DALLAS — Three years ago, St. Vincent De Paul Pharmacy opened its doors on Pineland Drive in Dallas. It was the first charitable pharmacy in Texas, filling prescription medications for free for individuals who qualify.
It continues to grow, and this year, it expanded eligibility. This means more people can now use the service.
"Up until last month, we could only serve the uninsured below 200% [of the federal poverty level]," said CEO Michael Pazzaglni.
He's proud to announce it's now available for those at or below 300% of the federal poverty level.
"This has given us the ability to serve a group of people that we couldn't in years past," said Pazzaglini.
Pharmacist Carlos Irula sees the difference.
"You're talking about working-class families that sometimes choose between buying insulin or purchasing food for their kids," said Irula.
Without insurance, insulin can cost $750 for a 3-month supply. Those who qualify at St. Vincent De Paul Pharmacy can get the insulin for free.
"Everyone deserves the dignity of having access to affordable health care," said Irula.
In the last few months, the pharmacy also started delivering prescription medications. They saw the need for mail-order services because some people don't have transportation to the pharmacy. In 60 days, more than 750 prescriptions were delivered.
In the first six months of opening, St. Vincent De Paul pharmacists filled 800 prescriptions. The next year increased to 9,000. Last year, 17,000 prescriptions were filled. And this year, they are on track to filling 35,000 scripts.
"We're really proud of being able to provide that type of free service," Irula said. "We're not even touching the surface on the amount of people that we can serve."