Introduction

So you want to build a charity pharmacy? Great news! That is a noble effort, and certainly worth your time. A charity pharmacy is a world changing enterprise for your community’s uninjured, low income population. Unlike other safety net services located in towns and cities, a charity pharmacy is the single best way to ensure stable access to consistent supplies of medications for those unable to afford purchasing. Among other benefits, a community charity pharmacy will provide a massive new resource serving medication access, will benefit the financial position of your local healthcare industry, and provides a substantial impact on the health and well-being of the community. While a great deal of work and funding will need to go into building a community charity pharmacy, there is a powerful return. Further, completing this effort adds you among the ranks of many other leaders in the United States who have also built a charity pharmacy. Among that community you will find fellowship, shared vision, and a community that is excited to learn with and from you. We applaud your vision and welcome you to this effort.

A champion is the coach, visionary, manager, and lead encourager to the work of building a safety net enterprise. Building a charity pharmacy can take anywhere from a few months to several years of work, depending on the readiness of your community and the engagement of the much-needed resources. You and your leadership collaborative will establish operational aspects that are as varied as hiring the right staff, finding a suitable facility, creating a nonprofit corporation, raising adequate charitable dollars, and managing supply chain. This playbook attempts to take the learnings of dozens of established community charitable pharmacy programs and the expertise of a large number of veteran leaders, and roll all of that learning into a usable document and tool set. Our hope is to make your work easier, less risky, and happen faster. So, in the spirit of collaboration, we wish you the very best, and hope to help you along the way with the following material.