Monmouth County pharmacist to open free pharmacy at Red Bank

A successful Monmouth County pharmacist who has spent more than 20 years serving people will soon open a free pharmacy in Red Bank to help people who often have to choose between food, rent and medicine.

“For those types of patients who have no way of getting insurance or those who don’t qualify for Medicare or Medicaid – New Jersey has nearly 820,000 people living 300% below (of ) federal poverty line and there (are) all the indigent patients whose prescriptions never reach the pharmacy when they get prescriptions when they receive care,” Ritesh Shah told Townsquare Media-Jersey Shore News.” My wife and I decided, how can we help these people? Because life is life, isn’t it? You are losing a precious life and we don’t want anyone to lose family members.”

Along with a genuine desire to help others, Shah says what drove him to turn that vision into reality with the Ritesh Shah Charity Pharmacy on Shrewsbury Avenue in Red Bank, was the sudden loss of her sister in a battle with Covid.

“When this kind of situation happens, you can either cry about it or do something about it, then losing my little sister, who was only 43 years old – to honor her, to pay tribute to her, we decided to reimburse our community where I now live, and to try to make a difference,” Shah said.

If you follow the guidelines for being able to get prescriptions for free at this pharmacy, you will be able to fill almost any prescription, including for diabetes, heart disease, blood pressure, and mental illness.

“We have about 150 plus drugs that can save lives,” Shah said. “These drugs, they can be obtained for free when you are qualified, and your qualification is if you get your prescription from federally licensed health clinics.”

There is an eligibility form on their websitesaid Shah, which would have to be filled out first before coming to the pharmacy.

“Anyone living 300% below the federal poverty level will get this prescription drug,” Shah said.

This new pharmacy, which will open in April, is open not only to Monmouth County residents, but to all New Jersey residents.

“Anyone who lives in New Jersey, bust out most immediately, Monmouth, Middlesex, Ocean, Somerset County — they can come get the meds,” Shah said. “Anyone in New Jersey who has a prescription and qualifies, with the protocols we have, will get the drugs we have with us for free.”

A few factors contributed to the opening of this pharmacy by Ritesh Shah to help people who often cannot afford to buy prescription drugs.

“This is about changing the healthcare landscape in our state where we want to ensure that every person has access to essential prescriptions regardless of their ability to pay,” Shah said. “My mission, my organization’s mission is to increase access to medicines, vaccinations, health education and pharmacy services for uninsured and underserved patients. I want to be among the pharmacists who reduce clinical and social inequalities in health that we have in our community.”

Red Bank Green was the first to report this story.

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