Free prescription medication available from new pharmacy in San Jose

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For some, the price of prescription medication is just too high. The Better Health Pharmacy could be a solution as the first drug donation pharmacy in Northern California that provides some patients with prescription medication for free. (KGO-TV)

For some, the price of prescription medication is just too high.

That's why the Santa Clara County Public Health Department opened the Better Health Pharmacy on East Santa Clara Street in downtown San Jose.

They are the first dedicated drug donation pharmacy in Northern California. You don't need insurance or co-pay or even money - just a valid prescription and your ID.

Because the medications are donated, they are offered at no charge and with no copays.

"There are a lot of patients, who even though they have insurances, because their co-pays are so high they're unable to pick up their medication," explained Jennifer Yoon, the Assistant Director of Pharmacy.

About 23 percent of American adults miss doses or skip prescriptions due to cost, according to the Santa Clara County Public Health Department.

A 2005 state law allows counties to accept and re-distribute medications to people in need.

A majority of the medications come from licensed, skilled nursing facilities throughout the state.

Some of the most common drugs distributed here are used to treat asthma, high blood pressure, diabetes and depression.

They do not hand out controlled substances like painkillers OxyContin and Norco, or certain anxiety and ADHD medications.

Public health officials say the Better Health Pharmacy is the first of its kind in California.

"Most of the patients are very thankful and some of them are in disbelief. They're not sure if this is real or not," said pharmacist Khanh Pham.

In addition to helping patients, another goal is to prevent huge amounts of unused pills from polluting the environment, as much of the unused medication is currently dumped or burned, and ends up in the waterways and in the air.

Better Health Pharmacy opened back in August of 2015, but held their grand opening ceremony today.

Better Health Pharmacy is open 4 days a week. Patients do not have to show proof of residency or citizenship.

For more information or a list of the medication they provide, click here.

Related Topics:
healthmedicalpharmaceuticalshealth caremedicaidcalifornia legislationworking familiesbusinessSan Jose
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