A 63-year-old woman has painful shingles. As her medical provider listens to her concerns, he writes a prescription for an antiviral medication that will help her symptoms and prevent the virus from returning. As his patient leaves, he tells her to make sure she fills the prescription at her local 340b pharmacy, as it will save her a significant amount of money. Curious, she calls her regular pharmacy at Walmart. The price for the medication? $240. The price at the 340b pharmacy? $28.
That is the program that is now available to local residents through a partnership between Tri-Lakes Community Health Center and Family Pharmacy in Branson West.
As a non-profit community health center, Tri-Lakes Community Health Center, located in the Kimberling City Center, is able to partner with a local pharmacy (Family Pharmacy in Branson West, in this case) to offer deeply-discounted prescription drugs to patients.
“Cheap drugs, like those on the $4 list at Walmart, will be cheap no matter where you go,” said Robert Marsh, executive director of Fordland Clinic and Tri-Lakes Community Health Center. “This program is for more specialized drugs that can carry a large price tag without the 340b program.”
The 340B Drug Discount Program is a U.S federal government program created in 1992 that requires drug manufacturers to provide drugs to eligible health care organizations at significantly reduced prices. The program is already available at the Fordland location through a partnership with Family Pharmacy in Rogersville.
There are two ways the program may be utilized by local residents. The first is the simplest – if you are seen at Fordland Clinic or Tri-Lakes Community Health Center and given a prescription, you may fill the prescription at Family Pharmacy in Rogersville/Branson West for a greatly-reduced rate, if the medication qualifies for special pricing. The second way allows established family practice patients of the clinic to have prescriptions from a specialist, such as a cardiologist or pulmonologist, re-written to qualify for the reduced pricing. Patients must receive family practice services at Fordland Clinic or Tri-Lakes Community Health Center to qualify for that service. Patients may not use their insurance coverage and the 340b pricing on the same medication.
The program is just one way that Fordland Clinic and Tri-Lakes Community Health Center works to reduce barriers to good health for local residents. The non-profit organization offers medical, dental, and mental health services from their Fordland and Kimberling City locations. The community health center accepts Medicaid, Medicare, most commercial insurance, and offers a sliding fee scale based on income for the uninsured.
Other programs include a school-based dental service in both Reeds Spring and Blue Eye school districts.