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Upstate Medical’s new pharmacy program makes medications accessible to county’s uninsured

Eric Balotin and David Geloso from Upstate Medical’s “Medications for Hope” pose for a photo alongside storage boxes of medication.
John Smith
/
WAER News
Eric Balotin and David Geloso from Upstate Medical’s “Medications for Hope” pose for a photo alongside storage boxes of medication.

Uninsured Onondaga County patients who can’t afford their medications have a new lifeline.

Upstate Medical’s outpatient pharmacy will now offer them free prescriptions for pick-up, mail or delivery through the “Medications for Hope” program.

Director Eric Balotin said the initiative is the first of its kind in the county.

“Once we identify you don’t have prescription coverage, one of our medication assistants coordinators will reach out to the patient directly…just to verify how lows the income,” Balotin said. “The income levels are actually pretty significant. It's 300% at or below the federal medical poverty levels. And for a family of one, that level is $40,770.”

Meanwhile, Balotin adds a family of four can earn just over $83,000.

Upstate Medical’s David Geloso said the pharmacy offers a long list of drugs to treat all kinds of health needs.

There is medications to treat high blood pressure, diabetes, mental health issues, G.I issues," Geloso said, "We have a limited number of insulins that were provided to us."

Customers don’t have to be an Upstate patient to participate in the “Medications for Hope” program. It can be accessed by going to the Upstate Outpatient Pharmacy at 5000 West Seneca Turnpike or by calling (315) 492-5311.