Advocates for a North Carolina Prescription Drug
We have also worked with a coalition of statewide organizations and community-based agencies - Advocates for a North Carolina Prescription Drug Assistance Program - to create a statewide safety net for seniors who need more assistance than the basic Medicare drug benefit provides. Our efforts with other advocates across the state and elected officials helped make NCRx a reality in North Carolina. For several years, NCRx helped seniors with limited incomes pay their monthly premiums for Medicare Part D coverage. The Advocates coalition also successfully pushed for creation of ChecKmeds NC, a state program that reimburses pharmacists for providing free or nearly free medication therapy management to North Carolina seniors 65 or older who are enrolled in a Medicare Prescription Drug Plan.
Senior PharmAssist and its partners successfully advocated for continued funding of NCRx and ChecKmeds NC in 2009 as both programs - supported by the NC Health and Wellness Trust Fund (NCHWTF) - were about to sunset. In 2011, these valuable initiatives, as well as North Carolina's Medication Assistance Program, faced extinction due to budget-cutting in Raleigh. Senior PharmAssist issued a call to action to the Advocates coalition and encouraged concerned residents to contact their state representatives and senators.
An independent cost-benefit analysis had demonstrated that every dollar invested in these programs generated a benefit of from $13.55 to $19.36. Unfortunately, the state legislature decided to terminate the NC Health and Wellness Trust Fund, and NCRx ended on June 30, 2011, leaving thousands of seniors across the state scrambling to afford their monthly Medicare Part D premiums. Those who stop paying their premiums will lose their Part D coverage. In Durham, Senior PharmAssist helped participants review their options and switch to lower-cost plans if appropriate. Despite the dissolution of the NCHWTF, ChecKmeds NC has earned a temporary reprieve and is currently being funded by other sources. To learn more about our position regarding these cost-effective programs please click here.
The National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy released a report in May 2009 examining the impact of our collaborative efforts with the "Advocates." The report, which focuses on 13 North Carolina organizations, is available as a free download from the NCRP's Web site. Among its key findings: for every dollar invested in the advocacy, organizing, and civic engagement efforts of nonprofits studied, North Carolina residents reaped $89 in benefits.
You can learn more about the history and achievements of Advocates for a North Carolina Prescription Drug Assistance Program by clicking here. And to read a list of its member agencies, please click here.