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In recognition of American Heart Month, AmeriCares is providing $17 million in cardiovascular medicines for low-income patients in the United States suffering from hypertension and high cholesterol. Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States, accounting for 600,000 deaths every year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
“Low-income patients consistently experience higher rates of heart disease, hypertension, and stroke. Unfortunately, many struggle to access the very medications they need to manage those health conditions,” said AmeriCares Medical Director Dr. Frank Bia. “This donation will help improve cardiovascular health for thousands of our most vulnerable Americans without health insurance.”
The donation includes enough medication to treat 19,000 patients with high cholesterol and 7,500 patients with hypertension for three months. AmeriCares is also providing 100 stethoscopes and blood pressure monitors. Takeda Pharmaceuticals U.S.A., Shire, AstraZeneca American Diagnostic Corporation and CooperSurgical generously donated products for the heart month campaign.
AmeriCares is distributing the medicines and equipment to more than 100 free clinics and other safety net providers through its U.S. Medical Assistance Program. Supported by the GE Foundation, the program provides donated medicines, vaccines and medical supplies to more than 600 free clinics, community health centers and health departments serving the uninsured and underinsured. AmeriCares made more than 3,000 shipments to U.S. safety net partners last year, providing $70 million in prescription and over-the-counter medicines as well as medical supplies for patients in need. Participating clinics report about 40 percent of all patient visits are related to the treatment of cardiovascular disease.
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