CHARLOTTE, N.C. - Sylvia Stallings has acid reflux and takes Aciphex to help it subside.
"Mine's so bad,” Stallings said. “It kind of bubbles up. It feels like you're choking to death. I would have severe stomach aches, nausea. I could hardly function."
She said Aciphex helps, but it’s expensive. She was paying $220 each month for the prescription.
She emailed Action 9 and asked reporter Jason Stoogenke if he knew whether the company that makes Aciphex has a phone number for patient assistance and it did.
A few weeks later, Stallings sent Stoogenke another email and said the company referred her to a nonprofit mail-order pharmacy called Rx Outreach.
She is currently using Rx Outreach to get her medication at a much lower price -- $25 for three months.
"They were incredible," Stallings said.
"We're not in this to become rich (by) any means," Rx Outreach President Darryl Munden told Stoogenke. "We're in this to help people get the medications they need, families to stay whole and people to stay healthy."
He said the nonprofit ships about 350,000 medicines to patients each year. It has very low prices and no hidden fees. The only requirement is you can't earn more than 400 percent of the federal poverty level. "A single person making about $48,000, or a family of four making about $87,000 can qualify for our program," Munden said.
Stoogenke vetted the nonprofit thoroughly checking with charity watchdog groups and the Better Business Bureau. Rx Outreach is based in St. Louis.
The Missouri attorney general also gave the nonprofit high marks.
One reason is that 97 percent of the nonprofit's money goes to the cause itself, and three percent goes to salaries and other overhead.
Rx Outreach teams up with other groups to buy medicines.
It's part of one of four major group purchasing organizations in the U.S. It gets prices very similar to the ones retail pharmacies get, but there is a difference.
Rx Outreach doesn't mark up the prices for consumers and buys about 85 percent of the medications it sells. Drug companies donate the other 15 percent.
Rx Outreach also takes monetary donations.
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