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Free over-the-counter medicine giveaway returns to Pitt County

Display of OTC medicines and vitamins for giveaway.jpg

A variety of over-the-counter medicines will be offered free to the public during a giveaway on Saturday. Adults can pick up to eight items to stock their medicine cabinets.


The Daily Reflector

Tuesday, April 9, 2019

When family budgets are tight, sometimes even a bottle of cough medicine, aspirin or daily vitamins can seem out of reach.

That is why the annual Over-the-Counter Medicine Giveaway draws hundreds of people every year to stock their medicine cabinets with health staples.

This year’s event will take place from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday at St. James United Methodist Church.

The giveaway is open to anyone needing such products as pain relievers, children’s medicines, cold and allergy medicines, indigestion aids, vitamins and some smaller first-aid items like Band-Aids. Individuals 18 years or older can receive up to eight medicine-cabinet items apiece.

“By providing items of need, we’re trying to relieve a little financial strain that can sometimes come with purchasing medications,” said Shantell Cheek, coordinator for HealthAssist, which organizes the event along with NC MedAssist.

“We’re excited to serve our community while offering help and hope,” Cheek said.

"Having access to these products can be crucial,” said Kahla Hall, director of the Community Benefits Grants Program at the Vidant Health Foundation, a recurring giveaway sponsor. “If people don’t have the financial resources to purchase these OTC items, it may make a difference as to whether they have to visit the Emergency Room.”

The medicine giveaways typically serve close to 800 people before doors close at 2 p.m., organizers said. That volume of participation requires extensive preparation, coordination and volunteers to staff the event.

In addition to the free medications being dispensed, this event also will include free services including blood-pressure, blood-glucose and other medical screenings and an Access East Certified Marketplace Navigators booth on Affordable Care Act health insurance.

NC MedAssist is a statewide, nonprofit pharmacy providing free prescription medicines to low-income, uninsured North Carolinians. In the last fiscal year, the nonprofit dispensed more than $48.5 million in such medications to 15,000 residents.

HealthAssist helps meet the medical needs of qualifying uninsured residents of Pitt, Greene, Beaufort and Martin counties, and is part of Greenville nonprofit Access East, Inc. ( www.accesseast.org ), a Vidant Health affiliate coordinating patient-focused, provider-driven health care for the Medicaid and uninsured populations across 27 eastern North Carolina counties.


WHAT: Over-the-CounterMedicine Giveaway

WHERE: St. James United Methodist Church, 2000 E. Sixth St., Greenville

WHEN: Saturday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. COST: Free , for all adult individuals, and families

FOR MORE INFORMATION: Contact Frank Rabey, communications coordinator for Access East, at 847-0069 and frank.rabey@accesseast.org or Misty Moore, senior development director for MedAssist, at 350-3597 and mmoore@medassist.org.