Publix Pharmacy is celebrating a milestone. It recently filled its 100 millionth free prescription as part of its free medication program.
“We are proud to provide a service that helps our customers afford their medications,” Publix vice president of pharmacy Dain Rusk, said. “As the cost of health care continues to rise, this program has become even more important to our customers and our communities. Too often, high prescription costs prevent people from taking medication as prescribed. When medications are free or available at a greatly reduced cost, that barrier is lifted, and our customers can get the care they need.”
The free medication program began in 2007. It includes 14-day supplies of four oral antibiotics, as well as 90-day supplies of maintenance medications used to treat high blood pressure and diabetes. Customers simply need to provide their Publix pharmacist with a prescription for medications covered in the program, and it will be filled for free. There is no limit to the number of free prescriptions customers can receive, and the free medications are provided regardless of insurance coverage.
According to a recent study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, providing free medications significantly improved adherence to prescriptions by patients who previously could not afford their prescriptions.
A 2005 study in the New England Journal of Medicine estimates non-adherence to medications results in more than 125,000 deaths and $100 million in health care costs, the company said.
A second low-cost prescription program provides customers with 90-day supplies of commonly prescribed medications for $7.50, including treatments for cholesterol, mental health, arthritis, gastrointestinal issues and more. Publix Pharmacy believes that lower out-of-pocket costs help patients take their medications as prescribed, improving the health and wellness of communities it serves.