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Free medications offered to Swain residents in need

NC MedAssist is partnering with Swain County Health Department to host a Mobile Free Pharmacy event, providing residents in need with free over-the-counter (OTC) medication. Such items include cough and cold medicine, vitamins, allergy medication, first aid supplies, etc. This partnership comes at a crucial time, when remaining healthy and stopping the spread of germs is more essential than ever.

The event will be held from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Oct. 17, at West Swain Elementary School (4142 US-19, Bryson City) and is open to any individual or family needing OTC medications. Participants must be at least 18 years old to receive medicine. Everyone will receive up to eight OTC medicine items free of charge.  No identification is required.

“Swain County Health Department is pleased to partner again with NC MedAssist to help meet the needs of our community.  We encourage everyone to take advantage of this medication assistance program," said Alison Cochran, Swain County health director.  

Unlike previous Mobile Free Pharmacy events, this one will be held as a drive-thru service only. Participants are highly encouraged to preorder their over-the-counter medicine online at . In order to comply with local recommended guidelines, all participants will remain in their vehicles while volunteers retrieve their medicine. Additional options are available for those individuals unable to preregister online, so that everyone who needs medicine will be able to receive it.

“Due to the pandemic, we had to create a new and innovative way to continue serving the community. Rather than having one large event with people standing in line and sitting next to each other, we have implemented a drive-thru system to minimize contact,” said Sheila Kidwell, Director of Foundations and Communication. “We will be bringing close to $100,000 worth of OTC medicine to the event to be distributed to area residents. We understand there is a pressing need, especially with the cold and flu season right around the corner. Our goal in this partnership is to improve the health of the community, one individual or family at a time.”  

NC MedAssist is a statewide non-profit pharmacy, founded in 1997. The organization provides free prescription medication to all low-income, uninsured North Carolinians who qualify for their Free Pharmacy Program. NC MedAssist offers three programs that address the needs of children and adults: the Free Pharmacy Program (for prescription medication), the Mobile Free Pharmacy Program (for over-the-counter medicine), and the Transitional Jobs Program (for individuals with barriers to employment). Last year, NC MedAssist distributed $74.4 million worth of prescription and over-the-counter medicine to NC residents across the state. Learn more about NC MedAssist right now at You can also visit their Facebook and Twitter pages, or contact them to find out how you can help.

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