5202.0: Wednesday, November 15, 2000 - 2:30 PM

Abstract #15397

MEDBANK of Maryland, Inc: Providing free medications to low-income, chronically ill patients in Maryland

Robert N. McEwan, BS, Johns Hopkins University/MEDBANK of Maryland, Inc, 7400 York Road, Suite 105, Baltimore, MD 21204, 410-614-5702, rnmcewan@jhmi.edu

Increasingly since the 1980s health care professionals have become concerned with the plight of the chronically ill and the high costs of their medications. It is not uncommon for indigent patients to lack private insurance, be forced to choose between buying food and buying medicine, and to be just above the guidelines for receiving public assistance such as Medicaid. As a result, patients being placed in these situations become non-compliant with their physician prescribed medication protocol and return to the health care system sicker and even more expensive to treat.

In 1990 the total number of citizens in Maryland living below the poverty level was 385,000 with 156,284 and 37,154 in Baltimore City and Baltimore County, respectively. Over the next six years the total number of Maryland citizens living below the poverty level grew to 522,000 making up 10.3% of the population, 207,000 of these live in the Baltimore metropolitan area.

MEDBANK of Maryland is modeled after a program in Savannah, Georgia, also called MEDBANK. MEDBANK in Savannah reaches over 4000 patients a month, providing all of their medications free through their efforts. This amounts to over $2 million in drugs provided annually. The Savannah program is based on a poverty level population of 40,000 as compared to Baltimore's 207,000. MEDBANK of Maryland will eventually reach up to five times as many patients potentially.

Learning Objectives: By the end of this session the listener should understand the following: 1. the history of the pharmaceutical industry patient assistance programs and their purpose. 2. the reason why they have been poorly utilized historically. 3. how MEDBANK of Maryland provides an organized volunteer corps that streamlines the application process and makes it easy for health care professionals to access this program on behalf of their patients. 4. the prliminary data from 7 months of operation in Maryland and a recap of what MEDBANK has been able to achieve in Savannah Georgia where it started 4 years ago

Keywords: Low-Income, Medicine

Presenting author's disclosure statement:
Organization/institution whose products or services will be discussed: MEDBANK of Maryland, Inc
I do not have any significant financial interest/arrangement or affiliation with any organization/institution whose products or services are being discussed in this session.

The 128th Annual Meeting of APHA