By Summer Huechtker|February 11, 2021 at 6:48 AM EST - Updated February 11 at 6:48 AM
MOUNT PLEASANT, S.C. (WCSC) - As people without insurance struggle to pay for rising prescription drug prices, a Mount Pleasant organization is working to help with those bills.
East Cooper Community Outreach is able to help people who have insurance and who do not have insurance pay for prescriptions they need.
ECCO Community Outreach Medical Services Manager Yolanda Tolton says the nonprofit has used more funding than usual over the last few months to help people get prescriptions they need or refill prescriptions.
Tolton says this may be because people have had other financial issues during the pandemic. She says people have been more concerned about paying rent or electricity bills during the pandemic and haven’t been able to focus on their prescription payments.
Additional CARES Act funding from a Community Development Block Grant with the Department of Housing and Urban Development means ECCO has extra money to assist Charleston County residents cover the costs of prescriptions.
Tolton says they need to spend this money by March 31.
However, she says they also have separate funding to help people in Berkeley and Dorchester Counties.
“I’ve actually helped two or three people, who are diabetic, they have hypertension, I’ve actually paid for 90 days worth of their prescriptions at a cost of $4,000,” Tolton said.
To apply, you must explain how the pandemic has affected you or your family financially. That impact could be due to a job loss or just working less hours.
You can find that info ateccocharleston.orgunder the “How We Help” drop down menu.
ECCO can pay for up to 90-day drug prescriptions if prescribed by a doctor.
“You know, high blood pressure, diabetes, high cholesterol, they’re running rampant in our community. And it’s something that is very important for an individual to maintain,” Tolton said. “Of course, hypertension, high blood pressure is called a silent killer for a reason. So, you definitely want to make sure, if you’re on a medication such as that, that you continue to take it. So, it’s very important, pandemic or not, to take care of yourselves. Because what we don’t want to do is we don’t want to flood the ERs, the emergency departments, with situations such as that with this pandemic going on.”
Tolton says you don’t have to be an ECCO client to receive this help.
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