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New N.C. Law Paves Way for Uninsured to Receive More Donated Medication

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C., July 1, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- Gov. Roy Cooper last week signed a bill amending North Carolina's Drug Depository Program to broaden the availability of donated prescription drugs and allow free clinics to better serve people who are uninsured and underinsured.

Sponsored by Rep. Wayne Sasser, a Stanly County pharmacist, the bill was championed by the North Carolina Association of Free & Charitable Clinics (NCAFCC) in an effort to make more drugs available to many of the 80,000 patients they serve across the state. Other sponsors included Representatives Bobby Hanig and Chris Humphrey. Sen. Tom McInnis presented the bill on the Senate floor.

House Bill 658 amends the law governing the conditions under which prescription drugs, supplies and medical devices can be donated to pharmacies and free clinics by allowing those facilities to now accept and dispense sealed, unadulterated medications that have not reached their expiration date. The new law is in effect.

Previously, drugs donated by hospitals, pharmacies, manufacturers, wholesalers, hospice care facilities and individuals were required to have at least six months remaining before their expiration date to be accepted. Now, donated drugs can be accepted and dispensed within a few weeks of their expiration date. The law already contains safeguards to ensure no drugs past their expiration dates are accepted or distributed.

"This is a great example of common sense making its way through the legislative process to help thousands of people across this state," said Randy Jordan, CEO of NCAFCC. "We hope this encourages more facilities and individuals to take part in our mission by donating their excess, unopened medications so we can provide better health care to those in need."

About North Carolina Association of Free & Charitable Clinics
The North Carolina Association of Free & Charitable Clinics (NCAFCC) is a private, nonprofit providing advocacy, research, communications, resource development, training and technical assistance on behalf of its 89 clinics and the people they serve. Charitable clinics provide life-changing access to quality healthcare and a voice for more than 80,000 uninsured patients in North Carolina. For information, please visit https://ncafcc.org/

To learn how to donate prescription drugs, please visit www.ncbop.org/faqs/Pharmacist/FAQDrugSuppliesMedicalDeviceRespositoryProgr.pdf

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SOURCE North Carolina Association of Free & Charitable Clinics