First-of-its-Kind Law Helps Kansans in Need

March 08, 2018

Learn how a program developed by OptumRx is helping provide uninsured and underinsured Kansans with access to affordable prescription drugs.

Supporting the communities in which we work and live is an important part of how UnitedHealth Group businesses help deliver better health outcomes and lower overall costs. To help Kansans live healthier lives and provide them with access to affordable prescription drugs, our OptumRx business worked with the Kansas Legislature and the Kansas Board of Pharmacy to develop the Kansas Unused Medication Donation Act, which became law in 2009.

The first of its kind in the nation, the law allows adult care homes, mail-service or home delivery pharmacies and medical care facilities to donate unused medications in their original or pharmacist-sealed packaging to safety net clinics and Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHC) across Kansas. Previously, OptumRx and other facilities were required to destroy unused medications.

Since 2009, hundreds of thousands of unused medications have been donated to safety net clinics to provide needed health care to patients. To date, OptumRx has donated over $20 million in unused prescription medications that have helped uninsured and underinsured Kansans in need. Overall, 38 clinics throughout Kansas have taken part in the program.

“Any of the clinics across the state can tell you about the profound impact this program has on the health and well-being of the people they serve,” said Bob Burk, director of Community Relations for the Community Health Center of Southeast Kansas. “One doesn’t have to look far to see how this program and the medications provided by OptumRx have been truly life-changing and life-saving for so many.”   

The Kansas program is managed by the Department of Health and Environment, which works with the Community Health Center of Southeast Kansas in Pittsburg, Kan., to determine recipients and manage distribution to FQHCs and safety net clinics.