Two Cincinnati area nonprofits that provide free medication are seeing their enrollments swell as the novel coronavirus pandemic restricts personal income through the region.

Faith Community Pharmacy in Florence and St. Vincent de Paul Charitable Pharmacy in the West End are treating this side effect of the pandemic for people with chronic diseases.

“We are having people come to us who have been laid off or furloughed and have lost insurance, people who have had pay cuts or hours reduced and can no longer afford deductibles or co-pays, people who were getting by on doctor’s samples but are now finding that those are no longer available – and a plethora of other reasons,” said Faith Community Pharmacy executive director Aaron Broomall.

The pharmacy usually serves around 600 clients. Since mid-March, it has acquired more than 120 new clients, records show. Since the beginning of March, the pharmacy filled nearly 3,500 prescriptions with a retail value of over $600,000 for 520 Northern Kentucky individuals who could not otherwise afford their medications, records show.

St. Vincent de Paul Charitable Pharmacy director Mike Espel has seen the growing need in Southwest Ohio. “In March, we filled 6,921 prescriptions, and this was an all-time monthly high that surpassed the previous high by 800 prescriptions,” he said.

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