Tip: What therapeutic gaps exist in the formulary you want to provide? (Antibiotics, ophthalmics, dermatologics, inhalers, cardiac, neurologic or psychotropic meds, insulins, diabetic supplies, spacers for inhalers, others?) What have other charitable pharmacies done to fill these gaps? What options can you utilize?
Creating your own formulary and finding affordable sources for those medications is necessary to support low income patients. For example, provide a “safety net list” of medications available for a small fee ($1, $3) or no charge to provide patients in need when medications are not available for free.
For example, Saint Thomas Health hospital in Nashville, TN, offers these goals for inventory for a Safety Net Program:
- Offer at least one or two medications in most therapeutic drug classes since some brand & generic meds are not always available through “free med” vendors
- Provide a drug formulary that would be more stable and affordable than other community programs (including $4 lists)
- Fill in any therapeutic gaps not provided by “free med” vendors, $4 lists, etc.
- Provide a one-stop shop (since transportation can be an issue)
- Guidelines for fee schedule