WESLACO, RGV— Residents in and around Hidalgo County can worry less about affording their prescription medications thanks to the Texas A&M Healthy South Texas Medication Assistance Program.

The program’s Weslaco location—which serves Hidalgo, Starr, Willacy and Cameron counties—is located at the Texas A&M AgriLife Research Extension Vegetable Research and Education Building. To schedule an appointment, call direct at (956) 969-5660 or toll free at 1-866-524-1408.

The majority of those assisted by the program do not have insurance and/or meet federal poverty guidelines. But some who do have health benefits but are not adequately covered may also qualify for assistance. For these people, some prescriptions may be covered by their insurance while others are not, or they might have high out-of-pocket expenses. The Medication Assistance Program can help provide affordable medications to those who could not afford them otherwise.

“Some clients have up to fifteen different medications and have to alternate them on a monthly basis because they can’t afford to pay for all of them at once,” said Eslanda Trevino, outreach worker for the Medication Assistance Program, “but we are able to find some of their medications for no cost to them.”

The program’s staff is able to lower their clients’ prescription costs by assisting them with filling out lengthy and often complex applications that offer a limited supply of free or nearly free medications through pharmaceutical companies’ patient assistance programs. They also connect clients with a number of other services available through retail pharmacies and indigent programs, helping them find affordable access to the prescription medications they need to treat and control diabetes, cardiovascular disease, respiratory conditions and most other chronic diseases.

Since last fall, the program has helped 557 uninsured and underinsured people in South Texas obtain their prescription medications, a value of $2.3 million in drug costs. The cost savings to the health care system is even greater when accounting for prevented hospitalizations, emergency department visits, lost days of work and utilization of services for chronic disease complications. By ensuring they have the medications they need, the Medication Assistance Program improves the health and well-being of the most at-risk South Texas residents.