Free pharmacy has handed out $2 million worth of medications

St. Vincent de Paul's Community Pharmacy in Chamblee has filled thousands of prescriptions for Georgians for free. The pharmacy is the only one like it in the state and it's a lifeline to uninsured, and underinsured low income families.

"We treat a lot of diabetic patients, patients with hypertension, mental health conditions," said Dr. Samantha Ricks, the director of pharmacy.

"There are roughly 1.5 million Georgians that are uninsured, and many who are insured that can't afford their medications or doctor visits," said Executive Dir. Mike Mies.

The pharmacy opened its doors two years ago this month. Since that time, it has given away more than $2 million worth of prescription medications.

Now, as the cost of just about everything is going up, it's seeing more and more families and individuals who are struggling financially.

"People are having to make decisions, do I put food on the table or fill my prescription for blood pressure or insulin, so we fill that gap," said Mies.

While the majority of the patients are in metro Atlanta, last year medications were delivered to people in 29 Georgia counties.

Medications can be picked up, shipped or delivered by volunteers within a 20-mile radius of the pharmacy. It is located in the same building as St. Vincent de Paul's food pantry at 2050 Chamblee Tucker Road.

As each prescription is filled, Dr. Ricks knows she's making a difference in someone's health, and in their life.

"They're constantly thanking us, sending us thank you cards, and that's one of the highlights of my job," said Dr. Ricks.