already on the economic edge, that's a fortune. But now, eligibility is expanding. Families earning at or below 300% of the federal poverty line can qualify for free prescriptions.

CARLOS IRULA: So a family of three could make $65,000 a year and still qualify for our service.

ROBBIE OWENS: That's a lot of working families.

CARLOS IRULA: Correct.

ROBBIE OWENS: So you don't have everything just yet. But for those prescriptions that you're able to provide, it's life changing for these families.

MICHAEL PAZZAGLINI: Absolutely, and we started out with the basics. You know-- cholesterol, diabetes, blood pressure.

ROBBIE OWENS: You can check out the pharmacy website for the list of available medicines, how to apply, and how to help this century old charity serve more families.

- God bless this place.

ROBBIE OWENS: In Dallas, Robbie Owens, CBS11 News.

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