The Louisiana Department of Health awarded pharmacy grants to four community-based collaborations for projects aimed at increasing access to affordable prescription drugs for residents of rural and underserved areas.

“Pharmacy access is a key component in improving the health status of our state,” said LDH Secretary Dr. Fred Cerise.  “Ensuring that Louisiana residents have access to their prescription medications is critical to the effectiveness of Louisiana’s primary health care system.”

Grantees include Lafayette Community Health Care Clinic, North Louisiana Regional Alliance, Louisiana Public Health Institute and Bayou Teche Community Health Network.

The grants were awarded through the Bureau of Primary Care and Rural Health’s State Pharmacy Access Initiative. The initiative is funded through Social Service Block Grant funds to implement community-based strategies for increasing access to pharmacy services and pharmaceuticals for the underinsured and uninsured populations in the state.  Public or nonprofit health care organizations working together in regional collaboration were eligible to apply for grants to fund pharmacy access demonstration projects.

The Lafayette Community Health Care Clinic received $50,000. The funds will be used to expand the capacity of the Community Pharmacy and to increase access to free medications for a larger group of under and uninsured residents.

In North Louisiana, the Regional Alliance will use its award of $49,988 to develop a regional coordinated system of pharmacy services to be integrated with primary and preventive care in the region.

The Louisiana Public Health Institute received $48,700 to establish a referral process for pharmacy assistance to create a seamless system of medication access across regional health care providers.

The Bayou Teche Clinic in Franklin received $17,000. These funds will support the expansion and integration of pharmacy access software into the area’s triage network. This network matches patient needs with community resources and assist patients in applying for pharmaceutical assistance programs provided by national drug manufacturers.