In 2001, The Rapides Foundation launched a program that helped eligible Central Louisiana residents get their prescription medicines for free. Eight years later, the Cenla Medication Access Program is offering its medication assistance in all 64 parishes in Louisiana.
“We had always hoped we would be able to extend our services beyond our original service area,” said Program Director Wendy Roy, who has led CMAP since its inception. “It is wonderful to know that all Louisianans who qualify and need help with their medications will now be able to get services.”
In 2008, CMAP formed a partnership with the Louisiana Bureau of Primary Care and Rural Health that led to its expansion into 30 parishes outside the nine parishes that make up The Rapides Foundation’s service area. In October 2009, the coverage area officially became the entire state.
“Unfortunately Louisiana has many people who are uninsured, so CMAP is excited to know we can help them with their prescription needs. Helping people stay out of hospitals and emergency rooms and keeping them healthy and on their prescribed medications is very gratifying,” Roy said.
The Rapides Foundation first formed CMAP after research indicated a significant problem with medication access for area residents who lived at or below the poverty level and did not have prescription benefits. CMAP now has a central fill pharmacy that relies on medications donated through patient assistance programs offered by pharmaceutical companies.
Joe Rosier, president and chief executive officer of The Rapides Foundation, said CMAP has helped to save lives, especially in these economic hard times where people are forced to make a decision between paying bills and purchasing medicine. "With CMAP, they don't have to skip their life-saving medications."
CMAP has become a model of excellence. The medical community praises it for filling a void by putting life-saving medications in the hands of people who otherwise cannot afford them. Residents who use CMAP say they are thankful they no longer have to skip their daily and costly medicines in order to put food on the table. With CMAP, they never have to sacrifice their health.
CMAP sponsors a discount medication card program that all residents can use.
CMAP Extra gives people access to lower prescription drug costs, regardless of incomes or insurance status. The cards offer an average savings of 64 percent off the retail price of commonly prescribed name brand and generic drugs.
Anyone can register for the program by going to www.CMAPExtra.com. Registration takes about one minute, and individuals can print their membership card immediately.
Participants can present their CMAP Extra savings card along with the prescription at any of the nearly 33,000 participating network pharmacies nationwide.
The program has no income qualifications or medication limitations, no residency or citizenship restrictions, and requires no financial or credit card information. All that is required is completion of the simple registration process.
CMAP Extra was developed in association with Health Plan Partners and Envision Pharmaceutical Services, Inc., a national pharmacy benefits management company.
Wendy Roy, program director of The Rapides Foundation’s Cenla Medication Access Program, has won numerous accolades in 2009.
In May, she won the Louisiana Legislative Women's Caucus Foundation's 2009 Women of Excellence Award in the health and medicine category. The Women's Caucus created this prestigious award to recognize and honor extraordinary women of outstanding professional excellence across the state for their achievements and contributions. Roy was the only winner from Central Louisiana.
On Oct. 14, she was named the 2009 Executive of the Year at the LaPine Chapter of the International Association of Administrative Professionals’ annual Boss’s Day celebration.
In November, she will make a presentation at the Southeastern Council of Foundations 40th Annual Meeting on Nov. 12 in Memphis. “Providing Access to Prescription Medications for the Uninsured” will explain how CMAP provides prescriptions to people who cannot afford them. The Southeastern Council of Foundations is a membership association of more than 360 grantmakers in 11 southeastern states.
Roy was hired in January 2001 to help launch CMAP. She holds a Master of Healthcare Administration from Seton Hall University, South Orange, N.J., and a Bachelor of Science from Louisiana State University. She and her husband, Alexandria Mayor Jacques Roy, live in Alexandria with their daughter, Catherine.
Do you or someone you know qualify for Cenla Medication Access Program? To be eligible:
• You must be a Louisiana resident over the age of 18.
• You must live within our service area.
• You must not be covered by Medicaid, Medicare, or private insurance that covers prescriptions.
• Your family's household income must be at or below 200% of the Federal Poverty Level to qualify.
• Patient eligibility is for up to one year. Patients must reapply each year for CMAP services.
To learn how to apply, click here.