Getting Medicines to the Patient’s Hometown and Mylan’s Backyard

February 14, 2020

Mylan has long been a proud corporate citizen in its home state of West Virginia, and donating medication to patients at this nearby health clinic is one way it continues to impact the community.

Pick up a map of West Virginia and find the only intersection of a vertical U.S. interstate and a horizontal U.S. highway in the whole state. That’s the city of Clarksburg, and it’s at the center of difficult crossroads.

Despite a proud, blue-collar population, the mostly rural and mountainous state holds the distinction of some of the highest rates of obesity, depression and poverty of all 50 states. Clarksburg faces uphill battles in many directions, too. The highways help big business travel through to more cities but also allow for the rapid transportation of illicit drugs – one of many factors contributing to West Virginia’s drug epidemic. The growing area’s commercial wealth has spawned new housing developments for the upper-middle class, but a lack of affordable housing has left many in the city homeless or in dangerous areas downtown, and those in poverty typically lack health insurance and access to medical care.

Health Access, a free clinic in the middle of downtown Clarksburg, exists to meet these patients’ needs, and since its founding in 1992, Mylan has been there every step of the way to provide medication to the clinic’s patients who need it.

The clinic serves uninsured or Medicaid patients by providing them whole-patient healthcare for free at every visit, meaning if a patient only makes it in the doors once, he’s going to be treated for everything possible during that appointment. From Monday to Friday, a rotation of volunteer doctors, nurses and a pharmacy technician offer a range of services including acute primary care, women’s health, mental health, chronic conditions and serious illnesses.

When it’s time to prescribe the patient medication, the staff check their on-site pharmacy, or as they refer to it, the “sea of blue” Mylan generic medicines. Mylan has been donating medications to Health Access since it opened, allowing the clinic to dispense it without cost to patients who wouldn’t be able to afford it otherwise.

A Sturdy Foundation

Health Access director Jim Harris, who has been at the clinic since 2008, said Health Access has moved buildings several times, completed many renovations and adjusted its approach to providing care as the healthcare industry has evolved over the years, all while increasing patient load from 700 in 2008 to 4,000 annually today. Amid all the change and growth, the firm commitment of local organizations and businesses like Mylan has made all the difference.

The clinic is partially funded by the United Way of Harrison County, which sources funds through community donations to local nonprofits. To cover specialized medical needs unavailable in-house, the clinic partners with WVU Medicine’s United Hospital Center, Clarksburg’s local hospital, where clinic patients can be referred and treated for free. Then there’s Mylan, with operations including Customer Service just 45 minutes north in Morgantown.

“Connecting patients to the medicines they need, when they need it, is always our priority,” said Mylan Customer Relations director Ashlea Currey. “We know that quickly providing medication at no cost is crucial for patients at Health Access to have a better quality of life, and we’re proud to support this patient community that’s so close to home for us at Mylan.”

Medicines that Change Lives

Health Access is able to make a long-lasting difference in the community because they’re not only able to diagnose and make referrals for patients to seek special care, but they can also provide medicine to help the patient feel better.

“You can have the greatest volunteer providers making the most accurate diagnosis and access to all the imaging tests you need, but if you can’t connect that patient with prescription medications, you’re just making the dead-end street longer,” clinic manager Josh Brown said. “Instead, because of Mylan and that partnership we share, we’re able to not only offer our patients a diagnosis but a remedy.”

Providing access to medicine and healthcare has always been Mylan’s mission for 7 billion people around the world and in West Virginia, where Mylan was founded in 1961.