Program that provides ex-offenders with free medication expands to Kansas City


Starting January 1st, all people released to Kansas City from Missouri prisons will receive 90 days of free medication thanks to an innovative collaboration and generous donors.

Healthy Transitions, a partnership between Corizon Health, Missouri Department of Corrections, and Rx Outreach, bridges the medication gap that many people face when they are released from prison. People are released from a correctional facility with 30 days of medication and the Healthy Transitions program provides an additional 60 days of free medication. This project provides enough medicine so people don’t run out of mental and physical health medications before they can get an appointment with a clinic in the community.

Approximately 6,000 free prescriptions have been provided to 1,200 people since the program was launched in St. Louis last year and expanded to rural Missouri in September. Service in Kansas City will begin January 1st, 2018.

With nearly half of participants receiving mental health medications, Healthy Transition hopes to improve public safety and provide a better continuity of care as people transition from incarceration. The program has had a tremendous impact on ex-offenders and indirectly impact Missouri families, children, spouses, and neighbors.

Rx Outreach, a St. Louis-based independent nonprofit that provides affordable and free medications for people in need, has been awarded $521,320 in grants from the Lutheran Foundation of St. Louis, the Sidney R. Baer Foundation, Corizon Health, and the Missouri Foundation for Health to support Healthy Transitions.

Dr. Kelli Canada from the University of Missouri – Columbia is leading the program evaluation to measure outcomes such as improved access to medication, reduction of risk factors for recidivism, and potential savings to the state.

Rx Outreach is the only nonprofit, fully licensed nationwide mail order pharmacy in the country and exists to create healthier communities by providing low-cost and free medications to underserved, low income, and chronically ill people.  Over 65,000 people in all 50 states received their prescriptions from Rx Outreach last year. 2,113 Missourians were served, saving $3,126,965 from retail medication prices.