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Non-Profit Pharmacy
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Photo: MorgueFile
Possibly the only non-profit pharmacy in the United States is located in the Cincinnati neighborhood known as Over-the-Rhine.

According to the January 29, 2007, USA Today, “Douglas Hoey, senior vice president of the 24,000-member National Community Pharmacists Association, said he hasn’t heard of another one. ‘There are government. . .centers that are taxpayer-subsidized, but as far as a private entity starting a non-profit pharmacy, I don’t know of any others.’ He said. His association represents pharmacies in urban areas and towns with fewer than 20,000 people.”

Poor Crime-Ridden Neighborhood

The article goes on to describe the neighborhood as “one of the city’s poorest and most crime-ridden areas. Fifty-seven percent of Over-the-Rhine’s 7,000 residents—most of them African-Americans—live under the poverty level, according to the 2000 census. There were 1,579 serious crimes, including nine homicides, there in 2006, Cincinnati Police Department statistics show.”

Pharmacist Chad Worz and JoAnn Riley, public relations director for Crossroad Health Center, developed the idea of a non-profit pharmacy “after seeing that doctors at the non-profit [health] center often had to make sure patients had transportation to a pharmacy” some distance away since there were no retail pharmacies in Over-the Rhine.

Employed at another pharmacy, Worz does not draw a salary from Pharmacy Over-the-Rhine. According to Worz, pharmacies do not make much of a profit off drugs. Instead they rely on sales of items such as magazines, candy and greeting cards.

The pharmacy has received two grants to help with operating costs, including one for $40,000 from the University of Cincinnati College of Pharmacy. In addition, “a drug wholesaler provided the pharmacy with stock. The bottom line is, Worz says, is that whatever money is leftover will be used ‘to help serve the indigent and provide health education. People in underserved areas have more health needs and more health concerns.”

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