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Health

Brownback Applauds Mail Order Pharmacy For Donations To Kansans In Need

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Elle Moxley
/
KCUR
Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback thanks OptumRX, an Overland Park pharmacy company, for donating more than $10 million in unused medications to safety-net clinics across the state.

It's a common problem for mail order pharmacies such as Overland Park-based OptumRX – patients will return prescription drugs, unopened.

"Let's say when their physician changed their prescription, they forgot to to notify us that the original cycle of medications they were on needed to change," says Tim Wicks, CEO of OptumRX.

Usually, those returned prescriptions end up in the trash.

But many OptumRX employees felt they were being wasteful when they had to destroy usable, hermetically sealed drugs. So they asked Kansas lawmakers to create an Unused Medication Donation Program so those drugs could be diverted to patients in need.

Since the law went into effect in 2009, OptumRX has donated medication with a wholesale value of more than $10 million to 38 clinics, including safety-net providers and federally qualified health centers. 

Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback called the drug donation initiative an example of "corporate citizenry."

"People need these products, and they're expensive products. So here's a way we can get $10 million worth of value in pharmaceutical products into the hands of Kansans at virtually no cost," Brownback said.

In total, the program has brought in about $11.5 million in donated medication across the state.

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