Free prescription program hits milestone

The Portsmouth Regional Hospital Prescription Assistance program has reached a milestone, successfully providing area residents with $1 million worth of free prescriptions.

Part of New Hampshire’s Medical Bridge Program, the hospital established the referral service operated by Lamprey Healthcare in the spring of 2002.

Some 40 percent of prescriptions doctors write go unfilled, many of which are written for elderly patients with fixed incomes, according to hospital spokesperson Nancy Notis.

The hospital instituted the assistance program to help those patients pay for necessary medication, Notis said. She said 327 patients are currently enrolled in the program.

To qualify, medications must be prescribed by an active hospital physician, annual income must not exceed $17,000 for an individual or $23,100 for a couple, no outside assistance such as Medicaid can be used and the patient must be a U.S. citizen.

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