Monday, February 19, 2018 8:32 am Last modified: 7:57 am

HHS Activates Aid for Uninsured V.I. Residents Needing Medicine

 As part of the Trump Administration’s government-wide response to hurricanes Irma and Maria, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS) Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR) activated its Emergency Prescription Assistance Program (EPAP) for the U.S. Virgin Islands to give residents access to the critical prescription medications they need. The program pays for prescription medications for people without health insurance who are affected by disasters. Thirteen pharmacies in the territory participate in EPAP.

“This program provides vital assistance to people without insurance who rely upon certain prescription medicines to protect their health after disasters,” said HHS’ ASPR Robert Kadlec M.D. “I encourage U.S. Virgin Islands residents who can use this assistance to take advantage of it to ensure they have an adequate supply of the medicines they need.”

At no cost to uninsured patients, those needing certain drugs during an emergency can obtain a 30-day supply at any of the EPAP participating pharmacies. Most pharmaceuticals listed in the Express Scripts database are available.

For more information, see http://www.phe.gov/Preparedness/planning/epap/Pages/formulary.aspx.

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Patients can renew their prescriptions every 30 days while the EPAP is active.

They also can use the program to replace maintenance prescription drugs, specific medical supplies, vaccines or medical equipment lost as a direct result of the declared emergency or as a secondary result of loss or damage caused while in transit from the emergency site to the designated shelter facility.

EPAP provides an efficient mechanism for enrolled pharmacies to process claims for prescription medication, specific medical supplies, vaccines and some forms of durable medical equipment for eligible individuals in a federally identified disaster area.

Uninsured V.I. residents affected by two hurricanes can call Express Scripts, 855-793-7470, to learn if their medication or specific durable medical equipment is covered by EPAP and to find a participating pharmacy.

ASPR leads HHS in preparing the nation to respond to and recover from adverse health effects of emergencies, supporting communities’ ability to withstand adversity, strengthening health and response systems, and enhancing national health security. HHS is the principal federal agency for protecting the health of all Americans and providing essential human services, especially for those who are least able to help themselves.

Information on health, safety and HHS actions are available at www.phe.gov/emergency. Public Service Announcements with post-storm health tips are available at https://www.cdc.gov/disasters/psa/index.html.

Residents in the continental United States are encouraged to provide these tips to family members and friends in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

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