Great Health Divide: CHRISTUS ‘Incarnate Word’ pharmacy saving patients money, making medication affordable

One pharmacy in Alexandria is making it easier for people to stay on top of their prescriptions, whether they have insurance or not.
Published: Oct. 25, 2021 at 6:00 PM CDT
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ALEXANDRIA, La. (KALB) - Purchasing medication can be extremely costly, and staying compliant with drugs such as Insulin, high blood pressure and other medications that need to be taken daily can be a challenge.

One pharmacy in Alexandria is making it easier for people to stay on top of their prescriptions, whether they have insurance or not.

Dozens of medications can be found at CHRISTUS’ Community Clinic, ‘Incarnate Word,’ on MacArthur Drive.

“We as a pharmacy get drugs at a very discounted rate so that we can pass on the savings to the indigent population, or people that can’t afford prescriptions from places like Wal-Mart or Walgreens.”

Richard Freeman, Head Pharmacist in Charge at 'Incarnate Word’

The 340B pharmacy is the only pharmacy of its kind in Alexandria, and can save people upwards of thousands of dollars on prescription medication.

“For instance, like Lantis, it’s a very popular insulin medication. We can offer that to a patient for 15 dollars, where if you go to Wal-Mart, that may be $300 or $400, and a lot of times our cash prices are less than what people’s insurance copay is,” said Freeman.

The pharmacy, which fills anywhere between 200 to 300 medications per day, is able to service patients who are discharged from CHRISTUS St. Frances Cabrini Hospital, a CHRISTUS Community Clinic, or other people that fit the specifications of the 340B program.

All you have to do is get in the system by getting set up with a primary care physician at a CHRISTUS Community Clinic to take advantage of the savings.

“You just have to come in, get established with a primary care physician and then use us as a pharmacy, we can save you a bunch of money, hundreds of dollars compared to a retail chain,” said Freeman.

The pharmacy takes almost all commercial insurances, Medicaid and even those who don’t have insurance at all. They’ll also work with each individual patient to give them the lowest cost possible.

“We’ll run it on insurance and we’ll run it on cash, and we’ll do whatever is best for the patient,” said Freeman.

A patient advocate can help patients get savings on specialized drugs as well.

“If a patient gets put on a specific medication, our patient advocate can get their income information and they can fill out a sheet of paper. Then they can get those drugs for really cheap, which are directly mailed to our pharmacy for that specific patient,” said Freeman.

The clinic can also set up patients for free care so that they can get the service and medication they need at virtually no cost.

“If somebody’s income is a big problem in their life, they can come here and the clinic can set them up for free care, so that doesn’t even include us,” said Freeman.

To learn more about the pharmacy and for interested patients, you can call 318-483-7337 to connect directly to the pharmacy. ‘Incarnate Word’ is open Monday through Thursday from 8 until 5:30 p.m. and Friday from 8 until 3 p.m..

Cabrini is also working on opening up a second pharmacy location that should be open sometime in 2022.

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