A drug-surplus collection-and-delivery program that will provide free prescription medication to low-income county residents was approved Tuesday by the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors.
"For many seniors and families struggling to pay for rent, food and necessities, the high cost of prescription drugs can be out of reach," Supervisor Liz Kniss of Palo Alto said in a statement.
The average cost of brand-name prescription medication is $100 per prescription, according to the Santa Clara Valley Health & Hospital System.
Medications will be received and distributed through eligible pharmacies within the Santa Clara Valley Health & Hospital System. Strict pharmaceutical and medical standards will apply to ensure that donations are received unopened and in tamper-evident packaging.
Donated medications will be stored separately from regular inventory and must have at least a six-month shelf life remaining to be accepted.
The two-year pilot drug surplus program will work mostly with nursing homes where the use and handling of medications is controlled.
The program, which is expected to launch this summer, is available to county residents whose incomes are well below the federal poverty level through two different plans, the Ability to Pay Determination Program and the Valley Care program.
For individuals who don't have insurance and would like to be considered for the Ability to Pay Determination Program, they may call the Santa Clara Valley Health & Hospital System at (888) 334-1000 for more information.
The Valley Care program is geared more for small employers or self-employed who do not have insurance. For more information interested residents may call (408) 885-4826.