Program Boosts Medication Access by “Recycling” Medicine

January 22, 2020

Program Boosts Medication Access by “Recycling” Medicine

The Wyoming Medication Donation Program, a Wyoming Department of Health (WDH) effort, works to boost access to needed medications and to reduce waste by repurposing useable medicine.

“With so many people out there who cannot afford to pay for their prescriptions, it’s a shame to see drugs that are still good get thrown away,” said Sarah Gilliard, Wyoming Medication Donation Program manager and pharmacist with WDH. “Our program fills prescriptions with donated drugs for people who cannot afford to pay for their needed medications.”

The program acts as a medication “recycling” platform, collecting usable medicines that would otherwise be destroyed from people who no longer need them and filling prescriptions at no cost for people unable to afford their medications otherwise.

“Increasing access to medication by recycling good drugs and helping those with financial difficulties to obtain and take their medicine is our main goal,” Gilliard said.

For patients to qualify to receive medications from the program, they must be a Wyoming resident, have a household income at or below 200 percent of federal poverty level, and they can’t have insurance coverage that includes prescriptions (including Wyoming Medicaid, Medicare and/or private insurance).

Wyoming residents interested in donating medications may be able to take advantage of a local donation site. Donation sites will help take the items and send them to the Wyoming Medication Donation Program. Donations can also be mailed directly to the program; out-of-state donations are also acceptable.

“Unfortunately, we can’t accept all potential medication items. There are a few common-sense restrictions,” Gilliard said. Donated items must be in a sealed container, they can’t be expired and they can’t be a refrigerated product or a controlled substance, such as opioids.

To learn more about local donation sites or other information about contributing medications, or to find out more about applying for help from the program, visit online or call 1-855-257-5041.